So here's the deal.
For most of my life end-all dream, its seemed, was marriage.
But marriage isn't an end-all dream. In fact - its just one desire of many, that will have to be waited upon to be fulfilled.
Here's the thought: Its not about our desires being fulfilled. Its about God's desires being fulfilled.
Its not about self-centered view of ourselves and how holiness plays into it, its about a Kingdom-based, God-invested heart where holiness is the very atmosphere that it thrives in.
Paul poses the idea that it is better not to marry if you can. He also said that it wasn't wrong to marry.
Not to marry, if you can?
I'm not talking about people who have the gift of singleness for the rest of their lives.
I'm talking about a true-blue christian young person who absolutely wants to get married - choose - to have a mindset that doesn't say, "gotta get married before I die," but says, "Whats best for the Kingdom stuff? If marriage doesn't benefit this any - why not abstain until it does?"
A twenty-somethings Jim Elliot wrote, "I'm a single man for the sake of the Kingdom..."
Wrote this to the woman he very much desired to marry but - because HE COULD, he felt that God had called him to be single until further notice. Seven years went by - both feeling called to further the kingdom - both completely in love - both completely at the mercy of God - If and when He might change His mind - they could only hope.
That's why there's no wrong answer - every situation could be different. The actual thing I'm trying to provoke here is an awareness of mindset.
The idea is that the end all dream of ours should be complete sanctification and holiness for the Lord.
If God tells you no like He told Jim Elliot - by all means. God can change His mind - He does what He wants. The idea is to have an attitude that says, "How is this furthering the kingdom?" and "Am I willing to forgo my desires for God's plans."
I think I'm trying to get at the root of our intentions. I might question why you're actually doing this or doing that - and you may have valid answers. But does that valid answer resound of a self-centered intention or a kingdom-centered intention?
I loved the comment made about how not doing the right thing we ought to is actually being disobedient.
Obedience in my faith walk is KEY, KEY, KEY.
I know when I'm not obeying the Lord. And I'm held accountable for it.
But actually, on the other hand, something that was also said hit it on the head: holiness should produce the decision.
So if that's the case -
Shouldn't you already be obediently acting on what is furthering the kingdom which could lead you to partnering with someone for the long haul?
I might be off my rocker is saying this but: being in love isn't a good enough excuse to be married for me.
I'm not saying that this is Biblical because according to Paul - burning with passion is all the excuse you need.
But I'm going a little further in craziness factor.
I don't want to get married unless we are a better team together in furthering the Kingdom than if we were separate.
At this point a few people would say, "Sarah, you're thinking about this too much."
Hmm.... yes. I am thinking about it a lot again. But truth be told, I haven't really thought about it publicly for years because God has been changing my heart.
Vision has been renewed.
Before I thought of marriage like this: Romance, Romance, Romance, Love, friendship - partnership? - Over the years I gave up on the word " Romance."
Now its (in no particular order - all are just as important):
Friendship. Partnership. Teamwork. Romance? (That's the kicker-plus of it all. Makes me chuckle that God cared enough to add that in the mix.)
The "Romance factor" added to this vision I believe actually involves 3 things - holiness, honor, beauty.
If I had a choice to pursue those or a relationship with a guy - personally, I'm done feeling like I've got to make things happen for myself. I'll choose cultivating a holy heart instead, thank you. I'm at a point where I'm not into games anymore. I don't want lip service. I want action. And lots and lots of prayer. Until then, I'll be God's faithful little worker. He'll bring things around in His time. I'll see someday and I'm fine with it not being today. I just want to be apart of God's plan no matter what it looks like. :)
Its not just marriage. Fill in the blank. Whats your mindset about things - is it to further the Kingdom and look like Christ or is it to fullfill voids that can only be filled by the workings of the Spirit?
So Holiness vs ___________.
Should there be a "verses"?
Why is there competition in the first place?
What price are you willing to pay to be like Christ?
Are you willing to let go of your unfulfilled desires for the sake of His glory?
Don't ask, "is this for me?"
Ask, "Why ISN'T this for me?"
Christians are called to be radical - living by faith not by sight, not by feelings.
If you sing, "holiness is what I long for," would you choose it over the other things you long for?
THIS is my point. Self must go. The jar of clay isn't even thought of when one knows that the treasure of the Kingdom is inside.
And hey! If that treasure includes a spouse and a God-intended union? Praise the Lord! He hasn't forgot about our little hearts' desires after all. :)