It has been an undefined expectation in my head that marriage would fulfill or complete me…
“How am I supposed to wait patiently for marriage?” This is a question I have been seriously mulling over the past few months. In order to wait patiently for something, I realized that I had to actually understand what that something was. It has been an undefined expectation in my head that marriage would fulfill or complete me in some way, shape or form. I thought this because I was looking at myself being served through marriage, which is something heavily emphasized within our culture. However, while studying the Bible and being surrounded by Christ centered marriages, I’ve come to realize that my part in marriage will not be about finally receiving the love I was waiting for, but rather serving my spouse even at my own expense.
You see, those who are married are to love each other as Christ loved the Church. The love that Christ demonstrated included being brutally tortured and killed on the cross for our sins. This goes to show that marriage is not meant for one to selfishly receive, but for one to selflessly give of themselves, as Christ gave Himself completely. In doing this, with Christ at the absolute center, marriage portrays the gospel to others, and the husband and wife carry the image of Christ by serving each other selflessly through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
So, why wait?
No, I’m not talking about waiting for sex (please wait!). While the romantic aspect of marriage is exciting and quite an amazing gift for two people to share (so I’ve heard), we see that it isn’t the foundation of marriage. The romance and the mountain top emotions are not what will get a marriage through the extremely difficult seasons. The foundation is the commitment to unconditionally love and serve. We do not need to wait in allowing Christ to teach us how to mold our characters into those who serve unconditionally. We are able to learn how to walk in selflessness now, which will not only prepare us for marriage but also for eternity with Christ.
How do we learn to serve?
This is what prepares us for marriage.
Actively pursue Jesus. As we focus on knowing Jesus more in the midst of singleness it allows our character to be refined in His humility and love, which produces the ability to serve one another. This is what prepares us for marriage. But what’s awesome about a Christ centered marriage built upon Christ centered singleness, is that it actually prepares us for eternity with Christ by continually refining our character in selflessness.
So, let’s not wait for marriage to actively pursue Christ in a way that allows us to serve. We have an opportunity every day to become more conformed to His character and love for the Church.