Ever been in a conversation with someone, and a statement they make causes you to cringe? Those are awkward, right? The issue of marriage is one of those topics that produces cringe-worthy answers. Often. So many people use books or movies to give them a framework for marriage. You know the movies where everyone lives happily ever after. Or the one where the couple never has an argument. Ever. Everyone is rich and happy. Man, give me some of that.
And for so many, this is marriage. A series of two-hour movies where fake people learn fake roles and portray a fake idea of marriage.
But honestly…Is anyone prepared for marriage? Of course not. ‘Tis life. But make no mistake. There are attitudes and mentalities that are toxic to a marriage. And many people, simply by the answers they give or the qualities they value, reveal they are not ready for marriage.
So, here are 6 statements from people not ready for marriage.
1.) “I have a lusting problem…but marriage will fix that.”
Wrong. You want a case-in-point? Alright. I will use myself. When I got married, I struggled with lust and pornography. “No worries,” I thought. Once I get married, those will go away. I can have sex whenever. And this is the lie Satan told me. He will tell you the same one.
But listen, if you have a lusting or pornography addiction, marriage will NOT fix it.
This is why I hate Satan so much. He destroys marriages before they even start. I know personally of couples who married because they could not control their physical desires. Basically, they got married so they could have sex.
And they are no longer together.
Why? Did they not fix their problem by getting married? No. Because the problem is not physical. And therefore something physical will not heal them. The problem is the heart. Look at Matthew 5:27-30. Jesus talks very explicitly about this.
If you have a lusting problem and believe marriage is the answer to your problem, you have bought a lie. It is equal to fixing a broken leg with a band-aid. You are trying to attack a heart issue with an external issue. Not going to work.
You need to work on the sin that lies underneath. Do some business with your heart.
2.) “If I get married I won’t be lonely anymore.”
If you believe marriage will fix your loneliness, you are putting a weight on marriage it will not be able to withstand. Eventually your marriage will collapse. You are expecting your spouse to do things and act in ways inconsistent with a healthy marriage. Or a healthy relationship, for that matter. Your spouse is your companion. Your best friend. He or she is a source of comfort during times of difficulty. All of these are true. And praise God for this.
But none of these will fix your loneliness. Only God will fix that. If loneliness is driving you to think about marriage, let me direct you to the first commandment. Love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind (Matt. 22:37).
Your loneliness is a relationship issue. You have diagnosed the problem correctly. But you are seeking the wrong medicine for the cure. To be healed, you must deepen your relationship with God.
3.) “I never lose an argument.”
Hold on, let me give you an award. Here you go. It’s called the, “I would rather be right than have any meaningful relationships award.” And it goes to any person with this attitude. Congrats.
If you get into a marriage believing you must win every argument, you might succeed. But you will lose your marriage in the process. Marriage is not about winning arguments. Marriage is not even about being right. It is about sacrificially loving and serving another person.
Want a good case study for this? C’mon up Jesus. Take the stage.
Jesus could have won every argument. Ever. He is God. No one can stand up against infinite knowledge. But the Pharisees questioned and mocked Jesus before he went to the cross. And Jesus said nothing. Nothing…let that sink it for a second. Could you pull that off? I would have at least turned one of those dudes into a pillar of salt. Just for fun. Don’t judge me.
Jesus knew something every person desiring marriage should remember…winning the war is more important than winning battles. Jesus could have put those Pharisees in their place. But his goal was not to beat the Pharisees in a war or words. It was to beat Satan at the cross.
Marriage is not about having the last laugh. Or winning every battle. So, make a decision. Will you try to win every argument…or maintain a healthy, Christ-centered marriage? You can’t have both. Make a choice. Now.
4.) “Marriage is all about sex.”
What distinguishes marriage from every other relationship on earth? “Well, it’s sex, Frank. Every one knows that. I can’t wait to get married so I can have sex.” And you will be severely disappointed in marriage. Sex is an amazing gift God has given to a man and a woman who enter into the sacred bond of marriage. But a marriage built on sex will not sustain.
Hollywood glamorizes and romanticizes sex. Just like marriage. But what Hollywood portrays and the real world actuates are very different. Hollywood is a lie. Just in general. But especially with sex.
Sex is a phenomenal, amazing gift from God. But be careful not to make sex an idol. It is not the foundation of your marriage. That is God’s role. Sex is a piece of your marriage that points you to the foundation.
5.) “I am ready to get married so I can start a family.”
I have two boys. And in the process of adoption. I love my family. My family is amazing. I love them more than words can describe. But I did not marry because I wanted a family. I married because I found a woman who fears the Lord. And I wanted to spend the rest of my life loving and serving her. I often times suck at it. But this was my motivation for marriage.
We live in a culture today that idolizes our kids. They become the center of marriages for two or three decades. Then kids leave the house. And their absence leaves an enormous hole. One that is very difficult to fill. Believe me. I have seen it personally.
Marriage has a hierarchy. And it goes like this. God > Spouse > Children. Healthy marriages maintain this hierarchy. Children are NEVER more important than your spouse. Maybe you have seasons where they demand more of your attention. But they never become more important than the relationship with your spouse. Mess up that hierarchy and your marriage will not sustain.
The best thing you can do for your children is show them what it looks like to passionately pursue and protect the relationship you have with your spouse. And, in a culture that values longevity in marriage as much as yesterday’s newspaper, your children could learn a lot from watching you love your spouse well.
But this attitude doesn’t start with marriage. It starts before. Make finding a God-fearing, servant-minded spouse your goal. Then, if God gives you the gift of children, love them. Teach them. Serve them. But do not mess up the hierarchy. This is not healthy for your marriage…or your children.
6.) “When I get married, I will straighten out my life.”
Yeah, you are right. Marriage will straighten out your life…for a few months. I thought marriage would be the catalyst for my transformed life. You know, the one where I would take life seriously. Stop doing all those crazy things single people do. Partying all night. Having no ambition. This was my mentality, remember.
And my relationship with Tiffani did point me to Jesus. But if you are looking for another person to give you ambition and purpose, you are drinking some dangerous kool-aid. And eventually the kool-aid will run out. And many times, when the kool-aid disappears, so does the ambition and purpose.
Start living with purpose now. Start being ambitious now. You shouldn’t need a spouse to tell you to stop drinking and smoking. Stop now if you believe this is what you should do. Be self-motivated. This will only put you in a better position when your spouse does come along.
Those are 6 statements from people not ready for marriage. But there are many more. What statements I did not mention? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.
I love you all. To God be the glory forever. Amen!