First, Calculate the Cost

How many of us go into relationships with our eyes wide open? Most single Christians would probably say they do, but even those of us that are spiritually mature and desire God’s Will for our lives, end up realizing that our eyes were not as wide open as we had thought. This means that although we included a few expected bumps in the road in our relationship calculations, we didn’t think there would be a cliff we’d have to jump over, and we never imagined it would be so deep and wide. So, it is important for us to adjust our calculations right now, before we take the leap. To do this, we’ve got to look at what Jesus Christ taught us in Luke 14, and then ask ourselves are we willing to pay the price that is required to have a relationship that lasts.

In speaking to two wonderful Christian women recently about their desire for marriage, I was struck by the depth of their desire to have the right man in their lives. They spoke of some of the things they’ve already done to prepare to share their lives with him. One of these women is more seasoned in age and wisdom, but it seemed to me that both are at a point in their lives where they appreciate what the commitment of marriage means. I am committed to pray for them in prayer. As a single Christian woman, you must know how profoundly important it is for you to be praying for someone who desires the same thing as you. In truth, the mandate of the love of Christ dictates that you ought to be praying for them more than you pray for yourself.

Jesus Christ said in Luke 14:28(NLT), “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?” He was speaking to a large crowd that followed him but did so for the wrong reason. They saw his good works—the miracles of healing and restoration. They heard his masterful teaching, and they thought they could simply lean on his greatness without having to learn how to demonstrate it themselves. They didn’t assume that the lesson of learning to lift up others would overshadow ‘just leaning’, and this ‘lifting-up’ lesson would cost a great deal to learn.

In Luke 14:26(NLT), Jesus Christ said, “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.” Some people would look at this and say, “Yikes! This seems harsh!” It isn’t at all when you consider what is at stake. Marriage is God’s institution. This statement is so staggeringly profound that we couldn’t possibly say it enough. Marriage satisfies God’s purpose for the lives of His people. As a person desiring marriage, if you have it in your mind that you’re getting married to service your own needs and take care of your own agenda, you’ve already taken Heavenly Father out of the equation. How can we do this, and at the same time ask Him to bless us to cross paths with our future spouses? That doesn’t work.

The cost that every single believer that desires marriage must pay is the cost of canceling out his or her own personal agenda for the sake of moving God’s agenda forward. Sadly, the reason that we see so many without the thing they want most is because so few are willing to calculate and pay the cost. In Isaiah 55:11(NLT), God said, “It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” God’s Word belongs to Him! He sends it out, He blesses it, and it comes back to Him in the same way He sent it out. He’s given us an incorruptible, unfailing pattern here, and it is the same with everything else. God owns the institution of marriage. HE blesses it for HIS purpose. So, if we are asking Him to give us His blessing, we must pay the cost of using it for His purpose. No better deal exists.

The Word of the Lord is, don’t begin the quest until you count the cost. Don’t begin it until, within your heart of hearts, you’re asking the Holy Spirit to change your heart so that you want what God wants. Don’t begin the quest until you are steadfastly asking the Father what He requires of you and what you must change so that your marriage begins with putting Jesus Christ as the head and keeps him there. If there’s anything in you that isn’t in alignment with the role of wife and the service of a child of light, be willing to lay it down so that you can calculate the cost and pay the price according to the Will of God.■

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.

“First, Calculate the Cost”, written for Copyright©2021. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

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