Never have we been in a more confusing time for singles. Online dating? No dating? “Just talking”? The average age for marriage is on the rise , less people are even getting married, and now people believe they can choose their own gender. It’s a MESS and honestly, I believe that doing singleness right is probably harder than ever.
Top it off with this unspoken attitude in much of the global church that marriage is the be all end all goal next to Jesus. Nobody comes right out and says it, but it’s there. Please hear me correctly here. I actually DO believe that it is God’s will for 99.9% of people to get married and have an amazing, God centered marriage. “two are better than one” (Eccl 4:9) "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.(Gen 2:18) “be fruitful and multiply, (Gen 9:7)
These and lots of other scriptures indicate that marriage is God’s idea and part of God’s plan for your life. But marriage cannot be the primary goal of your existence if you are to truly honor God with your life.
That being said, here are 5 things to help make singleness and marriage better.
(P.S. there are some nuggets in here for my married pals too)
1. Marriage is not THE goal
Our primary purpose for our existence is relationship with God. To know Him and make Him known. ANYTHING that trumps this as priority in your life is out of order.Period.
Ask yourself, am I honestly seeking a spouse more than I am seeking my Savior?
Marriage is a WONDERFUL blessing. I absolutely love it. But you and I are ALL deeply loved and called by God long before we are married.
2. Singleness is NOT a punishment
Just because you are still single when “all of your friends are married” does not mean you are being punished. In all reality there may be some work that God wants to do IN you and your spouse before He brings you two together. And isn’t that so kind of Him? Even if that’s not the case, even if you’re both perfect and lacking nothing, trusting in God’s timing is ALWAYS the best option. Choosing to be extravagantly thankful is ALWAYS the most pleasing to our Father’s heart.
I had times of singleness where I was chomping at the bit to find a boyfriend, and I had times of singleness where I was honestly really enjoying the extra time with just me and Jesus. I really believe that God was able to do SO much more in me when I was content.
3. The better you do singleness; the easier marriage will be.
Marriage does NOT fix your issues. If anything, marriage intensifies your issues. Are you messy and sometimes irresponsible with your stuff as a single person? Getting married will only make that flaw more prevalent as you try to mix two lives, bank accounts, sets of furniture, and habits. (ASK ME HOW I KNOW).
Obviously pursuing sexual purity before marriage will be a blessing to you and your future marriage. There are also some amazing and practical things that we can learn in our season of singleness that will serve our marriages well. Things like, learning how to stand on your own two feet financially, establishing healthy habits, serving faithfully in your local church and learning to form God honoring, non-flirtatious relationships with the opposite sex will all bless your marriage.
4. Every issue you have in singleness will follow you into marriage
Every. Single. One. Getting married will not fix your loneliness problem. Only taking your heart to Jesus can do that. Getting married will not fix your lust and pornography problem. Only Jesus can do that. Getting married will not fix your boundary issues with your family. Again… only Jesus can do that. The sooner and better we learn to lay down our lives, to die daily, to LIVE in submission to the ways of the Kingdom, the better off we and our marriages will be.
God is absolutely extravagant in His restoration. Truly. Allowing God to heal these areas of your heart NOW is so much better and easier than hurting your spouse with your unresolved issues.
5. Quit bashing the opposite sex
Serious business. If you are believing God for a Godly wife, then quit bad mouthing women. If you are praying for a Godly husband, then quit talking about how “men are such pigs” and “good men are hard to find.” Bitterness is never attractive, and it is certainly not becoming of a child of a merciful, kind, loving, and just King.
There were some times in my season of singles where I was rather bitter against men, and it didn’t benefit me at ALL. What DID help was learning to see men how God sees them and building friendships with some truly Jesus loving men. Get to know some Godly examples of the kind of spouse you are looking for and want to be. Watch how they interact with their family and spouse. Learn. Take notes, and pray for specific characteristics that you see.
Life can be hard. But, it’s even harder if you expect your future spouse to fix all of your problems. When two broken people try to build a life together, it gets messy. Let Jesus do work in your life NOW and avoid some of the heartache. Your marriage and spouse will thank you!!