Hope for Marriage

It’s amazing to me that teenagers still want to get married someday…almost all of them! As a Wait 4 Your Mate speaker, I ask middle school students to tell me all the reasons they can think of for NOT waiting for marriage to have sex. Many of the reasons they come up with (and they come up with a lot) have to do with the negatives of marriage itself.

But then I ask, “So, with all that bad stuff, who still thinks they’ll get married some day?” And they almost ALL do! Our children still have a yearning for a love that will endure “for better or for worse.” They describe that relationship as one of respect, trust, and commitment. In fact, they even believe it’s worth waiting for.

You may be surprised to know that the majority of the students we survey say that they want to wait for marriage to have sex. Interestingly, most of us parents (maybe because we ourselves may not have waited?) don’t hold the same hope and expectation for our kids. But SHOULD we just assume that they’ll “do it anyway”? Maybe not. Less than half of teens are having sex according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And when we ask them which would be better for marriage, being abstinent beforehand, or being “experienced,” they choose abstinence. Why? Because they think it encourages the three qualities they want most in a marriage: respect, trust and commitment. So let’s join our kids in holding out for the best! They CAN do it, with our support.