Before the resurrection of Jesus Christ, marriage was a matter of life or death for most women. Enjoying a Christ-centred covenant marriage wasn't an option until Jesus restored what was lost in the Garden of Eden.
Some Christians seem to have forgotten this critical differentiator when teaching on Godly marriage.
But it's incredibly important if we want to understand how to enjoy marriages that truly honor God and why we see so many polygamist marriages and such strict rules against interracial marriages throughout the Old Testament.
In fact, throughout most of human history, marriage has been primarily about survival—your personal survival and the survival of your religion, culture, and nation.
But ever since Jesus rose from the dead, the game has changed.
Let me break this down for you and show you how the goalposts have shifted and why that's a good thing for you as a Single Christian woman.
In my previous post, I helped you get total clarity on why you want to get married. Now, it’s time to figure out exactly what your marriage is going to look like. Because when it comes to marriage, it's important to have a clear vision of what you want.
Here’s what I mean.
These days, successful marriages come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and structures. To keep things simple, let’s split it into two main categories: worldly marriages and Christ-centred covenant marriages.
When I talk about worldly marriages, I am casting a wide net to include all the different types of unions that are legal and or recognized in various parts of the world throughout history.
These marriages can be very successful by world standards. But they fall short in that they can not be used to bring glory and honor to God. While God can use the people in the marriage, the marriage itself falls short.
Think about same-sex marriages. They're legal in many countries worldwide and have become a socially acceptable option for many people. We can even celebrate the love and joy that is undoubtedly present in those marriages and consider them very successful as examples of a cooperative union between two people. But they do not align with what God ordained and, therefore, cannot qualify as a Christ-centred covenant marriage.
We also have polygamist marriages, where, in most cases, one man marries multiple women.
These can also be considered successful, and we can find lots of examples from the Bible, where God honored these types of marriages. Abraham, Jacob, and David all had multiple wives.
There are also child marriages, and over 650 million girls are forced into these marriages every year. Where these marriages are practiced, they are considered to be an integral part of the culture in which they occur.
Don't forget that some people marry solely for papers to travel/ immigrate/ and become citizens in a different country. Or they marry for money, status, and a host of other reasons that benefit them.
But the most common form of worldly marriages is heterosexual secular marriages. The covenant is between a man and a woman who love each other but have no connection with God.
None of these marriages has the capacity to bring true glory and honor to God. Depending on where you live in the world, your culture and religion may support and encourage these kinds of marriages. Still, none of them follow the blueprint that our Heavenly Father has given us for bringing Him glory and honor through that sacred union.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground… The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’…For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.Genesis 1:26-28, 2:18, 24
So let’s talk about the high standard of a covenant Christ-centred marriage God had in mind in the garden of Eden, and which was only established after the resurrection.
Sidenote: There's a reason Mary first saw Jesus as a gardener at the tomb.
A Covenant Christ-centred marriage is established between a man, a woman, and God through Christ. This is God's perfect design for marriage. It is the only one that allows us to give God the greatest glory.
You need to get extremely honest about whether this standard of marriage is what you truly want. If it is, then you can begin that process right now by elevating your relationship with God.
Because no matter how spiritual you are, no matter how extensive your prayer life is, or how much you contribute at church, there's always room for improvement in our relationship with God. More importantly, you need to know that God wants to have your heart before He invites another person into that relationship.
Because here's the deal.
If you want to marry a Godly man, you have to make sure you are a Godly woman.
One of the biggest mistakes I see Christian women make is believing that having a Godly husband will improve her relationship with the Lord.
Trust me; a husband won't bring you closer to God.
It's your responsibility to draw closer to God first. Let Christ be your First Love.
But, PLEASE DON'T go around saying that Jesus is your husband.
Can I be honest?
This "clever" little saying that single women use drives me crazy because it makes NO sense.
Where did it come from anyway?
Seriously, if you know, please tell me in the comments below cause I checked the Bible, and it's not there.
Here's the catch, Jesus already has a Bride, and she is THE CHURCH.
I know that there are verses where it talks about God loving the nation of Isreal and the church as a bride, but claiming Jesus as your personal husband is just silly.
If you're already married to Jesus, why would you need an earthly husband?
Before marriage, God reveals himself to you as your Father. Willing and able to give you away in marriage to a worthy man.
After all, what are you going to do? Divorce Jesus when the man of your dreams walks on to the scene?
Of course not!
So let's be clear on the relationship God wants to have with you now, a single woman, and what He wants for you as a married wife.
Jesus has His proper place and role in your life, and your husband has his. They are NEVER in competition with one another. One can not replace the other.
Singleness is a sacred calling that one should choose intentionally, just like marriage.
Unfortunately, many women are assuming that God has chosen singleness for them because they're not already married, and they thought they would be by now.
This is where the idea of "Jesus is my husband" becomes so problematic.
Because you're using Jesus as a temporary default placeholder until something better comes along.
The point is, while God doesn't promise you a husband, He also doesn't stand in your way. You get to choose. The choice of whether to pursue a Christ-centred covenant married or stay single is up to you.
“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it’s a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN
If you're a Christian and you have a relationship with Christ, I firmly believe that you should learn to trust your heart because God has placed His purpose for your life within it.
I know what you're thinking,
Doesn't the Bible say,
The heart is deceitful above all things,Jeremiah 17:9
And desperately wicked;
Yes, but we need to read that verse in the correct context.
Remember, there's a critical difference between what was possible for humanity in the Old Testament and what is possible for us through Christ.
You are a new creation, and God has given you a new heart.
The Holy Spirit is living within you, and therefore all the answers, wisdom, knowledge, and truth you need can be found within you when you listen to that "still small voice."
Far too many Christian women are so scared of disappointing God that they completely fail to hear His voice calling to them from within. They're scared to make decisions and admit what they want for fear of offending God with their desires.
So what's the solution?
Fire up your imagination. Envision your dream scenario. Tap into the wisdom of your heart. Be honest about what you really want, and start to envision the dream marriage you’d love to build based on your God-given desires.
Marriage isn't something that's going to happen to you.
You've got to make a choice based on the God-given desires of your heart, and then and ONLY THEN will God begin to order your step.
"If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open."
- James 1:5-8 Message
Maybe what you want seems obvious to you, but this will come as a challenge for some. It's not enough to just want to get married. If all you want is a marriage certificate, you can easily get that within the next 24 hours.
Seriously, we could go downtown, announce that you want to get married, and with a little bribery and flattery, we could find you a husband before sunset.
Please stick with me here because I want you to see how ridiculous it is to believe that you can't get married. You can.
By identifying what the real challenge is (finding an equally yoked partner for a Christ-centred covenant marriage), you can get hyper-focused on solving for that, instead of feeling discouraged because men you're not really interested in aren't interested in you either.
The fact is, you don't want to get married today.
You're not tired of waiting. In fact, you want to wait.
So tell yourself the truth and then start getting extra clear on exactly what you're looking for. There are many different options out there, and if you're in too much of a rush, you might get yourself ensnared in something you don't really want.
You wouldn’t set out on a trip without having at least some idea of where you want to go, right? The same is true here.
Think about it. For some would-be wives, the thought of marrying ANYBODY sounds like a dream come true. You're not picky; you just want to be a wife. For others, you'd rather stay single, then rush in and regret it.
I know for myself that I can't imagine being married to anyone other than my husband. And I sincerely believe that if he were to pass away, I would stay single because his shoes are just too big for any other man to fill. In all honestly, he has spoiled me for anyone else.
But, I'm also fiercely independent and capable of being self-sufficient. - Other women would dread the idea of growing old alone, and if you're a widow and you want to remarry, there's absolutely nothing stopping you. You have God's full blessing.
This is the beauty of Christ-centred covenant marriage for modern Christian women.
You get to choose.
You get to ask for what you want and bring it to life.
Real success in marriage means staying true to God and yourself. Focus on your goals, not societies, or your mothers, or what anyone else wants for your life.
This is your choice.
By knowing what you want, it will help you stay focused on achieving it. Otherwise, it's easy to get distracted by what other women have.
Comparison is a huge stumbling block, and if you're not careful, it can take you completely off track.
Instead of focusing on your own goals, comparisons make you feel terrible about what you don't have. You look at the other women at church, coming in with their husband and babies, and wonder, What's wrong with me? Why can't I have that? I'm prettier than her, how come he's interested in her instead of me? What does she have that I don't?
This is a total time waster that makes you feel terrible. And it's the least productive thing you can do.
Listen, it's okay to look at other women and be inspired by their marriages and to want your own, but you must stay grounded in who you are. If you feel tempted to try and become her to get what she has, you're hindering your own progress.
That kind of jealousy will only make you miserable and take you totally off track.
I created a brand new 3 part mini training series to teach single Christian women how to practice self-love in a deep and authentic way as the first step to creating a Christ-centred and equally-yoked relationship.
In this FREE Course you're going to learn:
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My goal is to help Christian women like you enjoy a healthy, thriving relationships with God so that you can confidently pursue your God-given desire for love and marriage. If you have any questions, thoughts, or opinions, I would love to connect with you in the comments below.
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