Monday, July 10, 2017

The Idol Of Marriage

I once heard that it's every girl's dream to get married someday. To have a doting husband, start a family, and live happily ever after like how Disney movies or fairy tale books portray it. So many girls fantasize about their perfect, dream wedding and the exchangement of vows followed by a passionate, heartfelt kiss sending sparks flying into the night. Girls are basically programmed to just love being in love. I see it a lot when they're gushing over their crushes or boyfriends saying, "awww" in unison, which I can't help but cringe at because it's like nails on a chalkboard for me. It's the same when a cheesy love scene between two actors appear on screen, the reaction from them doesn't fail.

There's nothing wrong with being in love. Love is great. Love is wonderful. But what is it that makes women so attracted to love in the first place? Is it compliments from guys telling her she's beautiful, even on her worst days? Soppy love scenes from chick flick movies? Mushy and lame sweet talk from guys calling them, "baby" "honey" or "angel"?

Many single women jump at every chance to date a guy and the very next day, they're already planning their wedding and future with him in their minds. Leaving them quite vulnerable to the players and losers taking advantage of her emotions for their personal gratification. Some women don't even consider the prospect most of the time and end up falling into the same trap again and again.

Our society has this terribly shallow view that if you're not married in a certain time frame, something is horribly wrong with you or you're secretly in love with the same sex. Which puts a lot of pressure to find the right mate. I think it especially rings true for women whose female friends and younger sisters are tying the knot and settling down while they're still a bachelorette past the age of 25. Most of us get bitter and upset with God for not giving us our heart's desire and give up altogether.

The problem is that marriage gets placed on a pedestal above God. It's worshiped as an idol. It's perfectly ok to want a Godly husband whose heart is completely devoted to God and a tidy, decorated home to look after, but is our desire for those bigger than our desire for God?

You see, a lot of us assume that we'll get what we want based on one of the most misconstrued Bible verses, "Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."-Psalm 37:4

This is not implying that if we study our Bibles, pray, attend church on Sunday, give our possessions to the needy, serve others, dress modestly, and don't curse, then God will suddenly give us a handsome, Godly man out of nowhere as a token of His appreciation. That's not how it works. God isn't going to be manipulated by our trying efforts.

I'm not saying we shouldn't do those things, because we ought to be loving the Lord and serving Him regardless if we're married or single, since God doesn't guarantee giving you a husband.

In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul is saying that unmarried people, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, can focus more on solely devoting themselves to the Lord, since they have more freedom to focus on seeking the kingdom and ministering to others. It makes sense after all because married people have a spouse to look after with possible children to care for as well. Paul explains that singleness is an incredible and wonderful privilege to serve God with undivided attention. In other words, he's telling singles it's a PERFECT opportunity to get busy winning lost souls. Not a curse to be "forever alone."

Married couples play a part in the kingdom as well. Marriage is a beautiful representation of the union between Christ and His church. When both spouses come together under Christ's lordship, they further His kingdom with individual purposes to create a greater mission of advancing the gospel.

Marriage doesn't exist solely to make you happy or feel whole. Ask any married couple out there and they will tell you it's not all fun and games. It's hard work. Healthy and strong marriages don't build overnight. It's something you grow into through a continual process of sacrifice, commitment, and sanctification. It's a team effort resulting in putting one before the other (Philippians 2:3) and aligning their marriage to God's purpose. If you marry with a mindset of "me before you" the result will be an unhappy marriage and your happily ever after turns into your worst nightmare. Marriage is a ministry designed to share Christ, where a man and a woman find purpose in uniting together to be stronger in carrying that mission out. Selfishness and pride will wreck the ministry before it even starts.

I think the most important question to consider is, "Why do I want to get married in the first place?" Is it to make me feel good about myself? Is it so I can blend in with all my friends who are getting married?

I can remember my high school years where some of the girls gave me weird looks because I didn't date anyone. I've never had a boyfriend. Some of them even thought I was a psycho because I wasn't as interested in dating or marriage like they desperately were. So part of me felt like I was abnormal. As I got older, I started to crave marriage, being a homemaker, and raising kids because I thought it would make me feel more fulfilled. I didn't want to be left out.

Ladies, your ultimate identity isn't found in a ring and a paper. It is found in Jesus Christ alone. You don't NEED a man in your life to complete you. Jesus did that for you on the cross. Your singleness can portray the gospel very powerfully when you choose to let Christ be your all.

You can still go on dates and pursue marriage. Just let go of this idolizing obsession with marriage and remember why you're wanting to marry in the first place. In the meantime, keep yourself busy with serving and witnessing to your friends, neighbors, families, and strangers. Living each day with the intent of being holy for the sake of the world and the gospel. Seek God first and in everything you do and God will take care of the rest.

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