So What Are You Really Waiting for
So what are you really waiting for?
When I was a single twenty-something, it seemed like I was surrounded by unhappily married people. Marriage gets a bad rap: TV shows, jokes (even from the pulpit) about stupid men you’re stuck with, and the “ball and chain” image is how most married people view marriage.
To be honest this made me wonder, What am I really waiting for? Will I save my heart and body just to be miserable a few years into my marriage? Or is there another way to view marriage?
A Different Perspective
As I immersed myself in God’s Word, I saw that marriage takes a totally different perspective! God’s Word paints such a different picture than the one our culture paints, and if I was to get married, I wanted the marriage pictured in the Bible.
At some point many of you will move from friendship into a marriage relationship. As you move from friend to “more than friends” the goal is to make much of the gospel. It’s to point people to Christ. It’s not about self! It’s not about you! This is key to remember as you navigate these new waters.
A Good Foundation
When my husband and I started dating, we laid a foundation from the first night we “DTR” (defined the relationship). We had two goals from day one: 1) We wanted to be very intentional in dating. We both were dating with marriage in mind. (This didn’t mean it was the only outcome, but it was the intention.) 2) We were both dating to honor God. These were black and white issues for us!
Before we started dating, we were friends for six months. During our friendship, we both were able to observe one another. I observed, from afar, that John (my husband of almost eleven years) loved God above all, was very teachable, worked hard, and treated his mom kindly. These were the qualities my dad had told me to look for, and it was very wise advice!
Once we let down our emotional guard with another person, God has wired us to desire physical closeness with that person. There’s no hard and fast rule on how this looks. (Remember our goal isn’t to be a rule-follower, but a Christ-follower.) Because this is how God made me, I was thankful that as God made it clear we were to get married, our courtship was short and quick!
The seeds I had sown during the season of being single were ones that cultivated intimacy with my God—serving His bride, reading and studying His Word, and seeking Him.
Finding Joy in Relationships
Marriage is two sinners living together, learning to serve each other, and honoring God. It can be hard work. It can be painful. But in the eleven years I’ve been with my husband, I find that the more I strive to set self aside, the more joy I experience. I’m thankful for the season God gave me to cultivate my relationship with Christ. Those seeds have now borne fruit in my marriage!
There are no rules that can bring joy. Being a rule-follower will either bring pride (yeah, I did it right!) or shame and guilt (I’m such a failure, I can’t get it right!) Instead, you should humble yourself before God, surrender yourself to His will, and then be thankful for dry seasons and seasons of abundance. When this is your lens for relationships, you’ll accept whatever comes from His hand.
So what are you waiting for? Really, you’re not waiting for anything you can’t have now. You can have intimacy with Christ and grow in your knowledge and love for Him in your current season. Sow seeds into your relationship with God, because that pursuit of Him won’t change whether you get married or remain single.
Written by Heather Patenaude
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