Check your heart, because anything done with the wrong attitude or for the wrong reasons will suffer from a weak foundation. Here are a few unhealthy reasons to get married. Don’t walk the aisle until you can cross your heart and say, “I’m not getting married for any of these unhealthy reasons”.
1. To escape a dysfunctional home
I know that many people see marriage as their only way out of a bad home situation. But even so, your focus (when deciding to get married) should never be what you are running away from, but what you are going into. Statistically, people who come from a dysfunctional background are more likely to repeat or enable the same kind of dysfunction in their own home. Why? My theory is that they put more of their energy into escaping from home than they put into making sure that they are ready for a healthier relationship. Therefore, never get married to escape a dysfunctional home situation, get married because you are ready to build a far better home than the one you came from.
2. Because all your friends are getting married
Just as our fingers are not all equal, people are not all the same. We have different needs at different times. We mature at different ages. We walk different paths and we have different destinies. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to allow your friends to pressurise you into doing anything that doesn’t suit you. Walk your own path under God’s guidance and you are more likely to get what you and He want for your life.
3. To rebel against your parents
In the United Kingdom, where I live, the number of teenagers who leave home every year to co-habit with ‘friends’ or start a long-term relationship is alarming. But studies from around the world show that young people who rebel against parents also tend to rebel against the marriage institution – since marriage is also governed by strict rules and values. So, rebelling against your parents is not a good reason for getting married. Dealing with your tendency to rebel and learning to live within certain boundaries will place you on a better platform for married life.
4. To correct poor self-esteem
Unfortunately some people hope that marriage will make them feel better about themselves, or give meaning to their life. What they don’t realise is that marriage has a way of magnifying what’s in you – good or bad. If you are already feeling negative about your life, you are likely to be a drag on your spouse because you are emotionally sick. Trust me; that will only make you feel worst. So work on your issues before you walk down the aisle, so that you can be an asset and not a liability in your marriage.
5. Because of pressure from your partner
If your partner is pressurising you to get married, it is often because you’ve been together for too long. In which case, you need to decide whether you should continue the relationship or not; because it is not fair to keep stringing your partner along if you are not ready for marriage. At other times the pressure is in the form of emotional blackmail. One partner begins to say things like, “If you don’t marry me, I will kill myself” or “What am I going to do without you in my life?” Don’t yield, because you will never really be happy; and you are likely going to hate your partner for it in the future.
6. Because there is a baby on the way
Whenever a baby is involved in a premarital relationship, my desire is to encourage the couple to get married and give that child a loving stable home. But even then, the baby would not be my only reason. I want them to give the baby a loving stable home, not a dysfunctional abusive circus. So, the baby (as important as it is) is secondary; but the marriage relationship is primary. Why? Because I would rather have a child living with one parent and visiting the other, than have that child damaged for life by two irresponsible parents.
7. Because of pressure from parents
Our parents almost always want the best for us. But there must come a time when they step back from their role as parents and take on an adviser’s role. If you are over twenty-one and your parents are still putting pressure on you to do things their way, it’s probably time to sit them down and ask them kindly and respectfully to back off. Don’t allow your parents or your relatives to put pressure on you to marry before you are ready to give it your all. It’s just not fair to your spouse.
8. So you can have plenty of free sex
Many people get married because they think it will be their ticket to hourly sex. Well, that’s just not reality. In the real world, married people go to work, have bad days, get tired, get angry, come home late, travel without their spouse, have babies that keep them awake all night, and do a thousand and one other things. So, if it’s all about sex for you, you are sure to be disappointed. Get married to serve and care for your spouse and great sex will be included in the package.
9. Because you are afraid of getting too old
Again remember that it is better to get married at forty-five and enjoy twenty years of blissful marriage than to rush into a bad one at thirty and be looking for a way out by thirty-five. No marriage stands a chance if it is based on fear. If you are a child of God, He will take care of you and make sure that His will for your life comes to pass at the right time – and not a day too late.
10. To inherit your partner’s wealth
Some people (believe it or not) go into marriage hoping to inherit the wealth of their spouse. They may not really love the person, but are willing to pretend that they do while they wait to inherit it all. This is not only grossly unfair to their spouse, but massively deceitful. It’s wrong. It’s sinful. And it is an abomination to God. Believe me; people who do this never get away with it. Instead, they open themselves up to painful universal justice. And that can be very nasty!
By Tony Peters
Extracts from Maximising Your Season of Singleness