I thought I was ready to meet you yesterday, but now I wonder if God is still preparing both of us for that day to come. I have realized that singleness is a serious blessing, and that we should maximize this season in our lives. Even when we marry, which I look forward to one day, we should behave as though we weren’t. (V*1). Alone we should always keep God at the central focus, and this should remain a priority throughout the course of our lifetimes, including for the entirety of our marriage. After marriage it is clear, that based on the scriptural principles in 1 Corinthians 7:32, that our cares are divided. They are divided between pleasing one another in the marriage covenant, and pleasing God as when we were single. (V*2). Our sanctification, that is the process of becoming more Christ-like, is a continuous process before and after God gives us a green light to marry. If we needed to wait until such a process was complete before marriage, we wouldn’t be partaking in any marriage, outside the ultimate marriage. This is of course in reference to the marriage with Jesus Christ our Savior and us as believers. In that scenario we, the body of believers, are all collectively His brides and He is the Groom. It’s a blessing to note that one of the purposes for marriage, as I have come to understand it, is for our sanctification and continued Spiritual growth.
I do acknowledge there are areas of growth and maturity that I still need to develop. I am still in the process of submitting my sexual purity to God, and quit the addictions that have impeded my walk with Him in the past. Thankfully I have made great strides in this area, and by His grace I believe that if I am not already walking in full deliverance, that it must be around the corner. Only God knows for certain when the time will have arrived for us to continue that segment of our journey together rather than apart. Of course it must also at this point in time be between you and the Lord what aspects of your character He is polishing. Is He helping you grow in patience? Is He helping you focus more on Him and less on the prospect of meeting me? Is He giving you a special window of time to finish your studies, find your calling, or begin pursuit of the career He put in your heart? I am confident that He is doing some of all these things in me, and empowering me by His grace to remain in my current life station while I wait for you.
I am sure that depending on when you might have asked; my perspective has changed about how confident I was in regards to my preparedness for marriage. To put it more specifically, my perspective about the prospect of marriage has been re-evaluated recently. Upon careful introspection, I realize that there may still be some unfinished work in me as a single person before we might be destined to meet, or if we have already met, to spend the time together it takes to evaluate whether we’re right for one another. More importantly for us to ask God if our friendship should one day turn into a romance, and later blossom into a healthy, God-centered marriage.
I want to be in a position of multi-faceted security and maturity before we get married. I believe I have arrived at a healthy place in terms of emotional stability, identity in Jesus Christ as a believer, and long-term desires in alignment with the will of God. This is not to say that there isn’t still a lot to work on. Of course this also doesn’t imply that every area of security and maturity needs to be completely figured out independently of you, but rather that I am confident God will help us to resolve now and in the duration of our courting/dating phase of life. I would like to marry you because we bring God more glory together than apart. When we date I will ask myself these kinds of questions in order to verify you are the God-fearing woman He has provided me:
– Do you love God more than everything else in existence including me?
– Do we draw each other closer to God, and bring out the best in one another?
– Do we function as a team at war with one another and not against each other?
– Do we have serious discussions or arguments in order to seek a resolution or win?
– Can I handle your emotional swings in the deepest valleys and the highest peaks?
– Can I envision your desire to serve God in your way, fitting with my missions?
– Are you adaptable to the full range of socio-economic statuses?
– Can we push one another to be good stewards for eternity, rather than merely maximizing our pleasure on earth?
– Do we effectively desire to encourage one another, and be each other’s #1 fans in support?
– If I was called to consider full-time ministry, could you handle less worldly amenities for the sake of God’s Will?
– If we are blessed with significant wealth or fame do you have the emotional, financial, and Spiritual maturity to be a good steward of it with me?
– Can we balance our work for God, general work for sustenance, and leisure activity in responsible, fun, and God-focused ways?
I want you to internally ask yourself these kinds of questions, and all the other ones God puts in your heart. When I date you I don’t want to lead you on, I don’t want to waste your time, and I don’t want to break your heart. If we are dating there is no doubt in my mind that there’s still a possibility for us to work towards a marriage together. If there comes that time where you don’t see a possibility, stop dating me. Except, if you are my future wife, you won’t need to worry about that. What God has ordained no man can close the door to, and likewise the doors God hasn’t orchestrated, no man can open.
Ideally, before we even start dating, let’s try to reach places of maturity and security in our time spent with God, our identity in Christ, our desires for ministry, our career ambitions in line with the will of God, and fullness of joy in God first. This is so that when we are in a position of strength in each relevant realm: financially, physically, mentally, and Spiritually – then we can be objective in assessing one another as complimentary. God will allow it to flow in His timing, and according to His will. We will know that we aren’t compromising on any of the priorities God has put in our hearts. Attraction will be intrinsic, and our marriage will undoubtedly blossom from a platform of friendship turned into romance by the Author of Creation. I say friendship first because there’s an authenticity in that. Forget about impressing one another; let’s be who we really are. Let’s live freely by God’s grace without reservations. This will help us not only make better decisions in regard to whether we match, but it will also help us not to subconsciously pretend to be something we’re not. We won’t be shifting what we stand for, and who we are, for the momentary delight of a better impression. Stand boldly for who you are, what you believe, and whom you love. All these core aspects of your identity and personality are important to let flow freely as the Holy Spirit guides you to express. I will be doing the same thing, and I know that by the grace of God it will be made obvious when we will connect. Likewise, we will also know how long we should wait until considering the leap of faith we call marriage.
It will be fun, hard work, challenging, life defining, and most importantly God honoring. We need to take it slow and respect His timing. From my perspective at this time I couldn’t imagine it taking any less than two years of courting, in order to get to know one another on a deep enough level, to even consider marriage. Any less than that and I would probably still wonder how you and I got along in certain life contexts. Do I behave the way you’d expect after victory and defeat? Can I handle the full range of your emotional swings at all times? Have you seen me at my best and worst during important life events, significant milestones, and the more trivial matters? Did we think about our personalities and how they interact with one another in the context of day-to-day work life as well as leisure activity?
I can see that just to consider any of this will take a heavy dose of prayer, continued seeking of the Lord first, and pacing ourselves with each part of our lives. On a practical level I want to be able to provide for you, even if you have the capacity to provide for yourself. I want to be able to serve God, you, and potential children appropriately before we get married. Let’s just live each day one step at a time, and see where God takes us. These letters help me put everything into perspective, and help me to remember that I will be able to recognize you. You are very rare, and there is no question that you will stand out from a crowd when I find you. I am sure that you will be beautiful, but more importantly you’re precious to God. On the inside and the outside there are none that compare to you in my eyes. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and it will be my honor to find you, get to know you, be your friend, deliberately love you, and date you for the rest of my life. That way we can protect the lifelong covenant God has ordained in our lives, and not allow it to become a burden to serving Him. It needs to be an asset to serving Him, and we need to bring God more glory together than apart from one another. When that part of our journey comes, we need to remember that marriage in and of itself isn’t merely a destination. Marriage is just the beginning of the next phase of a selfless adventure.
I may be a little too selfish; perhaps you may need to get better at forgiveness. I may be too rigid, and you might be too lenient. I can theorize about our strengths and weaknesses all day, but the truth is it doesn’t matter what I think. It only matters what God already knows, and He is the Author of Creation. He has all the facts in order, and the reality might be the opposite! I may be the one who needs to work on forgiveness or being firmer about certain potential footholds to sin. The key is that we be moldable and willing in the eyes of God, not spurning His correction or the correction of those that have our best interests at heart, but instead embracing them with open hearts.
There is no doubt that God is always in our midst, speaking our love story into existence in His timing, and I am happy about that. I pray that we delight Him now, and we also delight Him later when He brings it to fruition. Let’s fear God and keep His commandments. That’s the best we can do both now and later. (V*3).
I love you, and I love God more. If you are the one you’d have it no other way.
V*1- 29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, 30 those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, 31 and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31 (NKJV).
V*2- 32 But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. 33 But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife. 34 There is[a] a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband. 35 And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.
1 Corinthians 7:32-35 (NKJV).
V*3- 13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (NKJV).