I married Hayley 17 days after I turned 21. She was almost 24. The national average is significantly higher (27 for women, 29 for men). We were engaged 6 months and one day (because her mom called me one day kindly reminding me before I proposed that it takes 6 months to plan a wedding).
When I was praying about my desire to marry Hayley, I kept a running list of the reasons I wanted to marry her. Here are 3 reasons I got married to the greatest girl in the world.
1.) I knew God was calling me to die to the idea of someone else.
One could easily argue the #1 reason people don’t get married is centered around commitment. Some may fear it. Some may simply refuse to commit to a life devoted to one person. When I first met Hayley in college, I knew something was different about her. And while I didn’t pursue her perfectly, I remember this moment where I stopped comparing her to some immature idea I had of someone else. And honestly, she made it really easy to. I never ever considered cheating on Hayley, but I remembered, even when we were dating, that I liked the idea that there could be someone else. That if this didn’t work out or got too hard that I could always find someone else. Let’s just call that what it is: stupid.
She’s incredible, and marrying her will be my life’s greatest decision next to following Jesus. Far too many people never taste the joys of marriage because no one seems to quite measure up to their idea of a perfect spouse. While you obviously shouldn’t marry just anybody, marry the one who makes the idea of someone else look silly.
2.) I felt this irresistible pull to lovingly serve my wife.
Marriage isn’t ultimately about your happiness. It’s a wonderful bi-product of a healthy marriage but the joy in marrying Hayley came primarily from my desire to lovingly serve her. It’s still the most accurate measure for how healthy our marriage is. When I’m desiring to serve her more, our marriage is more healthy. When I’m selfish and want to focus on me instead, our marriage suffers. There’s a undeniable, direct correlation there.
Are you dating someone you feel a similar desire to lovingly serve? If so, you should begin to think, pray, and at the right time, talk about marriage together.
Maybe you’re already married but lack the desire to lovingly serve your spouse. You might explain this away because you believe there’s just not much serve-worthy about your spouse. However, this exposes this sin in your own heart more than any fault in your spouse. I’ve found that the more you lovingly serve your spouse, the easier it is when you don’t feel like it and the more and more you want to lovingly serve them.
3.) Why waste time missing out?
When you know, you know.
Whatever you want to say about it, and all cliches aside, there was a point in our relationship when I just knew I would marry Hayley. While love is definitely a choice, and so much more than a feeling, there was this overwhelming feeling that I knew I wanted to be with her. I could not imagine life without her and realized I didn’t have to. When we got married, we were young but prepared. We had jobs and life plans in place that we wanted to pursue together and we knew matched up well. We didn’t want to waste any time once we decided to commit our lives to one another in marriage.
I’m not sure if there are 3 universal reasons to get married, but I hope our 3 can help you.
If you’re stuck in a marriage rut, consider making a similar list. Remember what it was like at the beginning? What made you first decide to want to marry your spouse? What’s one thing you can change/do today to recapture that?
If you’re dating someone, do you have a plan? Are they marriage potential? Are you? Consider keeping a running list of all the marriage-worthy traits of your significant other. If you can’t find any, it’s time to move on.
Are you single? If so, can I encourage to hold a high standard for your future spouse? Think and discover what reasons are worth marrying someone and what aren’t.
If you got married before the national average (27 for women, 29 for men), why did you?