Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Young People Get Married... Or Not?

Today, among followers of Jesus, it seems that young people are waiting longer and longer to get married. At first, it seems to make sense: finances, housing, maturity, and so on. Then I get to thinking about the fact that for all this preparation and consideration that's given prior to taking the plunge there are still so many Christians getting divorced. So obviously marriage is not simply a 1+2=3 equation type of scenario. We cannot simply look at our finances and say, "Yes, I'm financially equipped to be married and therefore I am prepared to be married." You can insert any of the things I listed, and perhaps a few more into that sentence and it still applies. It just doesn't work that way.

But why? For those of us who follow Jesus the fact is that Christ is the first and foremost thing that should be taken into account when considering whether to marry. It starts with the question of whether we are called to marry in the first place. So many of us look at life like an equation, but how does God's will fit into that equation? Are you called to be married or single? That's between you and God, but don't just think that because everyone else gets married that you should too. We take marriage for granted like it's a right of ours when in fact it is a gift from God for whom He chooses to bestow it upon. For me, I know that I am called to marry because the calling was placed in me from a very young age. I would literally get on my knees and pray for my future wife at fives years of age. There are struggles which those of us who know are called to marry have to face, but to sum it up in a way that covers both camps (those who know and those who don't know): we can easily fall into the trap of expecting marriage which ruins the gift. How can God enjoy giving us something when we expect it, as if demanding it of Him?

Next is whether you can trust God to provide for the family you are about to create. So many of us think that if we can just get the job we want, make enough money for this or that, or just finish school that suddenly everything will be fine and you're in the right place to get married. I'm not saying be recklessly jumping into financial obligations which you cannot realistically make good on because you're marrying someone. God didn't give us brains of such high cognitive abilities to watch them go to waste of foolishness, but where is your trust being placed? Are you trusting in Jesus as your provider or are you trusting in that job you're trying to get as your source of provision? While we are certainly brilliant in nature, God's ways are higher than our own and if God tells us to marry then we need to be willing to humbly and obediently do so with absolute trust that He will teach us how to proceed.

As far as maturity goes, what is that anyway? How do you measure maturity? Are we not all strong in some areas and weak in others? Do we reach a certain point where we suddenly don't need Jesus? I pray that day never comes for me. The fact is that while there are issues that it may seem prudent to resolve prior to getting married, there is no one thing that people can look for and decide whether you're ready to get married or not. Oh, but wait, there is! Jesus! Do you love Him? Do you earnestly seek Him? Do you recognize that He is the source of all that you have and the only hope for you and your future spouse? If you answered yes to these, then you just might be ready to consider marrying someone. Obviously, the next step would be to get on your knees and seek God as to what He would have you do.

I cannot tell you what to do. I can only share what has been buzzing around in my brain and burning in my heart. I claim no experience in the field of marriage, and as my friend was apt to point out I am no longer married (I changed my status from "married" to "single" on Facebook, but married status was an allusion to being a part of the Bride of Christ). I ask all married folks reading this to offer up their own thoughts and input.

For He is the King, King Yeshua,


  1. "How can God enjoy giving us something when we expect it, as if demanding it of Him?"
    such a vivid way to phrase it ... that is often how we act and it's ungrateful and presumptuous of us to do so.

    A lot of what you've written has been bouncing around in my head too. I've been coming to terms with the "how do you measure maturity?" Jesus is definitely the only constant and sure source

    and these are all hard things to grapple with (logic and trusting Christ etc) while in the midst of a relationship.

  2. My mom wrote this and then realized she wasn't able to post it without a Google account, which she no longer has:

    "Nathan - and I'm going to call you 'Nathan' because I'm your mom - I think you have a lot of wisdom written here. The bottom line is: our physical age does not necessarily depict our spiritual age. And, when we marry, we don't always know some of the "uglies" lurking in us that God will purge from us as we grow in Him. Really, we can only trust in and rely on God to bring us and our spouse together. And, once that does happen, it's still a lot of work. The "work" of marriage is choosing to prefer each other, to talk when you think they should know something already, to be open and honest about the good stuff and the hard stuff, and to never, never contemplate not being together."

  3. Hello James... you commented on my blog, so I thought I'd check yours out. :-) I found this to be a very interesting post. You have lots of good thoughts to consider. I once heard a fun quote: "Marriage should be a relationship between three people." (The third person being God.) If that third person is lost, then, sadly, the marriage could be set up for disaster. Also, if the husband and wife both love God more than they love each other, then they are probably on the right track. Of course, there's a lot more than just that to consider if determining whether or not someone is ready for marriage. (Some more sagacious quotes from married couples are probably needed here. :))

    By the way, I like the title of your blog. :-)

    In Christ,