8.24.2015

"No, I Didn't Marry Young because I just Wanted Sex"


I got engaged when I was 20 and married only four months after turning 21. Mark and I had been dating on and off (my fault, you can read our story here) for 5 years. By the time we got married, I was finished school and Mark only had one semester left. We were ready, so excited and knew this was the next step in our relationship.

The one comment we heard over and over again from dear friends and not so dear friends is that the only reason (or main reason) we were getting married this young is that we just wanted to have sex. The only reason we couldn't wait another few years is because we wanted sex. Clearly, thats the only logical reason to marry before 30! It never really bothered me, because I am so in love with Mark, it was more funny that people thought this way. So my tone in writing this post is pure fun!!  Yes, sex is a great gift inside marriage but sorry to say that it wasn't the reason.  Here are five of the many many reasons why I married young and so thankful that I did!!

1. We both adored Jesus and then each other
No couple, Christian or non Christian is perfect going into their marriage. We aren't perfect people so it is impossible to expect that. One piece of advice people gave me before I was ready to marry is to make sure my relationship with Jesus had some sort of foundation. Marriage works when your worth comes from the Lord. Mark and I started dating when I was 15 but most of high school and first year was spent getting my worth from others. It wasn't until I was put in a situation in South Africa to love vulnerable children that I cried out to God asking Him to pour out His love on those kids through me. He answered with: "Maddie you need to accept my love first, before you can truly love others with it." Obviously this was for my South Africa kids but it was a key turning point for my relationship with Mark too. Once I got that foundation, I was in a spot where I could love Mark with the Lord's love and not depend on Him for my worth. #letsgetmarried

2. Age is irrelevant, maturity is everything
I know some 28 year old men that are not ready to lead a wife and family and I know some 22 year old men that are. I am going to brag for a second and say that I have the best husband. Since I was 15, Mark cared about loving me like Jesus, serving me practically and caring for my spiritual needs more than anything. Mark is loyal, committed, selfless and (in my opinion) is well beyond His years spiritually. Mark was ready to lead a family well before He got married. I could easily see this before I even said yes. Remember, culture changes and so do the "cultural rules".  My grandparents generation it was normal to get married at our age. My parents generation too. Many countries around the world it is still normal… but suddenly in my generation I am "too young and just want sex." If you are both mature enough to get married, do it! If you need a few years then by all means wait! But it has nothing to do with the sex.

3. Are you committed? 
I remember two different conversations of people encouraging us to move in together and try it before committing. We were just too young to know.That way it was an easy out if all of the sudden living with Mark showed his flaws and I wanted to run.  Sorry, I don't want to "play house and married life" with my partner with zero commitment. That is, in my opinion, so hurtful and cruel to do to another human being. We are such a selfish generation. If he can't meet my needs, if his flaws are too big... I can just walk away because its all about me… urg.. NO!
Commitment is key and so much better. You don't have to worry if one day your partner will leave if it's not convenient or if you've changed too much - with commitment you are both saying you are sticking it out through the toughest days and the times you just don't like each other.
This may come as a surprise but you can commit to someone without living with them before. Another surprise, there were no "new flaws" or shocking things I learnt about Mark after we started living together. If you and your partner are committed to each other, don't believe in divorce and believe in the biblical model of marriage, "laying down your life for each other" I promise you 100% it will work despite not sleeping together or living together before hand.

4. Marriage is something God created and loves
Let's not forget. God created marriage and anything God creates is beautiful and has purpose. Marriage isn't some evolutionary survival tactic. God created marriage to be a picture a reflection of how He loves His church. Marriage is an earthly example to Christians and the rest of the world how God loves and works. This is something to take very serious. When people look at my marriage, do they see Christ or selfish ambition? This convicts Mark and I all the time as we constantly ask this question over our marriage and lives. The question we had to ask ourselves while we were dating is can we model this? Read Ephesians 5:22-32.  
22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church [a]in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.
Most people who say "you just want to have sex" have no idea the weight Mark and I put on ourselves to see if we could with the Holy Spirits strength live this out. We fail constantly, and back to point one, don't expect perfection before getting married or you will never marry.
God never said "you have to be 27 to model this properly" - God never put an age on us but an expectation. Mark and I prayed hard and were so humbled to strive to let God shine through our marriage. Just a quick example. So many of my girlfriends can't believe how amazing Mark is to me and how much he adores me and serves me. Each and every time they say that in disbelief I never miss an opportunity to share the gospel. I start with "Mark is unreal but its because He is loving me like Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her." I get to share God's heart for marriage and what it looks like. There is nothing sweeter to be able to share the gospel with people because they notice your marriage is different.

5. Doing life with your best friend is the best
Mark not only is my husband, but my best friend. Everything I do, I want to do and experience with him by my side. Once we knew we loved each other, loved Jesus even more, had commitment and were ready for the responsibility of striving to model our marriage after Christ's example, we were giddy with excitement to get engaged. Sure, I was so excited to one day have sex with my husband and after being sexually active before I dated Mark the temptation got bad sometimes for us. I want to say that desiring your partner and wanting to be intimate with your partner is a desire from the Lord. The desire is to be celebrated! Acting on it before marriage however is wrong (trust me I would know).
After 1.5 years of being married I can honestly say that I love doing life with Mark. It didn't make sense for us after we had committed to each other to then just date for a couple more years? That seemed backwards and it wasn't because of the sex… have I said that enough? ahha!
Someone told me to my face while I was engaged that " I was ruining my twenties getting settled down and that I would change and regret this." I never responded back because I was so caught off guard. What I would say now? I am not ruining my twenties - they are the best years of my life so far because I get to wake up, look to my left and see the most loving man I have ever met and he is all mine. I would say that I am not getting settled down just because I live with my best friend - we have the most fun adventures together. & I would say that yes, I am changing. I will change in my twenties, thirties, forties etc and I pray that I would constantly change more into the image of God along with Mark. Change is something to be celebrated and I am so glad Mark and I are striving to change more like Christ.

#suchalongblogpost!

If you've come this far, thats impressive. To conclude, I love sex and my sex life but that was not the main reason or even close to the top reason that I got married at 21.

I also love this link buzzfeed did that my sister in law shared called 17 Annoying Things You Should Stop Saying To Young Married Couples. Although it's not a biblical perspective it carries on the fun!

happy Monday! come back on Friday for a new post or put in your email (top right) to receive these posts. also if you liked this post why not share it on Facebook or Pinterest? It would mean so much!



2 comments:

  1. I'm not sure if you've heard yet, but you actually don't need a marriage certificate....or commitment....or even Jesus to have sex. I'd prefer to be with someone who chooses each day to be with me rather than out of legal, moral or spiritual obligation. But best of luck with your threesome!!!!!!!

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