I love love. I love Hallmark Christmas movies and wedding photography blogs and my Pinterest “I do.” board and the concept of partnering with someone for the sake of the gospel. But I think in a lot of ways, the church has failed us in the area of singleness, dating, and marriage.
How many marriage books, conferences, Bible studies, and resources can you think of? What about those things for unmarried people? Single moms, single dads, widows, widowers, divorcees, and just singles?
If we placed half as much emphasis on the unique, purposeful calling God individually gives each person created in His image as we do how to have a healthy marriage, we wouldn’t have so many teenage girls dating all the wrong guys over the fear of never getting married.
We have instilled this fear in ourselves. By making marriage the ultimate goal, by placing so much emphasis on how to become the spouse your future spouse needs, we have lessened the value of teaching how to be really passionate Christ-followers. I’m not saying there’s not a time and place for Biblical marriage advice, but the truth is, if we just taught people how to pursue Christ, most of the other things would work themselves out.
We’d have a lot more marriages that are healthier because they were healthy individuals before entering into, what some consider, the most sanctifying process on this side of heaven.
If we treated Jesus as the highest calling instead of the roles He gives us here on earth…
If more women were brave enough, compassionate enough, honest enough, Gospel-centered enough, to look a younger woman in the eyes and say, “This isn’t everything. This won’t satisfy you. There is so much more. Don’t miss it because you can’t see past this one element.”…
If we believed Jesus really is enough and we didn’t make it seem like you’re only half-way complete, half-way experienced, half-way capable until you find your “other half”…
If we considered what this says about the God who is the ONLY person Who can make us whole, complete, experienced, and capable…
If we transformed our mindset from believing the lie that life truly begins the moment we get married to believing life truly beings the moment we die to our desires and encounter true Life Himself…expectations would shift because people would already be fulfilled and walking in their God-given calling and identity.
Maybe then divorce rates wouldn’t be as high in the church as they are anywhere and everywhere else.
People would know who they are, and it wouldn’t be defined by their relationship status or how their spouse treats them.
We’d stop expecting our significant other to fulfill us like our God.
Marriage is beautiful. But as a single in the church who has had this conversation countless times with other single friends, and as someone who spends A LOT of time around high school and college-aged girls, we are doing a serious disservice raising up Christians to be good spouses living the American Dream instead of devoted Christ followers dying to our own dreams for the sake of the Kingdom.
Let’s stop acting like the first part of our life builds up to walking down the aisle and the rest of our life goes down-hill after that.
Marriage isn’t the crux of our lives, Jesus is.
Even in a marriage, marriage isn’t the point. Jesus is.