I would like to ask you to stop telling singles that they are not ‘ready yet’. I am sure it gets said because it is the Christian-ese answer, but I don’t think we understand the implications of that phrase.
Telling someone they are not ready yet means that they are not good enough yet for marriage which would imply you have to earn marriage. I do not believe God’s heart towards us is to earn marriage, but rather as a gift. No where in the Bible do I see God making us earn gifts. It then by definition would not be a gift at all (1).
In the new testament God uses the analogy of the Church being His bride and He the groom (2). We are His bride by the shedding of Christ’s blood which He gave willingly, and ask that we confess Him with our mouths and believe in our hearts (3). God does not make us earn salvation. That is the beauty of it. You don’t have to be good enough, clean enough or moral enough. He takes us as we are and bestows upon us redemption. In fact, He tells us it is that way so we can not boast in our own works (4). There is no way man can earn his own salvation. If it had to be earned it would created a moral hierarchy that we would have to adhere to and compete with which would bring striving and hate. What a gift that it is freely given to us!
I am no one to know the workings of God’s thoughts, but I do know His character and I know He is good. And if that is how God views us as His bride how much more so towards marriage.
I would like to challenge you to think of how it might feel if you were still waiting for marriage and someone told you that you were not ready yet even though you try to honor God in preparing for marriage. It’s is discouraging and defeating to hear, and it can often lead to becoming self conscious and self righteous. You look over at the person getting married younger than you and think, but I don’t struggle with that or have more knowledge than he or she… I am not justifying the sin of looking down on another, but it hurts to be compared.
Church I ask that instead you would encourage us to continue waiting. That God is working behind the scenes in ways we cannot understand and in His timing it will come to pass. I know I have found great comfort in telling myself its just not my time yet. My time will come, but for now I will enjoy this season, and be present for others in theirs.
Let us be a church known for our encouragement and commitment to one another in every season of life. I think we could do more great things for God if we empowered each in other where God has each of us.
All my love,
“Life is best served with a hot cup of coffee and a whole lot of grace!”
(1) Romans 6:23 ESV
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
(2) John 3:28-29 NIV
“The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ ”
(3) Romans 10:9 ESV
“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
(4) Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”