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Dear Single Adults: Marriage Won't Fix You

What powerful advice: I often have single friends that turn to me for counsel and guidance. And the most common advice I give? “Square yourself with Jesus. You so desperately want a relationship and marriage that you fail to realize what you need is Christ.” 

Whereas marriage is of God, our culture pushes the dangerous notion that not only do we need to get married, but we need to be married now. And above that, it tells us that marriage will fix all of our problems. Our culture says: “Do you struggle with mental illness? Marriage will fix that. Are you addicted to pornography? Marriage will fix those desires.  Anger, struggling with a testimony, or same-gender attraction? Marriage can fix those too! And if a marriage does not fix you, then have kids! Because adding kids to the mix will fix your problems.”

This mentality is dangerous for many reasons. One of them is because it causes single people to despair their singleness. They feel like their life is broken and only marriage can fix it. Our culture also correlates personal worth with marital status causing a bitterness for ‘single life’ and dating that causes many people to leave the Church. Ezra Taft Benson addressed the fact we fixate upon our marital status when he taught, “Life does not begin only upon marriage. There are important things for you to do right now.”

It is vital to understand that marriage does not fix things! Ideally, your spouse will become a true help-meet; someone who loves, supports, and inspires you. But it is important to remember that marriage amplifies our current trajectory. Your spouse can not save or change you, nor can you change or save them. If we are on the right path then marriage will accelerate our journey, but if we are not doing what is right marriage will not magically fix our problems, and it will never fix our sins. Your spouse is not God and marriage is not a silver bullet for sin, weakness, or mental illness. And surely if a marriage does not fix us then neither will having kids.

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