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.