By Cally Logan, Crosswalk.com
King Solomon wisely quipped in Ecclesiastes that there is nothing new under the sun, meaning that from generation to generation there are seasons that occur with the same themes, events, or occurrences.
This is very true for marriage, it is even said that in the very End Times men and women will be married despite the struggles all around. Marriage is a beautiful and precious gift from God, but for many that gift is not given at the same time as most.
Some are called, like Paul, to remain unmarried, but for the most part marriage is a common call for people. Even if you are called to marriage, but not in the time that most people are generally married it can be hard to hold firm to faith.
It is important to recall truths about marriage, life, and God during such times.
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1. God’s Timing Is Perfect
It has become an age-old coined term that God’s timing is perfect, even to the exhausted ears of a single person, but it is important to remember that God is sovereign over time itself.
In Genesis 24 we are given insight into God’s plan for Isaac’s marriage, which was so precise it was down to the exact moment for meeting. Genesis 25 tells us that Isaac was forty years old when he married his wife, Rebekah. In our modern age, we would consider forty to be quite late to get married, but in God’s eyes it was perfect timing for God’s ultimate plan.
In the story, Abraham, Isaac’s father, sends a trusted servant and friend to his homeland to find a wife for his son. The servant prayed and asked God to send such a woman, and that he would know her by her kindness to him. Not a few minutes later on God’s exact timing and clock did Rebekah walk up to offer unprecedented kindness to the servant, not only offering to fetch water for him, but over twenty-five gallons for his camels as well.
The servant knew with no doubt she was the woman God had for Isaac. Though it is not mentioned, one has to consider that Isaac anxiously wondered when or how his wife would come into his life. It was clear to him that the women in the land his family were living were not God’s plan or best, but it was not clear when one day would become today.
God’s planning was intentional, for God knew that in order for His plan to occur at exact timing for Jesus and beyond, Isaac would need to wait forty years to marry Rebekah. Rebekah was made to be his wife. God had the timeline set before they were even born, but it was their actions of trusting and walking in obedience to the Spirit of God that resulted in perfect timing.
The same can be said for those waiting today. Assuming that God does intend and have a call of marriage for you, trust and believe that His timing is without fail.
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2. Wait for God’s Best
God truly does intend the best for His children, but in order to receive His best we must fully and courageously follow Him in obedience. At times the path marked will not be very clear, but walking in assurance that He is leading you well is critical when the plan seems to be falling apart. This was true for Ruth in the Bible.
Ruth was a young woman who married into the family of Elimelech. At first glance her life seemed secured, until she was widowed young. Her mother-in-law, Naomi, freed her to return to her father’s home like her sister-in-law chose to, yet Ruth chose a different course of action, one that required ample courage.
It is evident that it was pressed upon her heart to keep the commitment she had made to the family of Elimelech, because she followed what in her heart she knew was her calling, she inevitably received God’s best.
In time Ruth would meet a handsome and kind landowner, Boaz. Boaz was taken not just by her beauty, but by her integrity and character. Yet, he still did not make a move.
Naomi must have been nudged within by the Lord to encourage her daughter to continue to persist on, but this time in making her feelings clear to Boaz. In great courage Ruth goes in private to Boaz to confess her feelings and desires to see a future with him. Boaz proves to be God’s best in his response of pure respect for her, and in his response of highlighting her morals and character, finding her refuge in God’s wings.
He praises her for not just her outer beauty, but for the fact she did not go for easy to marry younger men, she waited and persisted for the man she knew was God’s best.
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3. Let God Have the List
God’s best may not meet every box you have made for yourself on a list of hopes for a spouse, but you can rest fully assured that the person God intends for you will be His best.
In the book of Ruth, Boaz was not as young as Ruth, he did not do the initial pursuing, and he was not the most eligible bachelor of the age, but he was God’s best for Ruth. Ruth is remembered in the Bible because she persistently waited, trusted, and acted for God’s best for her life, but this came from walking daily through seasons that seemed hopeless.
No matter how dark the night may seem, it is not impossible. God has a plan, but we have to trust Him for what He deems His best, and we must act in courage when we are prompted to do so by the Holy Spirit.
4. Become Who God Made You to Be
Character development is an often glossed over consideration while waiting to become part of a team in marriage. Some people meet as children and end up together, but even in their young age they are growing and learning how to become to the people they need to become for marriage.
For many people, character development takes ample amounts of time, life experiences, and changes in perspectives before they can step into the role of being part of a team.
Phillip Holmes of Desiring God shares, “Are you expecting marriage to miraculously change you? Married you will be the same you. God, because of Christ and through his Holy Spirit, will change you when you’ve surrendered yourself to him, whether married or unmarried.”
This is a tough pill to swallow at first, but it is true. If God intends marriage for you, you will not change as a person. You will not be healed or cured of sins or temptations, if anything they will become more pronounced and exposed.
It is then one to consciously press into God to ask for His refining fires to help burn out impurities. Be open to new seasons, opportunities, or revelations He will bring about.
Becoming the person God made you to be is not just to get a ring on your finger, but it is more about becoming the highest and best person you can be for yourself, and most importantly for God. We did not come to earth just to get married and have children, we came to glorify God in the highest, and that includes allowing Him to mold, shape, and prune us to His fitting.
What a beautiful gift in marriage it would be as well to know fully and wholly who you are in Christ first and foremost in order to give your best to your spouse.
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5. Don’t Make Marriage an Idol
It is important to not allow marriage to become an idol or distraction in our lives.
The first marriage was the only marriage that for a time was perfect, one without flaw. God made the Garden of Eden and everything in it, and then made Adam, the first man. God saw that it was not good for man to be alone, so He made a wife for Adam, Eve.
Before the Fall of Man, their marriage was in fact perfect. There was no flaw, no sin, and no shame. It is said that they stood before each other naked with no shame, because there was nothing to fear or hide between them.
Their relationship was perfect because all things were in proper order. Adam and Eve abided in the Garden in perfect relationship with God. They honored, revered, and served Him first and foremost.
Before the Fall, God was their greatest desire and love. They took their eyes off of these truths when they were tempted to lose faith and trust in God and place trust in the doubts Satan spurred
An idol is anything we give more affection, trust, or attention to over God, and for Adam and Eve their lack of trust resulted in the first sin and the Fall of Mankind. That first sin is still important for us today to recognize.
We cannot allow marriage to become a distraction from our first love in Christ. Christ should be our central focus, our first Love, and where our devotion ultimately rests.
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6. Remember Your First Love
Marriage is wonderful, godly, and holy, but it must not become something that becomes so all-consuming in desire that we forget God. This will require perhaps daily a placing at the Throne of God such desires, for them to be given in His time and in His way.
When we do this, we take the burden off of ourselves to create or foster a marriage, and we trust the One Who is Sovereign and in control of all to have the beautiful power to make a way and make a path.
This is because we have made Christ the head of our desires, so all the rest will fall into place accordingly.
7. Comparison Is a Thief of Joy
Comparison is a thief of joy: that is not a new concept, but it is a true one.
Someone else may have a path as such that they meet their significant other early on in life and they are married without much strife or struggle. For others, it can be a longer winding road, one with rockier steps.
Comparing two paths is like comparing two different types of flowers. Both can be praised and celebrated for their beauty, but one is not more important or special because it bloomed sooner than the second.
In Eccesiaties3:1 Solomon wisely shares, “There is a time for everything, and everything in its time” and that can apply to marriage. If we compare our path to the path of all those around us we can easily become downcast. Whether it be in relationships, children, jobs, or success elsewhere.
What is important to remember as hard as it is to is that we each have a time and season for certain events in our lives and that will not match identically with the time and seasons of those around us. Perhaps instead we can only make comparisons with who we were yesterday in our efforts to become better moving forward.
This will be a daily affirmation to not fall prey to the discouragement that events are not occurring in the same time as those around you, but that does not make the blooming season of your life any less cherished.
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8. Rejoice with Your Friends That Are Getting Married
Romans 12:15 encourages us to rejoice with those who are rejoicing, and to weep with those who are mourning.
Instead of allowing the spearing head of jealousy to emerge within our hearts, rejoice for those who are in their seasons of blooming. Rejoice with them for it is a beautiful and rich season in their lives, and it can be hoped that when your season arises that those same people will be celebrating with you, no resentments harbored anywhere.
God can see the future in a way we cannot, so trust that He provides all things--including spouses--in perfect timing in order that we have what we need in precise timing. Know ultimately as well that we have Him, and in Him we find our fullness.
9. Joy Can Be Found with or without a Significant Other
Lastly, it is important to remind yourself that your joy does not come from a future marriage. Marriage can provide so much joy, it can add to joy, but it is not the root of joy.
The root of joy is truly in Christ Himself.
No other entity can fulfill, no other person can satisfy. Christ is the living water eternally of joy itself, not another human being. This is because each and every human is broken or imperfect in some way.
No matter how hard we try, we are not infallible, but Christ is. These truths need to be recognized and seen because where we place our faith, joy, and security matter. Seek first and foremost His Kingdom, His face, and His heart and see how much more will be given to us.
Marriage is a beautiful gift from above. Books in the Bible highlight and celebrate that sacred and spectacular union between a man and his wife, but it is not the end-all of life itself on this earth.
It can become so daunting when you see something you desire so dearly happen at glance to everyone around you, yet you are still waiting. It can feel as if you are in a waiting room and everyone else is called before you.
At times, it can make you feel unworthy or unimportant to God, but that cannot be further than the truth.
Hold firm to the truth that your life, the entirety of it, is so important to God that He has precise timing, seasons, reasons, and gifts for you ahead.
Related Resource: Check out our FREE young adult podcast Big Pond, Little Fish! Host Alyssa Roat joins other young professionals in a podcast exploring life, career, family, friends, and calling from the perspective of a young Christian fish trying to make a splash in the world’s big pond. All episodes are at LifeAudio.com. You can listen to her episode on singleness by clicking the play button below:
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