BAD REASONS PEOPLE GET MARRIED
There is a traditional Episcopal Church wedding ceremony that I use a lot when marrying couples. I use it so often because I like what it says about the decision to marry. It frames it this way “… in holy matrimony; which is an honorable estate, instituted of God, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his church: which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence and first miracle that he wrought in Cana of Galilee, and is commended of Saint Paul to be honorable among all: and therefore is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in fear of God.”
Unfortunately too many people in today’s world enter into marriage for bad reasons. The underlying fallacy behind most of these reasons is that neither a wedding or a marriage license can create a marriage where one does not already exist. If the marriage is not already formed in the hearts and minds of the couple, then the wedding is just another meaningless party.
But what are the bad reasons people get married ? Let’s look at a few,
- Our parents ( or friends etc.) want us to.- I can remember back in high school 30+ years ago parents of some of the couples I know would ask them over and over again, “ When are you going to get married ?” I fear some young couples in particular just give in to the pressure. But giving in to the pressure even if you do on some level love each other is not enough to sustain a relationship for a lifetime.
- Physical Appearance- There’s definitely a “ cool factor” involved in dating the hottest girl/guy in the class. But appearance changes over time, and not usually for the better. As appearance changes there better be things a lot stronger, and more permanent under-girding the marriage or it will collapse.
- Money- Money is all too temporary ! I remember my late mother saying “ If you marry for money it will be the hardest money you ever earned.” Smart lady my mother ! Layoffs happen, baronesses go bankrupt, money goes away. Trying to b uild a marriage based on money is like building a house on quick sand.
- We’re pregnant- I’m a firm believer that every child to the greatest extent possible should have two loving, involved parents. In a perfect world these parents should be married. But here on planet real world as I call it you can’t force a marriage where none exists. Now if the couple already has thoughts of marriage, or has even been making plans accelerating things due to a pregnancy could well work. However if marriage never would have come to mind without the pregnancy, its most likely a bad idea.
- One of them is moving for a job, or the military- This is a lot like the last one. Marriage is already a matter of starting a whole new life. Moving away from the support of family, learning a new city can be hard under the best of circumstances. Getting married to hold onto a relationship that has not matured is going to put that relationship under stresses it cannot bear !
- Fame/Power- Like money fame and power are way too temporary and fragile to sustain a marriage by themselves. Marrying a famous actor, or a powerful politician may seem glamorous. However shows get canceled, elections can be lost sometimes unexpectedly, the what will hold you together ?
- All our friends are getting married- Some of your friends may be making a very big mistake. Following their example blindly could lead to a broken heart, and messed up life. With you left to pick up the pieces
- We’ve been dating a long time, they must be the one- Just because the two of you have a good time when you go out. Or have been going out for along time does not mean you are in love, or have what it takes to keep that relationship going for the rest of your lives. Its possible you’ve only settled into a comfortable pattern that fits your current lifestyle. What happens when you graduate college or whatever and your lifestyle changes ?
- To get the presents- Is tempting when you see some of the presents your friends are getting to want the same kind of haul for yourself. The attention focused on the bride and groom can be absolutely intoxicating ! But presents get used up and wear out. The spotlight is only on the couple for a few short weeks or months. Marriage is about a lifetime together, not a single party or presents that won’t last.
Marriage is possibly the biggest decision most of us will ever make. The consequences of making the wrong choice can have physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial ramifications among others. Marriage when properly crafted is a wonderful, miraculous thing ! Give it the time, thought and prayer that it deserves. It will be worth the effort.
- Samantha Parent Walravens: 10 Ways To Affair-Proof Your Marriage (huffingtonpost.com)
- Is Marriage History? (history.com)