A Marriage or a Mission
Having worked with university age students (approximate ages 18 to 24)for over fifty years, I have noticed some persistent trends that concern me greatly. With the national average of divorces at one out of every two marriages (50%), here I would like to make an obvious observation which does not seem to be apparent to many who are of marriageable age.
For a variety of reasons, many have compassion for someone they are dating because that person has a bad family background, comes from a dysfunctional home, has experienced tragedy in his/her life, or whatever, and feel that they can marry that person and "fix" all of his/her problems.
Having compassion for hurting people who have been or are "down on their luck" is a very noble godly attitude and central to biblical faith. However, marrying a person who has serious problems with the idea in mind that "I" am going to "fix" that person's problems puts one on a trajectory of "certain disaster." Yes, all of us are sinners, and whoever we marry is going to come into the marriage a sinner, and will remain a sinner throughout the marriage.
However, marrying a person to "fix" his/her deep personal problems simply does not work. Even if the couple "stays together," life is going to be miserable--guaranteed.
There is a better approach. Marry a person who has high religious and ethical qualities which you can support and who can support you. Then, both of you together as a married couple help that friend who has all those problems. Marriage is not a mission. It is a daily love affair between people who have God at the center of their lives.