Late Marriage is Not a Curse

picmonkey_imageOK, 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.

Double take.

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 keeps its place as the Main Thing, above every other consideration.

36 thoughts on “Late Marriage is Not a Curse

  1. I concur with everything that you’ve said here Brandon. Sometimes, I think people become anxious in their “singleness”, that they feel the need to speed up the process by doing unnecessary things to get attention perhaps towards the wrong person that they deem as their “awaited” spouse. It’s so important to build a solid foundational relationship with God as a single person (In my opinion) before thinking of joining up with another person because another person can’t fulfill you the way that God can. Building that personal relationship with God is an individualistic thing and it matters if a person wants to grow in maturity and knowledge. Sometimes, people run into a relationship thinking that the other person can fill the voids that they probably have in their hearts, but only God can fill those places. Joining up with another person while still having an identity crisis will do nothing but be a disservice to the individual and the overall duration of that relationship. Personal growth is an individualistic thing and when a person truly knows who they are in Christ as they build intimacy in knowing God for themselves, will such a person be ready for a real relationship with another person. That’s just my 2 cents on the matter.

    – Sherline 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said, all of it. I don’t fully understand why some people are required to train with live bullets (by marrying early) and why others are put through years of drills first, but at some point, you just have to play the hand you’ve been dealt. I’m playing mine.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Waiting is definitely transformative. Singleness is a season of restoration as well. If we can’t learn to depend on God and trust in Him during our singleness then how can we keep God first in a relationship? Some people also idolize and worship marriage. They put marriage first. Again, God uses singleness to transform or restore a person’s dependency and identity through Him and not through a spouse. Great post!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This post is a great reminder that marriage isn’t the end goal – Jesus is. It is definitely hard being a single in a predominantly non-single church body because you feel like you are missing out but then I remember in 1 Cor 7 where Paul talks about it being better to be single because you don’t have the distractions of the world and can have a full heart of devotion to the Lord. There are continual ups and downs in the single walk, for sure, but I look back at all that I have been able to do BECAUSE I was single and I am so grateful for the season that He has kept me in and preparing me for the next. God is so sovereign. Also, I pray for that man that ranted about late marriage – God’s time is the best and perfect time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LOL! Training with live bullets? I love what you said above. Cracked me up.

    My husband and I actually met when I was 16, went our separate ways, and he reappeared in my life when he was 27. That’s not really late marriage, but my point being we both really needed over a decade to figure out what was what. My oldest daughter and her hubby married at 18 and they’re still going strong. My second daughter is pushing 30 and claiming she’ll never meet anyone.

    A friend of mine is 50, divorced twice, swore off women forever…. but recently married one with 3 small kids. It’s a bit funny, he’s as puzzled about it as we are. Not what he thought he’d be doing,not what he planned,and yet it’s right somehow. So, there is great diversity in what God wants to do with people, what song He is writing for each one of us.

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s actually a very important point. A lot of singles’ literature we read tries to apply one-size-fits-all principles to everyone. That doesn’t take into account that God works differently with everyone. There are commands that apply to us all, of course, but there also needs to be some breathing room in our understanding of what God’s doing with each of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “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.”
    He really is super enough. Love you Lord!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can relate to much of what you’ve said. I like the analogy of “drills” vs. “live bullets.” How can we understand His ways and why one person is given one experience while another is given something completely different?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lots of truth here. Love a lot of what you said, especially about how the blogger you were reading completely misunderstood grace in the context of singleness and marriage. I’ve fallen pray to that thinking myself. So much of the youth group teachings about marriage and how “true love waits” don’t give a theological foundation to singleness, treating it little more than a waiting period until someone gets married (optimally right after college or shortly thereafter). It’s no wonder that so many single Christians who have fully entered adulthood but aren’t yet married think that maybe they’ve done something wrong. Singleness isn’t a punishment and marriage isn’t a reward. They’re both gifts of God given in God’s own good timing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Extremely well thought out conundrum of being single in the church of Jesus Christ in the United States. I have often wanted to quit the church, a.k.a. organized institutionalized church of the United States. Why did I want to quit? They hated singles and I was definitely single. For whatever reason, I was single. Therefore I could not hold office. Therefore I cannot really be a part of the Church.

    Now if I went to Divinity school and became a preacher it would have been okay. I could have gotten the job at a church maybe even approved! But just being a single Joe that attended church, was not good enough.

    I have had several women that have come through my life that stirred my heart. A few were out of bounds because they were married. So I do not believe I have an attraction problem, yet I am still single. For now I am not searching, but would like to find a few people that would like to get together and ghetto go out once in a while just for fun, no commitment. No not even for friends with benefits stupidity. Just good friendship and strong communication of ideas and beliefs from male and female perspectives shared without prejudice. Sometimes I think political correctness is another way to say dead.

    Even when I was married for 13 years, the first 10 I tried to help my ex find herself because she was continuously attempting to find yourself. It did not matter what it did to me in her finding herself. It really did not matter what it did for our son. The last three I gave up and lifted up to God when I could no longer carry. In many ways I was still single I was married. Just had the burden of being married without benefits.

    Late marriage is a wonderful thing. But, only if you marry a person that is compatible, has already found themselves!, And understands life is not perfect or fairy tale Like.

    Thank you for this article Brandon it may spur some of the aforementioned hurt that I have gone through I bring it back to the surface so I can actually deal with it instead of being covered poorly. God wants to redeem Hurt and apply forgiveness now as I live. And if God cannot deal with it now (because of me) it will be dealt with in heaven and be made right. In these truths I hold great hope and faith and confidence.

    I hope you will find a helpmate that will make you a better more complete warrior. However, if you do not find this woman. The battle you wage in life is worth any sacrifice you will ever make here. For the glory of the kingdom of God which is your calling is worthy. Your life is worthy not because you are married but because your betrothed to God Creator of all.. This is a truth tried and true and given by God himself.

    A wounded/healing and fellow single warrior,
    Denny

    Liked by 1 person

  9. if only staying single was easy without having sexual drive..i mean it would be like heaven…the chemicals and hormones do tempt and make us regret for not marrying….Brandon I want you to write on the issue having GF and BF where most singles think they are in a relationship by intercoursing…it’s like they think they are doing it ok instead of marrying for sexual intercourse…i am tired of seeing young believers enjoying with their GF and BF for sex…i think this is a grave issue and great trap of the devil…on top of that many of them have their ex…what the hell is happening with this sort of people…the glorification of marriage is in verge of extinction…i mean what’s the use of marriage if they already have so many sex partners…..

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I was just getting advice about some of my guy friends from my older brother who is recently engaged. He said, “Until you are stable, every relationship you build will be unstable.” This is not to say that because we are human all of our relationships will be unstable, but it is true that until we find our identity in Christ, we will be building relationships that are unstable. Thanks so much for sharing, Brandon.

    Lizzy

    Like

  11. This has given me a whole new outlook on this situation. I’d love to marry my partner but I’ve never pushed that or thought of ways to push him. For some reason this is the first relationship that I’ve taken things slow. My last was rushed and very bad. I believe god has a plan for all of us and I think his plan for me to be slow is so I can find myself and truly find god in my heart before really committing to marriage. I’d like to think this is his plan but I cant ever dictate that. Jesus is wonderful and the waiting is exciting. I’m doing so much right now that I missed out in my rushed relationship. We’re growing to love each other on a whole new level that feels like true love. We’re growing to know each other so well. I’m doing my driving lessons, I got a good job, great supportive family and just qualified with a Diploma in Makeup. I think my last was a lesson and my new relationship is truly a blessing ✨⭐️🙏🏽 and I thank god for every day we are together and for the love, strength and happiness this man brings to my life. I never knew I could be on such a beautiful path in life but it’s Jesus that’s put me there! ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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