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Life / Relationships

Marriage vs. Tinder

Marriage vs. Tinder

As someone who doesn’t identify with a particular religion, I don’t typically think about sex in terms of premarital and postmarital. In my mind, sex is sex and marriage is marriage. However, I can’t help but notice the ambiguity at the intersection of premarital sex, millennial hookup culture, and the ongoing quest to find a mate.

There used to be one clear path to happiness. You found someone to spend of the rest of your life with, settled down, got married, moved into a house with a white picket fence, and eventually had kids.

These days, this traditional path to marriage is being pushed back because happiness may only be a right swipe away.

If Tinder or other dating apps aren’t your thing, here are a few other reasons why the average age of marriage is being delayed:

  • Mounds of financial debt after college
  • More effective birth control
  • Changes in female pay
  • Professional aspirations

But what does this mean for the religious institution of marriage? That’s a good question. I’m a fairly curious person, so I constantly ask friends who are more religious what they plan on doing about marriage. It turns out even they have embraced Tinder when looking for dates.

I can’t help but think there’s a conflict of interest here. If Christianity tells you to wait until marriage to have sex, yet everyone else you know is somewhat participating in this hookup culture, what is a good ‘ol Christian boy or girl supposed to do?

When Jesus was having his heart-to-hearts with God, establishing the rules for Christians to follow, could even they predict iPhones, dating apps, and sex-crazed millennials in the 21st century?

It’s hard to tell. Even though I personally challenge commonplace aspects of marriage (why does a couple need to have a crowd of others to validate their commitment?), I honestly think the religious institution of marriage will endure this millennial flurry of distractions.

My personal hope is that regardless of religion, people our age will treat sex and marriage like politics. They will take the time to educate themselves and become self aware enough to form their own opinion. After all, the most dangerous reason to do anything is because, “It’s always been done this way.”

This post reflects the views of the author, and is intended to start a conversation. Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Or, if you’d like to hear some overall thoughts on marriage from Christians at THRED, you can find those over here.

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William is a freelance designer, writer, and founder of Collide, a company that is creating a better, deeper way to connect with others over shared ideas and skills. He is passionate about turning ideas into action and helping others do the same. When not working, William leads a double life as a beatboxer in One Too Many, St. Louis' premiere all-male a cappella group.

1 Comment

  1. If we are talking about individual behavior, things have never “always been done this way.” There have always been a variety of ways people addressed relationships, sex, and marriage. What has changed is social norms.

    Years ago I heard it stated: “What one generation permits in moderation, the next accepts in excess.” Throughout the decades, I have seen this statement played out. In the 1950’s, divorce became more socially accepted. In the 1960’s and ‘70’s, “free sex” – sex outside of marriage – took on greater acceptance. More recently, homosexual behavior has come to be considered acceptable behavior. All, these behaviors seem to equate mutual attraction with sexual behavior and sexual behavior as something apart from marriage.

    Perhaps we should revisit the relationship between sexual behavior and marriage. How does sexual behavior within marriage differ from sexual behavior outside of marriage? Does sexual behavior outside of marriage diminish both marriage and sexual behavior? Can we have a close relationships with others without feeling they are connected to sex?

    Do we show love by approving any type of behavior? Or does love seek the good of ourselves and others by pointing us to God, what He desires us to do, how He forgives us when we repent of our sins, and how He desires the forgiven sinner to become sanctified?

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