“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”- Romans 15:13
I listen to sermons while I work. It makes the day more interesting, convicting, and faster. I’ve listened to dozens of sermons by David Platt, Francis Chan, and I am currently listening to Matt Chandler.
Pastor Matt is a huge advocate for marriage because it is (it should be) the perfect representation of His pursuit for us. There’s something I realized through all of this. I prefer listening to sermons or learning about Biblical marriage than about Biblical singleness.
It has nothing to do with bitterness. It has nothing to do with hating being single. In fact, I don’t believe anyone should overly love or hate their marital state. Leverage it for the Kingdom. I’ve heard so many talks and sermons on singleness that I could vomit them. Some of them were really good and some were just awful. The thing about relationship talks is that they draw a crowd. Everyone wants to figure this thing out. Well, I can tell you all about it in one word: JESUS. Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Yes.
Jennifer, whatever do you mean? Well, it’s not easy to chase after Jesus in this culture… in this world. Being in Him, however, is simply indescribable. Following hard after Him, pursuing truth and speaking it in love is life-giving. Again, I will not pretend for a second this is easy. When you’re after Jesus, beauty abounds. “The things of earth grow strangely dim.”
What does this have to do with liking marriage talks over single talks? I didn’t used to think that way. I hated hearing that S-word. Submit. God did a work in my heart, showing me my pride. Submission is beautiful. Submission is required of husbands and of wives. Not subjection. They’re vastly different. Learning about Biblical marriage and what it represents makes my heart soar. It gives me hope that if, one day, God allows me to get married, it will be quite the adventure. Why else does it make my heart soar? I can’t really say. I think it’s the hope of beauty for everyone in their marriages. It represents God’s pursuit of me despite my complete depravity, and it’s something I can’t even fathom.
I am not naïve enough to think that marriage is easy. No real relationship is. However, I think a true Biblical marriage is a thing to behold. A husband loving his wife like Christ loves the church. Loving her despite her flaws. Loving her regardless of how he feels. Loving her by laying his life down for her in a getting-the-skin-beat-off-your-back-crown-of-thorns-drowning-in-your-own-blood kind of way. Leading her to seek a deeper relationship with Christ. A wife lovingly submitting to her husband the way the Church submits to Christ. A wife submitting to her husband’s spiritual leadership. A wife encouraging and respecting her husband. A wife pleading with God for her husband and children. Doing all of this in the face of the difficulty of two sinners living together. Doing all of this in the face of adversity. Doing all of this in a culture that screams the opposite. Doing all of this not because it’s possible, but because through Christ all things are possible.(Ephesians 5:22-33; Matthew 19:26)
I look forward to one day possibly being married. Not too much that it interferes with my relationship with Christ. Not too little that I think it’s impossible. Unless my marriage shows Christ in the way God laid out in the Bible, I don’t want to get married. I believe God will hold me to that.
What do you think?