In the fast paced, have it my way NOW society that we live in, it worries me to see so many people so eager to tie themselves down in relationships and marriages without having a clear understanding of what marriage truly is. Without having a clear understanding of who their partner is. Not seeing past the beautiful wedding dresses and the one day festivities which is beautiful in itself. Don’t get me wrong, marriage is a beautiful thing especially for those who are strong and willing to commit to one another and work through all of it’s challenges. You know, the things that happen post wedding bliss. The things that are not as glorified as what is put out there. Every day we see more and more weddings and sadly just as many divorces. Why, I wonder. I’ve recently conducted a survey that simply says….What are the top 5 reasons that people marry? Finding out why we do what we do gives us our target areas and strategies to do one or two things:
Help to establish the foundation of the marriage OR
Challenge people to re-evaluate the relationship from all angles THEN decide whether or not it’s possible to make a lifetime commitment with their mate.
Many of us know that marriage was instituted by God. Our first encounter with the subject is found in Genesis Chapter 2 after God had created Adam and placed him in the garden to tend to it. He then decided that man shouldn’t be alone so he made a suitable help for him. Eve, the woman made out of the rib of Adam. She then became bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. The two became ONE.
So, we know that God ordains marriage. He desires a husband to have a helper but this is not my argument. I have no doubt that marriage is a GOD idea, but TIMING is my concern. Understanding people’s logic as to why they marry is also a concern. By now, I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “why is she so concerned with what other people do?” Here’s why..
1.I love people. I love to see people happy and experiencing love(True love). I love to see people who are in love, create families out of that love. This is called being fruitful and multiplying which was God’s original intent in Genesis. I love to see the love that the children experience with their parents and it motivates them to walk in their footsteps and create healthy foundations for generations. Yes everyone has challenges, but since true love has bonded the marriage, it is able to sustain them through the tough times.
2. As a believer, I believe in doing things in order and God’s way. I stand firm on the idea that unless a marriage is submitted to God, it will either end in divorce or the two will live UNhappily ever after and who wants that? I can’t imagine being married to anyone for years unhappy. Yes, people do it and that’s their choice but I feel that life is too short to live an unhappy life with someone and you can do something about it. You don’t have to divorce, but if you’re going to stay together, you may as well find or create ways to make it work but again God has set a blueprint for us to abide by to have a successful marriage and life with the ones you love but it’s up to us to choose his way and allow HIM to be the head of your marriage.
3. When we go into things with little or no knowledge, we risk the chances of creating a monster that is passed on through generations. Let me explain:
When our marriages are built off of sex, everything else falls around that. One of the last reasons to marry should be sex because what happens when you get tired of having sex with this person? Remember, you are committed for life, so what do you do? What happens when a partner is stricken with illness or for other reasons cannot perform sexually? If sex is all you have, is it possible to remain with this person without cheating or stepping outside of the marriage? Even if you’ve chosen to save yourself until you get married, sex alone will not hold a marriage together.
When our marriages are built off of a thrill, meaning you strongly feel compatible with your mate. You love each other, your sex life is okay, you get along pretty well; thrills never last long. Eventually you are going to hit a bump in the road because life brings challenges no matter who you are and how much you do to try to avoid it. A thrill is compared to a tingle or an adreneline rush. Have you ever heard anyone say “It’s just not what it use to be”? ” I love him or her, but I’m not in love with them anymore”?
I like to compare a thrill to being high. You’re high off of love and each other, but every high must come down. That temporary state you were in has subsided and now you and your mates flaws have started to show up. After a few months or years after living together you get to see who each other really is outside of that thrill bubble. Things that use to excite you don’t excite you anymore. Besides that thrill, when it dies, do you have a solid enough foundation to stay married to this person and find ways to keep the fire burning?
When our marriages are built off of family tradition, we get married because it’s the family thing to do. Grandma got married when she was 16, Mama got married when she was 18, so now we must hurry and get married to keep the “image” going. Pressure causes us to do things because we’re supposed to and not necessarily because we want to. Believe it or not, there are many parents who have their children’s lives planned out for them and they’ll do everything they can to make sure everything goes as planned and the pressure to please mom or dad overrides how they actually feel. Maybe you’re not ready to get married. Maybe you haven’t found the right person but because you’re pressured, it’s easy to take the first train smoking and jump on it and this can cause damage down the line. Even if the parents don’t really have a successful marriage they will stay in it, and force their children to get married because it’s the “right” thing and yes marriage is right but if that marriage is not built off of the right foundation, it will crumble, and you’ll end up with a family line full of miserable married folk. This was never God’s intent, so even if you have to upset some people you have to be determined to live your life for YOU and to please no one but your Heavenly Father.
When our marriages are built off an emotional need to be loved and to not be alone we soon find out that certain emotional needs can’t be met by your spouse. So many people are seeking love, attention and affection which is normal. We were all created to love and be loved but what you’ll find out is that the emptiness we feel can only be satisfied by God. Yes our partners can complete us in many different ways but if we haven’t figured out how much God loves us and how to love ourselves, it will be hard to find someone to love you the way that you feel you need to be loved. Make sense? When this happens it’s easy to become controlling and demanding of your mate to do certain things to fulfill your needs and when they can’t or don’t you not only continue to feel empty but your actions will begin to push your mate away. You may become violent, and stressed out.
Listen we must stop treating being single as a disease and find out who we truly are before we jump into any commitment. There is nothing wrong with being single and there’s nothing wrong with waiting on the right time. When we rush into marriage for any of the reasons above we risk the chances of inviting dysfunction into our lives and homes. We then welcome children into our dysfunction and this can create generations of chaos that could have been avoided had we just WAITED. The bible is full of wisdom pertaining to marriage and although NO marriage is perfect, learning God’s ways, learning to place him at the center of our marriages, not leaning to our own understanding but trusting Him will make a world of difference.
My husband and I have been married for 11 years and God has done the most amazing thing in our lives. We married young, didn’t have half the knowledge we have now and went through hell and high waters to get here which is the reason I’m able to encourage people today. We fought through it, and we made it through the worst of times but not without God and although I have no regrets. If I had the wisdom that I have now I would have waited until I was healed from a previous relationship. Bringing old baggage from old relationships can be a disaster waiting to happen. I didn’t love myself so I couldn’t love my husband and vice versa. If I would have learned to love myself, there would have been things that I wouldn’t tolerate and I would have made that clear before getting married. If I had an understanding on what marriage was, why we marry and if I’d actually prayed to see if this was God’s will for me, I would have waited but because we both were ignorant, rebellious and basically just living how we wanted to live, we jumped in head first and paid for it later. However God was gracious then and he’s gracious now. Marriage has strengthened my relationship with Christ and those around me on so many levels so again, I have no regrets, only words of encouragement for those that follow in the same footsteps.
It’s not my intentions to discourage, but because of my passion for marriage and family, It’s my duty to encourage others to count the cost before you make any life time commitments. Do your research, talk to people with wisdom and those who have “successful” marriages and not those who are just married and existing. Most of all, SEEK GOD and his direction for your life and in the meantime, work on yourself. Find out what you like and dislike? If you’re broken in any areas, seek healing or counseling as God prepares your mate and when He sends him/her, there will be no questions. You will know!
I want to leave you with some questions you may want to ask when dating or determining if you’re willing to make this life time commitment. Believe me THEY MATTER. You’d be surprised at how something so simple can come between spouses and can make or break a marriage. These are the things we don’t see on TV and what you can’t see behind a couple that we may follow on social media. From the outside looking in, anything can be fabricated. You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, what they argue about, what disgusts them etc. All you see is the glory, not the story. I’m sure many of them will tell you how important these things are and to pay close attention while you wait.
What is your mate’s favorite color?
What are their religious beliefs?
What is their reaction to stress?
How do they handle money?
How do they talk to the women/men in their family?
Do they like to clean? How well?
Do they like to cook? How well?
Do they attend church?
Do they have a relationship with God?
Do they have a calling on their life or plans to become a minister or Pastor one day?
Do they want kids?
How well do they work with kids?
Do they have a quick/bad temper?
How do they treat you around other people?
How do they feel about sex?
What is their view on marriage?
How is their relationships with family and friends?
These are just a few but I’m sure you feel my drift. It takes time to get to know people and there’s no time (but God’s time) on when we should get married, so don’t let anyone or any image convince you to step outside of that time. God’s way is better!