22 Reasons Why You Should Not Get Married (Or At Least Delay Doing So), Part 2
You should not get married if:
6. You are of a different ethnic group or from a different culture than your spouse-to-be. Why that sounds racist!!! Not at all, even in today’s overly PC society, there are still issues to be resolved (more baggage) from marrying outside your clan. I’m not saying never marry someone from a different group, but consider how those differences will play out in the lives of your parents, your extended family and eventually your children. Different cultures have different expectations and traditions. An American man married a woman from a different culture (she was Asian). Her parents felt that he was lazy because he did not work as many hours at his job as men form their culture did. They also viewed him as not being as respectful of his elders as they would like and that he did not teach that respect to the children. Quietly, but persistently her parents urged their daughter to leave him and return to their culture. In another situation, the bride was the outsider to the dominant culture the couple lived in. His mother and aunts were distressed that she did not know how to prepare their ethnic dishes or celebrate their traditions. These women certainly let their son and nephew know that she was not “a proper wife” for him and did not accept their offspring as authentic [their ethnic group]. Even when both families are “Americanized”, issues of race and the problems bi-racial children that are the produced by these marriages face are not trivial - identify, understand and work through each of them.
7. You are getting married to escape something/someone. This is always a very bad reason-not to escape a dysfunctional home, not to get away from an old beau that is stalking you. You are not Rapunzel or Snow White being carried away from the evil witch by the handsome prince. Get a job and move out on your own if you need to get away. Better yet, get therapy and discover why you are so messed up or why you allow yourself to be victimized still as an adult. Do not marry to escape or rescue someone else, you will most likely end up divorced once you are no longer in need/needed.
8. You are getting married to get something you don’t have –self esteem, money, status, sex, children, power, or a green card. Do I really have to explain why these by themselves are bad reasons to get married? They may end up as being fringe benefits of being married, but real good reasons are all about commitment, sharing, love, integrity, friendship. While society has quit equating getting married with having sex, Christians (or at least most of them hopefully) still confine sex to marriage. Yet, even in our sex obsessed culture, pressuring couples into early marriage in order to maintain chastity is nuts, as is the notion that everyone needs to get married and have kids in order to be “normal”. For non-Christians, having children outside of wedlock is no longer taboo anyway. But having or adopting children should not be just the latest fashion trend (despite what Britney Spears or Angelina Jolie think). The last bad reason mentioned above, obtaining a green card, will get you in trouble with the law if they catch you.
9. You are getting married because everybody else is or you feel pressure from society to do so. Didn’t your mother ever say to you, “Would you jump off a cliff just because everyone else did?” I know our society, especially our church culture, puts a premium on being married by a certain age (although in the past twenty years, more and more are delaying marriage past age 30 for men and women). I also know the pressure young women feel when: a) your first group of friends get married post high school and you’ve never even had a boyfriend; b) you’re your second wave of friends are all getting married after college –seems like you are always the bridesmaid, never the bride; c) you are approaching age 30 or 35 or 40 and are worried that time is running out on being both a wife and mother. For the first two groups, I’ve heard girls refer to going to college as obtaining their MRS degree or of Christian colleges that quietly promote, “Ring by Spring or your money back!” It’s too bad that our culture isn’t promoting becoming a mature, responsible individual instead. How about the church focusing on developing godly men and women who love and serve Jesus regardless of their marital status?
10. You are not mature. This is along the lines of what I was getting at in the previous reason. I’ve seen far too many marriages of teenagers lately –people who are still in school, who have no money saved, who often have low –wage jobs, not real careers. They often have no clue about housing costs and paying bills. They have never taken care of themselves, much less a spouse (and Lord help them if a baby were to come along too soon). People who might consider moving in with their parents after they got married just “until we get on our feet” have no business walking down the aisle. Stand on your own two feet first, then make the wedding march.
Still more on tap....