What does a 21-year-old-girl know about marriage? From personal experience, not much. But my parents have been together for over 25 years now, and my grandparents on both my mother’s and father’s side hit the big 50 mark. So I know that is what I want. I won’t discuss the topic long (because I really don’t have any personal experience), but I just want to make an argument for a traditional marriage.
It is harder today to have a traditional marriage than it ever has been. What do I mean by a traditional marriage? I mean that “Til Death Do Us Part” really means “Til Death Do Us Part”. That you get one person. One. Until death separates the two of you.
What is the reason? The whole culture of today is directly against the institution of marriage. Pop culture: the movies, the tv shows, the music, all lead you to believe in love. But it is a romantic love. It describes “falling in love”. But the kind of love that keeps a marriage together is not the kind of love that is portrayed in Hollywood romances. True love – the kind that lasts for decades – is a decision. It is like the love that you have for your family. Sometimes they drive you bonkers, but because they are your family and you love them, you overlook their weaknesses. You choose to love them despite everything.
Premarital sex is also directly opposed to marriage. In the culture today, the whole world revolves around sex (pretty much). And, in my opinion, the chances of a relationship actually having a chance of succeeding is directly proportionate to the number of relationships that you have had up to this point. Don’t mistake me. I am not judging anyone for having slept with anyone else. I totally get it, actually. It is really difficult, if you were raised in this generation, to not sleep with someone at some point in time. But think about it for a minute – if you are only ever intending to be with one person, why wouldn’t you wait until you are married? I think a lot of people forget that there is indeed a choice. You can choose to wait to have sex with someone until you marry that person. Some people might even look down on your decision, but who really cares? It is your decision to make.
And then there is the fact that most people don’t know God. Why is this a factor? I know that the divorce rate even among Christians has been rising. But that isn’t the point that I am trying to make. Our natural love, no matter how strong, is finite. It has an end. The stage of “being in love” usually only lasts for about two years. Luckily, if there is a source of unlimited love in the universe. And it’s name is Jesus Christ. It is possible to take Christ as your love once you reach the end of your natural love. And it is also necessary. So when you don’t have a good relationship with Jesus, it is very very difficult to remain married to someone. My favorite verse concerning marriage is in 1 Peter which describes husband and wife as
…fellow heirs of the grace of life… (1 Peter 3:7)
Because that is what is important. You need to be able to pursue Christ together with your husband/wife.
But how do you do it? How, while you are unmarried, do you find the right person? This is where I really have no idea. I recommend three chapters in Messages for Building Up New Believers by Watchman Nee called “Marriage”, “Choosing a Mate”, and “Husband and Wife”. I also really enjoyed the following verse this week:
2 Timothy 2:22 But flee youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
So that is what I will attempt to do. 1) Flee. Run away from those desires if I have no sense of peace from the Lord that they are from Him. 2) Pursue the Lord. It is only in pursuing Him that we can pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. And possibly the most important point: 3) With those. Our pursuing of the Lord is not by ourselves. Surround yourself with other lover’s of Christ who can support you in your weakness, who can pray for and with you, and who can continually bring you back to the point: You are a vessel on the Earth, created to fulfil God’s purpose and not to fulfil your own intentions. God knows what we need. If we need a husband or a wife (and the majority of humans do), He will give us the best husband/wife at the best time.