It was the comedian Jeff Foxworthy who once said that getting married for sex is like buying a 747 for the free peanuts.
He’s making a joke, of course, but he’s pointing to a serious issue.
Do you know many young people who rush into marriage in order to satisfy both a physical urge and a moral obligation?
It would be possible to identify such cases, but given, by some estimates, that over 80% of Christians who marry aren’t virgins, that’s certainly not the norm.
On yesterday’s and today’s Focus on the Family broadcast, our guest, pastor Ted Cunningham, serves up a variety of provocative questions and insights regarding the many unhealthy reasons why some Christians delay getting married.
In other words, not many young people are getting married just to have guilt-free sex. In fact, Ted suggests that many parents are unknowingly doing their children a disservice by only talking about abstinence and not marriage.
I’d encourage you to click here to listen to the entire program, in context.
By no means is Ted suggesting that purity prior to marriage isn’t biblical or appropriate. Instead, he’s suggesting that Christian parents and the church have a habit of downplaying the significance of marriage by simply not talking about it. We might talk about the need for our child to find a great mate, but not how they might go about doing so or even if they have the right tools to make it happen.
Instead, as parents, we tend to focus on the seeming comforts and security of our kids.
To point, here’s a brief excerpt of Ted from today’s program:
[Parents tend to tell their kids] You need more time to live for yourself. And that’s not the Gospel. Our life in Christ is, “Deny yourself. Pick up your cross. Follow Me.” We’ve got a deeper issue here than just marriage. But we can’t be sending our kids out of the home and say, “Go live for yourself for another 10 to 15 years.” I honestly can’t wait for my kids to come home and tell me they’ve found the one.
It should be a given that Christian parents counsel their children on the negative consequences of premarital sex. But let me ask you:
Are you encouraging your son or daughter to delay marriage until they’re financially set or have their college and graduate degrees firmly in hand?
Are you willing to consider the possibility that such advice might not always be the wisest path to take?
I’d invite you to listen – and weigh in!