During my engagement to Meagan, I had an interesting conversation with a lady in Panera Bread. In the conversation, it somehow came up that I was about to get married. You would have thought the woman I was talking to was about to have a heart attack. She responded with a blunt, “Why would you do that?”

It seems like a big chunk of our culture would ask the same question. With blogs and books and tweets encouraging twenty-somethings to delay marriage as long as possible, for “personal freedom’s sake,” much of our culture is profoundly marriage-averse. The commitment can be seen as almost old-fashioned and, for a lot of people, connotes an image of boring nights in front of a television. We’re encouraged to enjoy the thrill of newness without ever making the plunge into full-fledged commitment.

Partly this is because the divorce rate is so dang high, partly because many folks have backgrounds where parents seemed to hate marriage, and partly because marriage requires self-sacrifice–a message that can sometimes go against the “follow your dreams at all costs” mantra we’ve all been taught since we were five. Whatever the reason, our culture is growing more and more suspicious about marriage.

But can I say something?

Marriage is freakin’ awesome. It’s a blast.

Sure. It isn’t a prerequisite to happiness. It doesn’t solve your problems. It comes with it’s fair share of challenges.

But it’s absolutely amazing. Being married to Meagan is something I cherish everyday. She is God’s greatest gift to me. And in a culture that is commitment-averse, this is something we need to be refreshed with every once in a while.

Marriage rocks, even if some of the stereotypes are true (my bedtime got significantly earlier after I got a ring on my left hand).

You don’t have to have a marriage that’s like the broken relationship your parents had. You can experience an abundant life with a spouse. You can operate in a relationship and laugh. Marriage isn’t a fun killer. It isn’t game over. It’s hard work, yes, but it’s worth it.

The selflessness required to operate a healthy marriage will make you more like Christ. This is an institution that’s supposed to stand as a metaphor for Christ’s relationship with the church, for crying out loud. That’s amazing. Can you believe we get the chance to enter into that type of a relationship? What a gift.

When you read another article about how you should delay getting married as long as possible because it inhibits your freedom and basically sucks–don’t believe the hype.

Marriage is amazing.