Through the years, I have known or read the musings of young women who become restless post high school. And there is a reason for that. Many of them were raised with the Biblical mindset to become a homemaker (instead of career), and start to feel as if their only desire is to marry. For some, it almost reaches the point of desperation to just marry, so you fall into infatuation (the idea of marriage) rather than deep abiding love. I see a LOT of danger in that mentality. Thankfully that has not been something I’ve struggled with. Seeing all these young girls marry is something I find interesting (or troubling) because even by the time we reach high school graduation there is still a lot of growing up to do. Both spiritually and as an individual.
One of my favorite Hollywood feel-good flicks of late is the comedy Killers. (Yes, you are allowed to think it strange that I’m comparing something from Hollywood to topics of serious relationships. But it had its points, I assure you.) In it, two strangers meet and share a whirlwind romance in France, only to marry and three years later are living a quiet suburban life. Little does Jen know that husband Spencer is actually an ex-agent with a license to…well, kill. The constant hilarity which ensues is, true not what your typical marriage looks like, but what’s most important is that Jen and Spencer deeply commit to one another. Nowadays it’s a rarity to find such positive emotions pouring into a relationship; whether real or fiction. Generally when the going gets tough, everyone merely walks away where the “easy out” is waiting: divorce.
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Alarming statistics show that at least fifty-percent of marriages (probably more now) end in divorce. Most people probably don’t think about ending their marriage when they are right smack dab in the middle of the blush of a first love… an engagement… saying “I do,” but should things go south, there is a “no strings attached” policy. I see a huge danger sign in young ladies who want marriage so badly that they “settle” or just marry the first guy who shows interest. I share some principles as a Christian and was even raised with some of these ideas but I also don’t rigidly believe that we cannot pursue other avenues before the joys of a family. However, some families take such concepts much further – far past my own convictions.
Relationships aren’t easy: they each take work – nurturing. A journal entry that I once read written by a public figure has stuck with me these many years. In it the Christian writer shares her self-doubts about ever marrying. At the time, she’s in her late twenties, and like so many, expects to be in a committed marriage. She is Rebecca St. James. As a result of being unmarried, she goes through a period of confusion but eventually lets it go to the Lord. Another marriage between two Christian stars is Bethany Dillon and Shane Barnard (of Shane & Shane). Theirs is a marriage that made me curious because Bethany is younger than I; and in 2008 when she marries, I wasn’t even seriously thinking about marriage. Still I wish them nothing but the best and now, three years later, they have a beautiful little girl.
I want to marry someday, but I don’t see it in the very near future nor as something that will “complete” me; or that there is only one guy for me. When that dream guy walks through the door, I want to be as ready as I can be for a relationship that ends with “I do.”
Life is really seasons of changes. You’ll relish the getting-to-know Prince Charming, and cherish the moments when you say those vows. I’m not a cynic. Even in this imperfect world, I look forward to my happy-ever-after. Hopefully as well brought up Christian young adults, when we marry, we choose wisely the first time so that there is no chance for a second, and like Jen and Spencer, love will far outweigh whatever challenges life may place in our paths. (Only… we could do without the car chases!)