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What is the goal of being married

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#1 yeshivabachur



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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:34 PM

I thought I was ready to start shidduchim, so I asked my rebbbi what he thought. He asked me what I thought the goal of marriage was, and I was startled to realize that I had never thought about it! I therefore pose the question to Rabbi Shapiro and the oilam- what is the goal of marriage? (I understand that the most simple answer is to have children, but I think that it goes deeper then that.)

#2 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 09:15 AM

The short answer: To be able to fulfill your tachlis in this world in a way that you cannot if you are not married.

This includes but is not limited to:
  • having children and bringing up a new generation of Tzadikim
  • possessing an Ezer Kenegdo that will be an energizing and encouraging force in everything you do
  • being able to learn how to be a giver, which is our purpose in this world - to be givers. Hashem created this world only to give, and we are supposed to emulation Him. We cannot create a world like Hashem did, but a family unit is good enough.
  • the nisyonos of dealing with a wife and children properly, including our responsibility toward them, shapes us into being better people
  • the emotional relationship we have with wife and children also shapes us into being better people and ovdei Hashem
  • and more
In short, in order for a person to fulfill his destiny in this world he has to go through various different experiences, emotional, circumstantial, spiritual, and physical. Hashem has revealed to us that having a wife and children, and bringing them up, and all the responsibility and happiness and joy that one gives and receives from that experience - and yes, the pain as well - are all required for us to be what Hashem wants us to be. And to accomplish what Hashem wants us to do.

#3 eidel



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Posted 17 May 2012 - 10:01 PM

I was never married. When I do get married, I want to either adopt my husband's children from his previous marriage, give him children through me, or both. The point is, I want to help a man have (as many as he can) and/or raise his children to follow Torah. I cannot think of having "my" children, meaning that I believe the children primarily belong to the man, not me who is a female. Is there something wrong with this thought and not feeling desperate to have "my" biological children? I am also sure that if I respect my husband and we are young enough to raise children from age 0, and there is nobody to be hurt by it, I would be eager to give birth to his children, but still I'd see them as "his" children. Should a girl be enthusiastic about having "her" biological children even when she has not been engaged or met with anybody for marriage that she likes? It's just so far from me at this point... But I definitely want what Hashem wants, and I am willing to work on myself to get there!

#4 Punims



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Posted 21 May 2012 - 10:57 PM

Why do you feel this way? Isn't the mother the primary caregiver usually? How old are you? These are very interesting thought patterns that I have never heard of before. I think of my children as "our children". I have also wanted to have children since I was a kid. I never even thought of the husband part of it. When I thought or wondered about my future, it was all about the kids. It seems so foreign to me to hear your thoughts, I'm just curious where they're coming from.

#5 eidel



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Posted 22 May 2012 - 12:13 AM

Hi Punims! So nice to talk with you! I thank you and any other moderator who allowed this post cuz I'm very very desperate to talk about this!

The reason I put it here was because Rabbi Shapiro's answer sounded like it was mainly for men (like taking care of a wife and children..) and also when I started learning to be frum the Seforim I learned from (except for a Tznius guidebook) were written targeting the men & I always get confused, "What's my part??"

Anyway, yes there is an aspect of my upbringing that makes me feel quite different about a "mother" image: my dad played the role of mom & dad. I did not experience a female practicing "mother".. Sorry for my strange language, I don't know how else to describe it..
I am way past 18 (though I don't look it). Not quite old enough to have eineklech. But there was also a point in my life, rounded to the nearest tens age 20, that I wanted to have children -- to be exact, just to be pregnant, to be in the state of carrying a baby. Then, I didn't even care who's child. BH I didn't try to be without thinking, because I knew once you are you are responsible at least for the early stage of the child's life, and as a human being I knew that not knowing a parent or having a parent hard to respect was no good for the child. Not only have I never been married, but never lived with a boyfriend or the like.
There was a strong fear in me of becoming a married woman, for a long time.. Somehow my early experiences of women, including doctors like someone who weighed me when I was a baby up to school teachers, were pretty tough. In the present, in reality I have great rebbetzins and married frum female friends of all ages (and of course unmarried frum caring girlfriends), BH! My fear is basically over, and I have begun looking into Shidduchim, BH.
It's just that I have a hard time swallowing rabbis' and other ppl's "normal" expectations of my wanting a child as an "extension" of "me" before I am ready to schedule a Chasune.
I wouldn't tell my children "You're Tate's children - not mine" no way, and I believe a man and woman each have their part in training the children. I want to be there for the children ...of my husband... Am I more responsible for my biological children than for adopted? I don't know the Torah answer to this. But I am looking for someone I would be proud to help bring in and/or raise children FOR (him to fulfill his Mitzvos).
I did have an unusual and complicated life. I am a Ger. I love children, and maybe bcuz of my young looks most of them are comfortable with me. Long before my Geirus, I almost considered marrying a man just because he had a child from a previous marriage (he was also asking me out, we talked about what kind of family life each of us wanted, & i was almost confident i could help him and the child). Somebody warned me that after the child is up & out, I'd just be left with him - lol. Didn't go further. Sorry for this unorganized post! Had a bad headache worrying my post above would be ignored & that I would be lost, but BH...!
Thanks to all who cared!

#6 eidel



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Posted 03 June 2012 - 12:21 PM

I think it's more of a male thing to distinguish "my" children from "others'" children. Females are more open, from what I've seen, to taking care of "anybody's" (any other female's) children. Like in the animal world, a female can even feed babies of a different species. That's one reason why I'd rather adopt "his" children than just "anybody's", and give birth to "his" children than bring in "my" children from a previous marriage, for example. Sorry if this should have been a separate topic..