On August 8, 1981 my life changed. It was the day I got married. Little did I know how my life would change. Even today, that decision impacts me. I’m glad I made a good decision.
I’m sure many of us know people who should have taken a little more time before they were married. Maybe they needed a little more work on their relationship. Or maybe the other person wasn’t a good fit for them. With about half of all marriages ending in divorce, most people should give it more thought before they get married. Marriage is one of life’s most important decisions. Should I get married? If so, who should I marry? When?
Next to receiving Jesus as Savior, the most important and life-changing decision anyone makes is about marriage. The Apostle Paul writes about singleness and marriage in 1 Corinthians 7:1-7. It’s okay and good to remain single. Before getting married, it is important to understand the unique privileges and responsibilities of married life.
One of the issues in marriage the Apostle Paul writes about is sexual intimacy. God’s wisdom will help alleviate much heartbreak and frustration in our relationships.
I want to share one truth summary from this passage:
It is good, if you are single, to not have physical intimacy with anyone.
But it is bad, if you are married, to not have physical intimacy with your spouse.
In other words, if you are single, don’t. If you are married, do.
Let me make some observations.
To those who are single: It all begins with you.
We often think that if our situation were different, we would be different. If we were married, we wouldn’t have these desires. But marriage doesn’t change us. If a person can’t control their desires before marriage, what guarantees success after marriage. This is the practical reason I discourage pre-marital sex. If a guy is willing to sleep with a woman he’s not married to before he gets married, what guarantee do you have he won’t sleep with someone he’s not married to after he gets married.
Rather than trying to change your circumstances, change you. Instead of looking for the right partner, learn to become the right partner. Invest in your relationship with God and allow Him to bring you the right partner, not just a partner. Physical intimacy is a natural, God-given desire. But just like anything else, people find a way to make it dirty. Don’t let your good desires pull you into making a wrong decision. And if you have made a wrong decision, God will allow you to make a u-turn. It’s called repentance. He is faithful and just to forgive you if you confess your sin. And don’t put yourself in the place where you are easily tempted.
To those who are married: You are not your own.
Your body belongs to each other and to God. To deprive the other is to commit robbery and to invite temptation. This not only involves physical intimacy, but it relates to emotional intimacy. There is only one reason to deprive one another of intimacy: by mutual consent (talk about it), for an important reason (spiritual oneness), for a brief period (agreed upon). Sex is a wonderful tool to build with, not a weapon to destroy.
So here is a checklist to decide if you should remain single or get married…
It is better to remain single than…
- Marry someone who does not share your passion of God.
- Marry for the wrong motives.
- Marry without being willing to give yourself to another completely.
It is better to marry if…
- Your life will be more complete with someone else.
- God leads you to someone you love and loves you.
- You are willing to spend the rest of your life giving rather than receiving.
Whether you are single or married, you need to take a good look in the mirror and see yourself. Regardless, you are not made to be alone. You need someone to help you in life. Even if God has given you a life-partner, that person has limitations. You need God in your life. You need someone who will be with you no matter what. Who understands everything about you. Someone who knows everything about you and still loves you. Someone who accepts you just like you are but loves you enough to not let you stay that way. Someone who has the power to make you to become everything you were meant to be. There’s only one person like that – Jesus. You need to accept Jesus as your own personal Lord and Savior.
A good friend of mine was named Fred Barden. I met him at Grand Court. He was an old man and came every week to the Bible studies and church services. He was so kind and nice. But I found out that in his younger years he was a mean, old truck driver. His sweet wife was a beautiful Christian lady who tried to be a good influence on him, but he was mean to her. He belittled her faith and would have nothing to do with it. After retirement, they moved to Grand Court. Then Fred’s wife passed away. It was in his loneliness and regret that he began to seek out what his wife had – faith in God. He went to the library at Grand Court and checked out a Billy Graham book, How to have peace with God. He read that book and trusted Jesus Christ as Savior. His life changed. That’s when I met him. He asked me to baptize him and Kink and I went to Grand Court and he was baptized. He ended up getting sick and wanted me to do his funeral. He jokingly said he’s going to really surprise his wife when he gets to heaven because she tried so hard to get him saved. I told him I believe God had already let her know.