While a ring by spring may be a charming idea for a Freshman Follies’ act, it is not so appealing when applied to real life. A quick engagement and subsequent marriage may appear attractive from a distance, but a closer inspection of the two reveals disheartening facts.
Everyone knows the ACU marriage jokes. This campus is a “marriage factory,” where students rush into marriage. Bible majors are looking for two things: a wife and a preaching job. Freshman women reserve Chapel on the Hill in anticipation of getting their “Mrs. Degrees.”
But marriage is no joke. And neither is the lack of successful marriages in this country.
Roughly 60 percent of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, and about 80 percent of second or third marriages also result in divorce. Christians are not exempt; 32 percent of Christian couples who attend church regularly will get a divorce, according to the General Social Survey – one of the best known sources of sociological data.
Marriage is for love, not fashion. Although you may feel wonderful when celebrating an engagement with your friends and club sisters, this happiness is fleeting. Marriage is a lifelong commitment in God’s eyes, and a “happily ever after” is not feasible without the occasional fight and disheartening obstacle. So take the time to ensure you and your boyfriend or fiancé are prepared for the next big step in your relationship, whether mentally, emotionally or financially.
Attending counseling at your church or the ACU Counseling Center will help both you and your future spouse understand the differences between each other before marriage surprises the worst out of you. Seek advice from your friends, co-workers and family. The people who know and love you the best usually can see whether you and your fiancé are compatible together, and although love is not all logic, it also cannot be all feeling. Marrying based on lust, desire and a craving for sex will result in ruin for both of you. Once the initial “fires” burn out, a lack of a more concrete foundation will leave you cold and empty.
But if you think you are ready for marriage after seeking counseling and advice, do not let the stress of planning a marriage detract from your relationship. Take the time to breathe and continually enjoy each other, even as hectic phone calls and scheduling changes fill the months and weeks before your big day. And when your day finally arrives, continue to love one another through the catering mishaps, sound issues and lopsided cake. Because you will be celebrating the first of many days in a marriage based on true happiness and bliss.