“My love, will you marry me?
Will you let me be the man that will be committed to serving you and sacrificing for you as I lay down my life every day in order for you to experience true redemption and new life?
Will you do me the honor of being my wife, and staying by my side as I lead you and honor you as the queen of my life?”
I don’t know if I will use these exact words when I finally propose to the woman I love, but I enjoyed typing that out and can actually picture scenarios in which I could get down on one knee and propose.
This is a bittersweet topic because I really want to get married. I always expected to be married much earlier in my life.
Right now, my biggest dream on this temporary side of life is to be a husband and a father. I want that more than I want money, a Grammy award, and a lifetime supply of ice cream and Oreos.
Here’s the thing, if I was the writer of the script of my life (considering possible delays), the latest I would have been married would have been yesterday.
However, I am not the writer of the script of my life and today I am still an unmarried man.
How TheRebelution Made Me Desire Marriage
When I was 16-years-old I came across a movement of young people called rebelutionaries that is all about making the most of youthful days.
I realized that by design young people are in fact expected to strive for maturity and take on responsibility with an energy that can transform our world.
With this paradigm shift taking place within my mind, a real desire began to take root within my heart: a desire to be a husband.
Getting Married Young is Considered Weird
Every year since then I made plans to learn what it is to be a husband. I prayed God would give me a wife by the time I turned twenty-one.
The older I’ve grown, the more I realize how counter-cultural my desire was at my age and how counter-cultural it is to get married young. I can think of a few conversations I’ve had with people where I’d tell them my thoughts on marriage and would receive amused and bewildered reactions.
Marriage is usually a subject that teenagers or young adults today don’t think about or plan for.
I’d also say that many parents don’t raise children to be ready for marriage. Sure, they prepare their kids to receive quality education and to build successful careers, but they don’t intentionally raise future husbands and wives.
I find this interesting and somewhat heartbreaking. Perhaps this is a case of misplaced priorities?
To be honest, I’m now at a point where I’m frustrated with the way so many people think of marriage. And I’m fed up with how my own mind was poisoned by a philosophy that sounds wise but doesn’t have a foundation in faith.
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” – Paul
The culture we live in views marriage as something to be put off for as long as possible. From the time we are children we view marriage as something that gets in the way of things that ‘really matter’ in life.
We see it as an enemy to career prospects, an enemy to academic pursuits, and an enemy to freedom and enjoyment.
We push it away and hold it off for as long as possible until we reach a point where feel that we have accomplished what we want to in life and are now ready to casually hope we get married and have a kid (usually for amusement).
Even Christians Can Believe Marriage is a Burden
People who believe in the true and living God have also fallen prey to this false philosophy of marriage being a burden. And I now see many young people who suddenly feel they are being ‘called’ to singleness.
The truth of the matter is that the divinely ordained institution of family is under attack and we are the ones holding the gun and pulling the trigger.
As I started to realize how I had fallen prey to this philosophy, I also started to notice how our culture is determined to make it difficult for us to get married while we are still young.
School schedules are so tight that there is barely time for students to eat and sleep, working hours are long giving us little time to do anything else, and few forums exist that are designed to develop relationships and character.
The world doesn’t really care about marriage or about the forum that illustrates the greatest example of love. It has been ferociously attacked by materialism, feminism, and individualism.
The Idols of Money, Security, and Comfort
My strong desire to be a husband has never gone away but as I started to get accustomed to the way culture thinks, I discovered how anxious I became to make money – and to make tons of it.
I sometimes think that if I drove a Range Rover and made a six figure salary few people would frown upon my age or the age of the girl I plan to marry. As men, we believe that money makes us attractive and the best way to sell ourselves as potential husbands is by showing people how many zeroes our checks can fit.
We don’t really think about the importance of nurturing good character or of living by faith. It’s like money makes up for what we’re not.
It certainly does look like at the end of day people’s wrong views on marriage are centered around money, security, and comfort.
We are often told that academic qualifications and a ‘good job’ get us all these things. So we pursue those qualifications and jobs like they are the most important things in life and like they’re the only things that really matter.
We’re also told that it matters for us to be respected, to be admired, and to be powerful or influential because that’s where our value lies.
Do You Believe the Lies?
As young people, we chase after power and prestige at any cost, and as believers, we live ashamed of our faith by living with the same futile and hopeless mentality as our culture.
We buy the lies of feminism believing its low views of womanhood.
We live selfishly for ourselves and our personal prosperity.
We believe sophistication is conveniently summarized in materialism.
We believe God’s truth is outdated and irrelevant when it addresses the futility of these things.
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” – King Solomon
God Created the Family, And It Was Good
What people don’t see is that real and lasting prosperity in communities and countries begins and is protected by the institution of family. From the beginning of creation, marriage was a tool through which humanity was able to exercise dominion and authority over the earth.
Eve was made to be a helper to Adam in his God-given work to steward the earth, an ambassador of the God who created all things. In a perfect world God thought that it was not good for man to be alone, to have no helper and companion. The union between man and woman represented the perfect union of the Father and the Son in the Godhead.
As God’s image bearers, marriage was one of the ways He made it possible for us to reflect who He is. From the beginning of time marriage was a good thing, something God considered necessary.
If God thought of it this way, then why do we think so little of it in our culture?
To what extent has sin corrupted our minds and hearts in pushing away such an amazing institution?
Why do we still believe it stands in the way of other things that God created (such as learning and work) when in fact, God created married to enhance and preserve those things?
Perhaps our greatest problem in our view of marriage is that we do not view it from the perspective of the God who made it. Perhaps our low expectations for young people flow from the same problem: we do not view young people the way God does.
The book of Timothy was addressed to a young pastor who had to be an example of what it looked to be an honorable overseer (“…husband of one wife…not a lover of money…managing his household well with dignity…”). First Timothy 4:12 remarkably outlines the lifestyle that is expected of young people from God’s perspective.
When we understand this, it flies in the face of our thoughts that young people are expected to be immature and carefree about life, that young people shouldn’t even think about marriage, or that young people do not have the capacity to take on huge responsibility.
Timothy faced adversity, and he stood out as an anomaly in his culture. He may have looked like a fool to many people, but his faith enabled him to live the way God wanted him to live, as an example to all around him.
Understanding this is what shifted my worldview on life, on youth, and on marriage.
There are so many reasons for why we delay marriage but if any of those reasons doesn’t fall into the framework that God gives us then we need to be willing to change the way we think about it.
I Want to Be Married … But I’m Not
I still want to get married…hopefully soon because it’s getting real out here.
I can’t lie; living by faith as it relates to marriage is hard because it goes against how our minds naturally think about it.
It’s also hard because it’s not a popular opinion held by even our close friends and families. Not all of us will get married young and not all of us will get married period.
However, we need to check our reasons for why we delay marriage when we’re so willing to date someone for so many years and put so much importance on other things that treat marriage as an enemy or hindrance to ‘progress.’
To be honest, I’m not where I want to be when it comes to being ready for marriage.
There are things I still need to put in place before it happens and it feels like a fight against people’s opinions and against culture to make it attainable with the woman I am currently pursuing.
It’s been tough for us as we’ve talked about what it would look like for us to step into a marriage covenant sooner rather than later – particularly in an environment that won’t support a decision like that.
If it was up to us our wedding would have been yesterday. Right now we’re both learning what trust and faith in God looks like in this season, and boy, we need that in a real way.
So I’m not saying all this as someone who has it all together. I’m a broken man. I often pray that God would use me as an example to others, and the more I pray the less qualified I feel.
However, if in fact, God uses crooked sticks to draw straight lines, then call me a crooked stick any day.
I’m not an expert in marriage, but all I can say is. Keep praying and reading your Bible, there might be a spot somewhere in the Bible that talks about marriage.
Thank you for reading Michael!
There’s definitely a lot of passages in the Bible that speak of marriage and they have inspired me greatly.
Thank you for Michael. God bless!
I can’t thank you enough for explaining why you want to get married young. I have wanted to be a wife and mom since I was like five, and I almost always get weird looks when I tell people that. It’s really comforting to know that there are guys out there that are pursuing God honoring relationships (with marriage in mind) at a younger age. Keep up the good work!
Thanks for reading KT!
I’m really encouraged by your comment! I understand the weird looks people give when you talk about marriage, its almost like having such God-given desires are wrong. However, I think the fact that they are God-given desires should make us courageous to express them and should keep us working toward those desires.
I will pray for you, that God will make you into the excellent wife and mother you desire to be. I pray you may always be a woman that fears the Lord, for that woman is worthy to be praised.
God bless you, and thank you for reading!
Yeah. . .I feel like you find a lot more girls out there that want to be moms than guys who want to be dads. But I certainly can relate to wanting to be a parent. . .
I actually wrote an essay about wanting to be a dad for my English class. . .I felt really strange when people were giving me comments. 😉 I’m like, “Am I creepy?”
If I could give this article a thousand upvotes- I would!! Great job Lenny! I think many girls feel the same way, but as you pointed out- our culture frowns at young marriage, so many hide their desire to marry… I would also like to encourage all ladies to read Praying for your Future Husband by Robin Jones Gunn & Tricia Goyer, also, Magnetic by Lynn Cowell. Both of these books share wonderful ways to prepare for marriage. 😉
Hey Katelyn, would you recommend that book for guys as well, or is it very much so geared toward women?
There is actually a girl in my church who read the book on prayer as a teen, she just got married this past July and she says the book really helped her!
Katelyn, thank you very much taking time to read this.
Those resources you’ve pointed out sound pretty awesome, I hope more teens can be exposed and be challenged to grow by that material. Perhaps we can also do more to help our fellow young men and women in getting ready for marriage
You’re awesome Katelyn, and thank you for reading!
I don’t think you are as alone as you think! I definitely want to get married young! Great post
Thanks for reading this Delaney!
It’s always comforting to know other people can relate and have similar desires. We ought to encourage each other. I’m encouraged by you.
Same to you!
And btw, that is an absolutely precious proposal! ❤️
Haha! Thanks Delaney
I don’t know why, but I always imagined myself getting married really young, like as a teenager. Maybe because my parents got married when they were 17 and 18.
Now I’m thinking I’d at least like to get married sometime before I’m like, 25.
Thanks for reading Celestria!
If indeed you think of getting married, start getting ready for it even while you’re young and single. I pray Proverbs 31 will be true of you as you grow and mature in your faith.
I hear you, Lennox! I also want to get married young. I hope for it to happen even within the next couple years. And while my issue hasn’t been culture looking down on me for it, I have had serious stresses that make it hard to picture how it will be possible. Questions in my mind like: “How can you afford it financially?” just keep looming in my mind. I keep planning and planning, trying to find some way. Just every time I do, something happens a few weeks later that sends me back to the drawing board… again and again. Soon I learned the reality of the statement found in Proverbs 19:21:
As hard as it is for me, I need to learn to trust in the Lord’s purpose – both in mind and in action. Thanks so much for this amazing article.
Thanks for reading Trent! I will be praying for you my brother.
One of the things I had found frustrating was realizing that I didn’t feel I had the necessary knowledge to competently provide financially.
God is indeed a good God and we have to learn to trust in Him while we do what we have to in our planning.
So don’t stop planning Trent! I recently met up with a good friend of mine who is some sort of financial expert and he helped me with some financial planning that had to do with saving, investing, and building wealth even with a small income.That is something you might want to try. Involve other people in your plans and ask for help. When you realize you don’t have much knowledge about anything, don’t feel defeated, use it as an opportunity to learn something.
God wants the best for you, even in marriage, commit your plans to Him. God is a giver of good gifts.
God bless you Trent, and thanks for reading.
Good thoughts, Lenny! Have you considered, however, the light that Paul sheds on marriage? In 1Cor. 7, Paul endorses singleness, suggesting that those who are married must divide their energy between their spouse and God, and therefore that singleness is preferable. He did not condemn marriage though, either. His point was that nothing, not even marriage, should get in the way of serving God fully. So whether you get married or remain single, God should be the centerpiece of your life. I’m sure you would agree. 🙂
Hey Seth. . .I think singleness can definitely be an opportunity to serve and grow, but I also believe that the Bible encourages marriage in other parts.
I think one of the things I got from Lenny’s article too, other than just that getting married young is a good idea, is that weather or not we’re married, we should be aiming to serve and grow. Singleness is a good time to do that, but we shouldn’t spend all our singleness on getting money, a good career, etc. but also on growing in character (weather because you want to get married or just to honor God.)
I don’t know. I’m rambling a bit.
Spot on Jason! Thank you for reading!
Perhaps you should write an article on singleness 😉
Lol. . .I actually did once. But never sent it in 😉 Maybe I should send it.
There is no harm in trying bro. Do it!
Thanks for reading Seth!
1 Corinthians happens to be one of my favorite books and I have always found 1 Corinthians 7 interesting. I don’t particularly think Paul saw a split between marriage and service to God. We can serve God to the full even in our marriages. Paul remained single because His mission was a unique one that threatened his life every day he was alive. Many people think they are ‘called’ to singleness as end in itself, however in the Bible we see that a call to singleness was in fact a call to a mission.
We are called to be content with our calling, and sometimes callings only last a season. If you think about it, we are all called to singleness before we get married and we need to be faithful even in those seasons.
The last thing I will say is that marriage is perhaps the greatest earthly illustration of how Christ has loved us. A call to marriage means embracing the responsibility to illustrate that union between Christ and his church. God designed marriage as the norm and singleness as the exception.
God should certainly be the centerpiece of our lives, and everything he has created(including marriage) can help us fulfill our purpose to worship Him.
Thank you for reading Seth!
God bless you brother
I agree 100%! 🙂 Marriage is a beautiful picture of Jesus’ marriage to the church, and the Bible does say that he who finds a wife finds a good thing.
I certainly do not condemn anyone for wanting marriage at a young age. What I do see a problem with is people wanting marriage/dating relationships more than a relationship with God. And I know that’s not the stance that you took.
God bless you for sharing your thoughts and desires and for sharing the Biblical reasons why marriage should be a much-to-be-desired future for us young people. 🙂
It’s more like Paul wanted to remain single and suggested staying single. It’s kind of funny he talks about that.
This is so good! Thank you, Lenny. I think sometimes in our Rebelution circles we tend to talk a lot about not dating when you’re not planning to get married.
But there are two solutions to this- don’t date OR get serious.
The second option is obviously scarier (and stressful.) We think we need to have our lives all together before we can move forward with anything, but I guess that’s really not true.
Anyway, thank you so much! This was an encouragement. Praying for you and your girlfriend!
Jason! I really feel encouraged by you man. Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.
I will be bold enough to say that more people need to plan on getting married. The one thing that is under attack around the world today is the institution of marriage. Once truth is distorted, a post modern world will not value marriage and family.
When we do decide to date we need to get serious, but in our seasons of unreadiness we need to take the opportunities we have to grow and become more like Christ.
Thanks again for reading Jason. Keep the faith!
P.S. You need to write on here again! 🙂
I plan to bro 😉
Thank you so much
Thank you so much for voicing what I couldn’t! This has been the predominant strugge in my life for the past year. Whilst I’m still only almost 18 years old, I want to be married soon (within the next few years). There is resistance everywhere for this ideal. In education and career decisions especially. Even the woman I love has great reservations to the idea because of those factors.
Whether I can be blessed with a youthful marriage or not, I’m learning to rely on God to get me through this. As with everything in life.
Wow Elijah! thank you reading and leaving a comment man. Your struggle sounds real, and this article was written for people like you and I.
Don’t be afraid to stand out bro, that is always a platform to shine a light on a hill. Stand on what you know is true and honoring to God, and never compromise on your obedience to God and His Word.
Entrust your desire to God and let Him lead you. God desires the best for you and sometimes that means we don’t always get what we want but His will will always be done, and He lovingly involves us in executing His will. God may grant you your desire my friend.
God bless you my brother! Thanks again for reading this.
I am in a similar situation. The culture is screaming at young Christian women on every side that the home is not important, that they need to get educated and career’d up before everything else. Sadly, the church and even The Rebelution has bowed under that pressure. My girl is coming around to the idea, but it really isn’t easy when everyone, even the church, is telling her that education and career is more important than family.
This is something that needed to be said. We men need to buckle down and get to the work of the gospel, and that means getting a family. It seems like even the culture today understands this better than we Christians do. “find yourself a girl, and settle down…”
Thank you for reading! I appreciate your comment.
I definitely think one of the biggest forums for gospel influence is the family.
As believers we are called to be the shapers of culture and not simply followers.
Thanks again for reading! God Bless!
Actually, I find the reverse to be true. People to obsessed with getting married (or having a girlfriend), when in reality they need to wait for God’s timing, when they are interested in someone they need to listen to the advice given to them from the Bible and wise parents and the girl’s parents.
Waiting isn’t a bad thing, because it may be that you need to learn how to love God before you can really grasp what loving someone else is (and isn’t).
(But hey, I am just a single 20 year old, and still learning…)
Thank you for reading Josiah! I appreciate you taking time out to comment as well.
I think what needs to be emphasized is faithfulness, contentment, and trust in God. Managing our God given-desires is done with these elements. And often times some type of waiting needs to be done and God uses those season to teach us patience but also to use give us the opportunity to learn and grow. Often times, when we realize it isn’t wise to start a relationship at a specific time we sit on our hands and wait with our arms folded. I believe moments where we see gaps are moments we can start to fill them.
And you’re right when you speak about the direct link between loving god and loving others. Keep in mind that our love for God is seen in our love for others. And that because of Christs love and grace we have the ability to love in a way that pleases God.
I’m praying that God continues to build and grow you. At 20 years old you have much to offer the world. You are a man that can live out 1 Timothy 4:12 in the biggest ways, and can be an example of faith, maturity and wisdom.
God bless you Josiah! thanks again for reading.
Thank you for responding to my comment and thank you for your prayers! I am at a stage in my life that I want do something for Christ in a big way, but sometimes, I feel like I have to be a perfect Christian or have the perfect opportunity to do it
Thank you for responding to my comment and for your prayers!
I am at a stage in my life where I would like to make a big difference, but I always feel like I have to be perfect to do it (and I am anything definitely not). Doing the little things is important too, but that longing to make a difference and fear of rejection and imperfection can be paralyzing. What can a person isolated by language boundaries in the place he lives and cultural boundaries in the country he knows the language do?
I am a third culture kid that is feeling a burden of responsibility to make a difference in multiple countries, but feels so insecure about what to do to make an impact.
I’m off to Bible school in the nearish future, but what do I do now to feel useful?
*sigh* life is complicated… full of emotions and questions, and lots of praying.
Thanks for reading, Josiah J.
Josiah, you have no idea how much I relate to what you’re going through right now and now I can pray for you more specifically.
I have wanted to be a world changer for a long time and as I grew older I started to notice gifts I was blessed with that could tools for me to impact the world. Not very long after I started to notice my gifts I went through a severe depression and God started to show me how messed up and broken I was. I felt permanently disqualified from using my gifts the way I had previously hoped I would. Here’s the thing, God used that tough season to show me that I am dependent on Him. He also showed me that that the gospel has greater implications for the broken more than the people who think they have it all together. God is truly a redeemer who has perfetlct plans for us and really uses broken people to do amazing things. You don’t have to be perfect, just have a heart to serve God even know your weakness.
I’m a third culture kid too and although that is a unique blessing it is also a real challenge for us especially in cultures that won’t accommodate our differences. I live in a country that people expect me to embrace as my own but I don’t because I’m different. I have a passion to inspire serious social reforms here and that can be tough. However if our ambitions are truly God-given then He will give us the grace to do what we have to.
Keep dreaming and living by faith Josiah. The Lord is with you.
Yep, I can relate to the whole depression and inadequacy feelings, but also to the growing understanding of the grace of God. His strength in our humility and weaknesses is awesome. I will be taking life one step at a time, giving glory to God all along the way.
Thanks for reaching out, Lenny. I will try to keep you in my prayers. You openness has encouraged me again.
This is exactly what I needed to hear, Lennyll. Thank you- God is showing me over the last weeks/month that it is OK to be broken and be a Christian. I don’t have to be perfect, and I am beautiful as He made me, even though I am a broken, messed up person. “But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” God is showing me how He can work better in me when I admit that I will never be “good enough”. He then is showing me that I am His, and because of His grace I am exactly enough as I am. Even as I grow and am pursuing Him, He is teaching me to be okay with myself because He can work through me, teach me, and grow me, instead of me trying to fix myself. It’s a beautiful reminder, even though it’s a hard one.
Thank you for your comment Regan!
I feel inspired by you right now. I believe that what you’re experiencing is a real understanding of redemptive love, Christs redemptive love. If our imperfect efforts are not based on the finished work of Jesus our failures will have us feeling so defeated. Christ came for the broken, and he continues to do a real work in those He has saved through His holy Spirit. We are dependent on grace, its not something we outgrow. That grace enables us to do all that we have been called to do by God. God uses broken pencils or sticks to draw straight lines and that exactly what he is doing with people like you and me.
God bless Regan
Wow, great article! This actually reminds me of a recent situation in our old church with a (very) young couple. They met at a Christian college in the girl’s freshman year and got married less than a year after that (so just before the girl’s sophomore year in college). There was TONS of talk and disapproval in the church, including with the girl’s parents. It was sad for me to watch, because I fully believe that this couple was mature, devoted to God before each other, and responding to God’s prompting to go forward with their marriage despite their age (19 and 20). Despite this, almost everyone thought that they needed to mature a little and at least wait a few more years. They married anyway, and now they are both finishing school before going on to serve God through missions!
Wow Haley! My heart broke reading your comment.
I have no doubt that God is blessing that couples marriage and they uniquely represent what a marriage union is about, two broken people coming together to be instruments of redemption in each others lives. Its sad to say that sometimes the hardest place to live an unashamed faith is the church.
Something i always refer to is that the wisdom of God looks like foolishness to the world. When believers start to give the same reasons as the world we need to check ourselves.
Thanks for sharing that bitter sweet story Haley! God bless!
Thank you for this post! I definitely agree with the fact that even strong, godly Christians are feeling the pressure to be single. The world is trying to convince us that marriage, and family, is a burden that you either don’t need or can just get rid of (divorce). Thanks again for this awesome post!
Thank you Amelia! thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this.
Amelia, we have a unique opportunity as believers to be culture shapers. When we understand what God has called us to we will realize that it doesn’t just have implications on our individual lives but on our culture as well.
Thank you for reading Amelia. God bless!!!
Interesting that you say that. I’d never thought of it that way. Perhaps the reason is a reaction to a previous pressure on people to get married, so now the church likes to tell its single members to try and stay that way? I wonder what the reason is, considering that in my life, it feels like my church community really pushes people to tie the knot with someone ASAP.
Yeah, I think it really depends what church your in. Some churches emphasize singleness. Others emphasize marriage, but I think that your definitely right that a lot of is in response to old cultural pressure to get married.
I know right? I always thought American culture was so forward and ‘get a girl oriented’ (as I call it).
The issue as I see it isn’t that people don’t want relationships, so much as people have been lied to about what a healthy relationship is. American culture has been injected with vials full of lies and they are buying them (quite literally too). (It’s not just America though.)
I think, that addictions of many kinds are destroying people’s health (from spiritually to physically). These addictions include things like electronics, pleasure, drugs, and more. All these additions blind them to realty and keeps them in bondage.
People need the Lord as desperately as they ever did…
I agree with you. We sure live in a fallen world that needs Christ in the middle of their lives.
Lennox, I admire your perspective and I hope I can say the same at some point. The idea of marriage is anxiety-inducing to me, and it leaves me confused as to what God’s will for me is. (Isn’t every girl supposed to want to grow up and get married, after all? Haha.) I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
Thank you for taking the time out to read this!
I think Gods will isn’t centered around marriage. It is one of the great things He created but it isn’t a point of ‘arrival’ in life. Focus on what’s around you and who is around you and serve to the best of your ability.
I think a good example is Rebekah(Isaacs wife). She remained faithful to her duties, serving her family and community every day. Her faifhfulness certainly contributed to her getting a husband. I’m not saying you will be guaranteed a husband but I am saying thatvibdont want you to feel stuck believing the only way you can serve God is through marriage.
As Christ conforms you more and more to His image He will give you righteous desires. And a good measure of what we believe is seen in our obedience to what God says is right and true.
Thank you for the reply! That is certainly helpful.
Thanks for this article! I have to admit it’s something I never really thought of before. I’m not in a rush to get married, but I’m trying to live in a way that will make me the best husband possible when the time comes. I didn’t realize how much society has actually taught us about how marriage should look (like they should know)! I think you’re right – we need to look to the Word of God for our answers, not just at what seems socially acceptable.
Thank you for reading and leaving a comment Tim.
You’re absolutely right, the Word of God should be what dictates our worldview not shallow social norms.
God bless you bro!
While I can see the great points you have here I just want to point out that marriage can be dangerous if you’re not prepared, and as you stated, many young people haven’t been prepared for marriage. But when young Christians are so eager to jump right into marriage we often think that the first person we find is “The One”. There are lots and lots of people out there who want to manipulate the innocent and so we need to be careful to be patient and make sure that this person is not just someone we love, but someone who loves God and loves us. Many people are in hurtful relationships and divorce is sinful, and if you marry someone, even accidentally, who is destructive then you are eventually putting yourself between a rock and a hard place. Masks can be hard to see through, but no one can keep up a masquerade for a long time. And although I want to get married young as well, I also want to make sure that I’ve known this person for a while. Either having been friends before getting into a serious relationship, or holding out on marriage until I am confident that this person is God’s plan for me.
Thank you for the great post!
Thank you for reading and for leaving a comment Brooke!
I think you’re really talking about trust and making sure marry someone we can really trust will be committed and loving to us. I agree that we need to be wise in the person we would like to marry.
I don’t believe in the idea of “The One”. I believe firstly that it is important that we marry the right kind of one.
Brooke, the relationship I’m on now is not my first. I was in a serious courtship and it ended badly. That made me alot less willing to open my heart to anybody again and I becaane alslmost obsessed with making sure I didn’t choose the wrong girl again. However, when Jesus heals broken and miatruating hearts He truly does give us the ability to trust that in Him we can find someone we can truly give our hearts to.
Thanks for your comment Brooke! I do appreciate it.
Thank you for your response. Your testimony is inspiring. 🙂
May I ask, How can someone get married accidentally?
Michael, I don’t think she means getting married accidentally, but rather marrying a destructive person whom she thought was a holy person; and thus “accidentally” marrying a destructive person (in disguise) which kind of makes sense and reminds us to NEVER marry someone until you’re sure they’re not a fake. “Choosing a spouse is not as simple as choosing which horse to buy.” -African proverb
Oh… Now I know what you mean.
One of my friends (whose a girl) has this as her email signature: “A girl needs to be so lost in God that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!”
I think it applies to guys too.
That’s pretty cool, Haven.
I found it on Pinterest a while back haha 🙂
Pretty funny I must also say.
I LOVE this. This is awesome. I’m stealing this.
lol haha I thought the same. 😀
Hey, interesting and thought provoking article. I definitely agree that our culture is geared more towards not getting married, and I believe that a lot of it has to do with money. It’s sad to think that money gets in the way of love so often but it has become such a norm in recent years. Policies make it more profitable to be single, and children cost money, and the cost of living is growing, so people are afraid of marriage. I think that as young people with strong opinions we need to get involved in politics to steer things towards family values.
Another thing I noticed in your article I was just a little confused by- you said that “We buy the lies of feminism believing its low views of womanhood.” what do you mean by that? I was under the impression that feminism stands for equality.
Thank you so much for taking time out to read this!
I really love how you’re already thinking about believers making a difference in culture, particularly in politics. Let’s do it! Believe Alex Harris could be a big voice of change in America, people like him inspire us to contribute to being culture shapers.
You ask a good question on feminism. Feminism does indeed market itself as a movement that is concerned with equality, however it’s really not true. The feminist movement values the building of self-esteem and success through measures of fame and wealth. Ofcourse this is shallow but that’s where feminists find their worth. This a movement against patriachy and male headship. Although this movement tries to value women, they do so by trying to make women into men, and thereby also devalue men. So no real equality is taking place. Also, feminism undermines the unique roles men and women were created to play by God. Men were created to be servants of God through leadership, and women were made to complemet that role by being servants of God through being helpers. It does not mean men are better than women, not at all. We just have unique roles that were meant to work together.
God has the highest standards and value for both men and women because He created us in His image. Feminism doesn’t value women as highly as they ought, it doesn’t value marriage and family, and certainly doesn’t fulfill Gods design for us as men and women.
Thanks for your comment! I really appreciate it.
That depends on how you view the matter. One definition of feminism says women are just as good as men and therefore should be respected, be allowed to do things men do, and treated to an extent like them. Which, taken at face value, isn’t bad at all. Women should vote, and that is one of the early feminists’ main points. However, when you dig a little deeper into that definition, you realize that the feminists, with all their “women are as good as/better than men” they are pushing the definition of womanhood into the ill-fitting grid of MANHOOD. Feminists belittle the masculinity of men and male headship of the family (one reason why divorce rates have risen so much) and yet they are using the masculine standard to define women!!!! Doesn’t that seem a little odd?
More on this later (I have to go eat dinner) but I strongly recommend Wild at Heart by John Eldridge (on the nature of a man created in God’s image and what that should look like) and Captivating by John and Staci Eldridge (on the nature of a woman created in God’s image and what that should look like)
This was really good. Thanks for writing it!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read it.
Thank you for your insights, Lennox. It made me question whether my current view on marriage and dating is Biblically-sound. I am 21 years old and have no desire to date and get married. Maybe it’s because I grew up around (successful) unmarried women and they never projected the kind of helplessness I found in women who were e.g. always asking for their husband’s permission before going anywhere, not having a say in decisions, etc. Maybe I voice my opinions out too much and find it very difficult to submit to someone who I think is wrong. I don’t know for sure but I will continually seek God’s will and pray He gives me the grace I desperately need to face whatever lies ahead.
Thank you so much for reading this Eunice!
I really appreciate you being open, honest, and humble about your current views on marriage and dating.
I will be frank and say that submission is no weakness, it is the fulfillment of a God-given responsibility. Men play a submissive role in being under the authority of Christ, and when a man submits he plays the role of a leader. When a woman submits to the authority of Christ she becomes a helper. Leaders need helpers and vice-versa. We need each other. In fact humanity was never created to be independent of God and each other.
A man who leads like Christ will have a servant heart and will love like Christ loved the church. I think in a biblical relationship, what you refer to as permission is meant to be accountability, and I believe women have a say in decisions, but it is the mans responsibility to make sure a decision is executed.
In a fallen world leading and submitting are hard. Its easier for men to be passive and its easier for women to be independent of men. However God did not design things that way, and if we are to find purpose, satisfaction, and joy we should aim to live the way God designed us to. Our happiness will never lie in our independence.
I will be praying for you today Eunice,praying that you will constantly conform to Gods will. There is definitely grace for you in what lies ahead.
Thank you for responding, Lennox.
To be honest, I have not always held on to my current beliefs. It was actually the opposite. I once desired to have a partner in life.
When I saw my own parents’ marriage crumble along with everyone else, that was my “I don’t want any of this” moment.
My father’s a pastor and my mother is a Christian Ed worker. I thought if two people who loved God and strive to please Him could go through this, a failed marriage would be inevitable for me. (It was a rough couple years but they’re doing well now, still… the fights are not easy to forget.)
My desire to be a mother remains very strong and I surround myself with kids as often as I can. I was actually looking up adoption requirements for single women just a few days ago…
Reading this was timely and I’m ashamed to admit I’ve thought I could “convince” God to change His will if He had marriage planned for me.
Thanks again for your insights and for your prayers.
Eunice, thank you for being willing to share all that.
You have scars, ones that are etched in your memory. I’m sad to hear that you got hurt by seeing your parents struggle with marriage. I pray you realize that our hope for good marriages isn’t found in having had perfect examples. Our hope lies in Christ and it’s because of Him that we can live believing that we can have God-honoring marriages.
God is also a healer of broken hearts, and I pray He heals yours. I’m going to pray for your parents too, also praying that forgiveness and redemption will be the testimony of your family.
I’m proud of you for sharing Eunice. Transformation truly is given to the humble and broken. The Lord is with you Eunice.
Good thought provoking article! I don’t know that I had thought about things the way you have laid it out.
I must say, I believe I am in a rather unique circumstance since the college I go to is quite the opposite of today’s culture. There is actually a lot of pressure or encouragement for the students to get married at a young age. Some of it I appreciate, although at times I feel that it may go to far, particularly when there are single women who would honestly love to be married, yet have had no Godly men interested her. At that point we must learn to rejoice in the season God has us in.
Thank you for taking time to read this Hannah.
And you’re right, we need to learn to rejoice and be content with where God has placed us.
I pray you will always be a light at your college!
Hey Lenny! This was a well thought out sentence and I totally agree:
“We buy the lies of feminism believing its low views of womanhood.”
Hey my parents come from South Africa and used to live in Pretoria. I grew up as a third culture kid in Texas (born in Austin). I later got saved and am currently a missionary to – – – the Republic of South Africa! I go to Pretoria frequently but am working in the Free State at the moment; we mainly preach at schools, jails, retirement homes, churches and businesses (the Africa Evangelistic Band).
Thanks for the article! Very good points; I totally agree.
Hey Louis! Thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment.
Sounds like you’re doing some pretty awesome work in South Africa, I hope you’re enjoying that.
Your TCK experiences sound interesting, I’d love to hear more about them.
Thanks for the encouragement man, I greatly appreciate it.
Hey Lenny! So my TCK experience is basically: my parents moved from South Africa to Austin, TX a year before I was born in 1992. My mom came from a farm in the Free State and my dad from Durban. We spoke Afrikaans in the home, and English everywhere else (that is, if you can call that thing we speak in Texas “English” :^)
I got saved after hearing the Gospel in my Sunday School class. Even though we saw ourselves as being Afrikaners, I was more Texan than anything else, culturally. I couldn’t even write Afrikaans properly because we only spoke it. As a teenager I decided that I didn’t have to choose between being American or being Afrikaans; I could be both. I had dual citizenship.
In 2010 I went on a missions trip from Texas to Mozambique for 2 1/2 months, and I was involved in children’s ministry before and after that. Most of my friends were conservative homeschool Christians. Certain parts of Texas homeschool culture overlap with old-school Afrikaans culture (but the Afrikaans culture at large which I find “my people” engaging in today in South Africa is truly pathetic in the sense of it is morally rotten and the youngsters try to imitate the foolish American mainstream culture–the very thing I disliked while still in Texas.
In 2011 the Lord led me to go to a two-year Bible College near Cape Town, which I did in 2012 and completed in 2013. I felt Him guiding me to stay (even though I didn’t want to at first) and so I’ve been here in full-time ministry for the past three years making it a total of five years since I came. I’m 24.
I didn’t know there was such a thing as a third culture kid so I found it very interesting when I first heard the term last year and read the article on the Rebelution about it (and Wikipedia). I was surprised to find many of the things commonly found in TCKs to be true of me. I especially laughed when I read we tend to have a “Painful awareness of reality” as this is very true in my case, in the sense that I laugh when Afrikaners say South Africa is the best country in the world and I laugh when Americans think freedom will die with them if America ever goes down.
So yeah; thanks for the conversation!
Wow thanks for sharing that Louis!
Your TCK experience definitely sounds interesting. Its never easy going to a country peoples expect you to belong to. I hope your time in SA will be blessed. Your cultural exposure and difference can make an impact, God will use that through you.
This was really interesting! I have a strong desire to be a mother, but I have to wait for God’s timing.
Also interesting that you live in Lusaka! My good friend @disqus_Sh6PyJ3MsP:disqus lives in Zambia too!!
Thanks for reading Heather!
That’s a really awesome desire. Keep waiting for it and keep serving the people around you.
Interesting that your friend is out here, thaslts pretty awesome. Hopefully one day I will get to meet her.
Hi there Lenny!
I absolutely loved this article!! You said so many things I too think and feel. Thank you very much for writing this!
Ohmygoodness. I feel like we will have a lot of connections. 😉 When I saw you lived in Lusaka I was thrilled! I live in Ndola; but have been to Lusaka and am familiar with ACU. I assume you know the Turnbulls and the Bauchams? I don’t personally know the Bauchams but I’ve met the Turnbulls before which was lovely.
If I may ask, what brought you to Zambia? Have you been here for a while? It always excites me when I find out about other people living in Zambia. Whenever I’m in Lusaka again with my family I know we’d love to visit ACU sometime so perhaps we will meet up one of these days! =)
Megan, I got so excited reading this.
I’m pretty sure we will meet up. The Turnbulls and Bauchams are my people, almost like family so that’s pretty awesome! Next time you’re in Lusaka let me know.
I’ve been in Lusaka for a while now and I came here because my father got a job here. Its been an interesting experience living across cultures and discovering how different I am.
How long have you been in Ndola for?
And thanks for reading the article Megan, I really appreciate it.
That’s so awesome and exciting to hear of similarities!
I’ll try to let you know especially if we’ll be at/around ACU. =)
That’s wonderful. I can definitely relate to that! Living cross-culturally greatly expands the mind and gives a whole new perspective on life.
I’ve been in Ndola for almost exactly 2 years now. My family moved here from the U.S. to work with a ministry that serves orphans and widows across Ndola. I too love living here. There are some hard things about it; but God has used this season and experience in my life to grow me immensely!
Thanks Lennox! I agreed with so many parts of this article-some of which I didn’t know I agreed with til now- and it really made me think. Wonderful article!!
As a side note, how do you pronounce your last name? I noticed it and now my interest is piqued 🙂
Thank you so much Angela!
I’m so encouraged by your comment. I really appreciate it!
So my last name almost sounds like ‘California’ actually. That’s the best way I can describe it.
Wow, this is an inspiring post!! I’ve always wanted to get married young as well … I’m 17 and it’s always been my dream to be a wife and mother. So glad to find others have the same viewpoint. It seems mostly that Christians and others are against marrying young/intentional dating young.
Thanks for reading Hayley!
I pray God grants you your dreams to be a wife and mother.
It does seem like there is some adversity to getting married young, but we as Christians ought to be willing to challenge norms and not simply adapt to them.
Thanks for reading!
I pray God blesses your desires. Keep serving those around you as you wait.
Thanks Lenny! That’s a very interesting article that opens my eyes on my behaviour towards this important subject. I used to see marriage as a brake/hindering to my academic and social ambitions and i thank GOD b/c your article has changed the way i consider this huge blessing. Be fully rewarded for that!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!
I am so happy and humbled to know that this piece has challenged you. I pray the word of God continues to renew our minds and transform our lives.
Thanks for reading!
Its great to know that reading this has impacted you that way.
This is an awesome perspective! I think I’ve kind of bought into the weird line where I just want to not think about marriage until it’s for me, otherwise I might dream too much- does that make sense? But, deep down, I completely agree with you.
Thanks for reading Kimberly!
And I do understand you. Don’t be afraid to think about it but make sure you invest in what God has given you to do right now as you prepare.
This is awesome me and my bf have been praying we will be married soon and we have permission from my parents and Jesus so we are wating to see if we will this article is amazing!!
Well it’s still up in the air my message to the world have some crazy courage it goes a long way
Thank you so much for reading.
And wow, I’m excited to hear that. I pray God blesses your plans, commit your plans to Him.
Yes He has the plans already laid down we can follow them or fight them
Also want to say it’s so much fun but also a lot of pressure going against the tradition
I totally relate to that!
We know we get engaged the our church family won’t be happy but it’s such a loss to people who get stuck in tradition go against it
This is really good. Our culture presses us to be in relationships too early, and then tells us not to commit long-term, because it will cramp our style. We are pressed to “love” early, and then told not to love to long, because it might mess up our plan. It’s hard to be a high schooler who doesn’t date, even though I feel the God-given desire to be with someone else, while knowing it’s not time yet. And then after high school, when it is time, culture will be telling me not to commit too much! It’s completely counterbalance to God’s plan, for two mature people who are pursuing him to get married and pursue Him wholeheartedly as a team.
Right now I am trying to learn how to be a good friend to guys, and running towards God because He is my focus for this life stage. Still, I want to be married some day with the kind of beautiful relationship that points others towards God. But if that’s not in God’s plan for my life, so be it, because I want to follow Him above all else.
I totally agree with this Regan. You’re really speaking my mind. People get excited when one gets in a relationship but when they start to see it get serious and lead to marriage then all of a sudden they have a problem.
Keep serving God right where you are Regan.
So true! Great article!!! 🙂
Thanks for reading Erica!