Anything we try to build on a bad foundation can only collapse with time and hardships. This is also the case for marriage. So it is better to think about our motivations for getting married before making a commitment before God.
The book of James is rich in wisdom. “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” (James 4.3 ESV) It is possible to ask God for the wrong thing. We often mix our needs with our desires. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4.19 ESV) The verse does not say that God will give us all we desire, but all we need.
Some readers will give us the verse Matthew 21.22: “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith.” (ESV) It is written “whatever”, or? Indeed, but it says that you need to ask in the context of faith. John 14:13 says it differently: “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (ESV) All that we ask in the name of Jesus means all that we ask that Jesus Himself would ask. Many of our desires do not pass this filter.
Several singles have the “desire” to marry, but do they really have the “need” of it? It is by reflecting on the real needs behind the desire to marry, that we can identify good and bad motives for getting married.
You want to get married because you feel lonely
The feeling of loneliness does not disappear with a ring on your finger! We can be in the middle of a big crowd and feel lonely. If you suffer from this condition, it is not a partner that you need, but a good conversation with God and nice evenings with friends. (Read this other article on this topic.)
“When I come home and there is no one to welcome me I would like to be married”, some singles tell us. Again, marriage will not solve this problem: your partner could finish working later than you! If you do not want to live alone, why not move in with a roommate (of the same sex as you, of course!)? It will make you work on your temper too and you will be more ready to live as a couple when you meet the right person. Or, go for a pet!
You want to get married to feel loved
Once again, our source of love must be our heavenly Father. Even married, you will not always feel the affection of your partner, especially after some arguments. The only one who will never change his mind about you and whose feelings towards you will never change is God. Again, most cats and dogs are also good at giving affection!
Love is not a feeling, it’s a decision. Read 1 Corinthians 13 if you need to remember what love is. The little butterflies at the beginning of a relationship eventually transform into something more concrete, more solid. If these little butterflies were the basis of your commitment, you will be disappointed and confused when they are gone.
You want to get married to have sex
Some singles use 1 Corinthians 7:9 to justify their desire to marry. “But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” (ESV) Paul never said that marriage meets all sexual urges! First, we must always respect our partner and appetites may vary from one person to another, even from one day to another. But most of all, Paul has repeated more than once that we must “control our impulses”! If your flesh screams too loudly, do not give in to it to silence it! The desires of our flesh must be crucified so that those of the Spirit can take their place (Galatians 5:24).
You want to get married to serve God
This reason may seem legitimate, pure, and spiritual, but it is not biblical. God never required a person to be married to serve Him. Yes, we must hope, believe and prophesy that all our family will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15). It is also clear that God is asking us to unite with a person who shares the same faith as us (2 Corinthians 6:14). But since faith is a personal decision, you can not get married just for the sake of serving God. Since what will happen to your couple if your partner decides to turn away from God after several years of marriage? Be careful not to consider marriage as a work contract; you are not going to marry a ministry colleague! You will commit yourself to a child of God who is more than a worker of the Kingdom!
You want to get married to improve your financial situation
Two salaries do not improve a budget since the expenses are doubled too! (We have already written an article on this subject.)
Being married may give you a presence at home, affection, sex, work for God and money, but not in every situation! We must not believe that only marriage can meet these desires. In fact, marriage is much less rosy than we imagine and we must keep this in mind when we aspire to it. Next week, we will look for good reasons to want to get married.