The title of this blog might be confusing.
“Isn’t marriage a good thing? Aren’t you passionate about it?”
Well, yes, and yes.
But I’m writing this blog because marriage itself is not something to “chase after.”
I am anguished by both the insanely high divorce rate that is the reality of the Western world, and by the amount of people I’ve encountered who think that marriage will be the key to fixing all the problems, that it’s the biggest stepping stone in life, that they “need” to get married by 25 or 30 or whatever their timeline is, or that they just want to be wanted.
Here is why that chasing will likely come up short.
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband trusts her completely. With her, he has everything he needs. She does him good and not harm for as long as she lives.” – Proverbs 31:10-12
I don’t know about you, but I always knew that I wanted – no, was called to – marry the spouse the Bible talks about. That I would never vow my life, become covenanted with someone who wasn’t the husband of the Bible: “quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).
And I know that my husband would not settle for any less than a wife of noble character, who put her trust in Jesus, and who Jesus had affirmed in his heart was to be his wife.
Not only are these part of our convictions, but they are part of what makes our forever together so beautiful, full of love and laughter and life, and so filled with trust and thanksgiving and communication.
Proverbs 21:9 says that ““It is better to live on a corner of the housetop than in a house in company with a quarrelsome wife.”
This sums up for us why marriage is not to be chased as though it is the prize; only Christ is the prize (“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:14)).
The Proverb says it all: it is better to live alone in a little corner of a roof than to marry a quarrelsome person.
My dear Friends: do we take covenant seriously? I think not. It is not my intention to shame anyone who has gotten a divorce; no, shame and guilt were dealt with once and for all people on the Cross 2000 years ago, so let Jesus take that away from you. No, there is no condemnation, but there is a standard of righteousness for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:8, 4).
Your wedding day is not simply an earthly ceremony. It is a union that God Himself created to be a beautiful, pure reflection and experience of His love.
It is not simply a “title”; before God, it is two becoming one flesh, better together.
A friend recently asked me: “What are the “right” reasons to want a partner, or to be married?”
I think, firstly, that this is part of the human condition – and a healthy part, at that. The Bible says that two are better than one. It says that a cord of three strands is not easily broken. It says that marriage is a beautiful thing. It also says that it is a good thing to remain unmarried, for marriage can be a distraction from our true purpose, goal, prize, mission, and very reason for existence: worshipping Jesus, knowing Jesus, and making disciples.
That’s our answer, Friends. If desiring a partner consumes or controls you, it is an idol of your heart. If desiring marriage makes you anxious or fearful that you can’t trust God, it is not coming from a healthy place. If desiring a person to do life with becomes so important that you’re losing focus in the Word, in worship, in prayer, in just adoring God and trusting Him and experiencing unity with Him, it is a false god. Only Jesus can reveal this to you, and I pray you would open your heart to receive Him today.
If this is you, again – please do not hear condemnation or judgement or feel shame. No, no – that’s what the enemy wants. Jesus wants to free you, to bring joy, and to bring redemption. He wants your whole heart, not pieces of it. He already knows your whole heart; He just doesn’t want you to withhold any of it from Him.
I pray, Friend, that you wouldn’t waste another moment wallowing in want of “marriage,” and trust that God’s timing is perfect. That “marriage” alone isn’t so special if it’s not with a virtuous person that God has revealed is the person for you.
Ladies, read Proverbs 31. Is this a description of you? If not, I pray that, with Christ by your side, it would be.
Men, read Galatians 1. I pray this would be true of your pursuit and mindset today.
May we praise God in the hills the same as the valleys; may we worship Him and exalt Him as the High Priest He ALWAYS is; and may we commit to laying down our idols, no matter what the world says about them – Just give me Jesus.