You are probably familiar with those infamous questions like, “When are you going to get married?” and “Why aren’t you married yet?” and “When are you going to have kids?”
There are tons of other similar questions and statements launched at singles by family, friends, and even strangers. According to society, marriage is the typical idea of the “American Dream”.
To attain this “American Dream,” many of us are led to believe that one should graduate from high school, then college, get a great paying job, and then … get married.
It would appear that if we are lacking in one area, we are not doing something right. For our generation, finding the one is one of the main (if not the ultimate) goal in life, isn’t it? While the age-old pressure of getting married has not gone away, there is another phenomenon forming …
Let’s talk about pressure.
The pressure to marry is very common for the saved and single Christian. Usually, we don’t mind setting the record straight about our contentment and happiness. Although waiting is not easy, it is wise to wait on the right person and the right time.
Even so, it’s hard for some to believe that singleness does not equate loneliness.
The truth is, many of us have learned to be at peace in our current season all the while still retaining the hope and expectancy of our next.
Sometimes pressure can be disguised as wise counsel and because it’s subtle, it can be very dangerous if not properly addressed.
Let us explain.
Have you ever had any of these statements hurled at your hopes for marriage? “Don’t do it, enjoy your life.” “Just wait, you’ll see, it’s better/easier to be single.” “You are going to wish you had stayed single.” “That’s right, don’t rush, you’re better off without …”
The differences between being married and single are worth noting. Paul told us that the unmarried are concerned about the things of the Lord and how he or she may please the Lord, but the married have to be concerned about the worldly things of how he or she may please their spouse (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). The Word of God is indeed wise counsel, but our preferences and and the opinions of others are not.
Maybe you can relate to this …
“You are going to wish you had stayed single” was my breaking point.
I felt my desire for a godly and healthy marriage was being attacked. It was as if the idea of a pleasant and successful marriage wasn’t attainable. Seldom do people realize that they may be distorting the image and mindset of marriage in the eyes of singles.
The enemy would love to discourage one from entering in to such a sacred covenant, especially since it mirrors God’s plan of covenant between Christ and the Church.
It may seem like a small thing to the average person, but a planted seed is all it takes. Yes, marriage comes with a new way to do life and has it challenges, but if the seed of discouragement has been sown, those challenges will be the water that causes greater issues to sprout — and lead to divorce.
So, how should single women and men survive this “counsel”?
Learn the art of guarding your heart.
Don’t just guard your heart from being broken by the no-good man or woman, but be intentional in guarding your ears and mind from the seeds planted by the opinions of others.
Be mindful of what you allow others to speak over your life and to which you come into agreement. Yes, there is safety in the multitude of counselors (Proverbs 11:14), but godly counsel will be consistent with biblical truth and values.
The wisdom of man is foolishness to God; it doesn’t live up to the wisdom of God. If the voices around you are only able to speak through the lenses of their unhealed pain, regret, and defeated life experiences, adjust how much access they have to speak into your life. The Word of God is the compass by which we should always govern our lives, and absolutely our desire for marriage.
Don’t settle, lose hope, nor fear — having a prosperous marriage is attainable. Surround yourself around those that will not only speak life to it but teach you to do the same.
LaChandra Cook is the author of the book, A" Soul Surrendered: The Unmasking of the Christian Life," and the blog site www.ASoulSurrendered.com. It is her mission to create material that provokes and/or helps others maintain an authentic Christian lifestyle and live a life of being whole and prosperous. Follow along at asoulsurrendered.com and on IG: @lachandracook and @asoulsurrendered