Let's be honest; if you don't know what you're looking for, the chances of finding it are pretty slim. Marriages come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes these days, but if you're interested in a Christ-centred covenant marriage, then you'll want to determine which of these 4 marriage models is best for you.
Once you know what you're looking for in a marriage, it will be far easier to find an equally yoked partner.
In the days before women's rights, a nice lady like yourself didn't have much say in who she was going to marry. That decision was usually made for you.
Choosing your marriage partner was a privilege that most women throughout history didn't get to enjoy. Being single might feel like a heavy burden at times, so it can be helpful to remember that it's also a great privilege to take your time and truly consider your options and make your own decision.
As you gain clarity about what you want, it will be far easier to find the right person to start a relationship and eventually marry.
As we've already determined, you want a Biblical marriage that honors God. But within the category of Biblical marriage, there are 4 distinct models.
You're probably familiar with the traditional marriage model, but it's not the only one. There are 3 other options, and they all have their own pros and cons. That's why it's important to think about what's going to work best for you.
It doesn't mean that once you pick one, you'll never be able to change your mind, but I want you to see that you have options and flexibility.
The marriage models we see in the Bible are very different than what we see in our modern world. And just because there's evidence of God choosing to honor a marriage model in the Bible doesn't mean it's the only one He acknowledges.
Let's talk about some of the important differences in today's world compared to ancient Isreal. Because what was permissible then can be considered sinful now.
For example, many good and godly men of the Bible had multiple wives. Jacob had 4 wives, King David had 9 wives, and King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.
And back then, God was okay with it. Here's why...
In Biblical times, women had very few rights. If a woman wasn't married, she was usually sold into slavery. Even as a second, third, or 88th wife, being married to someone was better than being a slave.
This also helps explain why God hates divorce.
As always, context is important. Remember, men were the ones doing all the divorcing back then. A woman asking for a divorce wasn't an option.
So when the Bible talks about God hating divorce, it's always directed towards men, and it's addressing the fact that men were dismissing their wives over silly things like burned food and casting them out into horrible situations.
What's my point?
Well, a divorced woman was left in a life-threatening situation; with no protection or provision, she became a disgraced outcast in her community.
It all boils down to this...
When God says He hates divorce, He's basically saying, "I hate it when men and women treat each other as if they are disposable."
The reason I'm telling you this is because I want you to fully appreciate what a privilege it is to be single and have the right to choose your husband.
My goal is to help you make that decision responsibly and deliberately from a place of love, joy, and peace.
In Biblical times, marriage was a matter of survival. If you wanted food, shelter, and general protection, you needed a husband. Remember, women were not people; they were property. They could be legally sold and were owned by their father or husband.
Of course, that was never how God saw women, but as the Bible says, He was working with stiff-necked people who were very stubborn.
In God's eyes, you are neither a piece of property nor a commodity. That's why I want to strongly discourage you from playing any comparison games. You're simply incomparable.
God knows who you are truly are. His divine creation is equal to man, but with a unique and special role in the world.
For most of the modern world, marriage is no longer a matter of survival.
Now, we have a beautiful opportunity and privilege of demonstrating the kind of love Jesus wants to reveal to the world.
Clearly, this generation has abused the privilege as divorce rates are at an all-time high, and yet I believe there's still a lot of hope for modern day marriages.
As they say:
With Great Privilege Comes Great Responsibility
You have the opportunity to enjoy a passionate, devoted relationship built on mutual trust, love, and affection. So let's look at the 4 marriage models as defined by Judith Wallerstein in her book The Good Marriage; How and why love lasts so that you can consider the best option for you.
As you go through the 4 marriage models, think of a married couple you know and see if you can identify which model their marriage fits into.
Keep in mind that a marriage can be a combo of two or more.
Each of these models has the potential to be a godly marriage as long as it's a covenant between you, your husband, and God.
Let me walk you through each model so that you can see how they work.
This model is excellent for women who feel they are committed to traditional gender roles and want to marry a man who will fulfill his traditional gender roles.
She wants to be a homemaker. She looks forward to bearing children and believes the more, the merrier. The idea of home-cooked meals, laundry, and lullabies lights her up. She's thrifty and conservative. She knows how to stretch a dollar around the block 3 times if necessary.
She doesn't want a career because she feels fulfilled and is happiest at home, caring for her family. Her social activities tend to revolve around the church and her children's school. She volunteers with different charities, and she's more than happy to help another mom by adding one more to her crew and babysitting.
Her ideal husband is the breadwinner and has a traditional career. Something steady and reliable. She dreams of packing his lunch and sending him on his way in the morning with a kiss. Then she'll spend the day tending to her territory. When her husband comes home from work, she's got a homecooked dinner done and on the table.
This model can work really well when both he and she are excited about their individual roles.
Unfortunately, this marriage model can easily become toxic and abusive when the marriage structure is used to control and manipulate the wife and family.
This couple can run into marital trouble if expectations are not discussed and renegotiate from time to time. For example, once their babies grow up and leave home, many women end up feeling lost and useless. - Ie; empty nesters.
If this marriage model sounds ideal, you need to choose a partner that you can truly trust. He needs to successfully provide for his wife and family while demonstrating solid values and integrity.
You must also have a strong sense of independence and the ability to save money instead of earning an additional income.
While this marriage model is highly recognized and celebrated in the church, it's not the only model that works and brings God glory.
This marriage model is excellent for women who are committed to their careers.
She wants to be in the workforce. She looks forward to building a career and a name for herself. The idea of being trapped at home scares her. She wants to go out there and change the world, and she knows she can do it.
She wants kids, and she wants to be a good mom. But she also believes that quality child care or a husband that wants to spend more time at home with the kids is godsent.
She's looking for a husband who is prepared to support her goals, dreams, and visions. And she wants to marry someone who has his own goals and dreams too.
This model can work really well for younger couples who are determined to make a difference in this world. They love talking to each other about the work they're doing, and they are each other's biggest cheering leader.
The danger comes when one or both of them become preoccupied with their own goals and then start to feel like roommates instead of lovers.
If this sounds like a win-win situation for you, it's important to consider your ability to be a good friend and listener. These marriages thrive on the ability of both parties to communicate openly and honestly. You'll also need to have shared values and share household and family responsibilities as necessary.
This model is excellent for a woman who wants to be married to her best friend.
She wants to have a lot in common with her husband, especially in terms of family goals, career goals, hobbies, and interests. She's less concerned with gender roles and more concerned with personal fulfillment. She wants to be working alongside her husband, building a business together, partners in everything.
Together they will change the world. Together they will raise their children, change diapers, and wash dishes. Together they will battle the giants, and together they will support each other's emotional and spiritual well-being. This type of couple commits to social groups together. When she's on her own, she's wondering what he's doing.
She's looking for a husband who's not stuck in traditional roles. She wants a man whose not afraid to help out around the house and won't mind changing dirty diapers. At the end of the day, they know that they've got to be a team. Dinner needs to be cooked, and it doesn't matter who does it as long as everyone is fed.
This couple believes they were destined to be together, and they were made for each other. Unfortunately, this model can leave the couple so obsessed with each other that they neglect those around them, sometimes even their own children. They believe it's us against the world.
Do you like the sound of this marriage model?
Before you say yes, check your motives.
Women who want this type of marriage run a higher risk of attracting narcissists. There also tends to be more jealousy, drama, and conflict in these intensely romantic relationships.
This marriage model is favored by women who want to heal their wounds from the past within the context of marriage.
She wants to heal and grow, and she wants him to help her.
Are you looking for a knight in shining armor?
Or a man who will sweep you off your feet and rescue you?
If you dream of being showered with compliments and having a man who is obsessed with you, then you might really enjoy being in a rescue marriage, at least in the beginning.
This model is the least stable.
Because if the healing doesn't take place, the couple will replay past traumas over and over again. A couple in this marriage model has had the same fight a million times.
For this relationship to work, you'll need to attract a man that enjoys playing the hero but is actually in a position to help.
If you're attracted to this type of relationship, I want to offer a word of caution. It's easy to make this sound Biblical like you're Ruth waiting to be rescued by your Kinsman redeemer.
First of all, if you need a savior, you already have Jesus.
Secondly, it's not fair to your husband if you enter into marriage before you have adequately dealt with past trauma and pain. You need to know that you're loveable without having a relationship to prove it.
I teach that to have a successful relationship; the minimum requirements include physical maturity, spiritual maturity, and emotional maturity.
The rescue marriage model revolves around having a victim mentality and blaming others for your life's challenges.
A marriage may not fit perfectly into just one of these models.
My own marriage is a unique combo of two parts romantic, one part companionate, and one part traditional.
We love changing the world together, and we both have entrepreneurial goals. We also believe in traditional gender roles, but at the end of the day, what matters most is that everyone has eaten and is taken care of, regardless of who does what.
It's what works for us, and we love what we have created together.
I created a brand new 3 part mini training series to teach single Christian women how to deeply and authentically practice self-love as the first step to creating a Christ-centred and equally-yoked relationship.
In this FREE Course, you're going to learn:
I hope you’ve found this useful. If so, please share it on your favorite social media platform.
My goal is to help Christian women like you enjoy a healthy, thriving relationship 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.
Now, I have a few questions for you…
Leave a comment below and let me know.
Share as much detail as you'd like. Your wisdom and insights will help and encourage readers from all around the world. The ideas you share might be the inspiration someone else needs to get a breakthrough.
Important: Please share your thoughts, ideas, and opinions directly in the comments below. This way, everyone benefits, and the community grows.
Thank you so much for reading and supporting this growing community with your voice. Your comments are a gift to me and make a huge difference in the Kingdom of God.