There is an epidemic blindsiding many young marriages these days.
It does not start as an affair. It does not start as financial stress. It does not even start as a lack of communication (although all three of these obstacles are often results of this epidemic I am talking about).
This epidemic starts as something much more subtle. Something that comes from our thinking, and if it is not dealt with, it can literally make your marriage miserable, unsatisfying, or worse. It’s not another person. It’s not a situation. No, it’s a actually a mindset…a MENTALITY.
Too many guys want a “marriage reality”, but have a “bachelor mentality”.
By this I mean that many guys desire a blessed and healthy marriage. They want physical intimacy, a fun companion in life, and overall success in life. However, many are blinded to the fact that they operate in their marriage as a bachelor would…”I, Me, Mine” instead of “We, Us, Ours”.
Confession: I’ve missed it in this area of myself. I’ve operated in this “bachelor mentality” in my own marriage at times and have experienced the negative effects. I’ve seen the separation, heartache, stress, and lack of intimacy that this mentality brings in my own marriage and others.
So fellas, what exactly does this bachelor mentality look like? Here are three attitudes of the “bachelor mentality” that have got to go in order to have a successful and satisfying marriage.
3 Attitudes of the Bachelor Mentality That Have To Go
1. “I’m Gonna DO ME”
As a bachelor, being self-focused comes naturally…because it’s just you. You do what you want, when you want, for as long as you want. It is only you who is calling the shots and no one else really influences what you do. If you want to sleep in, you do it. If you want to get Taco Bell at 2am, it’s free game. If you want to play video games all day, it’s on like Donkey Kong and you don’t even think twice about it.
When you get married, however, this cannot be your mentality if you wish to have a great marriage. Suddenly, overnight, there is you AND there’s your wife. Your preferences will collide with her preferences. If you try to keep your “bachelor mentality” in your new “marriage reality”, things will get ugly real quick.
In the Bible, it says: how can two walk together unless they are agreed? (Amos 3:3). In order for you and your bride to live “happily ever after”, there is going to have to be some give and take. If you are preparing for marriage or are in one right now, I encourage you, with the Lord’s help, to turn selfishness into selflessness. Let pride die and humble yourself. Let your new mission be to prefer your girlfriend, fiance or spouse above yourself.
When you replace the “do me” attitude with the “do us” perspective, you set your marriage up for success.
2. “SHE CRAZY”
Having a great marriage often comes down to one word: UNDERSTANDING. Many times guys say: “Yeah, but you don’t understand…SHE CRAZY!”
- “Doesn’t she know that I always buy the new pair of Jordan’s when they come out?”
- “It’s not that big of deal that I went out with the guys after work and didn’t call her.”
- “Why does she get so emotional about the littlest things?”
It might seem like “SHE CRAZY”, but in reality, she’s not. She’s your wife and it’s your job to seek to understand where she is coming from. The Bible challenges husbands to dwell with their wives with understanding (1 Peter 3:7). The truth is, guys and girls are very different. So that means there’s a good chance your wife will be different from you. She will think different. Process things different. Even see things different. The “bachelor mentality” just calls their wife crazy and then keeps doing what they want with no effort or change. But as a good husband, you should do everything in your ability to “lose the ‘tude” and seek to understand and serve your wife. Don’t be surprised how CRAZY good your marriage can be when you both seek to understand each other.
3. “I’m Gonna GET MINE”
Lastly, another bachelor mindset that has got to go is: “I’m gonna get mine.” This can apply to many different things. My money, my house, my food, and my way. But the one area where I see men really struggle with this, both before and after getting married, is with sexual desires. Many young single guys (bachelors), fall into the trap of lust, porn, masturbation, and sex. Left uncontrolled, they develop this “I’m going to get my sexual needs met whenever I want” mentality, and unfortunately, this mentality can easily follow them into their marriage.
This is not a healthy mentality and is unfortunately the cause of many divorces today. Can I be real with you for a moment? Getting married (and having the privilege of real sex with your wife) doesn’t magically take away all your temptation for the counterfeit versions of sex. If you were prone to masturbate before marriage, you will be prone to continue in marriage. If you constantly looked at pornography, you will still be tempted in that area beyond the altar. And if you had sex with other women back in your single days whenever you had the urge, it’s still possible for you to be drawn into that situation as a married man.
This is not a sex issue, it’s a self-control issue. The “I’m going to get mine in the bedroom” mentality has no place in a marriage that has blessed sexual intimacy. My warning and encouragement on all of this is to get it right on the front side of the altar. There will be times in your marriage where you won’t feel like all your sexual needs are being met. What will you do then? Allow God to help you get victory in this area as a single man, so that you can be faithful to your wife as a married man. (Note: if you are a married man and still dealing with these issues, your wife deserves to know. And I encourage you to get the help you need to get total victory)
You see, God is all about marriage. In fact, He even thought it up! He has such an amazing “marriage reality” in store for you and your wife. He desires for you to walk together in unity, pull the best out of each other, serve one another, have so much fun along the way!
The one thing every great marriage doesn’t have is a “bachelor mentality”. So fellas, it’s time we grow up, man up, and kick this wrong mindset out the door because our marriages deserve it.
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church — a love marked by giving, not getting. Ephesians 5:25 MSG