Genesis 24:67 – Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother and took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
The way the Western world does relationship – dating, relating, and fornicating – is essentially a 100-year failed experiment. From the time the word “dating” was introduced into our vocabulary, it was a lower-class slang word for prostitution. So it’s no wonder that sexual assault, cohabitation, out of wedlock births, and abortion are on the rise in our culture.
So how do we fix it?
Sometimes, in order to fix something, you need to study the falsehoods, looking them square in the face, comparing them against Scripture, and then, through the wisdom of God’s word, you can start to slowly fix these cultural narratives and issues, at least within your own family.
The following are eight myths our culture has told us about dating that are simply not true and that, if we live opposite of, will have a lot happier, healthier, and godly relationships and marriages.
- Marriage Myth #1: “When you turn 18, you know what you are doing.” Anyone who’s met or parented an 18-year-old knows this simply isn’t true. While most 18-year-olds move out of the house for college, a job, marriage, or some combination of the three, parents can still parent in a way that moves from control to coaching. My five kids are now between the ages of 16-24, two of which are married, but I still see myself as their dad and I meet weekly with each of them to help coach them, see what burdens I can lift, and how I can bless them. I would encourage those of you who have older children to do the same.
- Marriage Myth #2: “I have to be in a relationship”. If we look to Jesus, the only perfect man to ever walk the earth, He was single His entire 30+ year life on earth AND was a virgin. So, it is possible. If God puts the desire in your heart to be married, I believe He will help accomplish that, but you can also be godly and single as our Savior was.
- Marriage Myth #3: “I need to marry my ‘soulmate’”. The idea of a soulmate comes from Plato and Greek mythology and isn’t found in Scripture. If you marry them, then they’re the one God has for you. I would pray that you marry someone who is also a believer and who you can enjoy for your entire lives together, but the concept of soulmate doesn’t come from God.
- Marriage Myth #4: “Churches are for weddings, not for marriages and families.” A study was done by the Institute for Family Studies that says “those who attend religious services are about 30-50% less likely to divorce” as well as “both religious service attendance and joint prayer may be vital resources for strengthening marriage and trust, and for promoting happier, healthier, and fuller lives.”
- Marriage Myth #5: “Christians divorce at the same rate as everyone else.” However, studies have shown that the highest divorce rate is between those who practice different religions while the lowest divorce and domestic violence rates are between husbands and wives who are both practicing Christians.
- Marriage Myth #6: “It is better to marry later in life than earlier.” Another study from the Institute for Family Studies reports that “religious Americans are less likely to divorce even as they are more likely to marry younger than 30”, noting that marrying earlier decreases the likelihood of cohabitation and multiple sexual partners prior to marriage.
- Marriage Myth #7: “Cohabitating is a helpful trial before marriage.” The Institute for Family Studies also reports, noting from a recent Stanford study, that “Today more than 70% of marriages are preceded by cohabitation…cohabitating before marriage, especially with someone besides your future spouse, is also associated with an increased risk of divorce.” This is coming from a study from Stanford University which, while an impressive academic institution, is probably not best known for morality and religious standards.
- Marriage Myth #8: “If we started on the wrong foundation, it cannot be repaired.” As long as you’re living, there is always hope and always grace for you in Jesus. In Luke 6, Jesus talks about building the foundation of a building, and your life, on a strong or rocky foundation. While building it on a strong foundation is probably going to be the easiest path, it’s not the only path, and if you didn’t get it right in the beginning, you still have ample opportunities to get it right for the future.
Have you been told or believed any of these myths? Pray for God to comfort you and help you turn towards the life, relationships, and marriage that He has for you.
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