Feeling the pressure.
So often in Christian culture there seems to be this pressure to get married very young/quickly. If you’ve grown up in the church, you understand that the topic of marriage is no foreign one. There are countless sermons, groups, discussions, books, and conversations about it. And a lot of it is honestly good stuff! But, it can easily become an idol/distraction that can create unnecessary pressure for many. I say this from experience! Even fresh out of high school I always felt this pressure to get married young, even though I knew in my heart that I wasn’t ready. At 18 years old I still felt like a kid and could barely take care of myself! The idea of it made me so anxious and I knew I wasn’t in an emotionally or spiritually healthy place to do so either.
Again, this was just MY experience! I can honestly say that I know couples who have tied the knot at very young and they are extremely healthy and happily married to this day! So it is honestly a matter of where you are as individual on your journey. God has a different plan for each of His kids! The key is not to feel pressured to be somewhere where you’re not quite ready to be yet and where God is not blessing. And each one of those women that got married young and are still happily married (10+ years later) tell me the exact same thing: to wait. Simply because waiting for the Lord’s timing is the wisest thing we could do.
And let me tell you, these women are not afraid to keep it straight with me on these tough topics! They don’t want me making the same mistakes they did or that they have witnessed, and for that I am thankful. Proverbs 15:22 talks about the wisdom of seeking the counsel of many. When you do this, you allow for blessings in the future. And that is exactly what we should be doing as young adults. There is so much to learn about life, so seeking the counsel of godly men and women who have experienced life a bit longer than us and who have chosen to do things God’s way, is absolutely priceless. I am thankful for these women in my life! So if you haven’t done so already, seek that counsel!!
“WAIT. Don’t rush to get out of your single season if it’s not God’s timing.”
Age is not the factor I am focusing on when it comes to choosing to stay single…
- Wait until you are secure enough to walk alone with the Lord, before you invite another person into your heart.
- Wait until you have learned how not to rely on another person to keep your personal relationship with Jesus going.
- Wait until you know who you are, established your personal values and until your identity is secure in the Lord.
- Wait until you have accomplished all that God has asked of you in your season of singleness.
- Wait until you feel the blessing of the Lord before venturing into a relationship.
- Wait until you know that you have found someone you could see yourself marrying (be careful who you open your heart to).
- Wait until deep down, you know that you would not be settling or compromising.
There are just some things that we are meant to learn in a season of singleness that molds us to more God-centered, secure, healthy and mature individuals which will also end up blessing our future relationships and eventually, marriage.
You see, marriage is not the main goal for me. Let me explain… You can find someone right now who will be willing to marry you if you really wanted to. People get married in Vegas all the time without even really knowing the other person! Or when new couples first start dating and got all the feels it’s easy to start hearing wedding bells. It’s exciting to dream about that stuff! But, getting married is the easiest part. We must desire and fight for a successful marriage. And that is anything but easy; it takes effort.
For as much as marriage is talked about at church, I want to bring up a taboo topic that isn’t touched on nearly enough as it should be when it comes to dating and relationships: divorce. And divorce happens in the Christian community just as it does in the secular world, but no one talks about it. It would be better to encourage singles to break free from the pressure of getting married to a person they’re interested in dating, if it means examining theirs heart first to see if you’re even in a healthy enough place to do it. Because if you’re not in a place, marriage is an option but a successful one might not be. So, we have a better chance of a successful marriage if we take advantage of our season of singleness and give ourselves the grace to prepare for it by becoming who we were meant to be.
If I choose to wait for God’s timing,
if I choose to listen/apply wise counsel,
if I allow God to grow and stretch me,
if I don’t settle out of impatience or fear,
if I see moments of loneliness as opportunities to embrace the comfort of the Lord,
and if I practice the disciplines of a godly woman as a single,
then imagine how much more blessed my marriage is going be?
Not only that, but how much more of a blessing would I be for my husband and children?
Remember: we have a better chance of a successful marriage if we take advantage of our season of singleness to prepare for it by becoming who we were meant to be.