IT'S GOOD TO WANT MARRIAGE, JUST WANT JESUS MORE
Kim Kira | DEC 20, 2017 | 12 MIN READ
Singleness is meant to be a joyful blessing from God, but the holidays seem to tell us it is so more of a curse. Whether it is the loneliness of not having someone to celebrate with or hearing your relatives ask at family events, “So when are you going to settle down?” (as if you were purposefully avoiding marriage), the holidays can be outright painful. While we might start believing the answer is to find a significant other, the real solution is to see our singleness in light of the gospel.
We Were Made For Relationships
We must first start by reminding ourselves that it is natural to desire relationships. We were created in the image of our Triune God who is a community within Himself. In Genesis 1:26, he says, “Let us make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness” (emphasis added). God is a community and has wired us to live in community as well.
In fact, the only thing that was not “good” before the fall (when Eden was still paradise), was for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). So even before the entrance of sin, we were created for relationships.
When A God Honoring Desire Becomes An Idolatrous Need
So if a desire for relationships is a good thing, why is our hope for marriage often so painful? It is because of the fall. It was then that sin entered the world and it ruined everything. No longer were relationships a God-glorifying hope held in submission to God. Instead, they supplanted him on the throne of our hearts. Relationships became an idol – something we feel we need for identity, contentment, happiness, and completion.
Marriage Is A Means, Not An End
But here is what we must appreciate – marriage was never meant to be an end in itself, but a means to understand Christ and the gospel better. In talking about marriage, Paul says in Ephesians 5:32, “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” He is teaching that marriage is a reflection of the union of Christ and his church.
Can you even wrap your head around that? Paul wasn’t saying, “Maybe marriage would be a good picture of Christ’s incredible union with his church.” He was saying that from the beginning of time, marriage was created to be an amazing illustration of what it means that we as a church (and as individuals) are in an intimate relationship with Christ.
If you are single, you might be thinking, “This is supposed to make me feel better? One of God’s greatest pictures of the gospel, and I am missing out on it?” But the grace of this illustration is that it looks forward to the ultimate marriage of Christ and his people. In other words, marriage on earth is great, but it is nothing compared to the marriage to come. While you are single, you can’t simply look forward to an earthly marriage, but you must look beyond to the ultimate marriage of Christ and His church.
For every believer there awaits a marriage that is beyond anything we can possibly comprehend. For some of you, you will be single for the rest of your lives – but one day there will be a wedding celebration of which there is no comparison. On that day when “the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2), you won’t wish you were married, because you and every believer will experience an incomparable marriage of unfathomable joy.
Wanting Jesus More
The gospel not only reminds us of a greater marriage ahead, but also that on this side of eternity, our ultimate contentment can and must also be found in Jesus. Just as we won’t need earthly marriage in heaven because we have Christ, the same is true right now. This is because the things we so often seek in relationships —security, identity, and joy — we were meant to find in Jesus. You were made for Jesus more than you were ever made for earthly marriage, and in him (and only in him), can you find true contentment.
If you are the person who thinks marriage will cure your discontentment, realize this – you will become discontent in your marriage as well because your discontentment says less about your relationship with another person and more about your relationship with Christ.
Christ is better and only in Him is true joy found. As Paul says, “I consider all things loss compared to the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8). This Christmas you may not have someone to celebrate with, but you have Someone to celebrate.
If you are single, it is a good thing to desire marriage, but remember and pray through these key truths:
- Don’t let a God-honoring desire become an idolatrous need. Your great need is Christ and through the gospel, you have him.
- As much as you look forward to marriage, take time to often look past earthly marriage to the ultimate marriage in heaven. Your hope should not be in a husband or wife, but in Christ the Lord of our lives and groom to the church.
- Lastly, honor Christ and prepare for a possible earthly marriage by finding your contentment in Christ now. You can find your joy in Christ, and to honor Him, you must.
All that to say, it’s good to want marriage, just want Jesus more.
Kim Kira is the primary preaching elder at Lighthouse Community Church in Torrance, California. His ministry is driven by a deep desire to encourage people with the transformative power of the Gospel, the Good News that offers not only entrance into heaven but powerful and practical hope for change in everyday life. Kim holds a M.Div. from The Master’s Seminary and a M.A. Biblical Counseling from The Master’s University.