Our ears will fall upon information at certain times in our lives because it is just the information we need in order to move forward. For instance, my nephew recently shared with me a case study he completed. It was about a very lucrative company struggling with the idea of changing their business strategy. A small group of their team wanted to take the risk and venture outside of the company’s product models, and the others wanted to continue with what they knew, even though sales numbers were declining. This is high stakes risks for sure, but when it comes to our desire for marital partnership, no venture is riskier. It can greatly impact us spiritually, and that’s why now might be a good time for you to consider whether a switch-up in strategies is necessary. It might be just the thing needed for success in your marital endeavor.
A long time ago, it was believed that meeting people to date should be and was a very organic process. There wasn’t a whole lot of strategic thought that went into it. Community and family connections were a meaningful part of the equation. Now, there are dating websites and services that cater to whatever category or group a person might identify with. For many this cuts through some of the modern-day complexities around dating and presents a strategy to speed up the process of meeting their future spouses. A lot of us are using these vehicles to meet new people, but not everyone is finding success. I don’t believe God has a problem with speeding up the process, as long as our desire for partnership is prioritized in the right place.
Marriage is an institution that God has ordained. In Proverbs 18:22(NKJV), Heavenly Father tells a man that is poised for marriage, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing.” This puts the standard squarely on blast. A wife is to be a good thing. That must be the benchmark of our faith if we are to do things God’s way.
Some of us approach it as if things do not have to be done His way, and this is a huge mistake, for the Lord tells us in Proverbs 8:14(NLT), “Common sense and success belong to me. Insight and strength are mine.” Heavenly Father set the pattern for success, and because of it every successful individual knows that you must have the right attitude and put the work in at the beginning of the process in order to have a good result in the end. If our heads and hearts are not in the right place to begin with, results will be shaky at best. God wants to introduce a whole new chapter in our lives. He wants us to be excited about the possibilities that partnership holds, but we cannot forget that with this new position, there is also a requirement that our relationship with Him and our faith is strengthened. This is the piece that we will often miss.
In the Old Testament, the wilderness experience of God’s people paints the perfect picture of the wrong mindset when it comes to an expectation of new and greater blessings. They missed the fact that temporary doesn’t mean permanent. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you’re praying about, or where you are in the process of working it all out; there is a temporary position, whether brief or prolonged, that we’re going to need to assume. Additionally, there are some things in this temporary phase that will require further development and tweaking. Like a recipe of our favorite dish, when all the ingredients of seasoning and leavening are added, correct measurements must be used and the appropriate baking time is required. We know how delicious the final result will be, but none of the process required for cooking this excellent dish can be skipped.
After being delivered from slavery under the brutal rule of Pharaoh and the Egyptians, the people of God were in the wilderness, and they stayed there much longer than what baking time normally requires. They would not seek God to the point of strengthening themselves in faith. God didn’t intend for them to remain in the wilderness. It was meant to be a temporary holding position that would allow them to get their heads and hearts in the right faith space to move into the promise. For most of them, that didn’t happen. They became very angry with Moses, their leader, because they wanted the dish without the baking process. As single Christians, this is sometimes our approach.
We don’t think about the process that is our responsibility to engage and master. We just want the man—the end result, regardless of the risk to our spiritual well-being in Christ. It’s not too much of a stretch to equate being single in today’s time to a wilderness experience. It’s rocky terrain and challenging to navigate, but it’s just temporary.
Some of us are trying to turn this temporary position of being single into the permanent position of wife without understanding and appreciating the transition we’re endeavoring to make. It’s a spiritual transition, one that requires us to go through the process of strengthening ourselves in faith. Someone once asked me, “What does that look like? What does it look like to strengthen your faith for marriage?” As single women desiring to be wifey, every one of us has something in our hearts this very moment that might be blocking us from the opportunity to cross paths with our husbands. God isn’t withholding the opportunity. We can’t see it because the darkness keeps us blinded from it. This is such a tough thing for most of us to come to grips with, but we must in order to see victory in this area of our lives.
Through the Holy Spirit that indwells us, we must ask God to reveal what is holding us back, because the answer is part of what it takes to strengthen our faith for marriage. In 2Corinithians 2:11(NLT) The Apostle Paul tells us how crucial it is that we release heavy weights like anger, resentment, pride, jealousy, and other kinds of darkness from our hearts, “So that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.”
Jesus Christ tells us in Matthew 6:33(NLT), “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Faith dictates that we begin to strengthen our believing by seeking God preeminently. To seek God is to be relentless. It’s diligent effort, to the point that our every available moment is used to go before His throne in praise, worship, meditation, study, or contemplation. Talk about a winning strategy, this is it! This is what it looks like to strengthen your faith for marriage. It’s a seasoning, leavening, and baking time upon which you thrust all of your energy, knowing that the end result will indeed be delicious. ■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
“Changing a Temporary Position to Permanent”, written for findchristianman.com©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!