I was talking with a group of single young ladies, when the subject of marriage was brought up. One of the these young ladies was well into her late 20's, and casually mentioned the realization and serious possibility of her being single for the rest of her life. (After all, she was already "8 years" into old maid status!) A sober tension suddenly set over the room and you could have heard a pin drop. It was as if, someone had mentioned the unmentionable. Then one of the younger girls in the group braking the silence said, "Just the idea of never getting married makes me want to cry". And I understand that feeling. Honestly, I do. Every girl that I've ever met, WANTS to be married someday. We've played house since we were girls and have often vividly imagined our wedding day or maybe the kind of housewives and mommies we would be someday. It's a natural desire. But are we so SET on being married that we've actually built an idol in our heart? I hope not. Have we built a barrier that God isn't allowed to pass? 'God you have all of me, but you can't have my singleness?' Really? That isn't surrender. Surrender unconditionally lays everything on the table.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the idea of getting married, or what it means to get married in general. Why do we get married? What motivates us? Why do we just expect God to make it happen someday? Honestly. Have you ever thought about it? I'd encourage you to.
In marriage vows you often hear the little words: "For better or for worse." What does that mean? Exactly what it says. Marriage is not just something for our own gain. It cannot be selfish. You both give of yourselves, you both unconditionally love not matter what, you both are committed to staying faithful. And everyone would agree with that...once you're married. But what about long before you ever make those kind of vows? As a single person I mean. Are our reasons for staying married to someone, the same as why we'd actually marry someone? Is it okay to marry someone for selfish immature reasons, even though it isn't okay to stay with them for selfish immature reasons? I don't think so. Love is a choice. As a single person, why are you hoping to get married?
I feel like God has been doing a lot of work in my heart recently with this very subject. Our natural desires for marriage, for intimacy, for a close relationship with that special someone, for children, even for all the adventures marriage would bring, are okay. They aren't wicked. They are natural, even, God given. But just because they are such- also doesn't mean they should be our motivating factor. Just because something is "natural" doesn't make it our right to have. And just because God allows there to be a specific desire in our hearts, doesn't mean He'd be unkind to not actually give it to us.
So, with these thoughts in mind, here are maybe just a few reasons which should or shouldn't motivate us in marriage that I'd like to share with you.
Marriage: Why or why not?
Maybe... why not?
- Because we expect it to give us happiness.
- Because of sex hormones.
- Because it is just expected. (Especially by other Christians)
- Because it would give us security.
- Because it would give us a form of identity.
- Because of companionship.
- Because it's a godly desire and seems spiritual
- Because maybe we'd feel "needed" by someone else.
- Because we'd have attention.
- Because of natural longing to "set up house".
- Because of the possibility of children.
- Because we are unsure of what else to do with our lives.
- Because it is just our natural "calling" as women.
- Because we're scared to be permanently alone.
- Because it is an idol in our hearts.
- Because we are discontent.
- Because we like someone in particular.
- Because we don't believe God is enough all by Himself.
But then maybe... Why?
- Because it is God's will for your life and you know it.
- Because GOD desires it, not just you.
- Because God has given peace and clear direction towards it.
- Because you could serve God better with that person, than without that person.
- Because your heart is open to whatever God wants to do.
- Because you truly love someone.
- Because you're willing to give your life for someone else.
- Because God has created and equipped us to be help meets.
- Because God created marriage to glorify Him.
- Because marriage is a picture of Christ and His Church.
- Because marriage is a gift from God.
I'm tired of seeing Christian girls waste their time looking for marriage, instead of running this race for Christ with Jesus as their prize. I'm horrified to watch so many young people carelessly jump into something so life changing and important, as marriage, with little thought towards God at all. I'm sick of other Christians adults looking at single people as incomplete or worthless. I'm saddened to think about how many people think that life is only about who you marry someday, and not actually the reason why you'd marry at all.
I'm sure that marriage could be awesome someday. But how much more awesome would it be, rightly done, for the right reasons, with the right person, at the right time? God's time. God's way. God's plan. For God's glory. Because you both love Him? That would be worth living for.