According to Esther Laurie, it seems that when it comes to priorities, many millennials are viewing marriage as the last box to tick. Education, career, owning a home and having had several serious relationships are often placed at a higher priority than tying the knot. Many aren’t rejecting marriage but are delaying it in the hope that they can get on a firmer foundation, therefore making their marriage more likely to be successful.
Here are their reasons according to The American Family Survey.
- They don’t want to bring financial struggles into their married life. Economic worries were a much bigger issue in their decisions than fear of commitment or concerns regarding divorce.
- They believe that living together is a good substitute as long as there is commitment. Many believed that it was essential to live together before marriage!
Are these reasons good enough? Will economic stability and living together before marriage really make a huge impact on whether a marriage is successful or not? The answer is not what millennials might assume, delaying marriage for these reasons will certainly make a difference, but that difference will be far from positive!
While it’s true that debt can put a lot of strain on a relationship the reality is that many couples desire a lifestyle which is way above their means. Instead of being content with second-hand furniture or a smaller home they want too much too soon. Having a realistic expectation and knowing how to manage a budget in a healthy way will relieve the strain many couples feel. Doing a course together such as Financial Peace University is highly recommended to get couples on the right track.
Managing wedding expectations is also vital. Dreaming of the big day is one thing but think of the implications. Debt is damaging and taking on board a mountain of debt for one big day needs to be re-examined. Planning for the marriage is more important than planning for the wedding so think long term rather than short term.
Many couples live as though they are married so that they can save up to be married. Ironically doing just that is eroding their chances of having a successful relationship. More marriages end in failure when a couple has lived together before marriage than when the couple has entered marriage in purity. If you are going to delay getting married, then make sure that you put good boundaries in your relationship. This is worth more investment than putting your emphasis on a degree or career.
If you have found the one that you want to spend your life with then don’t leave marriage as the last box you tick. Recognise that God created marriage to be a blessing for you; it brings love, companionship, commitment and security. God doesn’t view marriage as simply a piece of paper or something on a list of things to accomplish in life. God views marriage as a covenant, and it is covenant that will give couples the security and guarantees that many are seeking.
By Lainey Hitchman