OK, this takes the cake.
I just ran across a blog post vigorously arrayed “against” late marriage. The author was praying for his release from any sin or curse that might be keeping him in the “cage” of late marriage. He went through everything imaginable…generational sins, unfaithfulness, betraying others, demonic sacrifices, everything but the kitchen sink. And then ended with visualizing the fulfillment of his expectation that he would marry soon. All in Jesus’ name, of course.
I want to be clear that I do practice spiritual warfare. I’ll even admit that an idea isn’t automatically ridiculous just because it strikes me so. I’ve heard respected Christian authors say that great couples are opposed from before their meeting. So who knows, maybe a few people do have to fight that battle.
And I certainly agree that marriage sounds good. I’m the family type, always have been. Some people are simply built that way. Independence is overrated for me. (My readership is now skewing their heads quizzically: are we sure he’s male? Yes.)
But the assumption that late marriage is always a curse?
Can’t get on board with that.
I wonder what this blogger does with Paul, who chose lifelong singleness for the Kingdom’s sake. I wonder what he does with Matthew 19, where Jesus bluntly tells us that not everyone is cut out for matrimony. “His plans are for my good,” this blogger chants. But how do you know what’s good for you? Perhaps singleness is better. Perhaps Satan isn’t a convenient catch-all for every circumstance you dislike. At the risk of flipping your worldview upside down, what if it’s God holding you back?
I must be clear on another thing: I don’t believe every Christian single is being “held hostage” until they check off “enough boxes”, or reach “Expert Level” on being satisfied in God, before God marries them off. That all-too-common theory knows nothing of grace, and it leads singles into an awful existence running around in circles rummaging for internal flaws so that God might “lift his hand”. A terrible motive for pursuing righteousness.
But…I won’t make a principle either. I do believe God does this with some people. He’s certainly entitled to. This blogger is obviously operating from a prosperity gospel mindset where his definitions of “good”, not God’s, are in effect.
Such richness is lost that way.
Waiting is transformative. It’s given me time to grow, to stabilize, to accomplish tasks for the Kingdom I couldn’t have otherwise, to get deeper into God’s Word and become a better potential head for a wife. I cannot tell you how valuable the wait has been. Thanks to God opening my eyes and ears to the realities of marriages around me, I’ve been able to beat back the ignorant albeit near-subconscious fantasies that singles buy into (marriage is a cure-all, etc.) and start plugging into the Thing that matters most. It’s forced me to reckon with God. It’s forced me to acknowledge that I’m not in control and that his ways are best; that he is my ultimate validation, strength, and peace; and that he really is enough.
That’s a shipload of treasures that would have missed the port entirely had I married when I wanted.
Believe me, I look forward to tying the knot someday. But I won’t try dictating to God what’s best, and I won’t claim that singleness is the absolute nadir of human existence, to be avoided at all costs. There are things far worse. Like living life without God. Thus the Gospel and its theology of hardship keep their place as the Main Thing, above every other consideration.