We have had the privilege of mentoring some premarital couples lately and interacting in some conversations with some unmarried twenty-somethings in regards to relationships. I am encouraged to see that this up and coming generation – even when they are in the “in love” stage – seems to have a hunger for learning about marriage relationships and wanting to lay a godly foundation so they can have a life-long marriage. They seem to have a hunger to know more about how to do relationships right. They’ve seen many of their parents’ marriages fail and want something different for themselves. It is so encouraging to see this curiosity and hunger for better relationships. It’s a challenge to be open about our ups and downs so that they have a realistic view of what marriage can be, but not scare them away with how bad our “downs” were.
I am 52 years old and I think back to my parents’ and grandparents’ generations and basically people got married with the assumption they would stay married no matter what, and somehow or the other most did. When we were dating and getting married we got exposed to some premarital material but it wasn’t great. I think most of my generation probably wasn’t exposed to much material at all about how to do marriage.
Today there is a myriad of excellent material available and it is awesome that more and more churches are requiring some premarital training before marriage. I am encouraged that at least some of the younger generation is digging into the material not just because it is required, but because they want the help.