I have been hearing people talk about this a lot, this idea that God wants you to focus on Him, so don't worry about relationships or getting married, just wait on God's time. I wanted to talk about this because I think this mindset is incorrect, even though it sounds good on the surface.
The first point I would like to make is the simple fact of how God designed us. We learn in Genesis that Adam was not really complete until Eve was made to be with him.
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. -Genesis 2:18
God designed us to get married. It is better when we have a spouse to support us and do everything with. I know people think this adds limitations to your life and that a spouse takes away attention from God, but that is just not the case, it simply means we will do everything together. It is also worth mentioning that God wants us to love other people, so in a way this is actually putting God first by following that command.
The second point that needs to be made is that just because God doesn't want us worrying about tomorrow, doesn't mean He wants us to sit on our hands and wait for Him to hand us everything. I am not saying to just go out and date a bunch of people. You should still be wise about who you choose to be with and it should always be with the intent to marry, but as things are, people are just rejecting everyone and using God as an excuse to do so. I do not believe God wants that. Quite the opposite, in fact, He wants you to get married because, as previously said, you were designed to be.
The third and most important point I would like to make is that this is a very dangerous type of legalism. It allows people to feel holier while simultaneously ignoring God's will for them, much in the same way the Pharisees did in Jesus's time.
This hasn't been made into a law at churches, but people are made to feel guilty for wanting to get married, as if in doing so they are completely ignoring God. The people causing this guilt get to walk away feeling good about themselves because they are supposedly putting God first by remaining single and pushing others to do the same. I ask you though, if an intent to marry is really such a distraction for people, why then, is it a requirement for pastors to have a wife? The people that have quite literally dedicated their lives to God and teaching His word, shepherding His people, have to get married. Yet, with this mindset that singleness is better for serving God, they should all stay single.
We all need to be very careful when we start pushing this type of thing. We are stressing people out, making them feel like they aren't good enough for wanting something God designed for them. They are being told that, because of that desire, they aren't putting God first. It just isn't true and we should never be putting guilt on a person for doing exactly what God wants for them. This also puts men, who should be the ones initiating a relationship, in a position where they may blame God for not bringing them "The One" when they never acted on the opportunity. This is all very similar to the prosperity gospel and how disappointed people will be when God doesn't make them rich and so on for their works, this mindset creates the same kind of stress. Yes, there are people out there that God has called to be single, but I assure you, they are a minority and they aren't very likely to be interested in marriage to begin with.
Just because something sounds like it is better and more holy doesn't mean it is, so next time someone is expressing interest in getting married one day, support them. Give them advice and help them to be wise about it. Encourage them to date someone who is equally yoked and who also wants to put God first in everything they do. Steer them in the right direction and help them avoid any sins they may become vulnerable to when they start a relationship, but don't make them feel guilty and tell them some nonsense about being called to singleness. God is the one who will call them to singleness, so you don't need to suggest that to them.
Dedicated to making strong disciples of Christ.
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