If you're single in the church, chances are someone has told you, "You just need to be content in the Lord. Once that happens, God will give you your husband/wife."
While I love the first part of the advice, I think we have to be cautious with the second part. Is it truth? As I began to read the scriptures for guidance in this single season, I found myself scratching my head when I heard people say this. I believe it sends singles on a tireless pursuit for contentment with the wrong motivation to find it. It's a search where we keep convincing ourselves we must be getting closer, so therefore the prize of a marriage must be behind the next door. And when it's not... we're back to square one. Even less content than we were when we began.
Before I proceed, I really and truly do not want to discourage anyone who is sincerely bringing their heart's desires to the Lord and seeking Him for understanding while you wait. And if I'm being really transparent with you, this is something I am just learning to do myself (I'll save that one for another blog). God delights to hear about these marriage dreams of ours and we should be as eager to talk to Him about them as we are with our closest friends.
But it's important that we keep in mind that marriage is not the reward for our contentment in Christ. More of Christ is our reward. Contentment in Christ is not a means to your happily ever after. Contentment in Christ is a means to your oneness with God. Marriage is not the answer to your current state of discontentment. Marriage is a covenant commitment created by God to reflect the church's relationship with Him. You are the church. Your relationship with Jesus today, will be reflected in your marriage tomorrow.
So what is your relationship with Jesus like today? What do you believe you would bring to a marriage that you can confidently say was reflected in your singleness? Are you reflecting trust in God? Intimacy with Jesus? Obedience to the Father? Joy in the Holy Spirit? Or are you reflecting unbelief, distance, disobedience, weariness, and frustration? Don't put the fruit of your relationship with Jesus on reserve until He decides to bless you with marriage. It's yours, right now. So eat of it and allow it to multiply. So much so that the abundance of it can easily be shared with your spouse one day.
I know what you're thinking... easier said than done. You might be asking... how do I do this? How do I satisfy myself fully in Jesus? With my eyes set on Him alone... and not on the so-called marriage "prize". I don't think this is one of those things that if you just say it enough times it will be true. It can only happen in the deepest places of your heart. And when that happens you won't have to convince people of it... they'll just know it.
It also doesn't happen overnight. It comes with prayer. Lots and lots of prayer. It comes with discipleship. It comes with believing God for everything He is seeing you through each day. It comes with an increased belief in His promises. It comes with counting these promises as infinitely valuable! Not the promise to make you a husband or a wife... but the promises that He clearly lays out in the scriptures for you to possess. Promises that when possessed will strengthen your walk, confirm your faith, and bless you with a confidence to love what God is doing... right now. Let THESE promises be enough to satisfy us in this season. Here are just a few:
Freedom John 8:36
Escape (from temptation) 1 Corinthians 10:13
Peace John 14:27
Power (by the Holy Spirit) Acts 2:38-39
Wisdom James 1:5
Joy John 16:24
Rest Matthew 11:28-29
And my favorite...
His Presence Deuteronomy 31:6
Blessings on the Journey,