As Tim Keller says our culture has created this knew phenomenon called “Pessimistic Idealism.” We desire an ideal relationship, but many don’t actually believe it’s actually possible. What does this mean? This means many protect themselves emotionally. Christians sometimes call this insecurity “guarding my heart.” The proper interpretation of this passage is another subject which doesn’t associate relationships illustration of the is as the question Chris Rock asks “Would you rather be single and lonely or married and bored?”
Lets look at some reasons both positive and negative. Of course we’ll begin with the negative so we can end happy.
1) Escape From Loneliness – I don’t want to be alone, I feel emotional, spiritual, and sometimes physical pain because my loneliness hurts so bad. You’ll sometimes see this person sitting on the couch watching chick-flicks with a big bowl of ice cream in their lap and tissues next to them, and sometimes you’ll see girls doing this as well.
2) Romantic Fulfillment – I’ve seen all the movies and think they are really cute and romantic and I want to live MY love story. I want someone who will live up to everything I have dreamed of since I was little. I have read all of the books on marriage, love, relationships, -and sex – Barnes and Noble knows me by name – I have seen all the movies, and tv shows on Life Time.
3) Social Status Quo – Society says that people should get married, so why the heck not? Or “I knocked her up its the “right thing to do.”
4) Religious/Relational Expectation – my church/family/small group praises marriage so much that it is a requirement for me. This church won’t hire me because I’m not married. It’s sad how often this is the case in which a church will not hire a minister because of a former drama which occurred between their youth guy and a student, and they think that the minister being married will somehow miraculously fix this. Or, they take an over literal view of the requirements of eldership in Titus 2 to mean that the person has to be married.
5) Civic Profit – tax break! We already live together so why not get the benefits making it legally official?
6) “Next Step-ism” – well it’s either that or break up. It’s just what you do.
7) SEX!! – I just want to have sex, lots of sex, soooo much sex!! Again, self-centered in its pursuits of sexual fulfillment. These are typically the marriages in which two people know each other a short time, see the benefit of waiting until marriage, but are just horny and want to get physical satisfaction from the other person. There is often times marital unfaithfulness involved later on in these marriages either in the form of adultery or pornography, in which the spouse is expected to be held up to the standard of sexual performance like what they see on the computer, tablet, or phone screen.
8) Expectational Fulfillment – I have emotional and physical needs that I expect someone else to perfectly fulfill, marriage is about me, my happiness, my benefit, and fulfillment of all of my expectations. These usually come with lists written and unwritten.
1) Honor God’s Covenant – These people desire to honor and glorify God and they can do that better in a marriage relationship with the other person. This person says “I want understand and express God’s covenant, proclaim His goodness, experience a greater sanctification, and give myself for the holiness and joy of the other person.”
2) Model Godly relationship – with this self-sacrificing covenant relationship we have with God we proclaim how to live together in peace and express unconditional love in the midst of a dying world. As we flesh out what this covenant relationship looks like we proclaim His goodness by living according to how God has made us and instructed us to live in his biblical complementary roles.
3) Life-Long Friendship – This person and I have an amazing friendship and I want to spend the rest of my life with this person because I simply enjoy being with them, around them, going on adventures together, or simply staying home, talking, playing games, watching a movie. This form of marriage is typically the kind of marriage that is the “model” marriage. What the hopeless romantic many times often can never accumulate because of their selfish expectations.
As a whole, we are inward thinking people. Even as Christians, our philosophy often times is focused inwardly; “What is God’s plan for MY life, what is God callingME to do, I need to improve MY prayer life, what are MY thoughts/beliefs/dreams/joys/etc…” But as we experience God’s call on His people and follow His mandates for our lives, we glorify Him and will experience a greater joy than living the cultural norms all around us. If we settle for less, we’re going to get less, we’re going to give our spouse or future spouse less, and most importantly we’re going to be giving God less too. Don’t settle for giving any less glory to God than He rightfully deserves. Marry rightly. Live holiness. Never settle for anything than a life and marriage which honors the heck out of Christ and which lives the gospel in a world which desperately needs to hear, see, experience, and know the goodness of our bridegroom Jesus Christ.