Five Things To Remember When Desiring Marriage

Posted in inspiration

Oh, the waters of dating and romance. Especially if you love Jesus, dating can be a weighty thing. It’s fun to get to know people, go out on dates, and enjoy the scene, I wholeheartedly agree, girlfriend. But when you deeply desire to be married, there are a couple things that could be revolutionary to keep in mind. These are truths taught to me, lived out for me, and experienced by me. I hope, wherever you are relationally, that these inspire and spark something new in you like they once did for me. I’m thankful for the older women I had in my life to mentor me as I navigated dating and then marriage. And foremost, hallelujah to the Holy Spirit who helped me be patient and genuinely content in the process (because Lord knows I wouldn’t have been able to do it well on my own; it would’ve been halfhearted and handicapped, I’m sure).

Don’t date with only marriage in mind.

Marriage can easily become the be-all end-all. We place our hope and happiness on the circumstance of marriage, and then struggle to have said treasures while we’re single or dating. We begin to idolize “the right person” or a relationship in general. Not to speak Christianese, but the worship of God is the ultimate goal of the Christian life, would you agree? Dating and marriage can then become a means of worship to God; in marriage you get God in your lifelong commitment to each other. Marriage is about depending on God, displaying God, being made like God. Knowing this truth gave purpose to my singleness.

Relinquish the effort to God.

He is truly the best match maker there is, putting it plainly. He knows you better than you even know you, and He knows the type of person you want/need. He knows the person who will complement you best, who will challenge you and love you, who will pursue and cherish you. He knows how the two of you will work together, and the sweetness that will come from your unity. So let Him do the work, and trust His timing.

Stay guarded with prayer.

Emotions can run all too crazy, can’t they? I remember when J and I initially began to discover each other as more than friends, I could sense an impatience in my heart. But he was moving at a different pace than I was, and it turned out to be wonderful for us, the unhurried time to get to know each other before taking big steps. Sometimes I felt like I was praying every moment, for the Spirit to purify my thoughts, to give me peace and contentment, to cultivate companionship with the Lord in me. We often hear the challenge “Don’t date until you’ve prayed about it,” but I want to also encourage you not to stop praying in the waiting, or even in the dating.

Date intentionally.

I’m not saying have outlandish standards for the person you’re going out on a date with, I simply mean be thoughtful about it. I encourage you not to let insecurity or discontentment land you on a horrible date. Confession: my only two real relationships was in high school with a great guy friend, and J, my friend-turned-husband. So I hardly knew how to flirt, or date. But, in college I had one of two guys pursue me, guys who weren’t like-minded and didn’t value the same things I did — so I didn’t go out with them. I knew it wouldn’t go anywhere, so I saved myself the energy. Weird? Possibly. “The greatest danger of dating is giving parts of our hearts and lives to someone to whom we’re not married.” This is a word given to me early in my college career, and I think it speaks volumes. Use wisdom, be intentional.

Remember that everyone is an imperfect human being.

Every person who date and marries is a sinner, so the search for a spouse isn’t a pursuit of perfection, or the missing piece of your life, but a mutual lifelong pursuit of Jesus. Learning this early in college was incredibly helpful for my heart; in some ways, it helped me trust God further to do most of the leg work to hammer out the details. I trusted that He would put the desire in J’s heart just as He had put it in mine, and His timing would be best. It didn’t have to happen in a certain amount of time or in a certain way, because we weren’t seeking perfection. I’ve often said, “J and I are together because God thought we could glorify Him and serve His people better together than apart.”

Do even these views make dating safe or ideal? No. Will it keep you from being hurt or disappointed? No. Will it guarantee you don’t experience another break up? Probably not. But my prayer for the people around me, and those who find their way to this post, is that you will begin to pursue marriage a different way. Maybe these thoughts can help you love your current/future spouse (or people in general, if you never marry) even more in a way that beautifully displays the Gospel and the heart of God.

Go, friends, date, don’t date, be merry, enjoy your marriage, love Jesus. :)

19 Comments

  • Emily

    Love the words of wisdom :)

    01/17/2016 at 7:54 pm Reply
    • Chelsea B.E.

      Thank you, Emily! Looking forward to checking out your blog as well!

      01/18/2016 at 1:53 pm Reply
  • Carri

    This is a great post for those dating and in search of a soul mate! Thanks for sharing!
    everyseasonwoman.blogsopt.com

    01/17/2016 at 9:35 pm Reply
  • Caitlin

    So much wisdom in you! If it’s cool with you I will probably share this post with some high school girls I work with! I am seriously in love with this! I think after the whole I kissed dating goodbye movement hit the Christian community it became all about dating for marriage. Which isn’t bad exactly. It just puts so much pressure on young relationships and makes things way too serious in my opinion. You are very wise! Thank you for sharing!

    01/17/2016 at 10:47 pm Reply
    • Chelsea B.E.

      Caitlin, you can absolutely share this! I wish I could chat with every young girl in the world about this. I agree with your thoughts. PS – can’t wait to check out your blog also. :)

      01/17/2016 at 10:49 pm Reply
  • Cassandra

    Just found your blog and your writing is so refreshing and true. I am recently married and never struggled with being discontent in my singleness, but in every aspect of our lives, we need to surrender our will to God’s and hold everything in an open hand. I fully support being intentional in any relationship. Amen to that!

    01/17/2016 at 11:03 pm Reply
    • Chelsea B.E.

      Happy you stopped by Cassandra! Amen to surrendering. It’s often difficult, but the most peaceful.

      01/18/2016 at 1:53 pm Reply
  • Charlene

    Amen! I’ve seen so many women get so caught up in the dating world. All they care about is getting married and they try to control that. They don’t give it to God and they end up settling just because they don’t want to end up alone. It’s so backwards. Great post!

    01/18/2016 at 1:37 pm Reply
  • Chelsea B.E.

    The control is the part that is revolutionary, I think, Charlene. Thank you!

    01/18/2016 at 1:55 pm Reply
  • Rachel

    Yes to all of this, especially your last point. One thing that I think I’ve learned a lot through dating my boyfriend over the past 3 years is that I was mentally and emotionally putting a lot of pressure on him because I was expecting him to love me in a way that only God can. Iit’s something we’re definitely learning to surrender to God as we think about marriage in the horizon. :)

    Also, have you read “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim Keller? I really enjoyed his book and your post definitely gave me the itch to re-read it again!

    01/18/2016 at 9:51 pm Reply
    • Chelsea B.E.

      Rachel, I think you are very wise and mature for recognizing such things. Truly. And I have read that book! We read it together while we doing our marriage counseling, and it sparked many a quality, helpful conversation between us.

      01/18/2016 at 10:02 pm Reply
  • Lauren English

    That last one is so big! I remember wondering if any tiny, perceived “flaw” in my now husband was some sort of indication we shouldn’t get married. Everyone is imperfect (ourselves included!) and it’s a matter of trusting God and His plan to use marriage to grow us, sanctify us, and draw us deeper into Him and into each other. Beautiful post, Chelsea!

    01/19/2016 at 6:15 pm Reply
    • Chelsea B.E.

      Thank you, Lauren. “Trusting God and His plan to use marriage to grow us, sanctify us, and draw us deeper into Him,” amen sister. I like this.

      01/20/2016 at 12:49 pm Reply
  • Kara | Coffee With Kara

    This is a great post! Thank you! It can be so easy for me to drift off into dreamland and forget to trust God completely with that area of my life. You offer great insights, and I’m truly greatful.

    01/20/2016 at 12:34 am Reply
    • Chelsea B.E.

      I’m so glad you visited, Kara, and were encouraged. That is truly to greatest joy when posting something like this. :)

      01/20/2016 at 12:49 pm Reply
  • Linda

    This is so beautifully written. Thanks for sharing your bits of wisdom on the dating journey! I hardly know what I’ll my future kids. haha. There are just so many dating stories out there– mine is so different than some of my friends, and what worked well for some did not work for others! Ultimately, you shared some excellent guidelines for every individual in the dating world.

    01/22/2016 at 8:46 am Reply
  • Joy

    When I was dating, I was well-known for being VERY picky. I think in a lot of ways that was good… God knew what I could and couldn’t handle long-term. He surprised me by putting me and my good friend together. I had no idea that guy would end up as my husband. Yet, I learned over many months that he wasn’t “perfect” and neither was I. I had always learned too much too soon about the other guys I dated… so when issues arose months down the road in our relationship, I discovered the incredible power of forgiveness. Clearly something I hadn’t understood fully before! I went on a bit of tangent, haha but overall what I’m saying is yes. I love this post!

    01/22/2016 at 7:14 pm Reply
    • Chelsea B.E.

      Joy! I hear you, girl. “so when issues arose months down the road in our relationship, I discovered the incredible power of forgiveness.” A challenging, yet humbling and wonderful habit to establish and pray for.

      I remember someone telling me, you don’t want him to expect perfection of you, so you cannot expect it of him. Wowzers.

      01/23/2016 at 12:31 pm Reply
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