Base Logo
Official U.S. Marine Corps Website
Crossroads of the Marine Corps

Priorities – Vehicles and Marriage

30 Jun 2016 | Lt. Robert Bailey; Chaplain - MCAF/HMX-1 Marine Corps Base Quantico

The other day I was reminded about my first new car. I remember those days leading up to me getting my driver’s permit. It was filled with anticipation and excitement. I was purchasing various car books so that I could research and find the one that I liked (mostly how fast and how cool it looked). Do not think bad about me because I was only 15 and most of you probably thought the same. I would almost say that I was an impulse buyer. If it looked good, then I would buy it. The magazines that I purchased were not used for finding out the miles per gallon, how much parts would cost to fix it if it were to break down, whether I could do repairs myself or need to carry it in to a specialized mechanic, or any known issues that might have been occurring with that make and model.

I had to learn the hard way about priorities when purchasing a car. I also had to learn about gaining correct information from reliable sources. Can you believe that not all sources of information are reliable or accurate? I mean, what are we coming to today when you cannot trust people to tell you the truth. I would get information from one source only to have another source tell me something different. This became extremely frustrating when I went to purchase my first new car. I had never bought a car before, so I did not know what all it entailed. I was able to gain valuable advice from people that I trusted about what to expect when I decided to purchase a car. They told me about the vehicles, the dealerships and how they would pressure you, and also that you did not have to say yes. These are some of the things that helped me make a wise decision when getting a vehicle.

We treat the idea of getting married similar to me purchasing a vehicle. We tend to want to purchase one because of how it looks, how it will make us appear to others, or how it is going to make us feel. We may do a little investigation (dating – which is only us showing our good side because we do not want to scare the other person off with all of our baggage). This mostly comes in the form of how it is going to benefit me or make me feel, or just how good that person looks. Many people do not look to reliable sources for advice or just choose to believe whatever they are told.

Marriage is something that you need help to understand before you say, “I do.” Marriage is not easy. It is not something that you can watch a TV show and understand. It also is not instantaneously the way you desire it to be. It takes a lot of work just like buying and maintaining a vehicle. If you never fill up the tank with gas, or never change the oil, or never get new tires, and think that just because you bought the vehicle that it will last you a lifetime, you would be wrong. You have to put work into keeping a vehicle running so that it will last. The same goes for a marriage. It takes commitment, time and effort to make it last. You can lessen the headaches if you do your research in the beginning. Ask others that have been married for a while and have a good marriage about how they got to that point and what to expect. I would not go ask someone that has been divorced multiple times. That is like asking someone that has bought several lemons what to look for in a good car.

Priorities. What is more important? Your future spouse and marriage or a vehicle? Why do we invest more time and effort in purchasing a vehicle than getting ourselves ready for a marriage and making one that will last us a lifetime? If you want a marriage that will last, then do the research, ask others, and do everything you can to maintain its upkeep so that it does not leave you on the side of the road disgruntled and alone.
Marine Corps Base Quantico