One of my oldest friends called me the other day and asked how to “get from point A to point B” in a dating relationship. When I asked her what it meant, she said, “Marriage seems so impossible. It’s so far away.
I understood her question very well. It is not uncommon in the world and in the church. In our culture where marriage is all about and love is like a performance, it’s only natural that she wonders how she’ll get to the “finish line.”
But then I realized that marriage was not the goal, heaven was the goal. I smiled a little and said to her. “I’m nowhere near point B. Maybe when my husband and I are on our deathbeds and we’re helping each other to get closer to God, that’s when I’m getting closer.” Let’s ‘point B. It doesn’t really matter that you’re ‘successful’ in dating anyway. “
If you are single and feel the same way my friend does, take a slightly different view of marriage. Doing so removes the pressure to “win” the marriage and allows you to see your future spouse more clearly.
Let’s take a closer look at this:
why marriage is not the goal
There are many beautiful reasons why God created the gift of marriage.
Support and Partnerships: “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for a man to be alone. I will make him a helper worthy of him.'” Genesis 2:18
Companionship: “Two people pay more for their labor than one. Also, two people can stay warm if they lie together. But how can one person keep warm?” Ecclesiastes 4:9
Fun and Intimacy: “Blessed be your springs, and please the wife of your youth; she is a loving deer, a graceful doe; let her bosom always satisfy you. May you always be captivated by her love.” Proverbs 5:18-19
Of course, there are many others. (is here great article For this topic, I just came up with these ideas!)
Ultimately, God uses marriage to continually refine our character, make us more like Jesus, and help lead us to Heaven. It is his will that all his children repent to be with him (2 Peter 3:9). And anyone who has been a Christian for any length of time understands the struggle to remain repentant.
So marriage is one of the ways God keeps us within His fold. This is: Ephesians 5:25-27“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for it, cleansing it by washing it with water through the Word, and making it a shining church, without stain or blemish. I gave myself to the church to present myself, sacred and blameless, despite wrinkles and other blemishes.”
Marriage serves to sanctify us. And, fortunately or unfortunately, that doesn’t happen the moment you get married!
Your wedding day is just the beginning
Every aspect of a prosperous, healthy, and godly marriage takes time. No matter how much you prepare for marriage with premarital counseling or whatever, as a perfect person you don’t say, “I do.” Marriage is a long and sophisticated process.
John Eldridge describes this refinement in the couple’s book Love and War: How to Find the Marriage of Your Dreams: “The way”, it is our “approach to life”. “
Marriage is a relationship in which all your ugly personality flaws come to the fore. It’s also a place where someone will be by your side long enough to finally realize that your “personality quirks” are really just selfishness, sharing your daily victories, even if you can grow. is also a place where you can have people pointing out how much you’ve grown. don’t see it yourself!
The point is that marriage is a process with one end in mind. It is about living a godly life here and working together to live eternal life in heaven.
On the day of the wedding, it would be very disappointing if the growth stopped after the cake was cut. If you had to look at your spouse and say, “Well, what do you do?” Thankfully, God has a perfect plan.
I explained to a friend that marriage is like a boat that two people row to reach the other shore. Yes, talking, dating, and courting got me to the shore where this journey begins. But there is still plenty of water between where we are now and our final destination, heaven for both of us. The question is whether they are good partners for rowing. Want them on board with you? Will it be easier or harder to get to the other side?
Rather, I think that’s what dating is for. It’s not about making love a success, with marriage as the ultimate goal, but so that you can feel confident enough to start your journey to heaven with your partner.
What should I look for in a “boat” partner?
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/g-stockstudio
There are 1,000 good things to look for in a partner, but here are some good starting points and questions to ask yourself:
God is the center. Are you spiritually bringing out the best in each other? Are we telling each other to rely on God, not just on each other? Do they teach you things about God clearly and/or through how lovingly they treat you?
It is very fun. Are you excited to see them? Do they make the mundane things of life more enjoyable? Do you laugh or smile more when you are with them? Do they make the heavy things in life feel lighter?
You trust their character: Do they sincerely apologize when they hurt you? Have you seen their character grow consistently? Are you committed to improving? Do they respect your boundaries?
Communication is healthy. Do they listen to you without being defensive, or apologize if they do? Do they consider you in their actions? Even if you need help from the outside, are you able to handle conflicts thoroughly without feeling resentful? Do they calm you down or make you feel more stressed when discussing things? mosquito?
You are good at building partnerships. Do you work well together when you have common projects? Do you respect each other’s opinions? Do they complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses? Are you envisioning a future together where the two of you will build towards something meaningful, spirit driven?
Each of these aspects is important not just for getting to the other shore, but for enjoying life on the other shore.
Marriage is a wonderful, wonderful gift. But that is by no means the end goal. If so, what do we need God for?
Marriage shows us how much we need God to love us unconditionally. So before you jump into a boat with someone just because it makes you feel better or looks good in your wedding photos, think about how the rest of your trip will go.
And likewise, if you’re standing on the shore with someone but you’re really confident in all of the above areas, God will look at you and say, ‘What are they waiting for? Pray that I can discern if you are thinking You don’t have to be perfect to get married, and you don’t have to make money.
But whether you are married or remain single, remember that God is with you every step of the way to heaven.
Photo credit: ©Unsplash/Pablo Heimplatz