We can’t afford to get married


I feel awful because I was reading a post from 2010 titled, "Should we marry now or when we are in a better financial situation? I feel the same way. The thing is, we are both 20. My boyfriend doesn’t have much money, and we have been together for over two years. What’s worse is we both weren’t virgins when we started dating. My biggest regret was losing my virginity to my first boyfriend because I truly thought we would marry until he ended it.

With my current boyfriend, I have known him since we were toddlers. I have always loved him, but he moved away. When we got in contact, he came down here to live near me. We ended up having sexual intercourse. It’s something that I think about now and then. I feel awful because we aren’t married, but we really can’t afford it. I’m living off my parents. He’s barely living off of what he makes. He was doing fine for a bit, but then his car broke down, and he had to buy a new one; he had dental issues but no insurance. We couldn’t even get married if we wanted to. Life is so much harder to live financially, and the money they are paying for jobs here is super low.

My boyfriend said that in the Bible, marriage is when a man leaves his family to be with a woman, which is what he did. But I tried to see if there was anything that actually says marriage is a legal thing, or this or that besides the combining part as one flesh.

My mom and sisters know I’m sexually active, and I have said I would like to get married, but they would rather me continue having sex now and get married later when we have money rather than marrying now, being poor and probably becoming homeless. I hate how life is nowadays. I wouldn’t mind living in a different time where I could be a stay-at-home mom and my husband just do whatever everyone else did and make enough money, but it’s just harder. Everything is expensive. Life is exhausting. I honestly get so depressed and just think, what’s the point in living if I can barely afford it?


While you seem to know that having sex outside of marriage is wrong, I'm left with the impression that you don't think it makes any difference. Yes, you would prefer to wait, but you leave me the impression that the various excuses you are offering are acceptable to God, and I'm at a loss as to why you have reached that conclusion.

All sins will keep a person out of heaven, but fornication is a sin that is repeatedly mentioned (often first) in lists of sins (I Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 1:21-25; 13:13-14).

Marriage is formed by a covenant. "She is your companion and your wife by covenant" (Malachi 2:14). The purpose of a wedding is to establish that covenant before God and the witnesses gathered. Genesis 2:24 says, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). Three steps are mentioned here.

  1. There is a separation from your birth family (the leaving).
  2. There is a marriage (the joining), and notice that the woman is now called his wife.
  3. Finally, a new family is formed (the becoming one flesh). Sex is a part of this becoming one, but it is not the whole of creating a new family.

Your boyfriend is trying to justify skipping the marriage. I've seen other guys make similar claims. When things are going well, and sex is available, then the guy claims that he is as good as married. But when there is a big fight, and the guy decides to leave, suddenly, he claims there never was a marriage, so he has no obligations. Your first boyfriend exemplifies this. A wedding provides evidence that a marriage took place and the obligations of being a husband or wife are enforceable.

The wedding itself does not need to be expensive. In most areas of the United States, you can get married at a local courthouse for less than a hundred dollars. It is pride that drives too many young people to want elaborate weddings instead of focusing on what is important -- marrying the person you love to establish a new family.

You are also concerned it is too expensive to live together as a married couple. Consider that with two of you working, the income increases, but most of the expenses remain the same. Do a budget together using your combined income, and I think you will see that you could make it work. True, you may not live as well as living off your parents' income, but it won't be impossible. You might not be able to start out as a stay-at-home mom immediately, but if he builds a reputation and lands a better-paying job, then it might become an option in the future.

Life can be hard, but when you are working with the person you love, you find ways to make things work. If you are waiting for a time when there are few difficulties, you'll never marry. Thus, your fornication is only due to wanting pleasure without the hardships. Even though it will be hard at times, those hardships will cause you and him to grow. And if you allow it, you'll become better people as a result. God knows what He is asking of us. His way works the best.

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