There are some great reasons to want to be married. And then there are some not-so-great reasons to want to be married.
Here are ten examples of reasons people sometimes want to get married that are not good ideas (a lot of these apply to dating relationships, too, not just to marriage):
- I don’t want to be alone – There are many lonely seasons in marriage. Be sure you are equipped to handle this before marriage and it will come in very handy in all of the lonely times during marriage. All of us, married and single, can have real and total contentment in Christ alone.
- I pity him – Don’t marry a man because he is “a lost puppy” who needs someone to help him get better. No healthy man wants a woman to marry him because she feels terrible for him and wants to make him her project. A man wants a woman to marry him because she thinks he is amazing and admires him for who he is as a grown adult. We can’t change people. Do not go into marriage with a list of things you want to change about your man. Don’t fall for the lie that your love will change him. Yes, we can influence people and bless them, but it is not our responsibility to heal or change people.
- I will feel guilty if I don’t marry him – If you are not married yet and you are seeing red flags, you don’t have to get married. Don’t allow yourself to be forced or pressured into a marriage when you have concerns. Don’t marry out of guilt! Marry because you truly want to be with a man and you are ready to count the cost of marriage, not because you are afraid of hurting his feelings or what other people might think or say if you don’t marry him. If you are not married, you don’t have a covenant yet. It is not a sin to decide not to marry someone. It may be inconvenient, expensive, or embarrassing to call off a wedding, but it is not a sin. What is a sin is to marry a guy unadvisedly, and then to want to leave for unbiblical reasons.
- Maybe no one better will come along – Marry a guy you truly want to be with. Don’t get married just to be married. Sometimes we ladies think that if only we could be married, life would be so much better. Marriage in and of itself can’t and won’t solve all of your problems. If you find yourself thinking, “I guess he will do. I supposed I could tolerate this guy since I don’t have a better option,” it is time to do more praying and soul-searching. Focus on being the woman God calls you to be and only be content with finding a man who also wants to live in total submission to Christ as Lord. It is better to be single and close to the Lord than to marry someone unwisely.
- My family and friends are pressuring me to get married – Family and friends who pressure you to get married will continue to pressure you to do things after marriage. Don’t think that they will stop just because you are married! Own your own decisions. Do what you believe is best regarding who you marry and when you marry. Don’t let other people pressure you into marrying someone that you wouldn’t want to marry otherwise. Our goal has to be to please Christ alone not to be people pleasers.
- I’ve already invested a lot of time in this man – Even if you have spent ten years dating a guy, that doesn’t mean you owe him marriage. This is not a solid foundation upon which to build a solid, healthy marriage. Is this a man that you are sure God desires you to marry? Are you able to honor God’s Word and His will for you in this choice? Do you really love, respect, and desire to be with this particular man and can you accept him as he is?
- I need to be married to be happy – If you are thinking things like, “My life is not worth living unless I am married,” or “I have to have a husband and children and I’ll do anything to have them” – stop, my precious sister. Breathe. Search my site for “marriage idol” and ask God to speak to your heart. Have your heart right with God and put the good desire to be married in an appropriate place in your life – but not on the throne of your life.
- I think this guy is my soul mate, I can’t live without him – Our culture loves this romantic idea. But I don’t see it in scripture! There is no “perfect” spouse who will complete us and meet our every need and never fail us. Jesus is the only One who can do that for us spiritually and emotionally. If you are complete and whole in Christ, yes, you can seek to marry a man who is also “running his own race” to know God deeply. You can have amazing fellowship and intimacy with a man like that in marriage and it can bring much glory to God. But don’t allow a guy to become an idol . I don’t see in the Bible that there is only “one perfect match” for each person. The commands God gives us are that we are to only marry someone who is “in the Lord.” Choose wisely in a potential husband but only trust Jesus to meet the deepest needs in your heart and life.
- If I marry him, maybe he will come to Christ (or) He needs me to help him grow spiritually – We cannot attempt to enter into marriage in direct disobedience to God’s commands for us and think that God will bless our decision. A man you marry should want a relationship with Jesus all by himself without having to be motivated by you. If he doesn’t want a relationship with Christ without your involvement, then what he really wants is you not Jesus. There are people who will do and say things just to get someone to marry them. Be discerning about this. If a man has just recently accepted Christ as his Savior and Lord, it may be wise to observe him over time to be sure that he really does want to live for Christ on his own.
- I am not sure if this is God’s will, so I will go ahead and assume that it is – If we are not sure if something is God’s will, it is generally best to wait until we do know for sure if that thing is God’s will rather than rush blindly ahead of God into something. This may require a great deal of praying, waiting, fasting, and a willingness to obey God no matter what He may ask us to do. As we are willing to obey God in all of the things He has revealed to us already, He will be willing to show us His will for us clearly in other matters, as well. (Andrew Murray’s book, The School of Obedience, may be helpful in discerning God’s will.)
Essentially – if we are motivated to do anything by things like fear, jealousy, guilt, desperation, idolatry (people pleasing, or making marriage/a relationship/or a certain person more important than Christ in our hearts), or pride, it is time to examine our motives and allow God to help us get rid of any wrong motives so that we can see clearly with the help of His Spirit. Right motives would include that we want to please God, love Him, and love and bless others. Right motives would also include that we are seeking to obey and trust God wholeheartedly.
Much love to each of you!
ON KNOWING GOD’S WILL:
Unless we are willing to obey what we already know God wants us to do in His Word, He will not give us more insights into His will about other, more specific things. As we are willing to obey Him in everything, He will give us more information about His will in areas where we don’t yet know it. (paraphrased from Andrew Murray – School of Obedience)
Discerning God’s Will by John Piper
Posts about how to know God’s Will by www.gotquestions.org
25 Ways Satan Tries to Bait Single Women – by LeeAnn