The Five-Year Engagement

Posted: April 27, 2012 by jperritt in Comedy, Rom-com [romantic comedy]
Tags: , , , , ,

In the movie,The Five-Year Engagement, Emily Blunt and Jason Segel play a couple that go against the grain of culture and pursue marriage…sort of. Violet (Blunt) and Tom (Segel) fall in love, eventually get engaged, however, the wedding is postponed after Violet gets a job at the University of Michigan. This postpones the engagement for two years, until she gets a promotion, which postpones it again, and so on.

Although there will no doubt be questionable content, Engagement looks like a funny film. Both Blunt and Segel appear to have good chemistry and are decent actors. However, this film illustrates some concerns I must share, especially because of the tolerant culture we live in.

People are waiting longer and longer to get married, yet they are not postponing falling in love; i.e., having sex, cohabiting, etc. People are giving their love away left and right, but don’t want the responsibility that comes with it.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are just one example from our culture. After years and years of living together, having children, and adopting children, it has been reported that they are finally engaged. The Fifteen-Year Engagement, a film which chronicles their love story will be released later this Fall (just kidding).

It should come as no surprise to Christians that the institution of marriage is taken lightly, not merely because of the culture we live in, but because of the fact that Satan hates God. If God is the one who invented marriage, you can rest assured that Satan will be using all of his strength to destroy it. The proof? Just to name a few, the divorce rate, same-sex marriage, and postponing marriage.

Why is marriage such a big deal? If the divorce rate is so high, why not rethink this whole marriage thing? As Christians, we must strive to honor and uphold marriage, for at least two reasons. One, God designed it. Two, he designed it as a way to communicate his love for the church.

I am in no way saying you shouldn’t watch Engagement, but I am saying that it’s feeding the all-to-common ideal of postponing marriage that this culture is perpetuating. The sobering reality to this is the fact that it is being heavily practiced in the Christian community.

Tom and Violet are doing what so many Christians are doing. They pursue a career before their marriage. Nothing is wrong with being driven and fulfilling a calling to a specific profession, but why not go ahead and get married if you’re in a relationship with someone you love?

The Bible NEVER says you need a certain job, or a certain amount of money in the bank account, before you get married, it does say, “But if they (the singled or widowed) cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” (1 Cor. 7:9)
I know Engagement, as well as the culture we live in, is okay with fornication but Christians shouldn’t be. However, many Christians are “burning with passion” instead of marrying their partner. This is a very serious concern that many Christians don’t seem to be giving much thought to. We tend to adamantly hold to the false commandment of ‘Thou shalt go to college, get a job, build up your savings, and then marry.” And all the while, they are burning with passion for that special someone.

Let me be clear, I am not saying The Five-Year Engagement is a movie attacking Christian ideals. What I am saying, is that this film brings up an issue that is prevalent in our culture. This culture is delaying marriage, but not the sex that is reserved for marriage. However, it is not merely the culture at large, but Christians are buying into and practicing this model, which is very dangerous.

Maybe, just maybe, this is one of the many factors that is adding to the divorce rate in our country. Think about it, we typically don’t have a lot of problems with Christians getting married at younger ages. Pursuing marriage first, then career. However, we do have it the other way around and many of those marriages are ending in divorce – not all, but many.

I know some will assert the idea that college-minded guys and girls are too immature. They need to grow up, live a little, and get ready to be married. The truth is though, no one is ever truly ready to be married. Marriage is a commitment that is beyond what anyone can comply to. In sickness and in health? Most people think of the common cold when they say that, but what about the traffic accident which leaves your spouse handicapped for the rest of your marriage? Part of God’s design of marriage is that he brings you to the end of yourself in order to make you cling to him. He is the one who is faithful.

  1. Cindy says:

    John, I think those of us that have been married awhile don’t always understand the prevalence of this. I have a dear single friend(who would like to be married very much) who loves God and is living up to Biblical standards. She has been involved in many single programs in many “bible believing” churches. She is often very much alone in her thinking of sex is only for marriage. She’s been ridiculed for her ideals by Christians. Now, of course, they can’t be true bible believing Christians but it is much more pervasive than we admit. This thinking is prevalent and we need to combat it any chance we can.

    On another note, I can agree that many are too immature for marriage at a younger age. But the solution is not just let’s wait til we grow up. The solution is we need to mature earlier and figure out why we are not. And yes, to realize marriage is about commitment no matter what….the wedding lasts 30 minutes the day in day out a lifetime.

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