We are now living in a time of upheaval and shifting social norms. Gay people want to get married. Married people want to get divorced. Divorced people seem pretty divided on the subject of getting remarried. Single people are waiting longer to get married and many people eschew the idea of marriage altogether.
Do You Want to be Married?
This post and the next will ask two very important questions. Do you want to be married? And, why?
Let’s begin at the proper starting point. Do you really want to be married? This is not a trivial question and not necessarily the case. This is especially true today when attitudes toward marriage are changing rapidly. Does the thought of being married make you smile with anticipation or does the mention of it make you tense up? Is it something you aspire to or something you feel is thrust upon you by the expectations of well-meaning friends and family who may or may not care about your wishes.
Do you really want to be married? This is not a trivial question and not necessarily the case.
Marriage, being a lifelong commitment, is not the kind of thing one should be talked or coerced into. In it, there will be times of trial. It can be difficult to maintain when it is earnestly desired, all the more so when it is halfheartedly attempted.
Besides that, there is nothing at all wrong with being single. So long as you enjoy it and have purpose in your life, and can control your sex drive, it can be a very fulfilling lifestyle. As your pastor has probably pointed out to you before, Jesus and Paul both were single. They both had control of their sex drives and had a sense of mission that led to very meaningful and productive lives. In fact, under the circumstances which Paul wrote his first epistle to the Corinthian church, he thought remaining single was the better option.
For most divorcees, including myself, there is at least some amount of time where the thought of ever getting married again elicits powerful negative emotions. Why expose yourself to the risk of that kind of heartache again? And yet, those feelings usually subside. After a time, feelings of wanting to connect meaningfully with someone resurface, overcome the fear, and drive us toward relationship.
For those of you who genuinely want to marry, I say this – do not be ashamed of or deny that desire. God made us for intimacy. It is a Godly desire. God delights in the joining together of two into one flesh. Marriage is God’s idea from the very beginning. There is no need to be embarrassed by a desire to marry.
Some of you who see no immediate prospect of marriage or have been single for an extended period have begun to downplay or hide your desire to be married. Please do not fall into the trap of pretending it is not something important to you when in reality it is. God has not given you that desire to frustrate you.
To deny that desire is to deny a part of who you are. That is not healthy. What is important is that you examine your desire and make sure that it comes from a healthy place, not a place of neediness or selfishness.
The Important Thing
If you are happy being single, are living a purpose-filled life, and your sex drive is not driving you to do dumb things, enjoy where you are. Do not let peer pressure or societal pressure force you into something you do not sincerely desire. And, do not let anyone look down on you for your choice.
On the other hand, if you do desire a spouse, you desire a good thing. God sparked that desire in you. If you are well-adjusted, healed up from past hurts, and not being driven by neediness, marriage is for you.
The important thing is that you make your own choice and that you make the choice for the right reasons.
What are good reasons to get married? Check out part 2!
What is your honest desire, marriage or singleness? Let’s talk about it in the comment section.
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