A vision for marriage: for the unmarried?

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As I mentioned in my introduction, at times I’ve wondered if it’s better for singles who desire to be married not to think about marriage, in the interest of cultivating contentment and remaining focused on Christ.

Yes, as believers, we are to practice contentment, and yes, we need to have an eternal, God-ward focus. But I don’t think these things are at odds with having a Biblical view of marriage and preparing wisely in the ways that we can for marriage.

God designed marriage, and a healthy desire for it is a good thing. Simply deciding that we’re not going to think about marriage at all isn’t wise or helpful.

Girls, before you think I’m suggesting that we run out and purchase stacks of bridal magazines or immerse ourselves in romantic movies and literature, let me stress an important point:

Preparing for future marriage, as a single, is about wisely ordering our lives and cultivating Christ-like character that will bless our future spouse and marriage should we be called to marry someday. It isn’t about putting our lives on hold, endless daydreaming, planning the wedding, or pining after a relationship strictly for selfish reasons.

If we don’t marry, these efforts won’t go to waste, (since they honor God and contribute to other areas of our lives as Christians) and if we do marry, I think our marriage, and our spouse, will be incredibly blessed by the purposeful discipline and wise preparation we’ve devoted ourselves to in our season of singleness.

You may be thinking, why do we need to have marriage in mind in order to “wisely order our lives and cultivate Christ-like character”?

Generally speaking, we don’t. But if we desire to marry, there are probably some specific things in our lives that we should put careful thought and effort towards. And knowing that we desire to be married - and that God could possibly have marriage for us in the near future - can serve as great motivators to get our lives in order, specifically in the areas that will contribute to a healthy, God-glorifying marriage.

We’ll look at what these areas are in the next post.


Anna said...

I love this, Stephanie. Very wise. I would have benefitted from it before I got married. :)

Edie said...

I'm enjoying your series Stephanie. Thanks for coming to get me. :)

You are very wise to prepare ahead of time like you are, and you have a wonderful outlook. I have no doubt that God is leading you.

Have a great weekend!

julie said...

I often think about how it is hard to have a healthy, positive view of marriage without feeling desperate or upset if it doesn't happen. I think it is a hard balance to remember that yes, marriage is God's design, but no, we can't require it of Him for us. You're right, there's so much that we can do now that will be beneficial whether we marry or not, like cultivating godly character. This is a good series, keep it up :).

Stephanie said...

I agree with you Julie, the balance can be difficult!

We can't demand marriage of God, but I do think there is a problem even in Christian culture today with singles delaying marriage without good reason to do so.

Yes, God is sovereign, but He also calls us to be intentional and make choices. Here's an article that really got me thinking about this topic:

Reflecting on the Mystery of Marriage

If you get a chance to read it, and/or listen to the message it refers to, I would love to hear your thoughts!