In part one, I asked – Do you want to get married? My question today is – Why?
Why do you want to get married? The answer to that question can make all the difference in what type of marriage you eventually create.
Many Different Reasons
People marry for a lot of different reasons. A lot of the worst reasons for getting married stem from neediness or convenience. As we discussed in part one, some people get married because of social pressure. Some get married to pool resources because it makes sense financially. Some may get married to avoid being lonely. Others get married without giving it much thought. It’s just the next life stage – you go from grade school to high school to college to marriage – that’s the cycle of life.
Those are not good reasons to get married. If you are dealing with any of those issues, you need to grow a little before you are ready for marriage. If you feel pressured, develop boundaries. If you are struggling financially, learn to make more money and/or handle your finances better. If you are lonely, get out and get a life. If you haven’t given it much thought, it is time to think it through.
One of the most cliché reasons people say they want to get married is for companionship. Now, this sounds good on a surface level, but thinking about it more, I believe it is not enough. You can find companionship in close friendships or even pets. Dogs and cats make great companions. Just, don’t collect every stray that comes along and become the crazy cat lady.
I believe marriage is a little deeper than that. I believe that friendship is definitely an important part of it, but I also believe there has to be a unique kind of intimacy and a sexual element to it to be called a marriage.
Which brings us to the next reason people get married. Sex.
Sex is in one sense a good reason to get married. Paul said – it is better to marry than to burn, the implication being to burn with lust. Sex outside of marriage brings too long a list of problems to get into here. I hope to cover that in another post. Rather than let your sex drive get you into trouble, it is better to get married.
However, people often have unrealistic, or at least conflicting expectations about the frequency and variety of sexual acts they will experience once they are married. Very rarely do people find a spouse who will totally fulfill all of their sexual fantasies. Even in marriage, there will be a need for some sexual restraint.
A healthy sex life that is fulfilling to both husband and wife is one of the keys to a happy marriage. At the same time, sex is not a suitable foundation on which to build a marriage. There will be seasons when, due to business or sickness or what have you, sexual desire will wax and wane. Sex will not be awe-inspiring every single time. People get tired. People get distracted. People get busy. If that is all your marriage is built on, when stresses of life wreak havoc, it will fail.
Besides that, if your marriage is based totally on sexual attraction, what happens when your bodies have aged a little and childbirth, gravity and gray hair begin to make noticeable alterations to your and your spouse’s physical appearance? What happens if someone else comes into your life to whom you are sexually attracted?
If these reasons to get married are not quite enough, what is a good reason?
The Best Reason to Get Married
In my opinion, the best reason to get married is intimacy. I believe intimacy goes way beyond mere companionship. True intimacy is all-encompassing. It is spiritual, emotional, and sexual. It is the entangling and intertwining of two bodies, two spirits, and two minds. It is what God had in mind when He said that the two would become one flesh. It is a oneness which friends, or even those living together, will never understand.
This is where the marriage vow figures in. The unwed seldom experience that kind of intimacy. It resides almost exclusively in the safety and security of a lifelong covenant – a commitment publicly declared out of an unflinching, unfailing, unfathomable love. Don’t settle for anything less.
To have someone with whom you share your innermost thoughts and most private body parts is the riskiest and most exhilarating thing imaginable. If you are ready to take that risk, you may be ready for marriage.
Of course, this is a lot less risky if you have matured into a person of wisdom and discernment and have taken the time and effort to learn whether your prospective mate is worthy of your trust. So, if you genuinely desire to get married, now is the time for personal growth and learning to date in a better way than you have to this point. Check out the book or video series “The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating” on our resources page.
What we do is important, but just as important is why we do what we do. Whether you remain single or get married, be sure that it is for the right reasons.
Why do you want to get married? Do you want to stay single? Let’s talk about it in the comment section.
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