22 April 2014 by Rev. Dr. Steven Kau –
There are a number of good reasons, in harmony with God’s design for the home, for desiring to be part of a marriage relationship. One may meet a winsome Christian person who has attractive spiritual and personal qualities that appear to be ideal for a life long marital union. Certainly children of God who opt for marriage, ought to seek companions who are compatible with them and with God, someone who will be able to enhance their journey toward heaven.
It should be recognized, however, that marriage is an option, not an obligation. There are some who choose not to marry and they seem perfectly happy and well-adjusted as single people. Others, who desire to marry, simply have not discovered a suitable prospective mate, and, with patience, they choose to wait. Perhaps they are familiar with the old adage, “Marry in haste; repent at leisure.”
It is entirely possible, however, for men and women, young or older, to feel pressured to marry. Hence they may enter this sacred union rather impulsively, without due consideration for their eternal interest and thus for a variety of wrong motives. Such a rash judgment can prove disastrous.
Marriage is an “until-death-do-us-part” commitment. It is not as Hollywood suggests that it carries a ninety day option. It ought to be approach from a joyous, yet cautiously-solemn, vantage point. Marriage should be embraced for wise reasons, not foolish ones. Let us reflect momentarily upon some of the impetuous motives that lend themselves to the abandon of some who rush headlong into marriage.
Some marry for financial security. All of us have heard or read the exotic stories of the young American girl who was romanced by and becomes wedded to the Middle Eastern oil baron in order to live in splendid luxury. Okay, such cases may be rare, of course, but the happiness sought in such arrangements is rarer still.
Closer to home are the situations, for example, where a daughter is reared by a shiftless unproviding father. Determined to have the “better life,” she marries the first young man who is able to offer her economic stability. Such a barter is a sorry basis for marriage and she may learn well the heartbreak lesson that a happy home is more than dollars and cents.
There are those who enter marriage to escape a miserable or boring domestic situation. Late adolescence is a difficult and confusing time of life. Youngsters are in a “twilight zone” of sorts. They are not ready to survive on their own, yet they have developed a sense of independence. They are restless for new adventures. If their home life is an unhappy one, (with perhaps harsh and insensitive parents) they may be tempted to quickly find a mate, simply to “escape” the misery of their present circumstances.
This is a serious mistake. It may be going from the proverbial frying pan into the fire. “Escape” is not a noble motive for forming the most intimate of human relationships.
Some marry out of revenge. It is difficult to fathom the fact that there are those who would enter into such a sacred union merely out of the desire to punish another person. But the “I’ll show you” attitude is more prominent that most would care to admit. A young lady may enter marriage to “show” her parents that they cannot control her life, particularly in the case of a young gentleman of whom they disapprove. A jilted young lady may marry on the rebound, just to demonstrate that “two can play this game.” But it is not a game! Marriage relationship can have eternal consequences.
Not a few have entered marriage because it’s the voguish thing to do. All their friends have marital mates, why should they be left in the lurch? Peer pressure is so great at certain times in life. Far too many have impulsively “run off” to “get married” on a dare, or others were doing it. Snap decisions can generate a life-time of bitter experiences. Marriage is not an arrangement with which to trifle with.
Further, marriage should not be entered just to cover a mistake or sin. In this age of lust and promiscuity, what should a couple do when they discover that a child has been conceived out of wedlock? Neither is obviously ready for marriage. The easiest way out of this dilemma if of course is to abort the baby. While it can be done in secret, it is murder and the God of Heaven will have both your mug-shots on the bulletin board of heaven and there will be pay day some day. Of course, the other alternative which seems more logical is “we-must-get-married” is usually the quick fix formula. In the event of such a sin, a Christian couple, first of all should repent, with genuine sorrow and seek God’s forgiveness.
Second, the couple should then devoutly consider their options. Do they really love one another and are they committed to serving God? If so, they may well wish to marry and put their mistake and sin behind them.
On the other hand, if exalted qualities are not a part of the relationship, merely “getting married” is not a solution to their problem. Being forced to marry, it certainly will not enhance the happiness of the couple or their child. In some cases, it would be far better for a young woman to wait, have the baby, perhaps eventually finding a devout father for her child, than to wed her partner in fornication “for the sake of the baby.”
Marriage on the basis of mere physical attraction is a foolish mistake. The grass wither and the flower fade and so does physical beauty. Ten of thousands of marriages have watched the degeneration of their marriages because the relationships were grounded principally on external features.
Spiritual qualities and personality traits are the real “glue” that bonds couples in committed unions. Beauty is only skin deep. Our youngsters should be taught the true values that undergird lasting marriages. May I also mention that we should choose our mates carefully, because divorce is not an option for Christians.
Finally, it hardly needs saying but it is the epitome of folly to marry out of desperation. It is better to be single for life, than to live one year in a house with a hateful mate. But some are so afraid that their “advanced” stage of life, if they don’t marry soon, the bliss may never occur! The thought of that is too horrible for them to contemplate. And so, marry they must.
I have known of several cases where people married out of “panic,” only to have the relationship crumble within a few months. Those who married because they were “so in love” as the only basis of their relationship, didn’t last long either when the reality of married life takes hold and that love seems to cool ever so quickly. Apart from incorporating spiritual and godly values into their relationship, and honoring our vows “till death do us part” and truly loving each other “for better or for worse,” marital bliss today is an illusion.
I cannot but be reminded of a whimsical poem I once read (author unknown). I share it with you for its humor and wisdom.
To ask the good Lord for a man
At seventeen, as I recall
I wanted someone strong and tall.
The Christmas that I reached eighteen
I fancied someone blond and lean.
And then at nineteen, I was sure
“I’d fall for someone more mature.
Then at twenty, I thought I’d find
Romance with someone with a mind.
I retrogressed at twenty one
And found the college boys most fun.
My viewpoint changed at twenty two
When “one man only” was my cue.
I broke my heart at twenty three
And asked for someone kind to me.
Then beg at blaze twenty four
For anyone who would not bore.
Now, Lord, that I am twenty five
Just send me someone who’s alive.
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