Last week, I began writing six reasons to take it slowly when dating. . . Check it out here. I gave these three reasons: 1) Marriage is not a task on the “to do” list, 2) Dating is fun in a way that marriage isn’t, and 3) It takes time to really know someone.
And I’m not the only one advocating this.
Psychology Today advocates taking it slowly, even Eharmony recommends it, first by encouraging women to date several men at once, as well as some other advice.
So here we go with a few more of my reasons. . .
- Sex is a TINY portion of marriage
Christians who value delaying sexual intercourse until marriage are daily bombarded with messages about sex from media and society. Among other ideas, these messages state the amazing power and irresistibility of sexual intercourse. Thus, many don’t think they can wait, think of their wedding day primarily as the day they get to start having (“legitimate”) sex, and want to speed it up so that they can have what society says is the best ever.
I’ve actually heard respected Christian leaders recommend people get married quickly so that they can have the pleasure of sexual intercourse.
Now, don’t get me wrong—sexual intercourse in marriage is an incredibly powerful and enjoyable way to find union on all planes—physical, spiritual, etc. However, most of your marriage will not be spent having sex. More time is spent figuring out life, cooking, cleaning, working, planning, fighting, making up. . . While it’s important, there will be times when you can’t have sex (illness (both serious and less so), during menstruation, for at least six weeks after giving birth, traveling for work, and more).
Problem is if we place too much importance on the sexual relationship, we miss the other multiple (and arguably more important) aspects of marriage. We must realize that sexual intercourse is really a tiny portion of marriage and put it in its rightful place among other more primary elements of marriage.
And I love the way Lonestar gives us a picture of what’s important in his family in “On My Front Porch Looking In.” (hint: it’s not sex)
- This isn’t your last chance.
When I was 32, I thought I was really old and rather undesirable. I started dating a man who was a good man, but not really an eligible life-partner for me. However, since I hadn’t had a boyfriend for nine years, I was afraid that if I broke up with him, my dreams of marriage and family would be lost. So, the relationship went on a lot longer than it should have, and I thank God I was able to end it, but it caused a lot of pain all around.
He wasn’t my last chance. I met the man I would marry at 37, married at 39, and am pregnant with my second child at 42. Even if it took longer to meet my life partner and I was past childbearing age, I would be happy that I broke up with the guy at 32. Thinking “he’s my last chance” or “he’s my only chance” is never a good reason to marry him.
My good friend always used to say that it’s better to be unhappy and single than unhappy and married. When one is unhappy and single, one can change the circumstances in a variety of ways. When one is unhappy and married, one is bound to someone else and thus has less freedom to make changes.
Taylor Swift’s unreleased “Wait for Me” shows what it’s like to take a “last chance.”
- God never seems to be in a hurry.
Jesus came and went about 2000 years ago, and then promised to return. We’re still waiting for him. And 1 Peter tells us that this is not slowness, but patience. God doesn’t seem to be in a hurry.
Frankly, in my life, God never seems to be in a hurry to make things happen—countless times, I’ve waited and waited and waited.
So, why are we in a hurry, then? Aren’t we supposed to be becoming more like Jesus? Can we not be patient (it is part of the fruit of the Spirit).
Though Colin Raye’s “If You Get There Before I Do” isn’t necessarily about waiting a long time, it shows the value in waiting.
So, there you have it. Six reasons I’d like to praise taking it slowly (and country music).
Marriage is one of the biggest steps most of us will every take. It pays to give it time in the making. Getting to marriage is not a race to win. It’s a life to pursue.