Yesterday I had the chance to do some thinking as I was driving back from my parent’s house in Pleasanton. The drive on the 5 can get long and boring…but it can be a welcome time to think through things and listen to sermons on the iPod. So I was listening to a sermon by my pastor, Rick Holland, on the iPod and started thinking through why marriage is a priority to me and why I think it should be for most Christian young people today.
This post will probably end up being a few posts, but before I begin I want to start with several disclaimers:
1. For a long time I’ve held that I do not know whether or not the Lord wants me to be married. This is true to an extent. Until I am married I can’t be sure what the Lord has for me. But I know two things: 1) It’s my desire to be married one day (for which reasons I will discuss in the post); and 2) I’m an extremely relational being so I believe the Lord will most likely provide companionship for me within a marriage, although I firmly believe that He has and will continue to provide me with rich relationships outside of marriage if it’s His desire for me to be single.
2. I don’t idolize marriage or think it is easier than singleness in any way. I’m also not particularly disconent in my singleness and think it has been an extremely fun and profitable time in life. I am convinced that the Lord’s purpose in all of life is that I would be more like His Son, Jesus Christ. Because of that I believe that He will keep me in this season of singleness for as long as He sees it is most profitable for that purpose and if He allows me to be married it is because He wills for it to accomplish His goal of conforming me to the image of Christ.
3. I don’t think singleness is a punishment, a burden, or an indicator that there is something wrong or missing in someone. That’s why I say that marriage should be a priority for “most” because I don’t hold marriage as a standard that all people must attain to- some people are called and have a passion to display Christ in singleness and if that’s the case they should do it with everything they’ve got. And so long as I am not married, my goal is to put Christ on display in my singleness right along with those who are called to a lifetime of singleness.
Okay, with that said, let’s move on to why marriage is a priority for me and why I think it should be for most young Christians today.
1. To be set apart from our adulescent counterparts.
2. To show that God is able to work in relationships and restore sinful people in such a powerful way that a lifelong commitment between two sinful people is not only possible, but can be enjoyable, full of love, and can make the hard work of relationships incredibly worthwhile.
3. To display the family for co-habitating heterosexuals and homosexuals who have abandoned the notion of marriage and family because they’ve seen people and families destroyed by it.
4. To display the role of the woman in a marriage and show God’s beautiful design for the compatibility of men and women.
5. To be put in a life-long circumstance where I am responsible to and for someone other than myself and thus rob myself of some (though certainly not all) opportunities for independence, selfishness, comfort, and ease.
6. To raise up another generation of disciples of Christ.
I think I’m going to take a post to talk about each of these reasons. In the past it seems it has been shameful for a woman to say her desire is to be a wife and a mother, even in Christian circles. The world sees it as a waste of a life, a woman who isn’t living up to what she can be. And Christian circles see it as desperation, a woman with an idol, or the naivety of someone who doesn’t know the hardship of marriage. But the more I talk with unbelievers I see that these issues are life and death issues. The greatest attacks on Christianity right now are being launched at the family- feminism attacks men’s and women’s roles, premarital sex attacks the purity and honor of the marriage bed, homosexuality attacks sexual purity, men’s and women’s roles, and the biblical charge to be fruitful and multiply, abortion attacks the same charge to be fruitful and mulitply and the biblical command not to murder, and the growing immaturity of “adulescents” attacks the one anothers, marriage, and what the bible would call the dignity or sensibility of men and women. Marriage and the family is at the heart of all of these sins that are so rampant in our world and the best weapon we have against them is strong marriages and loving families.
The glory of Christ is at stake and I pray that the Lord will use this generation of believers to put God on display through marriage and the family in a way that is breathtakingly beautiful- in a way that is disarming and takes away their arguments.