By: Dr. Jennifer Murff
As the holiday season approaches, couples around the world brace themselves for the onslaught of intrusive questions from well-meaning friends and family about when they will tie the knot with that special someone. Now don’t get me wrong, we are advocates for marriage, however, there are some very valid reasons why you should not get married this spring. In fact, our passion is to change the perception of marriage among Millennials since many are choosing not to marry but more and more, if Millennials do marry, it can be for all the wrong reasons. So in an attempt to do our public service for those would-be newlyweds, we have come up with 5 reasons why Millennials shouldn’t get married:
- “I have always dreamed of a fairy-tale wedding.” Marriage is a commitment and while we have seen our fair share of ‘I said Yes to the Dress’ episodes, I have often wondered if these couples were also planning for a successful and healthy marriage. I have seen it time and time again where thousands of dollars are spent on an elegant wedding but within a few years, the couple is erasing their pictures off of Facebook as if it never happened. You see, the honeymoon phase will end, life will happen, and sometimes it gets tough. Are you planning for a fairy tale wedding, or a happily-ever-after marriage? There is nothing wrong with having the wedding of your dreams, so long as your fairy-tale has the best possible ending. Remember to plan for your marriage, not just a wedding.
- “I need someone to complete me.” Ouch! Too many times, Millennials are looking for a spouse to complete them. Unfortunately, they are setting themselves up for disappointment and setting their spouse up for failure. This is where faith plays a particularly key role in our personal lives; when added to a marriage, faith becomes the mortar that holds it all together. More often than not, it’s not marriages that are broken, but rather the people within the marriage. Many of us have hurts and wounds that need healing before we can find a healthy wholeness in marriage. If we do not personally wrestle through our past baggage, it can become a huge hurdle in our quest for a successful marriage. The truth is that only grace, healing, and the love of God can truly satisfy and fulfill the soul, mend your heart, and complete you.
- “I fear being alone.” We get it. Nobody wants to be the 40-year-old virgin with 15 cats. We often tell Millennials that a bad marriage can leave you feeling even more alone than being single ever could. There are many wonderful benefits to being married, but just wanting to have someone around is not a great reason to marry. Your spouse is tremendously more valuable than a pet. We have a motto in our home, “If the root of fear is driving my decisions, than the fruit will always be bad.” The fear of today could destroy your tomorrow. Do not fear singleness. Go out and see the world! Who knows, you just might meet the one along the way.
- “My ring is pretty and the venue is booked.” Our generation is inundated with free choice and self-gratification. Apple over Dell, Chick-fil-a over McDonald’s, Target over Wal-Mart…to marry or not to marry. Marriage is a commitment and a covenant that is serious. You’re not buying a car here folks. Do not let personal pride stand in the way of living a life with the one God created for you. I (Justin) was engaged years before we married. I knew she was not the one for me but the venue was booked, gifts lined the house from the bridal shower, and I was two months away from making the dumbest mistake of life. Thankfully, the relationship (which was not healthy) came to an abrupt end. When my then-ex-fiancée asked for us to stay together and proceed with the wedding, I had to realize that the ring, gifts, deposits, and my pride were not worth a failed marriage. Remember that peace is an indicator of how to move forward; it even gives you the strength to say no. Sometimes in life you need to say no, even to something good, so that you can say YES to something great!
- “I just want to have Children.” Children are blessing, no doubt, and in fact, we have four of them. However, we can assure you that a marriage that primarily revolves around children will inevitably break down because of blurred priorities. Research shows that Millennials are under the false assumption that having children is more important than having a strong, healthy, and successful marriage. However, creating a strong, healthy, and successful marriage is a KEY to being a good parent. We have to constantly make time to “date” each other. Remember, you are a spouse first before you are a parent. If we were to look in your calendar, what would we see? Does date night make the list of life’s most important moments that are etched into our lives? Remember, as a parent you are in the modeling business. You will be modeling what love, respect, and honor look like in the midst of every day life. You are the example that children will look to so they can see what a healthy marriage looks like.
Marriage is full of wonderful benefits. While we have just shared some very valid reasons to not run down the isle, here are a couple of great points to consider when searching for your spouse.
Find someone who will always be in your corner: When you are with someone who is committed to loving you through good times and bad, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer … and is willing to forsake all others just for you…it makes it much easier.
It is important to remember that a healthy marriage promotes personal success. There is a rumor that marriage will keep you from following your dreams and hold you back. A healthy marriage relationship is one that supports and encourages each individual in pursuit of his or her God-given dreams. Marriage is the cornerstone not the capstone of your adulthood. A healthy and committed marriage is one that will drive you towards success rather than keep you from it.
So, in this holiday season, have your answers ready for your crazy aunt and your curious friends. Get ready to meet the parents, and enjoy a cup of cocoa by the fire with the one you love. But while you do, be thinking about why you want to be married in the first place. Is this someone you could see spending the rest of your life with. Is this Mr. or Mrs. Right, or just right now? Marriage is a covenant that will bless your life immensely, and it’s important that you are well equipped for a successful marriage that will lead to your own “Happily Ever After.”
Jennifer & Justin Murff are the founders of Millennials for Marriage, an non-profit that seeks to change the prevailing perception of marriage among the Millennial generation and reintroduce covenantal marriage in a relevant and meaningful way through media engagement, education, policy reform and grassroots campaigns. Check out our website at www.millennialsformarriage.org.