It seems to me that people are afraid of getting married and it is never for good reasons. Let's talk about some of the lies you have been told and the ones you are telling yourself so that you can get through that fear.
The first thing we need to talk about is this idea that when you get married you are somehow tied down, your life of fun is over. This is complete nonsense, the only thing that actually changes is you have someone that can do everything with you. Want to be a missionary and go wherever? Well now you won't be there alone. This applies to just about anything you can think of. Marriage means you have a partner in everything you do, it doesn't mean you can't do anything anymore. Your life isn't over, it in fact has gotten drastically better.
The next thing you need to be aware of is there is rarely a good reason to wait to get married. I know so many people that have been dating for years just worrying about money. They want to be perfectly stable before they get married but that is not actually something you need to wait for. You can work together from being poor to getting stable, you don't need to be there already. I know that weddings can be expensive but they don't have to be. Getting married is only as expensive as you make it, just ditch some of the stuff that makes it impossible to afford. Some people think you need to wait 4-5 years to get married. Realistically, there is no reason to wait more then 2, you aren't going to learn much more after 2 years and honestly you don't even have to wait that long. There will always be an excuse for you to not get married, but that is all it is, an excuse.
Now I know that divorce rates are pretty high now, a lot of people don't even bother to get married like it is some outdated thing, but not Christians. God allows us to get a divorce if there is adultery in the relationship, but even then, he doesn't want us to. We are expected to work things out in our marriage because it is always possible. The reason those stats are high is because people go into their marriages considering divorce an option. If things get even a little bad you can just get out! That is the mentality many people go into marriage with. You may be thinking it requires some major problem but it is usually something fixable, like money, which makes people separate. If you go into the marriage with the right mindset, that you need to fix things and not just bail, your marriage will last. That applies even if you aren't Christian, marriage is not something you can just end on a whim. You become two parts of a whole and that means something more than just dating.
Another important thing you need to know is that marriage is not a magical land of no fighting. You and whoever you marry are two different people, you don't even think the same way. There are going to be fights and things you have to work through together. There are going to be struggles that test you both and things are going to be rough sometimes. This doesn't mean it isn't worth it to get married, you will have struggles no matter what, it only means you have someone to get through them with. Sometimes it will be work, sometimes it will feel like you are against each other but you can work through it and you will be happy you did because it's worth it.
These are the main things I hear when people tell me why they aren't getting married. Don't fall for the lies and see marriage for what it is, sharing your life with someone amazing. There are no shackles aside from the ones you put on yourselves and all issues can be worked out. All you have to do is love each other and do everything in your power to serve the other person, man or woman. It is not a decision you will regret as you long as you go into it with the right mindset.
Disclaimer: this article is obviously going to be discussing sex, but not in detail. Still, it's recommended for adults only.
I am going to start this off with an extremely wild concept for most people: women like sex. Now let's talk about why that matters and what we are doing wrong, pretty much across the planet.
There are a lot of misconceptions about sex that mostly originate from Hollywood, but also from the church in general. The main one is that women have no interest in sex, it's just something they do because their husbands want to do it. In most cases, it's used like a bargaining chip to control the husband but almost never are women portrayed to actually want it themselves. When they are actually shown to want it, it's always this fast paced and seemingly passionate stuff, and of course, never with a married couple. This type of thing is almost always something sinful and completely fake. This brings me to the next misconception we need to talk about, the pleasure of women as it relates to sex.
Sex is a very pleasurable thing made for both men and women, in marriage of course. For men this is easy to figure out because things go rather fast for them, but women are different than that. It isn't just a fast thing for women, but in the end it is actually more pleasurable if anything, and that is exactly as it should be. Far too many couples are treating sex like it's supposed to be a fast thing meant only to please the man in the relationship. It might take a little more time and some extra effort, but it is worth doing so that the two can connect in a way no one else can. Sex is all about connecting to each other and learning, becoming closer and even sacrificing things for the other person. That might mean time or breaking out of your comfort zone and trying something new, but make no mistake, sex is for both of you. It is absolutely worth it to do everything you can to please each other. Which, of course, leads me into the next misconception, that sex is only for having kids.
While having kids is an obvious and important aspect of sex, and what it is primarily for, that isn't all it is for. As I mentioned before, sex is meant to bring us together and make us closer than anything else can but it's more then that. Sex is also about pleasure, doing things to make each other feel good and that is how God designed it. It isn't a coincidence that sex is a pleasurable thing, that is exactly as it should be, but people have this weird idea that sex is sinful unless it's for reproduction. It has its roots in the idea that sex is a dirty thing and to do it makes you impure, so it can only possibly be for having kids, and aside from that it's bad. This is very obviously wrong when you consider the fact that there is an entire book about sex in the Bible.
God would never tell you to sin and yet before the fall he told us to be fruitful and multiply, back in Genesis, a time without sin. You don't lose your purity when you have sex, you lose your purity when you choose to have sex outside of marriage. Anything in marriage pretty much goes (aside from a few things that really should be obvious but seemingly aren't). That is an issue worthy of its own article though. The fact is, in marriage everything about sex is pure and good, exactly as God intended it, so don't be afraid to do it just for the sake of pleasure and connection. I am not even able to have kids anymore, it doesn't mean that I am not allowed anywhere near my wife. And another thing, women, don't be afraid to push your husbands to do more. It is not wrong to want what you should have been getting all along sexually. He is not going to leave you or go for something else just because he has to spend some extra time with you, it will be good for him too in the long run!
Most of these misconceptions are left over traditions from places like the Catholic church, or ideas we have gotten from Hollywood. We need to smarter and not let these things lie to us, sex is a good and moral thing in marriage and it's something to look forward to. Don't make it something dirty or just something for the sake of reproduction, because it's more than that and you are depriving yourself of the full experience when you think that way. I promise you, God wants sex to be an awesome thing for both people in the relationship, so just have fun with it and enjoy God's gift to the fullest!
I have been hearing people talk about this a lot, this idea that God wants you to focus on Him, so don't worry about relationships or getting married, just wait on God's time. I wanted to talk about this because I think this mindset is incorrect, even though it sounds good on the surface.
The first point I would like to make is the simple fact of how God designed us. We learn in Genesis that Adam was not really complete until Eve was made to be with him.
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. -Genesis 2:18
God designed us to get married. It is better when we have a spouse to support us and do everything with. I know people think this adds limitations to your life and that a spouse takes away attention from God, but that is just not the case, it simply means we will do everything together. It is also worth mentioning that God wants us to love other people, so in a way this is actually putting God first by following that command.
The second point that needs to be made is that just because God doesn't want us worrying about tomorrow, doesn't mean He wants us to sit on our hands and wait for Him to hand us everything. I am not saying to just go out and date a bunch of people. You should still be wise about who you choose to be with and it should always be with the intent to marry, but as things are, people are just rejecting everyone and using God as an excuse to do so. I do not believe God wants that. Quite the opposite, in fact, He wants you to get married because, as previously said, you were designed to be.
The third and most important point I would like to make is that this is a very dangerous type of legalism. It allows people to feel holier while simultaneously ignoring God's will for them, much in the same way the Pharisees did in Jesus's time.
This hasn't been made into a law at churches, but people are made to feel guilty for wanting to get married, as if in doing so they are completely ignoring God. The people causing this guilt get to walk away feeling good about themselves because they are supposedly putting God first by remaining single and pushing others to do the same. I ask you though, if an intent to marry is really such a distraction for people, why then, is it a requirement for pastors to have a wife? The people that have quite literally dedicated their lives to God and teaching His word, shepherding His people, have to get married. Yet, with this mindset that singleness is better for serving God, they should all stay single.
We all need to be very careful when we start pushing this type of thing. We are stressing people out, making them feel like they aren't good enough for wanting something God designed for them. They are being told that, because of that desire, they aren't putting God first. It just isn't true and we should never be putting guilt on a person for doing exactly what God wants for them. This also puts men, who should be the ones initiating a relationship, in a position where they may blame God for not bringing them "The One" when they never acted on the opportunity. This is all very similar to the prosperity gospel and how disappointed people will be when God doesn't make them rich and so on for their works, this mindset creates the same kind of stress. Yes, there are people out there that God has called to be single, but I assure you, they are a minority and they aren't very likely to be interested in marriage to begin with.
Just because something sounds like it is better and more holy doesn't mean it is, so next time someone is expressing interest in getting married one day, support them. Give them advice and help them to be wise about it. Encourage them to date someone who is equally yoked and who also wants to put God first in everything they do. Steer them in the right direction and help them avoid any sins they may become vulnerable to when they start a relationship, but don't make them feel guilty and tell them some nonsense about being called to singleness. God is the one who will call them to singleness, so you don't need to suggest that to them.
Dedicated to making strong disciples of Christ.