November 3, 2004
Encouragement for Today
To Marry or Not to Marry
Micca Campbell, Director of Outreach with Proverbs 31 Ministries, Speaker Team Member, Certified Speaker
"But I say to the unmarried and to the widows; it is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion." 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 (NKJV)
Last year, at the National Radio Broadcasting Convention, my son and I saw Carman, the Christian singer, coming out of the building. We had seen him once before in concert, but this time we had a close up view. "What a handsome man," I thought. "Mom," my son said with surprise in his voice. "Oh, did I say that out loud?" I replied.
He was handsome. It made me wonder why he never married. Then I recalled watching an interview on television several years ago where Carman stated that "his singleness helped him better serve the Lord".
Regardless of today's popular opinion, marriage isn't for everyone. God has given some the ability to marry and some the ability not to marry. It's important to know which choice God has called you to make before you decide either way.
If you are thinking of marriage, here are three things to consider:
Build a Friendship First. Don't rush into an intimate relationship. You might end up kissing someone else's husband or wife. Take time to get to know each other, their interests, hobbies, dreams and passions. If you don't have common ground you won't have common goals - not in how you worship, not in how you raise your kids, and not in how you serve the kingdom of God.
Determine if it's Love or Lust. Actually, all relationships start out in lust. It's a chemical thing that attracts the opposite sex. Love grows after time is spent getting to know one another, caring for one another, and supporting each other's goals and dreams. In reality, love is a commitment. It means you love someone unconditionally through the good, bad and the ugly. Love is not based on emotions. It is much deeper. Feelings come and go. If I chose to stay married only when I felt gooey over my husband, I would have been gone a long time ago. Romance in a marriage keeps the feelings alive, but commitment wrapped in unconditional love makes the marriage solid. If you are committed to sticking it out, that's the kind of love you can't "fall out of". It will only grow stronger and more secure.
Consider Christ. If the person you are considering marrying is not a Christian, don't bother. The Word of God tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:14 "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?" This verse is not talking about mixing different cultures. It's referring to Christians and non-Christians. If you are a believer, what do you have in common with someone who lives after the things of the world? Nothing. On the other hand, if the other person is a Christian, then consider how the two of you together can impact the kingdom of God. Will you be stronger together or apart? Are your callings, giftedness, and passions similar or totally different? Answering these questions beforehand will help you stay in the middle of God's will for your life.
Don't fall for the philosophy of the world. Learn to be content wherever the Lord places you. Whether you are married or single, obedience to the Father's will is the key to true happiness for us all.
My prayer for today:
Dear Lord, above all my heart belongs to you. Help me to be content wherever you place me as I wait for you to reveal my path. Whether I serve you alone or with a partner I choose your will over my own and trust you will fill me with joy because of my obedience.
Don't sit and wait for that special person to walk into your life. Get out and serve God. They may already be in place to meet you there. If you are now considering marriage, sit down together and consider the ideas I have presented. Ask God to guide you and answer each one with honesty. Your future depends on it.
How are you spending your time - serving God or looking for a mate?
Do you talk with God often about your singleness?
Are you disappointed with God for not providing a mate yet - or are you content where you are?
Are you dating others who are not believers? Why or why should you not do so?
Are you willing to commit to this one person for a lifetime no matter what?
Wait on the Lord and keep his way. Psalm 37:34 (KJV)
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11 (KJV)
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delighteth in his way. Psalm 37:23 (KJV)
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye. Psalm 31:8 (KJV)
Capture His Heart/Capture Her Heart by Lysa TerKeurst
Dreams of a Woman, by Sharon Jaynes
Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God, by Sharon Jaynes
Originally published Wednesday, 03 November 2004.