Feeling Pressure to Rush into Marriage?
Marriage is a huge step of trust and commitment between two people. It takes a tremendous amount of hard work and self-sacrifice. It is heaven if you're ready for it--and hell if you're not. It should never be entered into lightly.
I received a couple of questions about marriage that I would like to address today.
Aaron asked: Why are some girls in such a hurry to get married? To me, only six months to a year of dating is way too fast.
Hoping to Feel Complete
There are some women (and men) who feel like they can't be a complete person unless they are married. Many of them are looking for another person to solve their problems and help them feel whole. Unfortunately, this never works. Even the BEST people will let us down. No one is perfect or loves perfectly and looking for our worth through someone else's attention is unsustainable. Only God can meet our deepest needs. Only God loves perfectly. And only God can make us feel whole. Never ask your marriage partner, or anyone else for that matter, to meet the needs only God can meet.
Some women are also driven to marriage out of an inborn desire to have children. While many women are waiting longer to have children now, the desire to be a mother can be very strong, even at a young age. And many rightly understand how raising children is more effective within a committed marriage relationship. This pressure to have children can sometimes push a woman into making a rushed decision about who she will marry. Some tend to forget that who you marry is the second most important decision you will ever make.
Family members can also be guilty of putting undue pressure on single women to get married. When you think about it, most movies or television shows point out how the happiest women are always the ones falling in love and living happily ever after.
No Magic TimeLine
All that being said, there is no magical formula for the amount of time you should date before marriage. It has more to do with the maturity of the people in the relationship, and their true understanding of love and commitment.
If you are feeling rushed or pressured, you are obviously not ready for this kind of commitment.
What If My Spouse No Longer Finds Me Attractive?
Physical attraction is an important part of a marriage relationship, but a healthy marriage will be built on so much more!
Jenn asked: I am 20 and married. My biggest fear in my relationship is becoming unattractive to my husband. My question is: should I expect him to always feel attracted to me, no matter how old or fat I get? Or should I anticipate him accepting me for me, but not being as attracted as he is now?
This is a very vulnerable question which I appreciate. The truth is you will never be able to completely control how attracted your husband is to you, just like you didn't control his attraction to you when you first started dating. His attitude about accepting the way you look is completely up to him. However, there is nothing wrong with desiring that you are attractive to your husband. The physical part of any marriage relationship is always important. If your husband knows you are committed to him, he will be appreciative of any efforts you make to be attractive to him. After all, he won't be getting any younger either.
Things that Make a Marriage Work
Yet, what makes a marriage work is not the physical aspect alone. If that were true, there would be no divorces in Hollywood! In the end, the love, commitment, respect and encouragement you have toward your spouse will come from your soul and be the most attractive thing. Also, your shared experiences and the life you build together will provide a special bond. That is why you will see people who are very old, and have lost almost all of their physical attractiveness, still loving each other deeply.
As you get older, your relationship will have many layers, and staying in the best possible shape you can, both physically, emotionally and spiritually is important, but do this, not simply for your husband, but also for yourself.
Ultimately, marriage is about building a life with another person, possibly raising children, but most definitely living out God's plan for your life together.
And if over the years you learn to love each other as God describes in the Bible, your marriage will stay strong.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)