Well, many people have very different ideas on this and usually based on how long it will take them to plan the wedding of their dreams. Most dream weddings take about 18 months to plan. Getting the right reception hall, the caterer you want, the photographer, picking the dress and the bridesmaid’s dresses…all of this takes time! So you would think I would agree with a longer engagement. Nope. Sorry.
But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 1Cr 7:9
Having decided that THIS is the man you are giving your heart and life to, and eventually your whole body, the temptation to step over the line of purity is very great. In your heart you ARE married. You are committed. You are continually thinking in terms of ‘we’ and ‘us’. You are planning your home together, your plans and visions and goals together. This is a time that is very difficult to maintain a physical purity and this is a critical time to keep commitments to this purity for the stability of a healthy marriage. You do not want to go into a marriage plagued with guilt and shame – it will completely affect the sexual freedom you will experience from then on out.
My (opinion ahead) OPTIMUM length of time for an engagement: 3 weeks (I know, sounds silly, doesn’t it). If it is absolutely impossible to get married in that length of time, pushing it up to 3 months would be acceptable to me, but anything longer than that might be dangerous and unwise – again, this is just MY PERSONAL opinion.
Oh I know that most women dream about their wedding day, but that is a problem for many today. We spend so much time dreaming and planning for that DAY that we are completely unprepared for the LIFE that follows. Much better for us to take this time now preparing our hearts and lives to live as Godly wives rather than dreaming about a day that will end up being a blur in our memories anyway! Our society places all the romance on the wedding ceremony and party afterward and forgets that the major romance should be focused on the decades of years that follow.
Often couples go into debt for that one day and that debt will give greater hardship in years ahead – unwise and foolish. We should be centering on developing our relationship with one another and gearing up for a lifetime of ministry and service to God and to others. Our marriage will be just as joyous with a small intimate wedding, or a large simple one, planned in a few weeks as with a huge expensive affair that takes months and years to plan…in fact., and there could actually be some benefits:
- Our husbands will see that we can be content (not just accept) less in our lives for the sake of the marriage.
- Our husbands will see the joy we have in the relationship and not in the extensiveness of the ceremony.
- Our husbands will see us placing financial wisdom ahead of worldly expectations. These things will strengthen the marriage for years to come in ways you cannot imagine.
Am I saying it is wrong to have a big, elaborate or expensive wedding? No I am not. But I am asking you to think and pray about what GOD is calling you to do and why you desire what you desire. Is it for the sake of the gospel and God’s glory or to fulfill a girlhood dream of a Brides magazine wedding? The wedding day, just as everything else in our lives, must be submitted to the Lordship of Christ. He is not against ceremony…God had tremendous ceremonies in the OT worship and I believe there will be a great one at the marriage feast of the Lamb. But His glory must be at the center of it all.
There really is no biblical MAGIC NUMBER for the length of an engagement. It is purely subjective and a matter of personal choice, BUT I think it is imperative to consider personal struggles to maintain purity. If you are finding it more and more difficult to maintain a pure godly relationship, it is MUCH BETTER that you move the wedding up closer to avoid falling into sin.