Christian Parenting and Family Resources with Biblical Principles

How to Prepare Your Teen for a Godly Marriage in the Future

  • Beth Ann Baus Crosswalk.com Contributor
How to Prepare Your Teen for a Godly Marriage in the Future

Your kids are nearing that age where romance seems a little less yucky and somewhat intriguing. Don’t assume that just because they don’t talk to you about that they aren’t thinking about it!

As parents, we need to be prepared to help guide our kids in their thinking about dating, courtship, and marriage. Remember, your kids are your disciples and it’s vital that you help them think Biblically about marriage and choosing a spouse.

Unfortunately, the world lies to our kids about three basic aspects of marriage: marriage isn’t necessary, marriage isn’t forever, and marriage isn’t just between a man and a woman. Let’s dig a little deeper into what messages our kids are receiving from these lies.

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Lies about Marriage the World Is Telling Your Teen

Lies about Marriage the World Is Telling Your Teen

1. Marriage isn't necessary
 
It’s true that marriage isn’t necessary to be happy and to live a fulfilling, God-honoring life. The Bible talks about the benefits of being single (1 Cor. 7) and so, in that regard, marriage isn't necessary. But that’s not the message of the world. Their message is that marriage isn’t necessary to cohabitate.
 
Our kids see this played out in real life as well as on their screen. The world says marriage isn’t necessary to have sex, to live together, to have children together, and so on.
 
2. Marriage isn’t forever
 
The Bible gives us a clear picture of when a married person is no longer considered to be married (Rom. 7:2, 1 Cor. 7:15, Matt 19:9).
 
But, the world tells our children that a marriage can be over whenever they want it to be, for whatever reason, or for no reason at all.
 
3. Marriage isn’t just between a man and a woman
 
The Bible clearly shows us that marriage is to strictly be between a man and a woman (Matt 19:4-6; Mrk 10:6-9). Yet, our culture seems to be obsessed with blurring (or erasing) gender specifics.
 
Hollywood, and now the public school system, are trying hard to normalize the “union” of same-sex couples, and it doesn’t stop there. A simple internet search will produce claims of individuals “marrying” their pets, mannequins, and a number of inanimate objects. 

Knowing the message our kids are receiving from the world, you can see why it’s so important that we, as parents, give advice that stems from the Word of God.

Believe me, I know this can seem overwhelming! Below I’ve made a list of topics to help get you started. This is not an exhaustive list!  Books have been written on this topic and for good reason!

But, my hope is that the 9 topics below will help guide conversations about the covenant of marriage and things to consider when choosing the person to enter into that covenant with.

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1. The Purpose of Marriage

1. The Purpose of Marriage

I think John Piper explained this best when he said, “The most ultimate thing that can be said about marriage is that it exists for God’s glory...it is patterned after Christ’s covenant relationship to the church and therefore the highest meaning and the most ultimate purpose of marriage is to put the covenant relationship between Christ and His church on display in the world.”  

John Piper is looking at marriage through the lens of Ephesians 5:22-25. In marriage, the husband portrays God and the wife portrays the church. While our culture puts emphasis on falling in and out of love, the Bible puts emphasis on commitment.

We know that God views commitment as very important (Prov 2:17, Malachi 2:14) and therefore we should too! 

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2. The Importance of Being Equally Yoked

2. The Importance of Being Equally Yoked

I’ve heard amazing stories about people coming to faith through their dating relationships. Certainly, God can bring about faith in any way He chooses!

But we can’t forget that 2 Corinthians 6:14 warns us about being unequally yoked. There’s a difference between dating someone who doesn’t have a full understanding of the gospel and is in search of that truth and dating someone who doesn’t claim to know the Lord at all. 

When thinking about marriage as a covenant relationship, it’s easy to see the importance of being paired with someone who shares the same desire to uphold that covenant. 

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3. The Role of Physical Attraction

3. The Role of Physical Attraction

Hollywood likes to depict relationships being about physical attraction and lust. And while we need our children to understand there is more (much more) that drives a marriage than physical attraction, it isn’t something to ignore or deem as unimportant. 

Song of Solomon 1:2 depicts a woman looking at her man, liking what she sees and wanting him to kiss her. In Gen. 29:17 Jacob loves Rachel and finds her beautiful. 

While we don’t want our kids to give value to a person based on their physical appearance, and while they need to be careful with how they handle their sexual desires, we shouldn’t discourage our kids from finding beauty in God’s creative artistry of the opposite sex. 

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4. The Importance of Being Committal

4. The Importance of Being Committal

When you’re looking at a teen or young adult, we have to leave room for growth. We all, hopefully, become better at commitment as we get older and grow in our faith. But some good advice I’ve heard other parents give is to look for patterns of a noncommittal attitude and if you see some, consider them potential red flags.

For instance, does this person have a hard time holding down a job? Do they jump from one extracurricular activity to another? Are they known for jumping from one dating relationship to another? Are they easily swayed in their decision making? 

While these habits don’t necessarily mean the person can’t stay committed to their spouse for the rest of their lives, it’s certainly worth considering, discussing, and praying about! 

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5. The Art of Suffering

5. The Art of Suffering

One thing we know for sure is that this life will bring suffering. We’re guaranteed it. Not just because we are followers of Christ, but because we live in a broken world. So, knowing that suffering will come, isn’t it wise to consider how a person deals with hardship and stress before committing your life to them?

Here are some questions to ask. Is this person quick to anger when faced with trials? Do they run to the Lord for comfort or to earthly pleasures to mask the pain? Do they bottle their emotions up until they explode or do they seek wise counsel and support from others?

James 1:2-4 shows us how to suffer well. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

While I would say the majority of us are still learning how to count our trials as joy, this is an area of life where we should expect to see the Holy Spirit at work in the life of a Christ-follower. 

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6. The Destruction of Pride

6. The Destruction of Pride

We all struggle with pride. I do. You do. Our kids do. So if you tell your kids to never date or marry anyone who isn’t 100% humble, you’re basically telling them to stay single their entire lives. However, there are some questions worth asking to assess someone's level of humility vs. pride.

Do they think they know everything and always have the right answers? Do they always have to have the last word? Are they willing to listen to the advice of others? Are they willing to ask for and accept help from others? 

God’s Word has a lot to say on the subject of pride and humility. Here are a few scripture references to get your conversation started: James 4:6; James 4:10; Jeremiah 9:23; Phillipians 2:3; Proverbs 8:13; Proverbs 11:2; Proverbs 13:10; Proverbs 16:5, 18, 19; Proverbs 21:4

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7. Seeking the Input of Others

7. Seeking the Input of Others

Our culture is currently on a kick about speaking your own truth, only needing your own approval, only surrounding yourself with people who fill you up, etc. In other words, the world is telling our kids to believe whatever they want to be true, that it doesn’t matter what anyone else says, and that they should only be friends with people who agree.

I’m happy to say this isn’t what the Bible teaches. Proverbs 12:15 tells us that, “the way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice” 

If your child is in the early stages of getting to know someone better, it’s likely best to keep the circle of involvement small.

But, once they have officially started dating, it’s important that the couple spend time with not only their biological families but also their church families and any mentors they have. Then, as time goes by, hopefully, those who have been invited to be involved will give approval, but if not, our kids need to be willing to listen when others point out concerns. 

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8. The Importance of Prayer

8. The Importance of Prayer

I started praying that the Lord would provide spouses for my sons since before they were born. Even though I don’t know their names yet, I’ve prayed for the two women that will one day, Lord willing, be my daughters-in-law.

Even now, as our oldest son is dating, I often pray for their relationship during our family prayer time because we want our boys to know this is to be taken seriously and it is a matter to be taken before the Lord. 

Encourage your kids to pray about this on their own, but also invite them to pray during your family prayer time. Even if they aren't in a relationship yet, praying for the future is never a bad thing! Consider Colossians 4:2; Philippians 4:6-7.

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9. Don’t Assume We Know the Future

9. Don’t Assume We Know the Future

I would be doing us all a disservice if I failed to mention that we don’t know if our kids will get married or not. They may stay single by choice or find themselves in a situation of unwanted singleness.

As we talk to our kids about dating, courtship, engagement, and marriage we should also take time to discuss and pray about contentment (Phil 4:11). We need to, as best we can prepare our kid's hearts for a lifetime of following Christ and living lives that bring glory to Him whether they are married or single!

When we talk to our children about the joys of marriage, we should be careful to not make singleness sound like a curse or a missed blessing. We mustn't forget that in 1 Cor 7, Paul calls singleness a gift! 

Singleness and marriage both provide unique opportunities for serving the Lord, for being sanctified, and for being happy. So be bold--talk to your kids about romantic relationships. But above all, focus on their relationship with the Lord. 


Beth Ann Baus is a wife and homeschooling mom of two boys. She is a freelance writer and author of the novel, Sister Sunday. In her writing, Beth often pulls from her own experiences of abuse, anxiety, depression, and OCD. Beth has a heart for women’s ministry and is in the process of becoming a certified Biblical Counselor. She loves serving alongside her husband and pointing couples to the Word for strengthening their marriages and home life. You can find more from her at www.bethannbaus.com.

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