Having just listened to one of the best sermon series on The New Rules for Love, Sex, & Dating from North Point Community Church it interested me to come across an article entitled, “Did You Marry the Wrong Guy?” In this article, author Kimberly Goad talks about how %30 of now divorced women say that they “knew it was wrong from the start,” yet they walked down the aisle anyway and got married. In this article, Goad makes reference to an individuals story of some of the reasons why she still decided to walk down the aisle even though she felt that it was the wrong thing to do. Some of the reasons include:
- Unrealistic view on Love
- Feeling uneasy about getting older and the biological clock
- Wedding fever
One of the most interesting statements of the article was this though:
“…you’re leaving behind your 20s – a decade of experimentation, one-night stands, and making mistakes, professionally and personally. In the next decade, you’re seen as an adult and can’t do those things.”
I think that this statement sums up much of the problem with the ideas of marriage and contains all of above bullet-points. First of all your 20′s don’t have to be a decade of “experimentation, one-night stands, and making mistakes.” This is a choice. The fact remains that the decisions to make a season of your life all about experimentation and one-night stands puts you on a path that leads to always dating the kind of people that want experimentation and one-night stands. In The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating, Andy Stanley talks about the phenomenon of women who say that they always seem to date “bad guys.” His response is that the only common factor in every one of those “bad relationships” is the girl. She is choosing to date the bad guys…why? Because who you are is who you are going to have relationships with.
The woman who made the comment about the “decade of experimentation” is somehow shocked by the fact that she feels uneasy about marrying a guy whom she has probably dated throughout her entire 20′s. Why is she so worried? Because those are the kind of guys that you don’t make a life with; you make one-night stands with…there is not trust in that.
The other reasons for “rushing” into marriage (the biological clock and wedding fever) have an easy answer to solve. If you ever feel like your “clock” is running short or you “just really want to get married” then remember this:
There are far more worse things in life than not being married.
What is worse? Being in a marriage where you cannot trust the one that you are supposed to be able to trust fully. Being in a marriage that is abusive physically, mentally, emotionally, and showing no signs of love or respect. Being in a marriage “only for the kids”; living as roommates. There are more, but you only have to ask those who have been through the muck and mire of marriage that destroyed people’s emotions, lives, and time. People who have had these kinds of marriages will tell you that marriage is not something to go into lightly.
How do you then have a successful marriage? It first starts with you. You become the individual that you want to marry. It’s an inside job. Working to refine who you are as an individual. Look at your past decisions and they will tell a tale of where your future is heading. Likewise, look at the past of your potential spouse. Their past decisions layout a picture of where they are headed, and once you get married, you will be headed in the same direction. If you find yourself believing that he/she will change particular actions once you get married, you will be gravely mistaken. As we get older, we only become more of who we already are.
Future hope is great. Marriage is great. But don’t get blinded by the aspirations of a life that you never prepared for.