I commented in the last post, “How we steward our singleness will be foundational to how we steward our marriages.” Our marriages are called to reflect our mysterious union with Christ. Should not also our singleness reflect the waiting and preparation The Bride undertakes, as She is being sanctified and set apart for “the One and Only,” Jesus?
Two words that help solidify the cement in a marriage are “exclusive” and “indissolubility”. Our dating culture violates both those virtues. Indissolubility, it’s one of my new favorite words. Admittedly I am a bit of a word merchant, which is a glittery way of saying nerd. Here’s the definition for my fellow word nerds; not dissoluble, incapable of being dissolved, decomposed, undone, or destroyed. I love that, “incapable of being dissolved”. I think the traditional wedding pronouncement says something like, “what God has joined together…” The assurance of successes in the marriage experience can’t be dependent upon what we join together. We are too weak and its demands are too great. The assurance must rest in what He Himself has joined together and what He provides to keep it together.
We, Christians, are adamant about chastising sexual urges but not romantic urges. We expect self-control when it comes to pre-marital sex but not in the expression of the romantic interests and desires that stimulates the sex. Pursue those romantic interests we say, but don’t touch anything, right? We are doing the “joining together” and awakening romantic love before its time. Rather than the Spirit, we let urges, attractions, and the pressures of peers and society lead us in and out of the dating game. We practice exclusive love, shadow a marital commitment and then dissolve the union when we don’t want it anymore. Those vital virtues, indissolubility and exclusivity, become our victims. They weaken with every break up.
Is it such an impossible thought to see a beautiful prospect, bring our romantic desires and interest in them to God, and choose to cultivate friendship until He gives further notice? Is that not what we would be expected to do when those same desires and interests for another surprise us within our future marriages? Why not practice faithfulness now? I believe the grace to remain exclusive in our marriages can grow from a our devotion to pour out our longings exclusively to Jesus while we’re single. Can you imagine how the virtue of honoring one another would grow, how the discipline to not covet would strengthen?
Marital companionship is one of the greatest driving desires of the human heart. What a powerful opportunity for an individual to take advantage of their longings by growing in prayer, dependency, purity, and intimacy with their First Love while they live expecting God’s choice for true love.
I know, I know, the obvious question is,
“How do you know if someone is “the one” if you don’t date?
I’m glad you asked. One of my best friends gives one of the best answers,
“How do you know if you do?”
to be continued, promise…