Singles: Are You as “Ready” for Marriage as You Think?
by Rebecca Halton
March 10th, 2016
I used to think I was "ready" for marriage.
And then I took an honest look at my life.
To be clear, I'm not suggesting that singles start getting legalistic about marriage preparation. Nor am I suggesting that we try to manipulate God into giving us a spouse. That's not my intention at all.
However, my intention is to encourage us all to take a humble look at our lives. One of the most sobering moments was realizing that I had some planks in my own eyes (Matthew 7:3-5).
Another sobering moment was when I truly let God show me whether or not I was ready to be entrusted with the man he has for me. It was easy to proclaim myself ready, but what did He say? Well, in my case, He showed me areas of disobedience, or neglect, or laziness. He showed me soul wounds He's been wanting to get His healing hands on.
He showed me I'm not as ready as I thought.
Did I want to see all that?
Yes and no.
I wanted to know if there were things getting in the way. If I was getting in the way. Kind of like how I'd want to know if I was about to attempt a cross-country drive in a busted car. But is it fun to finally acknowledge or feel my brokenness? Not really.
On the other hand, it is empowering.
You can't start seeing solutions if you won't look at the actual problem. Ignorance may be bliss -- but it's not progress. For me, I had to be willing to make some changes. Changes I'm not done making. I don't ever expect to fully "arrive," before marriage, but these changes aren't just for my (future) marriage.
At their core, they're changes for my relationship with God.
Not my future husband...though I'm sure he'll appreciate the results!
They're changes for my greater freedom and wholeness, in multiple senses of those words. For example, getting serious about professional choices that would make it more possible to pay off my student loans? That's "readiness" I needed to take more seriously, whether or not I ever get married. (Better financial stewardship and personal responsibility just happens to be something that also benefits a marriage.)
Remember, though: The point of all this isn't to get God to give you a spouse. Nor is this meant to be some kind of "Spiritual Stepford-Spouse Prep." I will never be perfect, including before marriage. I may not even have my student loans paid off before marriage...
...but at least I'm cultivating important financial habits now, and demonstrating a desire to take personal responsibility, employ wisdom, and work towards debt-freedom. No matter what happens, God desires greater freedom for us -- be it now as singles, or later as spouses.
Marriage isn't the end game, friend: maturity is. We are, after all, His bride already. And it is biblical to get ready. First and foremost for Our Bridegroom. But also for our bride or groom, if God has marriage in His plan for your life.
(And if not, that's okay, too!)
I'm just suggesting that we not be so quick to declare ourselves ready. I could declare myself ready to run a marathon tomorrow...but that doesn't mean I actually am ready to go the distance! That's what this season can be for you, too: A time of preparation for whatever God has along the course of your life's race (Hebrews 12:1). From what I can tell already, marriage is tough.
And there are certain ways in which I need to let God begin to toughen me up. In that sense I'm thankful for this time of singleness, when I can focus on what I need to work on...
(...not to be confused with works on.)
I've already noticed greater freedom since beginning certain changes. It wasn't fun to face the truth about my self-indulgent sense of "readiness." But I'm thankful now. I do believe I'm readier...
...but for life (not just marriage)!
This first appeared here and is shared with the author's permission.
Rebecca Halton is currently a never-been-married 32-year-old, who admits she’s done singleness well—and as poorly as one possibly could. She is an author and inspirational blogger, who’s best known for her bold testimony and relentless encouragement that, with Jesus, our past chapter doesn’t have to be our last chapter.
More of Rebecca Halton: www.rebeccahalton.com