A friend and I were having dinner and noticed a young couple holding hands at the table near ours. They couldn’t have been more than about 25 or so, but they looked so happy together. The way the young man treated the woman caught my attention. When they were escorted to their table, he pulled a chair out for her, and when she got up to go to the ladies’ room, he stood up. This kind of chivalry is almost unheard of today. Many in the younger generation have never witnessed it or know it exists beyond the movies. For many sisters, such gestures aren’t important or relevant, but I was thrilled to see that some men, even young ones, have not lost this sense of honor in their hearts for women. Personally, a man doesn’t have to order my food or always stand up at the table when I do, however, honoring the love of Christ that I carry in my heart is an absolute must.
2 Corinthians 5:14(NLT) tells us, “Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.” As single sisters and brothers desiring marriage, this is a verse of scripture that must be at the forefront of our hearts and minds. One of the reasons for this has to do with our motivation for marital partnership. Once we arrive at a place where our desire for marriage is unveiled, our journey towards crossing paths with our destiny partners begins. Many people begin this journey before they’ve cultivated an intimate relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. They may be motivated to marry out of soulish or flesh reasons, but this motivation will harm and not help their quest.
Getting to know the Lord is the most rewarding and fulfilling event in life. Nothing else in all eternity compares to the magnitude of this monumental relationship that we get to have with our Heavenly Father. We are transformed by it. Our old life is dead, and our new life begins because of Christ and what he has done for us. It is the recreation of our human-spirit through Christ that allows our connection to God. Everything that is outside the boundaries of our new spiritual reality has to catch-up to the newness we’ve received through our precious Lord and Savior. Our minds—thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors—have to be renewed to the mind of Christ. Renewal, changing the way we think, speak, think, and feel is the way we catch-up.
God will not do this for us, because He will never violate our free-will choice. He won’t come inside our brains and start changing things around. He has commanded us to renew our minds to what He says. The problem is that when it comes to our motivation and desire for marriage, we stop short and throw the process of renewing our minds under the bus. We don’t do what is required to bring our desire in alignment with the new life we’ve received.
Although we are transformed by Christ, our desire for marriage in many cases does not transform with us. It is probably the same, or perhaps has increased. But because we are never the same after our new-birth reality, the motivation for marriage must shift from pleasing ourselves to pleasing God. This is true beyond truth. God changes us from the inside out. Romans 8:39 says that nothing is capable of separating us from the love of God in Christ, because it is in Him that we live, move, and have our being. So, our desire for marriage must rise to the level of our newness in Christ. This means that we must now want what the Lord wants for us, because our lives don’t belong to us. He is Lord! He’s our Owner and always knows and does what is best. But if we have a different personal agenda operating in the background; if we’re still operating in the flesh when it comes to our desire for marriage, Romans 8:6 says this is equivalent to setting our minds on death. We wonder so often about what is blocking us from the blessing; this is it!
The potential to honor God’s purpose unlocks partnership attraction. This is where we want to be! The young couple that sat near me in the restaurant responded to each other lovingly and with honor for one another. I know this because I responded to it as well. This is how Heavenly Father created us. When the love of Christ is at work, we can’t help ourselves, we must respond to it. This is why we can’t allow our old dead life to speak from the grave. It can only speak death, and we don’t want anyone we might partner with responding to that. We should all want someone who honors the love of Christ in us, and it behooves us to be sure that it is his love, and his alone, that motivates and fuels our desire to partner.■
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.
“Examining Your Motivation to Partner”, written for findchristianman.wordpress.com. Copyright©2020. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!