Many people are familiar with the Tyler Perry film entitled “Why Did I Get Married?” and its sequel, “Why Did I Get Married Too?” In both films, several married college friends vacation for a week to evaluate their respective marriages and reflect on what initially attracted them to their spouses.
Unfortunately, throughout the course of marriage, a lot of couples find themselves asking this same question during one season or another. However, before you find yourself in the same predicament I’d like to take a step back and encourage singles to evaluate their reasons for wanting to get married in the first place.
Whether you are single and have been searching for a spouse for what seems like an eternity or a recent divorcee; I think it’s important to give some thought to your reasons for wanting to get married. For example:
- Do you want to get married because the world tells you it is the “normal” thing to do? Is it because your family and friends say you should?
- Are you seeking marriage for financial security, companionship or fellowship? Or maybe you’re looking for a partner to have unlimited amounts of sex with? Maybe it’s all of the above.
- Are you looking for someone to validate you? Increase your self esteem? Tell you, you are ok? Are you looking for someone to make you feel valuable or affirm you?
- Are you looking to get married because you want someone to complete you? Save you? Rescue you? Do you believe you won’t or can’t be truly happy or whole until you meet the “one”?
I’m not asking you questions I haven’t already asked myself and I can honestly say my answers have changed throughout the years.
In high school I always thought marriage would come when “the time was right” which I envisioned being around my mid-twenties. However as time passed I honestly didn’t think of marriage much until my late twenties. Until then I was just having fun, expecting things to line up when the time was right.
Now, at age 31, I’m a lot more intentional about marriage; I do a lot of soul searching and I see marriage as a tool to bring blessings to the lives around me and not just my own.
Here are some questions to ask yourself in evaluating why you want to get married:
- Are you looking to compliment someone and their lifestyle with your individual strengths (by the way do you know what those are?) or are you more concerned with how your future spouse will benefit you?
- Do you really care about the other person’s well being? Are you genuinely concerned with taking them to a higher level spiritually and/or in life? Or are you looking at how the other person will upgrade you and make you feel?
I have found that people often approach romantic relationships with a selfish attitude; with one individual or both solely looking at what they can gain instead of looking at what they can give.
Now, realistically, when dating a potential spouse it’s natural and beneficial to think about how that person will compliment you in the long run, but selfish ambitions should not overshadow your intentions with a potential mate. You should enter a romantic relationship with a heart to give not to gain.
I think it would be appropriate to apply the scripture from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 here:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
True love looks out for the interests of others. 🙂