The Russian community that I grew up in is hyper fascinated with marriage. Many people are very preoccupied with getting married, and some do it at a very young (perhaps even immature?) age. I have heard of numerous stories where young women are told their worth comes from being married, and were warned that they will be unworthy, undesirable, and invaluable, if they are not married by a certain age. This is a sinful philosophy.
The American community that we all live in is hyper frightened of marital commitment and responsibility. Many people are putting off marriage as long as possible, often due to the selfish desire to squeeze as much “enjoyment” from the single life as possible before committing to a dull marriage. Young “guys” especially are consistently growing older and not “manning” up, taking on responsibility, and pursuing women in an honorable way. They are lazy losers who would rather obey their hormones than God’s honorable way. This too is a sinful philosophy.
Marriage should not be the source of our fulfillment or identity; we are not better because we get married. Yet marriage should be pursued as a way to reflect the nature of God in a loving community called: family.
1. Stop actively searching for what you ‘want’
The problem many people have is they are spending most of their attention on finding someone to fulfill their selfish desires. Finding a spouse is not like finding a new computer; you don’t simply select all the features you want (blonde hair, size _, body type ___) and ride off into the sunset to a happy ending. Marriage was not created for you to get what you want, it’s not all about fulfilling your desires (though of course a good, selfless, marriage will help you be happy). Those who are actively searching are usually only focused on the selfish aspect: “what do I want?” A marriage built on that will not work, because after a few days you will find that you aren’t getting something that you ‘want’ and your foundation will crumble.
2. Start actively changing into what God wants
The internet is filled junk marketing. A bunch of good-for-nothing companies are trying to sell some “get rich quick” schemes. They spend all of their money on finding clients but none on making a good product. Everyone who signs up with them feels cheated. Conversely, others companies, like Apple computers, spend their time to actually make a good product, and people love them because of it. You can spend all your time trying to figure out ways to lure people in, to find them, to make them like you, but ultimately they will feel cheated because you are a fake. Instead, focus all your time and effort on becoming a person who they can truly respect. Dive into the Bible, read character building books, serve at your church, focus on the things that matter. Instead of trying to find a spouse to fulfill your selfish desires, trust in God to make you someone that your spouse will be eternally grateful for.
3. Trust that God is Sovereignly working
I got married because of a a few tiny bits of luck (except I don’t believe in chance). My wife and I met because at one point in my life I accidentally clicked on a MySpace link and eventually ended up on her profile. And then we accidentally ran into each other at Starbucks. Two “accidents” that I could not have planned or controlled. Tiny, infinitely small things changed our destinies. Tim Keller, recounts how one infinitely small action, decades ago, unleashed a chain of events that directly led to the formation of the large church where he pastors. There are no accidents. If God were not in charge of everything, I would be too scared to get out of bed in the morning, knowing that one tiny action from me can change everything. If you leave the house 2 minutes early you can get into an accident and die, if you leave 2 minutes late, you might miss bumping into your future wife at the coffee stand, and your children, who would grow up to cure cancer, don’t get born. Aggh! Just realize that God is in control, he “rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will” (Dan 5:21) and “he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.” (Acts 17:26). If you will be married, He will surely bring your spouse to you (or you to your spouse) in the appointed time. Trust Him who knows all, not all the stuff that you know.