Don’t Live to Get Married. Live to Live.

In Advice and Encouragement, Dating, Marriage by Debra Fileta12 Comments

“All I want in life is to get married.” Her eyes welled up with tears as she told me about her one and only desire in life.

I’ve been having A LOT of conversations about marriage.

Marriage. Marriage. And more marriage.

That’s been my life lately. And not just because I’m married, but because I’ve been having a lot of conversations about the subject as I’m in writing mode for my new book coming out in 2018. It’s a book for both singles and couples, so it’s been a necessary part of the process to “pick the brains” of both crowds as I tackle this important topic.

But something that has caused me take a step back is the realization that we live in a culture that idolizes marriage. We don’t necessarily respect it, but we sure do idolize it. We put it on this pedestal expecting it to things for us that it just. can’t. do. And then we end up disappointed. Devastated. Disillusioned. And even divorced. 

It’s not that I didn’t recognize this before. Growing up in Christian culture and then topping it off by going to Christian college, dreaming about marriage was commonplace. It was the “ultimate goal” of a Christian single. It’s what you lived for. One day….you would get married, and then life would finally begin.

And from my latest research, I’ve found that people are still holding on to that way of thinking. Fast forward a decade or so later, reaching the “ultimate goal of marriage” is a concept infused in our entertainment, our church messages, our christian colleges. To live is to pursue marriage.

There’s nothing wrong with desiring marriage. In fact, it’s a desire placed in us by God himself. I, for one, have been known to encourage men and women to be honest about their desire for marriage and then follow that desire to the best of their ability.

No, what scares me the most is not our desire for marriage, it’s our expectations of marriage.

We have a generation of people who are entering marriage with high expectations coupled with low understanding. And when the rubber meets the road and reality hits, that very thing that we put on such a high pedestal comes crashing down.

Think about it. We spend so much time glorifying marriage, yet such little time preparing for it. Such little time getting to know ourselves. Such little time healing from our past. Such little time understanding what we need in a relationship. Such little time determining the kind of people who are a good match, and the kind that aren’t. Such little time setting goals, accomplishing dreams. Such little time living life abundantly.

But here’s the thing: Jesus doesn’t say that “life abundantly” starts when we get married….he says it starts when we enter relationship with Him. For the believer in Christ, life abundantly is happening right here, right now, in this very moment – no matter what your relationship status.

It’s so important to get this right: marriage might be a beautiful part of your journey, but it’s not your final destination. Not even close. For those of you who are living to find purpose in a relationship, I’m here to tell you that that’s not going to happen. Because that’s not what relationships are intended to do.

Marriage can’t give you purpose.

Marriage can’t bring you healing.

Marriage can’t offer you security.

If you can’t find those things standing alone, you certainly won’t find them in marriage either. But for those of you who can grasp these things BEFORE marriage, you’ll enter marriage more fulfilled than you could imagine. And two fulfilled people in a marriage makes for the best kind of marriage.

Don’t live just to get married. Live to live. Live to heal. Live to grow. Live to learn. Live to serve Jesus. Right here, right now, where God has placed you. Because life abundantly doesn’t start once you get married. Life abundantly is happening now.

Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. Her newest relationship book is set to be released in the Summer of 2018! You may also recognize her voice from her 200+ articles at Relevant Magazine,, and all over the web! She’s the creator of this True Love Dates Blog, reaching over 4 million people with the message that healthy people make healthy relationships!  Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!

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12 Comments on "Don’t Live to Get Married. Live to Live."

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Shay Johnson

Thanks! for this!

Alecia Blackwood

This thought have helped me alot it’s groom me for marriage aspirations demands preparation am not dating yet want to start soon though. Very prevatal thank you Debra

Deborah Bose

Beautiful post 🙂 Thankyou. Whatever our story has turned out to be, we are on this earth to love people, to show Jesus’s grace and peace, that is our main goal and not marriage. We live to glorify him alone and if marriage is part of your story great, if not you don’t have a lesser life.

Sharon Badshaw

As a public nurse seeing 40 plus patients very sick and as a single you have to take care of your parents on your own. So glad no kids. You are right. So many kids have add depression anxiety and ausism. I am not sure what kid is normal. I also never went to vacation because the church says to do missions. So burnout and have some health problems but I have effort and will work no matter what. You have to work- to support you. No excuse.


Luke Urban

Thanks for the encouragement and reminder Debra. You are a blessing in all of our lives!


Wow, wow that’s so true! I needed to hear that word.
Very challenging but I have learnt that the hard way! God bless you for such encouragement.


Beautifully said.
Thank you so much.

Rachel Greer
I hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but apparently most people don’t realize that most of us are not meant to endure 10-20+ years of temptation. There is a reason our sex drive is at its highest in our twenties and thirties. Instead of watering down the truth, why not teach what the bible says? It says the cure to sexual temptation is marriage. And yet, we’re told we singles are on our own. Well, if you’re going to teach us to save ourselves for marriage, why not help set us up? You say we can live without marriage. That may… Read more »
Rachel Greer

Besides, I already having enough trouble trying to believe I can love God and want to be married at the same time. I think very black and white. All or nothing. One or the other.


Such a good post and well written. I particularly love the end paragraph – thank you so much

All of This – “We have a generation of people who are entering marriage with high expectations coupled with low understanding. And when the rubber meets the road and reality hits, that very thing that we put on such a high pedestal comes crashing down.” “We spend so much time glorifying marriage, yet such little time preparing for it.” OMG, there is so much truth in these statements. Fortunately, I was taught by elders in my family how to prepare for marriage, and what to expect from marriage. I was taught, and got to see firsthand through real life examples… Read more »