Build Your Own Life

Did you hear about it? At the Teen Choice Awards awhile back, Ashton Kutcher delivered a speech that has gone viral.

Check it out here.

We could focus on the spot-on things that he said about opportunity and hard work—“I’ve never had a job that I was better than.” But there’s something he said at the end that’s really relevant, I think, to our generation’s search for lifelong love.

Kutcher says he re-learned this from playing Apple founder Steve Jobs in the new movie Jobs.

“And Steve Jobs said: When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way that it is. And that your life is to live your life inside the world….But life can be a lot broader than that when you realize one simple thing: and that is that everything around us that we call life was made up by people that are no smarter than you. And you can build your own things, you can build your own life that other people can live in. So build a life – don’t live one, build one.”

photo credit:
photo credit:

While I doubt that Kutcher was thinking about the relevance of his words to relationships and marriage, what Kutcher says about life in general does hold true for relationships and marriage. For instance, no matter how high the divorce rate was for our parents’ generation—or for celebrities like Kutcher!—we can build our own relationships of lifelong love. Even if there’s no one else in our world that has a long-lasting, happy marriage—we can build own lives.

But how we do that? I think Brittany’s s suggestion about “not starting relationships with sex first, questions later” is a good first step.

How about finding a community of people—like a good church—that supports the idea of marriage? The attitude that “my relationship is no one else’s business” is dominant today. But no couple can do it alone.

Picking the brain of a long-time, happily married couple is also a good idea. They might say some things that sound cranky and out of touch—“Well, back in the day I never even heard of the word divorce!”—but I find that their stories offer so much hope. For instance, check out the story of the 96-year-old man who wrote a love song for his wife of 75 years!

For a more modern telling, Christi tells the story about how both she and her husband are from divorced families, but now they are building their own happily married, happily together family.  Read how they did it here.

What do you think are some things our generation can do to build happy, long-lasting marriages?



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