Since the vast amount of people I deal with most often is college students, I’m often asked, “When does a person begin to think about marriage.” It’s a great question, and I’ve learned a lot about this the hard way. So, my answer surprises many, and is often very different from what many hear from parents, friends, culture, and what most people call “common sense.”
LEARNING THE HARD WAY
So just the other day, I was sitting on my porch chatting with a few young men who all go to college in our town. We were covering nearly every subject you can think of, and one of them turns and says to me, “So, I’ve been reading lately about ‘guarding my heart’ and I’m thinking we should get together and talk sometime about that kind of stuff.” I laughed.
I said, “Man, you have no idea (some of the guys do, but he was new in town) what you’re saying. I’m all for talking about that. I’ve got a lot of thoughts on that topic cause I’ve done a lot of stuff the wrong way and learned the wrong way – even hurt a lot of people by doing so. So, yea, let’s talk about it sometime.”
Naturally this sparks his attention a bit and he asked a few questions further and before long we end up at, “Well how soon do you start thinking about marriage?” It’s this question that is too rarely asked until long after most of us should have been asking it.
Most people look back after a long journey of pointless try-outs that leave us wondering what we’re missing, and often in the wake of destruction, they realize that they never knew what they were after in the first place – which means there’s no way they could have found it!
IT STANDS TO REASON – THERE’S ONLY ONE ANSWER
So despite the large amount of unreasonable and unfounded resistance to this, the answer is simply this, START NOW! Yep, that’s what I told the guy, “You should start thinking about marrying the girl before you meet her, since you didn’t, start now.”
Really though, why wouldn’t you? Think about this: Statistically speaking, 9 out of 10 people are going to marry. So I’m not convinced anyone ever actually truly approaches a relationship not thinking about the possibility of “do I see a future with this person?” So what simply has to happen is you get conscious about that fact.
The sooner you begin to think about marriage, the sooner you can realize all the stupidity in yourself, and stop looking for someone who you aren’t. The sooner you think about marriage with “that” person, the sooner you can realize “that” person doesn’t exist. The sooner you think about marriage, the sooner you can realize what it’s truly about – and it’s not the popular teaching of “compatibility and happiness” (i.e. it’s not about you!).
You start to get your life in order. You begin to realize, as I told this young man, a sensible person isn’t going to want to give you their heart to guard and hold with responsibility when you haven’t even done that with your own.
So start… yesterday!
What I’m not saying is: Make a list. Lists are stupid. I don’t know what youth pastor first thought that was smart, but it’s NOT. More is to come on these matters in the near future. Stay tuned.
Your thoughts!? Is this too extreme for you? What is your resentment or struggles with this? What might be the benefits?