7 Reasons People Put Off Marriage (And How To Take a Risk for Love) - Kris Vallotton

November 16, 2018

Many people are delaying marriage into their late 20s and 30s (and even beyond). Some of this trend is healthy. Yet much of this cultural shift that procrastinates marriages actually has the potential to rob people’s purity and undermine the ultimate experience couples have when they bond through growing up together in love. Have you noticed this shift yourself? Perhaps you are reading this as a single person and don’t know how to move forward towards marriage? Or maybe you have a friend, brother, sister or child who is afraid to take the risk of covenant?

Why are people delaying marriage? I mean, why the wait? Let’s break this down…

God’s Plan for Your Sex Drive

The apostle Paul wrote, “…it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (1 Corinthians 7:9). Marriage is God’s answer to fulfilling our drive for sex, but society now embraces lifestyles that relieve people’s sexual need for marriage!

Casual sex, cohabiting, masturbation, and pornography etc., have siphoned off the sexual drive that motivates individuals to marry. This is not a good reason to wait to wed!

What would life be like if the ONLY outlet we had to satisfy our sexual passion was marriage? What if we wanted to be sexually active and therefore HAD to get married and be a “one-woman man” or a “one-man woman?” Sounds crazy! Seems impossible? This is God’s plan!

7 Reasons People Delay Marriage

Besides sex, here are 7 more reasons why people tend to delay marriage (and my encouragement to you if you’re in one of these places):

1.“I am not ready and I am being wise.” This is the best reason for delaying marriage. There are many reasons why people really aren’t ready to commit to covenant. Perhaps you are immature, or started late in the game of growing in personal responsibility?

In this situation, the best thing you can do is to ready yourself: discover who you are in God, learn responsibility, get a mentor, and find someone who can help you prepare for the responsibility and joy of marriage.

2.“I am afraid of responsibility, and I am not sure I can take care of someone.” Most often, this isn’t true. The reality is that responsibility grows on you little by little, day by day. Often the devil is involved in this fear… he’ll tell you that you’re not enough, that you can’t be responsible or that you won’t be able to take care of another person. These are lies!

If you decide to make a covenant, God will not leave you hanging! He will give you the grace to step up to the plate, to be courageous, and give you the tools that you need to be responsible.

3.The fear of intimacy—“I fear that when ‘you see into me’ you won’t love me.” This is probably the most common fear among people… it says, “I am not enough. If you got to see the real me, you won’t love me.” God said it’s not good for us to be alone (Genesis 2:18). He has created and designed us to have a companion—a lifetime partner.

The truth is that often times it’s our spouses that see amazing things in us that we could never have seen in ourselves. This is God’s plan for a love-mate, and this is the way love works. Companions see the good, mine the gold in you, and remind you of the treasure they’ve discovered.

4.Selfishness—“I am not willing to give up my freedom to gain a family and start a legacy.” This is a common 21st-century mindset. People are just not willing to lay down their life for someone else.

What they don’t understand is that it’s only in laying down your life that you’ll find it (see Luke 17:33). Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13). The truth is you may think you are gaining something by being selfish, but you’re actually losing out on finding true life.

5.The fear of failure—“I came from a broken family and I don’t think that marriage is forever. The pain of a potential divorce is greater than my desire for companionship.”

God’s power will deliver you from any pain! Beyond that, you can only love to the level that you can be hurt. It is true that some marriages don’t last forever. But if you’re committed and you make a covenant, the risk is worth it. Don’t let somebody else’s failure, (family, friends, acquaintances), keep you from your great future.

6.“I date people but always think there is some other perfect person (a flawless soul) who will come along that’s better than the person I am dating. Therefore I am unwilling to commit to anyone.” That’s a complete lie!

No matter who you marry, there will always be imperfections in people. Blemishes are beautiful, and part of the marriage covenant is committing to someone who covers your weakness and empowers your strength. This is the beauty of companionship—everybody is flawed. I’m not talking about an alcoholic, drug addict or an abuser. I’m just saying that there’s no perfect person, except for Jesus. Even if you wait your whole life you’ll never find the perfect person. And if you did, you’d probably be intimidated by the fact that you aren’t perfect. So, maybe it’s time to take a risk!

7.“There will never be anyone like my first love and they are not available.” This isn’t necessarily about the PERSON you first loved; it’s most often about the EXPERIENCE of first love. When you experienced love awakening in you for the first time… that was the last time you’ll ever experience FIRST love. However, you’ll experience other, and even GREATER love!

Even if that person was the one you loved first, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the person you’ll love the most. You’ll experience greater love if you risk again! It’s okay… it’s all a part of the journey of growing up and learning to love!

Why It’s Worth Waiting for One

I’ll reiterate…The world would like to tell you that when you get married you will lose your life; you will lose all the joys of singleness and all the freedom of not being tied down. This is far from the truth!

Let me share my story of finding my greatest life through my love for my wife…

My highest joys in marriage aren’t from the ways that Kathy has given to me (and trust me, she’s the most generous woman I know), but rather from the ways that I’ve been able to love her. I often sit on my porch and watch her ride the horses I bought her and I just cry. She runs and laughs with them, and when she comes back she can’t wait to tell me all about them. There’s something powerful about engaging and loving people at their point of passion instead of your own; it’s truly beautiful to be able to love like this. My regret is that I didn’t buy the horses earlier in our marriage!

The climax of marriage is experienced when we lay down our rights and take up our cross. It’s in the beauty of sacrifice, not in what we can get from our spouse. This passion for intimacy and need for connection woos us into the vortex of sacrifice where we finally experience life.

This is the Genesis dream, which lies in the heart of the Father: “A man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. The two shall become one flesh.” When married couples lay down their lives for one another and merge in the mystery of supernatural assimilation, the contrast between marriage and unhealthy singleness (selfishness, fear, cohabiting, casual sex etc.) will speak for itself!

Don’t Miss Out on God’s Best

There are a few people in the world who are called to remain unmarried, as Paul said that singleness can be a supernatural gift from God (see 1 Corinthians7). Therefore, if that’s you then you should live fully alive and be single with all of your heart!

However, I want to challenge everyone else: If you’re missing marriage, you’re missing God’s best for you. You were designed for marriage and I want to challenge you today to take a step of faith and move towards God’s ultimate best for you!

Do you struggle with any of these reasons for delaying marriage? What step can you take today towards God’s best? I’d love to hear what you’re thinking in the comments section below!

I’ll also be following up on this post in the near future with practical steps for catching your man or woman, so be on the lookout!

Topics: All TopicsCurrent EventsMarriageMorality


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