Here are a few thoughts on marriage gleaned from a few websites. First up is a thought provoking piece I stumbled upon on Scott McKnight's Jesus Creed blog. He reproduces part of an Christianity Today article by Mark Regnerus (read full article here) in which the author argues that the church should be encouraging people to marry younger. He wrties, "I'm certainly not suggesting that they cannot abstain. I'm suggesting that in the domain of sex, most of them don't and won't...What to do? Intensify the abstinence message even more? No. It won't work. The message must change, because our preoccupation with sex has unwittingly turned our attention away from the damage that Americans--including evangelicals--are doing to the institution of marriage by discouraging it and delaying it...But after years of studying the sexual behavior and family decision-making of young Americans, I've come to the conclusion that Christians have made much ado about sex but are becoming slow and lax about marriage--that more significant, enduring witness to Christ's sacrificial love for his bride. Americans are taking flight from marriage...While our sexual ideals have remained biblical and thus rooted in marriage, our ideas about marriage have changed significantly."
Secondly, Desiring God posted a list of questions to ask before you get married. Questions range from your understanding of marriage to your theological stances, from spending habits/attitudes to entertainment options, etc.
Lastly, also check out these thoughts from CS Lewis, quoted on DG's site at length:
What follows is one of the greatest reasons for a man to get married and stay married: not the rapturous flame of eros, but the refining fires of holiness. No relationship is more clearly commanded to model the death of Christ. No relationship is more costly—in both senses of that word (painful and precious). This quote comes from one of C. S. Lewis’s last books, published in 1960, The Four Loves. In it we hear the wise fruit of a lifetime.
"The husband is the head of the wife just in so far as he is to her what Christ is to the Church. He is to love her as Christ loved the church—read on—and gave his life for her (Ephesians 5:25).
This headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be but in him whose marriage is most like a crucifixion; whose wife receives most and gives least, is most unworthy of him, is—in her own mere nature—least lovable. For the church has no beauty but what the bridegroom gives her; he does not find, but makes her, lovely.
The chrism [anointing, consecration] of this terrible coronation is to be seen not in the joys of any man's marriage but in its sorrows, in the sickness and sufferings of a good wife or the faults of the bad one, in his unwearying (never paraded) care or his inexhaustible forgiveness: forgiveness, not acquiescence.
As Christ sees in the flawed, proud, fanatical or lukewarm Church on earth that bride who will one day be without spot or wrinkle, and labors to produce the latter, so the husband whose headship is Christ-like (and he is allowed no other sort) never despairs. He is a King Cophetua who after twenty years still hopes that the beggar-girl will one day learn to speak the truth and wash behind her ears." (105-106)
Oh wait. I can't post without asking you to check out this new fad making it's way into youth groups and churches- Cuddle Parties. What the hell! One church is calling it "A Hot August Night Cuddle Party" and offers this note (of warning), "Note that this is an evening Cuddle Party and one in which you are welcome to bring pot luck food to share:)". Ok, like cuddling isn't bad enough, but we have to do it on a hot sweaty night with bellies fully of church food. The pressure of keeping the gas in would be way to much!