A few days after my engagement, I went to the bridal shop to purchase a gown. When I told the shop owner that my wedding was only four months away, she chided me: “You should have come earlier. Most brides purchase their dresses a year in advance these days. I can’t guarantee you’ll receive it in time.”
It would seem (if this bridal shop owner knows her stuff) that not many couples are in a hurry to get married these days. One reason for this trend may be that many couples are already living together or engaging in sexual immorality before marriage. Thus they feel no immediate need to “make it official.”
Certainly many single women can attest to the truth of Robert Wright’s words at the beginning of this chapter: “If it’s harder to drag men to the altar today than it used to be one reason is that they don’t have to stop there on the way to the bedroom.”
But Christian couples who believe it is God’s will to get married, may find wisdom in John Ensor’s advice:
“…keep the engagement period short (three to six months). I was engaged for nine months. Too long. It was like waiting at a light that did not really look red (we were engaged, after all) or truly green (yet we weren’t married). This muddied middle, interminably long in our culture, is hard on virtue and honor.”
This counsel is drawn from Scripture where Paul concludes “It is better to marry than to be aflame with passion" (1 Corinthians 7:9, NIV). In short, if two people believe it is God’s will for them to be married, virtue and honor should come first on their list of considerations when setting a wedding date.
Now obviously, we are not recommending anyone rush into marriage without having carefully and thoroughly prayed through this decision and received encouragement, counsel and blessing from those around them. This advice is for some of you and not for others. Most likely, you know who you are. And if not, ask your parents, a godly friend or pastor and they’ll tell you.
But let’s value marriage for what God has made it—a “reward for waiting,” and no matter what the bridal shop owners say, let’s “get to it.”