The Idol of "I Do."

Being a girl is so weird. We are basically programmed to be in love with love. There is nothing wrong with love. Love is awesome! Love is great. But do we even understand what it is? Is it mushy facebook posts? Is it having someone to tell you that you are beautiful all the time? Is it dating? Is it marriage?

We hashtag #DearFutureHusband like it’s our job. We make boards on Pinterest with all our wedding plans. We jump at the chance to date someone and after the first date, we are designing a ring on tiffany.com. It is so easy for guys to play us and use the idea of marriage to their advantage because we are like hungry leeches waiting to suck the life out of any man we can get our hands on. Some women don’t even consider the prospect most of the time. Doesn’t matter who they are.. hey, if you are willing, we are ready.

What are we thinking??

We have set MARRIAGE up on a pedestal that, frankly, is above God. Sure, we want a “godly marriage” and a “godly home,” but do we want it more than we want God? If you are single right now, you have God. And guess what… He is enough. But for some reason, we don’t believe it, we get depressed and angry at Him for not providing us someone to send mushy texts to all day long.

Listen closely to what I am about to tell you. Write it down and put it in a place you will see it every day.

Your life does not begin on your wedding day. Your life begins the day you realize that Jesus is the reason you live it.

Marriage has become an idol for us. As Christian [especially girls], it IS our everything, and we think it’s ok because “God wants to give us the desires of our hearts” Right?

1. Well, the fact is, God doesn’t promise you a husband or a wife. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that the unmarried have more time to care about the things of God. It just makes sense that married men or women have a spouse to care for and maybe children too. Single women and men can focus solely on being in service to God. Which he says is GREAT! He says, [im paraphrasing here] “If you’re married, great! Don’t be wishing you were single. If you’re single, awesome! Don’t be wishing you are married!”

Paul explains that singleness is not a curse to be “forever alone.” It is an incredible and exceptional privilege to be able to focus on ministering to others and seeking the kingdom. The gospel says you do not NEED anyone but God to complete you, and while marriage is a picture of Jesus Christ and His bride, singleness also portrays the gospel powerfully in that the Christian’s ultimate identity is in Christ alone.

2. Marriage isn’t all fun and games and love and wonderment and laughter and happily ever after. I’m sure it is a great blessing from God when it is done right, but marriage is hard work. Marriage is something you sacrifice for, grow into, and build together. If you get married for the sake of getting married or for trivial reasons, you are more likely to get divorced for those trivial reasons. I don’t want to find someone to marry. I don’t want to find someone who is just willing to put up with me forever. I am holding out for someone with a purpose because I have a purpose, and I know that when we get together, our purpose will be even greater. That is the plan of God–Not just to get married and have babies, but to further His kingdom with our individual purposes coming together to create an even greater mission.

Marriages that exist for no other purpose other than people’s happiness fall apart and happily ever after turns into a nightmare. People are saying their marriage vows for themselves… because they think the other person will makes them happy. Two takers seeking their own gain will end up making each other miserable. When you seek your own happiness, when you seek your own pleasure, instead of seeking the kingdom of God, these things are taken away from you instead of being added. God has promised to meet all your needs according to his plan, but only when you put HIM first, not your desire to be married.

Maybe instead of sitting around asking God and ourselves “WHO” we will marry, we should be asking “WHY” we want to be married in the first place. Is it because we are not content with and in God alone? Is it because everyone else is doing it and we don’t want to feel left out? Is is because we want another person to boost our self esteem every day?

Or is it because we have found and come to know someone who has a purpose in life, and their purpose is something you would like to be a part of? Do you have purpose together as a couple? Do you have a mission for the kingdom with this person? Could you be stronger together for Jesus Christ’s sake than you are apart?

These are the questions we need to be asking ourselves now while we are single. We need to STOP idolizing marriage. We need to be content where God has us, and work on cultivating and creating our own individual purpose instead of waiting around for someone other human to fill that empty part of our lives. If I had gotten married young, I may never have started this blog, and been able to have this incredible ministry God has allowed me to have. I am so thankful for it. What are you doing now while you can?

Get busy seeking the kingdom. Put God first, and He will not put you last. Remember that it is not your business to mind your business. It is your business to mind God’s business, and His to mind yours.

I’m not saying don’t look for a husband or wife. I’m not saying stop dating. I’m saying let this obsession with marriage go…. and we just may see revival. There are so many of us single Christians. Let’s join forces now and live for Christ, go on mission trips, and be busy doing things while we have the time and money to do so. Let us live holy lives for the sake of the gospel and for the sake of the world. Let’s be different so that we actually have something to offer the unsaved. People, God will take care of the rest. I promise, but more than that, HE promises..

…And I promise that He can always be trusted.

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36 comments

  1. WOW! i am blown away right now because i was just talking to a friend about this. Being the only single one of all my friends it becomes hard for me to express exactly what you wrote. THANK YOU! This not only expressed how i felt but open up a whole new perspective! (your an amazing writer)

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  2. After tweeting must of the article, I praise God for using you as His mouth piece. He is looking for willing young adults to stand OUT for Him. There is more to this race than a ring, a white dress and an American picket fence. ONLY CHRIST will keep us going, ONLY HE can bind us to another person and allow us to grow in patience.
    Thank you for being willing to take a stand and be a part of the revival & the shifting of mindsets within the body of Christ – we gotta stop sleep walking. He is our all in all. His kingdom comes first everything else is a nice add on, but we can’t do anything WITHOUT HIM.

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  3. Hope it’s ok for a guy to comment. I agree with this 100%! While the culture has too low of a view of marriage, the “Christian subculture” has too high of a view. Marriage is an earthly entity that has no bearing on eternity.

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  4. This article has seriously opened my eyes. I am a 20-year-old girl (woman? Lady?) and I have never had a boyfriend. Ever. I’ve always felt like there was something wrong with me because of this fact. I’ve had this fear of being forever alone tattooed on my forehead for so long. Now I understand that I obviously have something to do before/if God blesses me with a husband. I have a purpose. Thank you so much!!

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    • You are so young, don’t ever feel pressured into being in a relationship. Allow God to be your everything at the age you’re in. I wish I could go back to my twenty year old self and tell her to on fire for God and not even think about a relationship, cause guess what, God has already thought it out for her 🙂

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    • Jennifer! Thank you for reminding me that I have girls coming behind me who need my encouragement not discouragement!!!! Thank you for encouraging ME! May the Lord bless and strengthen you! 🙂

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  5. Wow. I definatley needed to hear this! I am constantly thinking about how great my life will be when I get married one day. This post was just what I needed to remind me that having a boyfriend and getting married is not when my life begins. I will be coming back to read this over and over. Thank you so much!!

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  6. Seriously, this just ripped me to pieces! I’ve been single for going on two years and virtually every moment, I’ve done nothing but complain about it (especially since many people I know are getting engaged or married or becoming parents) instead of focusing on becoming who God wants me to become. It really never clicked to me that I might honestly not be ready for a relationship if I can’t even handle being a single. So, thank God and thank you for that insight.

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  7. This is something I realized a few years, that I put marriage above God. It was a very sobering moment. Since then, God has worked in my heart to change my attitude towards marriage and singleness. No day is perfect, and I’m far from perfect. I still struggle every day with my thoughts and desires; however, God is the one I’m turning to for fulfillment and my complete satisfaction. No man will ever give me the peace and satisfaction that I can find in God. I’m glad God has brought you to the same realization.

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  8. Hello,

    My name is Anna. I happened to see your post about being single on Facebook. It was so encouraging! The Lord has been teaching me so much, this last summer especially, and has been showing me His peace and strength in the times when, without Him, I would be a total wreck! I am 22 years old, single and living with my parents. I am self employed and so, I get a lot of time to think. I find that so much of my thoughts are, basically “why can’t I be married? why are all the other girls getting guys and they seem to just be running around being silly girls!” I know, I am admitting to being a jerk, but it’s the best way to describe it all 😉
    I worked for 5 weeks at a camp in NW WI this summer, and was so broken, so humbled and so blessed through the experience! It proved to me exactly what you were talking about it. To see your post this morning was such a blessing, and a reassuring light that there are other girls like me that are seeing the Lord saying the same things, and that God is greatest and best and we can be so in love with Him and He will be our true fulfillment. I still want to be married and be a stay at home mom! I would really like to be in a ministry with my husband! But, I know that all things are in the Lord’s timing and that He hasn’t passed me by! He has a perfect plan and in His mind, it’s already happened. Does my worrying change anything? No! It just makes me miserable. And I don’t want to waste time while I can be a light and ministering in this special time the Lord has blessed me with! The realization of waiting for the perfect guy, and together, making a bigger impact for the Lord just makes me so excited! What a great gift the Lord has given us!! I won’t waste my time before hand worrying about who he is! And if I am single forever, how exciting waiting to see how the Lord will use me for His great purpose!!

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  9. I love this post… God has also been showing me lately how I’ve been idolizing marriage through James 4. He showed me how I need to spend more time with him. Through my quite time with him, It’s been one beautiful journey , he’s wrecked me and pruned me of all wordly thinking, and has molded me and shown me the women he wants me to be.. Singleness is a great journey when spent with the Lord… I will admit though that I do freak out when I see women (christian) who are single in their thirties… but then I grab myself and focus on God again…. for all young women out there…. you’ll feel the pressure at any age…. just spend your time being on FIRE for For God… let him be your satisfaction not a guy 🙂

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  10. I just saw Pride and Prejudice and after seeing it, went into my room, fantasizing about my future husband. I was mad that I don’t have a husband yet, and literally said, “God, I better have a husband someday, because this stinks not having one.” But this article was exactly what my little brain needed to hear. The fact that I have that attitude towards marriage, says that I’m not ready for it, and definitely need to mature in my walk with God. Many times, I’ve told my friends that I want to just skip dating and get married. Skip the drama and just have my husband already! But I think I need to learn the secret of being content in every situation, like Paul says in Philippians. Whether single, dating, engaged, or married, I can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens me!

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  11. Wow! This is exactly what I needed to hear right now. I’ve been a committed “wait for the right guy” girl but having hit 28 last year…I’ve kinda been having my own little pity party for the last few months… :-S What a reminder of how selfish I am and how amazing my life can be if I’ll just serve and love Him. I need to practice what I’ve been “preaching” to girls for years! Thank you!!!

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    • I completely understand the feeling of being in the doldrums about reaching higher ages. I will soon be turning 32; my sister is about to turn 34. We share an apartment together in a state far from home. We teach in a Christian school together. God moved both of us here for His purpose of ministry. Many people exclaim over our still being single. But I’m here to tell you that God has been using us abundantly in this new ministry. So many people have asked us before what is wrong with these Christian men, but my response to them is that there is nothing wrong with my God. He is the One in control of this: no one else. So there is nothing to fear, dread, or despise being in His hands. My students get more from me because of my being single; I am able to serve in more ministries in my church because I’m single; I travel more because I’m single; I get to see my family more because I’m single; I have even had more of an outreach at my gym because I’m single. Being single in this world is quite rare: particularly if you are like me and have never dated, even at the ripe old age of 31!
      So ladies, enjoy where God has you. So many of my married friends have confided in me that they wished they had waited like I am. They see so many benefits to being single. So look for those benefits, and rejoice in God’s grace!

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  12. I just turned 20 and it seems like marriage is the new craze! I think I had definitely been obsessing over it in the past and had put it above God, which makes me sad to think about. So glad God has shed light on the situation.
    Sometimes it’s hard to remember that I have so many amazing single years ahead of me (with God). Marriage isn’t everything! God IS!!!!

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  13. Wow! This was very Powerful and thought provoking. This has been my thoughts for quite awhile. As a Single 28 something year old guy chasing after Gods glory and his will for my Life. This was a timely reminder,had to share it on my social media network.

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  14. Thanks for writing this. I think I can call you a fellow writer friend after reading your post tonight. I have had so many of these same insights lately and God has convicted me big time to seek everything in him, comfort, joy, and all satisfaction. We must surrender all to him and choose that he is more important than all. Maybe we can see it this way…..we will have to hate our future husband in comparison to Christ. haha Keep fighting for God and pushing others too also! love your blog….I’m new to the blog world. Just started mine…http://diaryofamadsinglegirl.wordpress.com/

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  15. tnks so much i rili luvd dis. Now i wish my cousins, frnds, evry young guy n gal out der wld know dah… Its not alll abt hvn a boyfrnd or galfrnd or gettn married coz evryone elses is but its abt livn n fulfiling God purpose for us. For each of us der is a guy or gal out der kept specifically for us by God. Pray for ur true future spouses der r out der somwhere

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  16. Great post!I do think single ladies do need to pray for patience and wisdom.We cannot idolise anything especially marriage.But we need to realise this is a time of preparation for it.We need to have our spiritual senses alert so we are able to pray for our future marriages because of the situations God exposes us to during this time.Desiring a companion to share life with isnt wrong,in fact its from God.Desiring that over desiring God is not right.Its not easy but Im appreciating the study time Hes giving me before going into some of the tests of a commitment at that level.

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  17. Man, that stepped all over my toes although it was needed. Sometimes we have to be shaken and yelled at to get the message, and you’ve done that. Thank you!

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  18. This is just wow. I completely concord with idolizing marriage is just as bad as idolizing sex. We aren’t really living our purpose because we focus too much on other things that are not GOD. Thanks for this. Coming from a guy.

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    • This is absolutely everything above and beyond what I needed to hear. At first, it was a stab in the heart because this is something that I particularly struggle with but now I get it.
      Thank you!
      praise the Lord for his messages to us.

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  19. I am almost 34 and not married. I have worried that it may be too late for me to have my own family. I made the mistake of following guys around for years. I missed so many opportunities to make other friendships, to do work for the Lord, and to better my life. Please don’t make the same mistake. I wish I just lived my life for God and stopped making idols out of those guys.

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  20. Thanks for this post!! It was sooooooo timely! Since I could remember I’ve been dreaming about marriage and LITERALLY obsessed with it to the point where if I didn’t marry he “perfect guy” and be the “perfect girl” for him then all was lost.
    After reading and realizing (news flash!!) that my sole purpose is to serve God…marriage is a gift!! And it’s SOO true!! We need to ask ourselves WHY we won’t or, ehem…, NEED to get married. God has blessed us with singlehood!!!! I’m one going to appreciate being young and free and pursue Gid like I have nothing to lose. Honestly, marriage doesn’t even interest me anymore! I don’t mean to say that you dampened my mood but you’ve woken me up!! I need to find my purpose in God before I dare think about pursuing a relationship! THANKS SOOO MUCH for posting 😀

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  21. Wow,thanks for sharing,it’s awesome,I am single and all of my friends are married,being single can be a wonderful time where you can get to know God more.
    During my early years of salvation (I have been saved for ten years)I used to have a lot trouble,there’s a lot of painful things that has happened to me in the past and God used the time while I am still single to restore and heal me,I could not even relate to myself or others correctly,to be honest I don’t think I could have made it,if i had been married with all the trouble i had in my life, but now when I look back I am grateful for the time of singleness!!!

    It’s really true we should not want marriage more than we want God,I have watched some of my sisters in Christ do this and they reaped havoc…sometimes people want marriage at the expense of their salvation…honestly that has to make us question our relationship with God should that happen!

    As a single woman you need to know that you are valuable to God and you are not less of a christian or as woman just because you are not married.You value comes from God,You can live a fulfilled life as a single woman of God.Having an ultimate relationship with God can make your heart flourish with joy whether you married or single….

    Jesus is more than enough
    Jesus+nothing=everything

    I am so grateful for just having Jesus,my heart is full!!!!

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  22. Thank you so much for this! I am a 25 year old single Christian woman. I am content being single and I prefer to stay that way so I can give all of my time and devotion to the Lord. I have been misunderstood for this and put down many times by other Christians for not being interested in marriage. It used to upset me and make me feel ashamed but now I know the most important relationship in my life is my relationship with Christ. He makes me whole, He fulfills me and He is the only one who can love me perfectly.

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  23. I’ve been reading your posts recently and to say that I’ve been struggling with this area of my life would be an understatement. Thank you so much for letting the Lord use you to help encourage others such as myself. I am 24 and have been single for the past two years. I can’t say that it’s always easy as all of my friends are married and some are parents. This gave me the wake up call I needed. I know I’m not alone, God has a purpose for my life, and to serve Him with all that I am.

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  24. Wow! Lauren, God has used you so mightily to speak to me today. I so desperately needed to read this. I thought I was the only one to feel this way. Thank you so much.

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