Preparing for Marriage during Sanctifying Singleness: Part 1
I’ve been noticing that many people have been writing letters to their future spouses, praying for them, writing about being content in God’s grace (which are all amazing things). There are a lot of good books on singleness. However, I thought it might be interesting to write from a different perspective since I noticed that most of them are written by married people. I feel like God has been putting this on my heart to share with all of you. Also, He is calling me to write about how to use singleness as a means of sanctification and to use it to prepare yourself for marriage.
First of all I think there are some misconceptions about marriage. It is not bad to want a spouse since God created marriage. (1 Timothy 4:4-5) A godly spouse is a good gift from God and a blessing. ( Hebrews 13:4) Marriage is highly esteemed in the Bible:
- God’s will is for your sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4:3). If you are to be sanctified in your singleness, then you are going to be single. If He wants you to be sanctified in a godly relationship, then He will provide. [I saw a comment (the user didn’t have an ask box) and I think that there was a huge misunderstanding.To clarify this in context, I didn’t mean being single your whole life. Everyone is called to be single at some point of their lives for a season. I wanted to encourage you that God is giving you what’s best at each season in your life (Psalm 84:11)]
- God gives good gifts to His children. If you’re single, you’re getting the good thing that’s best for you right now. (vice versa) [Matthew 7:11, Luke 11:11-13, James 1:17]
- God is patient with you, so be patient with His timing. Psalm 37: 5 says “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act”
- For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly- Psalm 84:11
Remember that God is Sovereign and that His plan is better than your plan (Romans 8:28, Ephesians 1:11, Ecclesiastes 3:11) If you can trust Him with a huge issue such as your salvation, you can be sure to trust Him with a far lesser need. We are His children and He gives good gifts to His children.
Marriage will not fufill you. It empties you of yourself. Marriage is an analogy of the gospel and it is putting the gospel on full display. Your marriage will have the ability to be able to save people. They’ll look at your marriage and see how Christ loves the church which is a wonderful opportunity to tell them about Jesus.
To all of you women: I think there is a misunderstanding about “waiting.” Yes, wait. But waiting does not mean wasting time and twiddling your thumbs while wistfully wishing for your husband to come. During this time actively pursue sanctification, listen to sermons, pray, read the Bible, serve in a ministry, read books, encourage others, and treat men as your brothers in Christ. If you want marriage then prepare for it. Don’t just write letters and daydream.
As women, we are to serve and submit to our husbands so that they can do a better job in suceeding in their workplace and to lessen the burden of the man’s ministry otuside of the home. This is is not a small or worthless task. The fact that the husband can trust his wife to accomplish her chores at home brings not only relief but true appreciation for her work and the Lord providing her. Looking at Titus 2:3-5, there are things that you can and should begin practicing in order to prepare yourself for marriage.These things would stand out to a godly man who is considering pursuing you. Proverbs 31 says that this wife does her husband good ALL the days of her life. Begin thinking of ways even now that you can serve and sacrifice for this man. Even if you haven’t met him, you can still do him good by trying to be a Proverbs 31 woman and praying for him (good habits to continue). You job is to help your husband live for God.
Ladies, if you cannot submit to a perfect God, how can you submit to an imperfect sinner? Obey God’s commands. God sees a submissive spirit as beautiful. The Lord is looking for full submission and is willing to match you up with a godly man.
To all of you men: In your marriage, your wife is going to come up to you in your marriage. She will be crying and telling you to give her advice. At that moment you have to be able to flip to God’s Word and show her verses for that particular situation. You have to be able to pray with her and for her. Would you be able you do that when she is sobbing and shaking? When she has suffered from a miscarriage or been in a car accident or the death of a parent, you have to be able to comfort her in that moment. I know on tumblr and in school, it’s easy to put things off and wait. You can do your research before you answer an anon’s question or you can ask your classmates and form a study group before a test. But in marriage, you can’t say, “Oops, wait a bit while I google some Bible verses and read some blogs that apply to that situation.” Also in order to lead, you must kill the battle of lust. The man’s job is to make his woman holy. Gentlemen, you have to care about your wife’s standing before God. Right now try to serve as many people was you can and give without expecting anything in return. Another key aspect is to organize your finances as God gives you the responsibility to take care of your household (1 Timothy 5:8). Start by saving up money, having a budget, and tithing. In the meantime, strive, by God’s grace, for the biblical qualifications of an overseer/deacon (1 Timothy 3:1-13)
God is Sovereign but you do have to find her (Proverbs 18:22). Look for qualities in her such as being submissive, modest, and God fearing. You want this woman to be raising up godly children and modeling biblical womanhood to others. Also, please man up and ask her out on a real date. Too many times guys ask girls to “get coffee” and “hangout” or “watch a movie at my house.” This is very confusing and unhealthy if you are spending excessive amounts of alone time together if it’s not going anywhere. [I want to clarify that it’s okay to hangout and get coffee to catch up with a friend one on one, but it’s not wise to be do it often if you aren’t interested in her.] Be clear with your intentions.
Remember: The purpose of any relationship is that the two of you will glorify God more than you both would single. God is perfect & He has perfect plans. So I encourage all of you to run as fast as you can towards Jesus until someone else can keep up.
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