I am about to get married soon, so I am not about to give marriage advice, see me in 10 years for that, but one thing I do know a little about is being single, dating, and waiting for the right person to marry.
I am almost 38 years old, many of my friends my age have been married 10-15 years, many ofcourse are also on their 2nd or 3rd marriages. A few years ago, I saw a study that said the average age of getting married was 27 for males and 25 for females. It may even be older now. I do also know that many statistics say 50% of all marriages end in divorce.
So I've been doing alot of thinking and what I could share to help people when it comes to getting married or preparing for marriage, what are some things I've learned:
1. Don't settle
I think many people settle on a person they are not meant to marry or probably shouldn't even date, and many times for all the wrong reasons. Dont date or marry for just security, loneliness, physical attraction, or anything. Do worry about how old you are or what your friends are doing or what society or others pressure you to do. Get married when you are ready, for the right reasons, and to the right person
2. Be patient
I struggled with patience, but if we are impatient, we rush things, make poor dating choices, and sometimes end up hurting someone or being hurt. Marriage is not mandatory. You don't have to get married, and there is no age limit or time frame to get married. Some people date 5 years and some date 6 months, I think it's different for each couple and situation. But, be patient with the process and learn to be content with yourself of no one else will ever complete you.
4. Don't take marriage lightly
Divorce has become an easy option for many. I'll get married and if i don't like it or get tired of it i'll just get divorced. If you can't see yourself spending the rest of your life with a person, dont marry them, divorce brings too much hurt and pain, especially when it comes to children, families, and finances. Also, if you aren't ready to settle down or be with one person, do not get married, until you can commit to that. When you feel you are ready to get married, divorce shouldnt be an option in the back of your mind. If you are thinking of divorce before you even get married, maybe you aren't mature enough or ready for it. Divorce still happens due to abuse or unfaithfulness or other reasons, but take marriage and the vows serious before you "I do".
5. Marriage is only the beginning
Having a wedding or getting married is only the beginning. You have to learn to adjust, to think and put someone else above yourself, and learn to love unconditionally. Most of all you need patience and flexibility because the person you marry is going to need it with you. Its not always going to be romantic, a honeymoon, or easy. Marriage will take work, effort, energy, and commitment, but it also will be a blessing, rewarding, and will grow if you start out with right attitude.
6. Place God at Center
God cares who we date. God cares who we marry. We must strive to find a partner to share our lives with that God has approved. If you start a marriage with one of you being a christian and the other not, or having two different faith practices, you are asking for trouble. Or if a person is selfish, mean, or a jerk while dating, that will continue after you wed. That is why its' so important to have God in the process and have him as your foundation as you begin your marriage journey.
I started to wonder if i'd ever get married, or get to set in my ways, or if God would ever allow me to meet that person to share my life. Well the wait is over, all the mistakes, pain, sorrow, heartache, and experiences i've had are worth it now that i've found the one I feel God has for me to share my life with. I did learn to enjoy being single, I became content being alone, and I've learned so much about myself and others along the way. I know I still have alot to learn and alot of growing to do, but I am excited about the journey ahead.
"Marriage should be honored by all." Hebrews 13:4(NIV)