Yesterday I jumped into the discussion that’s been all over the interwebs for the past few weeks. How do you live a good love story?
I want to recognize that not every good love story has to involve a wedding here on earth. Marriage is not the end all, be all culmination of this life. It’s not the goal. It’s certainly not the climax in the story. It’s simply a possible addition to the arc in your story. Plenty of men and women have lived single lives full of far more love than some marriages will ever demonstrate. As I said in the previous post, you start living a good love story by LIVING your life rather than waiting for life to happen to you.
Now that we’ve got that out in the open, I want to point out that V’s question specifically boiled down to requesting advice for someone hoping to one day be married: “Do you have any practical advice for what Christian singles can do to prepare for a future spouse?”
I went through a really warped time in my relationship with the Lord where I truly thought that unless I could be happy being a lonely, that I was being disobedient. There’s a problem with that line of thinking:
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” (Genesis 2:18, NLT)
I felt like I was being more holy by being completely alone. That’s not good. In fact, GOD says it’s NOT GOOD for us to be alone. Yes, He has given us the gift of marriage, but He has also given us the gift of platonic relationships. When I moved to Arizona I was alone. I could have spent my years watching television, going to the gym, and going to work… but I would have been terribly lonely. Somewhere along the way I realized that I was designed for community and relationship. We all are.
Life is going to contain some lonely bits, but I don’t think you should punish yourself with it. Some seasons will hold more friendships and relationships. Hurray! Others will require that you depend upon the Lord and remain thankful for a small circle of friends.
I also had a time in my life where I honestly believed that as long as I wanted “a someone” or to be married, that God was going to hold out on me until I learned to be content in the current situation. And while God does sometimes desire to teach us patience, there was another problem with my line of thinking.
And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” (Luke 11:9-13, NLT)
Second piece of practical advice: It’s ok to hope for it! It’s ok to want marriage. It’s ok to want a relationship. It’s ok to ASK for a relationship. Keep a watch on your heart. If you are spending more time praying for “someone” and wanting “someone” than living your life (loving God, loving others, and making disciples), then ask that God would help you to desire Him more than anything else this world has to offer. If you are IN a relationship and that other person has become your everything, ask that God would also show you how He should be the greatest desire of your heart.
We serve a God who loves to give good gifts in His perfect timing. He wants to hear from you and to know the desires of your heart. You don’t have to be ashamed of your requests or fearful of His response. Trust His timing and His desire to see you live an exciting and heroic story full of love.