Marriage or Singleness?

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” -Genesis 2:24

I married Aaron straight out of high school and never looked back. Our choice went against worldly reason and many around us believed we would fall apart—like so many young couples in our society today.

They didn’t view us through the lens of Christ but through that of the world. We knew our vows were being spoken before God and man. We knew that God would be the head of our marriage. And we vowed that the word “divorce” would never reach our lips.

Feb. 22, we celebrated 8 years of marriage, which doesn’t include the years we spent building upon our friendship beforehand. Aaron is the only true God decision I’ve ever made. I know without a doubt that our marriage was destiny and God planned and Aaron would agree.

I suppose the reason for this post is to discuss the importance of singleness and marriage. That we should find completion and joy in both!

There is a push for young people to marry and have children, a romanticism in movies and tv shows surrounding marriage and a melancholy and impatience surrounding singleness. As if “I’m single” = “I’m lonely and desperate!”

The Apostle Paul, a man who was called to singleness, held some differing views on marriage. He talks about marriage almost pitying those who enter into the union. Why? Because he loves the freedom he experiences as a single man to pursue God. Marriage, in his eyes, is a distraction from wholehearted surrender. A concession for those who have no self control and would sin otherwise.

He says these things without commandment from God (1Corinthians 7:6). And so we are at liberty to either take his personal viewpoint or leave it. But I’m not saying that his words aren’t wisdom or Spirit led, only that what he says holds an undertone of emotion due to his experiences which are one-sided and non-objective.

His instructions for both married and single folk are important but his feelings should not make you feel ashamed for choosing marriage or particularly righteous for choosing singleness. The fact is, Paul stands for a small minority of people who do not struggle with passion or desire for physical intimacy. Paul was called to a life of sacrifice, suffering, constant travel, and unwavering focus.

I believe that through both Paul’s commitment and God’s design, he existed apart from this particular need/distraction. Otherwise, his heart would’ve been conflicted and he may not have been so selfless in his ministry.

In other words. Paul was made to be single so that he could do what only a single man could do. Not everyone has that call in which the only ministry focus is reaching the lost and not also ministering to our spouses and rearing children.

The Takeaway:

Pursuing singleness can be as disastrous as pursuing marriage if that is not what God has called you to.

So the core lesson here is what does God want for you and your life? What do you feel called to? What do you struggle with or have passions for? God isn’t looking for copycat Christians who want to be exactly like Paul, or Peter, or John…etc. He wants you to be _______ (insert your own name). No one else can be you!

And ultimately, He wants you to mirror Jesus. Not in every detail (for example, you don’t have to be a carpenter or travel on foot as a missionary), but He wants you to love like Him, obey like Him, and have a relationship like they share (Father and Son).

If you do these things you will please God and fulfill your unique call and destiny whether you are single or not.

In all honesty, I feel like Paul did a disservice to those who were married. No doubt because he had never experienced it for himself. Marriage, in many ways, is our design—from the moment Eve was created from Adam and they were joined because God said: “it’s not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18).

He created marriage that day and said it was good. The Bible is filled with marriage, the symbolic representation of Christ and the church (His bride). And how else are children born but through the union of man and woman?

I can personally attest that marriage has taught me to love better, has challenged me to grow as a Christian, has destroyed selfishness, and has broadened my spiritual impact because two oftentimes is better than one. (Even in singleness you need strong Christian companions/friends/family).

As for singleness, I’d like to say that I would’ve grown up far faster (worldly speaking) had I learned to be single for awhile before I married (I struggled to be independent on my own). Buying an apartment and facing life alone would have hardened and stretched me—I would have learned to first depend on God instead of meeting those needs in a spouse.

I found Aaron when I stopped searching and just followed after God. So gentleman and ladies—enjoy the single life, make sure your identity is in Christ and not in finding your “soul mate.”

Romance God. Chase after His heart first—because at the end of it all it really is just you and Him.

Earthly marriage is unto death, not eternity. Once we leave this life we are married and one with Christ. And so remember your first love and you will love everyone else all the more wholly. Including your spouse or future Mr./Mrs.

May God bless you wherever you are, and give you the righteous desires of your heart as you journey ever closer to His. Amen.

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It Takes Three

aaron and I pond

God has never felt alone. Maybe there were moments, such as when Jesus called out, “why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), that He suddenly felt ignored and cut off, but He never lingered there. It was a purely human thing to feel alone when the truth is He was never alone.

God has never felt the feeling of two either. Even as Jesus, when it was just Him and one disciple talking together while the others were away, Jesus was aware of three presences. His friend, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father.

Three, the Trinity, is what God has called complete. Longer than we could ever imagine, for eternity, God has had completeness in Himself. It is no wonder that He would want our marriages to mirror this same relationship.

My husband and I have always placed God at the center. He is first, the one we come to for advice, guidance, and love. In Him, we are complete, not in each other. I love Aaron with all my heart, He is my companion, and our marriage bond makes us one, however, He cannot complete me. And what a weight that would be on his shoulders to fulfill such a role!

Adam began with Eve a part of him, and though God felt he should have Eve at his side, Adam first only knew God. And I bet, it was enough for Adam. Just as it was enough for God before He created us. We do not see Adam asking for a helper, only God feeling that it would be good if Adam had one. Why is that?

It all goes back to why God created us and the angels. If He is complete in Himself, why create other beings at all?

I’ve known my husband for a long time, God even longer. I’ve experienced God’s love and have felt loved by Aaron. The wonder of love is that it grows and multiplies. And often longs to pour out. We long to both receive and give love. In other words, love longs to be shared. And that is why God has given us the ability to bear children.

Gods love is so great within the Trinity,  that He longed to share it with children of His own. And so we were created in order for Him to share His love. Marriage mirrors this in that after a while a happily married couple longs to share their love by growing their family. A child in itself is the result of love. He/she is a person made up of two individuals that came together as one. And likewise, we were made by God in His image, the image of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as an expression of His great never-ending love.

And so I claim that it takes three to make a marriage work. It takes three to reflect Christ and His love for the church. I once saw an image that demonstrated this beautifully. There was a bride and a groom with hands locked together, and God was in the middle, with His hand on top of theirs, holding them together, cementing their bond and adding to it with His own.

Through God we see each other more clearly, we love more honestly and fully. In Him, I see not just a man when I look at my husband, but a son created by God, in His image, loved perfectly and whole-heartedly. This helps me to look past his flaws and mistakes, to honor him and his authority as my husband because in doing so I honor God.

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

– Matthew 18:20