“Will I Ever Get Married?”
The Emotional Well-Being of Singles (From the book: “How Do You Feel Today?”)
‘In Sunday school they were teaching how God created everything, including human beings. Little Johnny, a child in the kindergarten class, seemed especially intent when they told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam’s ribs. Later in the week, his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill, and said, “Johnny, what’s the matter?” Johnny said, “I don’t feel well, I think I’m having a wife.”’ (Ministry 127)
It is the dream of most boys and girls to be married one day. Children play “house” with their dolls, Legos, and other toys. Families where love, acceptance, and proper discipline are found are homes where this desire is nurtured, and how to be a good spouse is modeled and taught.
As children grow into their teens, their minds and bodies become increasingly aware of the opposite gender. Parents, please be sure to give instruction, and follow up with that instruction for healthy thinking concerning the goal of courting/dating (marriage), and how to remain pure.
Dr. Jim Schettler says: “It is better to wait and know it, than to date and blow it.” Dating is not just a pastime or entertainment proposition: emotions of the heart are not to be toyed or played around with. Date with intention. The goal of dating or courting is to determine if marriage is God’s intention for you and the other person.
Not everyone is called to be married. Paul challenges some of the believers in Corinth to give their lives solely to the Lord so that they could “attend upon the Lord without distraction.” The “Gift of Singleness” is found in I Corinthians 7. The Lord has equipped some people so well that they may not need a helpmeet, and their service to the Lord may be just as effective or more so because of their marital status. For example, there have been unmarried men who serve in mission fields where one cannot take a family. Verse 33 (I Cor. 7) states: “But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.” If you have a burning desire for marriage, ask the Lord to bring the person He for you into your life. 1 Corinthians 7:2 informs us: “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” It is better to get married than to “play house” with another adult and act like you are married. Many people are in sinful relationships today, when God is calling them to legitimize their relationship.
What are some qualities I should work on while waiting for marriage? This is a great question! In Genesis 24, we read about Isaac and Rebekah. Here are two people who desired to someday be married, but were not pushing or rushing to marriage. They were consistent to work on their personal and spiritual qualities that would later help their marriage.
Genesis 24:62-67 tells this marriage story. “And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelt in the south country. And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.”
As Isaac was waiting to be married, two main qualities stand out: Isaac was hard-working and was involved in healthy worship of the Lord. We can also discover qualities Rebekah possessed as a single person that later enabled her to be a good wife: Rebekah was considerate of others and she was modestly clothed. Let’s look at each of these qualities…
Hard Working. Some people work at their play, play at their work, worship their sleep, and sleep in their worship. Isaac was not like that. Isaac was in the fields working when he first saw the love of his life. He was consistent in the tasks of the family business in herding sheep and digging wells. He was not like the Prodigal Son who, in the New Testament, went and spent all he had on “riotous living.” Isaac was working, serving, and being faithful to his jobs and daily obligations.
Healthy Worship. Did you notice how Isaac was meditating in the evening? The word meditate involves musing and praying. As his thoughts were turned to the Lord, the Lord answered his prayer for a wife. While meditating, he heard some people traveling his way. He looked up from his moments with the Lord and saw his father’s servant coming back from the journey to search for a bride for Isaac. Abraham was encouraging Isaac to be married and sent this servant to find a bride of the same faith to be the wife of Isaac. Our custom today may be different, but the direction of whom to marry is not. By God’s grace, determine today to only date or marry a person who is a Christian actively growing and serving the Lord. Proverbs 18:22 encourages, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.” This word find does not necessarily imply looking and searching, but rather to “come upon.” Some young people are so infatuated with the idea of a date or the prospect of getting married that they force an effort to “find” a spouse. It would be better to work on being who God wants you to be than to look for a person to marry. As you trust the Lord, He will bring that person into your life.
You don’t want to date just anyone – there should be more qualifications besides being the opposite gender. “One of the most famous naval battles of history was the Battles of Actium, fought September 2, 31 B.C., between the fleets of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra on one side, and the fleet of Octavian, afterward Augustus Ceasar, on the other. In the midst of the engagement, the war galley of Cleopatra withdrew from the battle, and the infatuated Anthony deserted his fleet to follow the Queen of the Nile. Thus, Anthony relinquished his great leadership for a vain woman.” (Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times)
Isaac was actively working on his relationship with the Lord. Before texting, sending an e-mail, or calling that significant other you may be interested in, have you met with God? Make sure worshipping the Lord is at the top of your priority list. Had Isaac been a rebel to the Lord or run after a life of sin, the story would have been much different. Abraham had brought Isaac up to fear God and serve Him. You may or may not have a Christian family background, but you can determine to have a Christian family if the Lord gives you a spouse.
Consideration of Others. The first glimpse we get of Rebekah is a beautiful one. She is helping a total stranger by drawing water from the well. She not only gives water to Abraham’s servant Eliezer, but she also draws water and gives it to the camels. This is no small task! Camels drink a lot of water! She had a genuine servant’s heart to be so considerate of this man and his animals. (Read all of Genesis 24 to learn more of this story.) She went above and beyond what most people would have done.
Most people could grow in this area of consideration. Do you do just barely enough to get by, or do you go the extra mile to serve? This characteristic says much about your determination to succeed and what it would take you to quit. Some people fulfill the least expectation and then expect terrific results. Rebekah exceeded expectations yet did not expect anything in return for herself. After the servant Eliezer sees the Lord has blessed his journey and answered his prayers, he gives Rebekah earrings and bracelets. Nearly every girl loves receiving beautiful jewelry, and Rebekah was no different.
Later, Eliezer gives the family treasures and gifts, giving a sort of dowry to display his credibility and proving the groom Isaac was a hard worker and man of ability and substance. Showing wealth was not the goal, but proving that Isaac was prepared for marriage was important. Proverbs 24:27 elaborates on this: “Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.” If a man cannot hold down a job, he may not be ready for marriage. If a girl does not know how to show consideration and service to others, she may not be ready for marriage.
Selfishness rooted in pride has destroyed many marriages. Rebekah was definitely not selfish but totally considerate of others. “Be the right one rather than looking for the right one.”
Modest Clothing. Before Isaac and Rebekah met, Rebekah covered her face with a veil. Even today, the wedding veil is a symbol of modesty. When she knew the man walking towards her was the man she was to marry, she covered herself up more. This would be a strange proposition to most people today. The world shouts to take clothes off, yet God says to show respect for yourself and your future spouse by remaining covered. Modest clothing and a spirit of purity are needed in our families, churches, and society today.
Rebekah was showing Isaac that she treasured their relationship and was looking forward to sharing a pure life with him. This action of covering also suggests that she was not one to flirt or take relationships lightly. I heard one young preacher say: “If you are not for sale, don’t advertise.” That is good advice, particularly for young women and their clothing choices. Respect yourself. Respect your future relationship. Isaac could trust Rebekah in marriage because she was trustworthy before they were married.
Has God called you to marriage? One day, He may bring your path across the path of another and show you that this is the one to marry. Until that day comes, work at being the Christian God wants you to be, developing these Godly characteristics in your life. Having these 4 characteristics will help you to have stable emotional well-being.
In my life, the Lord blessed the desire for marriage only after I stopped “looking” for a wife. When I buckled down to what the Lord had called me to, the Lord brought my wonderful wife into my life. Let Psalm 37:4 be true in your life: “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Marriage is such an important God-given institution. It can make your life grand or make your life a disaster if entered into flippantly. Be patient, wait on the Lord, and seek His will.