If you haven’t yet, read Part 1 first.
Several marriage-minded single women shared additional thoughts with me:
“I often thought that if I didn’t pursue dating that God would just usher a man onto my doorstep and I wouldn’t have to do any work. Your blog is confirmation that there is nothing wrong with be intentional and proactive. I’ve found great encouragement here. Thank you for sharing and I can’t wait to read your book!”
“I’m only 22 but I’ve been made to feel that desiring Godly marriage is wrong. My perspective has changed now. Thanks!”
“I’m made to feel bad about wanting to be married and get quoted scripture whenever I ask to pray about me finding a husband.”
“My struggle is having a passive role in finding my future mate. It is so deep-seated that I feel guilty to even take a step towards finding someone to spend the rest of my life with.”
An online comment posted by a ‘Mr. Herman’ highlight the problem with passivity:
“God will bring the right person into your life.” OK, this seems pretty logical at first, but let’s apply this principle to other areas of life…
Why are you unemployed? “God hasn’t brought the right job into my life yet.”
Why do you walk everywhere? “God hasn’t brought the right car into my life yet.”
Why are you hungry? “God hasn’t brought the right meal into my life yet.”
Why are you sleeping outside? “God hasn’t brought the right living situation into my life yet.”
While one can look at those examples and laugh at their ludicrous nature, people are actually believing that they ought to approach their dating lives this way. In his book “How to Get a Date Worth Keeping” Dr. Henry Cloud encounters a woman who subscribes to this mindset and was so adamant that God would bring her a man that she felt she didn’t even need to leave her house to find him. “Well ma’am, unless you plan to date the FedEx man or a Jehovah’s Witness, you need to go outside.” That is an extreme example I will admit, but its not hard to see how that mindset has led so many people into passivity in their lives.
God created marriage and it is very good. So there’s no reason to feel guilt for wanting it and taking steps to attain it 🙂 . Just like it’s good to be healthier, and we shouldn’t feel guilty for talking steps to eat better and be more active.
When a woman put serious effort into losing 15 pounds, people applaud and cheer her on. But if a woman put serious effort into getting married and have a wonderful marriage, suddenly people criticize her.
Why would people criticize her for going for marriage? It doesn’t even make sense! Being married to a wonderful husband and father will have greater life-changing positive consequences on your life and your children’s (and grandchildren’s lives) than being 15 pounds lighter. Yet, in our culture with lopsided priorities losing some weight is considered a worthier goal than marriage and its legacy.
We must break free from bondage to “sanctified passivity,” which is the false teaching that it’s more godly to do nothing to achieve a goal. When I understood that truth, I stopped feeling guilty, and I took wise, intelligent steps toward marriage.
Marriage is the great opportunity for Christians to reflect the relationship between Jesus Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:22-30). No other human relationship is designed to do that so specifically. Only marriage.
In general God makes men and women come together in marriage to produce the miracle of human life (babies). There are ungodly ways to produce babies outside marriage, but marriage is the one God-honoring way to do it—unless you’re conceiving immaculately like Mary. So it’s 100% wrong and displeasing to God to make singles feel bad for a normal desire that God hardwired into most people to form lifelong family units.
It’s so common for the Christian community to heap guilt trips and contentment lectures on marriage-minded singles, making them feel ashamed of wanting marriage, that I felt compelled to have a ministry to help make our community more compassionate toward singles.
I’d love to see Christian people, on a grand scale, encourage and help marriage-minded singles in their pursuit of marriage that reflect Christ and the church. I’d be overjoyed if the Christian community became a welcoming place for singles to share their desire for a spouse, their struggle with loneliness, and the particular difficulties that comes with prolonged singleness.
Right now, in general, the Christian community isn’t a welcoming place to be open about your deepest feelings, and you’re 99.99% guaranteed to be subtly criticized, lectured, and rebuked for wanting to be married rather than stay single.
“When you were single did Christians try to tell you that maybe it wasn’t in God’s will for you to be married? A brother in Christ said that to me and I don’t know what to think.”
I was told something similar by several people. They said that I must have the gift of lifelong singleness, which is an insensitive thing to say to an “older” single woman who wants to be married someday.
These people were wrong since I’m married now and very happily to a wonderful husband who deeply loves me (and I adore him!).
What your brother in Christ told you seems to contradict God’s Word. I Cor 7:9. is clear: If you burn with passion (have natural strong sexual/romantic desire like most people) then the Bible says that it’s better for you to marry, so it’s in line with God’s will. God’s moral will is for you to marry.
But it doesn’t mean you will marry, because this world is fallen and not everything that happens is in line with God’s moral will. If you do marry though, this is in line with God’s moral will, as long as you marry a God-honoring Christian man since you’re a Christian woman.
“Is marriage a reward for good Christians?”
Several single women also wrote to me that maybe marriage is a reward for good Christians, and that they must have done something wrong to be left out. They wonder whether God is withholding marriage from them as a punishment for past sinful relationships.
If you feel that way too in spite of having repented of past sins, I encourage you to pray this prayer aloud as many times as you need:
“Lord, may You bless me with a future husband soon.
Lead me to the right man. Guide my steps.
Give me the wisdom I need and everything else I need to find the right man for me.
Help me rest in the knowledge that You forgive those you have redeemed, because their sins were paid for at the cross. My repented past sins are not held against me.
I boldly pray that You would find it in Your will to bless me with a wonderful godly husband within the next two years.
Romans 8:1-4 says:
“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
If you belong to God, if you have faith that Jesus is God’s Son, sent to be crucified as an offering for your sin, then there’s no condemnation for you. And if you’ve repented then you no longer live according to your sinful desires, but according to the Holy Spirit.
If any of you, as a Christian, feel that you’re under a spirit of condemnation, I encourage you to read the whole chapter of Romans 8, and meditate on the glorious truths it contains. It will renew your mind and uplift your spirit.
If you’re not sure whether you’re a genuine Christian or a false convert, read Are You Good Enough to Go to Heaven?
I’m on your side dear sister in Christ, and I want to be your cheerleader on your path to marriage. God knows I needed such support myself when I was single.
With love and encouragements,