The highest joy of living is to know and to be known by another. If that strikes a chord with you, then God’s answer for you is marriage.
Fear can make a person vow never to trust another person with their whole life, and it is true that life sometimes wounds to where we are reticent to invest again, but unless you have no interest in intimacy, you do not have the gift of singleness! You need to know that God is able to pour his healing balm on your emotions and replenish your strength so that it doesn’t have to be that way for you.
The key to your success in relationship is going to be your own level of maturity and your strength of character. After the excitement of the engagement and the glamor of the wedding, the marriage begins. Are you ready to steward the life of another?
The more preparation you can make ahead of time to become a mature single person, the better your marriage will be when the time comes.
The problem with the process of maturing, is that it is hard to recognize your own immaturity. Be bold and ask yourself some penetrating questions to assess where it is at with you:
Does everything always have to be about you and your issues, or can you lay down what is concerning you long enough to take care of the needs of someone else?
Are you insensitive to the needs of others, especially those you are close to, or do you always have a thought for their perspective and their journey?
Do you demand your own way in everything, or do you find pleasure in the happiness of another?
Can you be reasoned with, or are you intent on everyone else seeing it your way?
Do you recognize an authority higher than yourself to which you are willing to submit?
Do you get upset when you are held accountable for your actions, or can you take responsibility for the consequences of what you did without defending yourself and putting the blame back on the one you hurt?
These are tough questions, but if you don’t ask them of yourself, life will ask them of you as you try to form and maintain a rewarding and healthy marriage.
A successful marriage is built on a commitment to meet the needs of another rather than to get your own needs met. When we decide to marry, we make a decision to value another person self-sacrificially, with a realistic assessment of their strengths and weaknesses.
If we go in with the sole objective of getting our needs met, our marriages will flounder when we discover each other’s weaknesses, since it somehow doesn’t easily dawn on us that we marry another human being! But the quality and depth of our marriages will be determined by our ability to steward the weaknesses of our spouse and our willingness to admit and to work on our own weaknesses in response to their requests! We are all a work in progress!
In the world’s economy weakness means shame. In God’s economy, stewarding the weakness of another is a sacred trust and a unique privilege.
In marriage, both spouses should be able to be naked and unashamed. That means that both can reveal their fault without fear of rejection and judgment by the other. Be ready to become the healing that your spouse needs for their broken places, and the place of safety that they require to experience unconditional acceptance by another human being. There is tremendous redemptive power in this kind of love, and you literally become God’s vehicle for the restoration of another human soul.
Are you ready to embark on this kind of journey with another person? This is the commitment of marriage. Embrace it with your whole heart and it will be the most fulfilling adventure that you could ever experience.
Father, you know me; you know how you wired me, and you know that I need someone in my life. Thank you for calling me to be married and to enter into this sacred relationship with another human being that mirrors your redemptive commitment to your people. Even as you bring someone across my path, I also yield to you as I prepare to steward their life. Work on me, Lord, and make a blessing ready to happen to my life partner!