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Topics: Marriage, Teenagers

Why Should Teen Girls Care About Marriage Sermons?

November 3, 2015

It’s inevitable. I have seen it over and over again. Whenever a preacher starts a sermon on the subject of marriage, I can see teenagers mentally checking out all over the place. The unsaid thought is clear—“This doesn’t apply to me right now! I’ll worry about it later.”

The problem is, though, that if you’re a young woman, a right understanding of marriage will impact how you live on a daily basis. Getting the right perspective on marriage will also reinforce the idea that God has a special and unique plan for you as a woman.

Every time I see a young woman checking out of church, I want to tell her, “This is important! God wants you to understand some important truths about His unique plan for men and women!” Here’s why:

Why We Were Created

God created men and women as distinct, yet complementary beings (meaning that their genders complement each other, see Gen. 1:27, 2:18). While both girls and guys are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), God had a specific purpose in mind when He created Eve—she was to be a “helper” for Adam (Gen. 2:18, 20). Being a helper does not mean that Eve was inferior to Adam in any way. It means that, in a marriage relationship, God has a plan of cooperation not competition. Men and women need each other, and this truth about the importance of community was part of God’s plan from the beginning of creation (Gen. 2:18).

Why Distinctions are Significant

What does it look like for a woman to be a helper? When the Bible describes the marriage relationship, it shows that a wife is called to submit to and respect her husband as unto the Lord while a husband is called to love his wife just as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18-19). Why would God ask this of wives? The reason is that the way a husband and wife interact with each other should be a picture of the way God interacts with the church (Eph. 5:32). Christian marriages are to be a witness to unbelievers about the way Christ (pictured through husbands) loves the church (pictured through wives)! Our sexuality is not about us; it was designed to portray/proclaim the heart and character of God. 

Why Does this Matter?

For an adult woman, the answer may be clearer. However, how should an understanding of God’s plan for gender distinctions impact young women, especially since the majority of teens aren’t getting ready to make a trip down the altar? There are at least three ways that a right understanding of God’s plan for marriage will impact a teenage young woman on a daily basis:

  1. How you view yourself—God created you in His image and has a purpose for you! What the world says about an “ideal” woman changes. Back in the Renaissance times in Europe, the standard of beauty was a very pale woman who was not skinny because it meant that she didn’t work outside and that her family was wealthy enough that she had plenty to eat. On the other hand, today’s models are often underweight.  However, God’s ideals never change. He says that we are His work of art (Eph. 2:10), that He formed us just as He wanted us (Ps. 139:13-14), and that what is on the inside is more important than what is on the outside (1 Sam. 16:7; 1 Pet. 3:3-4; Prov. 31:30). How you view yourself will be determined by where you look. Do you look to Christ or culture to form your opinions about yourself and what it means to be a young woman?
  2. How you treat guys—Since God’s plan is for girls and guys to work in cooperation and not competition, it will impact how you treat guys each day. The foolish woman in Proverbs viewed guys as prey and sought to control them through her words and sexuality. She used her words to flatter and entice guys (Prov. 2:16; 5:23; 6:24; 7:21; 22:14) and tempted them into sin (Prov. 2:18-19; 23:27-28). God desires that His children be “blameless and pure” in the midst of a crooked and depraved generation (Phil. 2:15), but the sad truth is that this modern culture encourages girls to be provocative and enticing. You can model proper interactions with your guy friends, encouraging one another towards godliness rather than putting a stumbling block in each other’s way (Heb. 3:13, Rom. 14:13).
  3. What kind of guys you date—You should only date guys you respect and would be willing to submit to if you were married. Is the guy pressuring you into a physical relationship? Then he is not worthy of your respect. Does he encourage you to become closer to God? Then he may be a keeper! The Bible is clear that you should not date someone who is an unbeliever (2 Cor. 6:14), but you should also not date someone who cannot be a spiritual leader. One of the guys you date will eventually become your husband so make sure you are not making compromises now in your dating decisions. God’s plan is for Christian husband and wife to be a bright witness for the gospel!

Remember, the thought-patterns, actions, and habits you cultivate today often determine the path you will take tomorrow. So, my younger sister in Christ, thinking right about that marriage “someday” will help you make wise choices today.


*This blog is adapted from an article in the book Critical Issues, Absolute Answers: Solutions for Students edited by Jay Strack (Thomas Nelson, 2013). It also first appear at Biblical Women.

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