7 bad reasons to get married
‘My boyfriend has hinted that he’s planning to propose,’ said the email. ‘I’ve always wanted children and, at 32, I probably shouldn’t leave it much later. My friends at church are all getting married and I’m worried I’ll be left on the shelf. Yet something’s holding me back…’
When everyone around you is settling down and you’re keen to do the same, it’s easy to get swept along in the romance of an engagement and wedding. But if you’re not certain that you’re doing the right thing, consider these seven BAD reasons to get married… plus seven GOOD ones!
1. Your biological clock is ticking
If you’re concerned that you’re running out of time to have children, you may feel an urgency to get married – and soon! But it’s a risky strategy. Nothing puts a strain on a relationship like having children, and marriages can buckle under the pressure. It’s essential to have a solid relationship with your spouse before having children. So make sure they’re the right person for you, and don’t rush in just because you can hear that biological clock ticking.
2. You’re worried you’ll be left on the shelf
Many of us have a plan for how our lives will pan out: dating by 24, married by 26, children by 30… It’s good to have goals, but life has a habit of ignoring our best-laid plans! If you marry because you’re concerned about being ‘behind schedule’, you may settle for someone who’s in the right place at the right time, rather than someone who’s right for you. Better to marry later and get it right, than to do it now and get it wrong.
3. You want to tie your partner down
A man once told me he wanted to marry his girlfriend quickly in case she changed her mind. ‘I want to tie her down before she realises there’s better out there!’ he (half) joked. Getting hitched out of fear that the other person might leave isn’t a good basis for a marriage – and anyway, it’s not failsafe, as people can and do leave marriages. You need to know your spouse loves you for who you are and is committed, not trapped.
4. Your church is pressuring you
We all know that in church, if you go on more than three dates with someone, people will start dropping hints about wedding bells. Plus there’s often pressure to keep courtships short in order to avoid sexual temptation. But you shouldn’t get married to please other people – this is about you, your partner and God. Marriage is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, so ensure it’s what you want, not what everyone else wants!
5. You want a wedding
Perhaps you’ve been dreaming of your wedding your whole life, and you yearn to be the centre of attention for a day. Or maybe you’re swept away by the romance of declaring your love in front of family and friends in a magical, Insta-worthy setting. But marriage isn’t about the wedding day – it’s about decades of doing life together. A picture-perfect celebration won’t count for much if you can’t negotiate the hassles and stresses of everyday life.
6. You’re desperate to have sex
If you’re abstaining from sex until marriage, the urge to get intimate with your partner can be a pretty strong motivator to get married. But our sex drives are notoriously bad decision makers! It’s important to desire your spouse, but sex won’t solve a marriage in crisis. So make sure you’re being driven by more than your hormones.
7. Your friends are getting married
Marriage is contagious! When everyone around you is pairing up, it’s hard to be the one left behind – especially in church, where the focus is all about marriage and children, and people tend to get hitched younger. Making a life-long commitment to another person is far too important to be influenced by peer pressure. Take time to consider whether, if you were the first among your friends to get married, you’d still choose this person as your partner for life.
7 GOOD reasons to get married…
- You’ve taken the time to get to know each other, and you love and respect each other in spite of your weaknesses and foibles.
- You’re committed to each other and to facing the difficulties of life together.
- You’ve discussed your future plans, and you have shared goals.
- You’ve each proven to be trustworthy and loyal.
- You communicate openly and honesty, even when it’s difficult.
- You want to spend the rest of your lives learning about each other’s needs and serving each other.
- You’ve prayed about it, and you feel peace in your spirit about the future.