Beloved, I cannot guarantee you a magic potion to landing a fancy Disney marriage, but I can guarantee you wisdom to not landing a horrible one. And because godly marriages are miles better than Disney fantasies, here are five reasons why some young Christian women are not ready for godly relationships that lead to thriving marriages.
1. Speaking ill of marriage and relationships
What do you reckon when you hear a born-again Christian woman state "All men are dogs."? When I hear a lady who is born again speak ill of relationships and marriage, I worry. Why? Because if you remain true to the Scriptures, you will see that nothing in the Kingdom of God works outside relationships. Christ is our groom and we are his bride. Relationship. God is our father. Relationship. The Holy Spirit is our helper. Relationship. Angels are our ministers. Relationship. Fellow believers are siblings. Relationship. We were made for relationships! In fact, God began our world's creation functioning in relationships, “Let us make man in our own image.” Young women in the Body of Christ must have different mindsets about relationships, unlike the world.
John Piper once said this very profound statement: “The wonder of marriage is woven into the wonder of the gospel of the cross of Christ, and the message of the cross is foolishness to the natural man, and so the meaning of marriage is foolishness to the natural man.”
John Piper is right. 1 Corinthians 1:18 tells us that the gospel is foolishness to the world. And Ephesians 5:25 parallels the very same gospel to a marriage relationship between a man and a woman. So when the reaction of the natural woman (not born-again) and the saved woman (born-again) concerning marriage and relationships are the same, there is more than sufficient reason to worry about the latter’s maturity. In the Kingdom of Darkness, everything works in the opposite- against relationships. The devil is your enemy, the demons are your tempters, friends are for benefits, family is for convenience and relationships are for self-actualization. Followers of Jesus who speak ill of relationships only prove that they are not ready for the godly marriages they desire. So, is the solution to stop speaking ill of marriages? No. You need to trace the root of the problem. Speech is a product of belief. Belief is a product of conviction. Conviction is a product of acquired information accepted to be true. What you speak reveals what you believe. And what you believe reveals what you are convinced of. What you are convinced of reveals the information you have imbibed and thought to be true. Speaking ill is a symptom; the real disease is the lies that the woman has believed about marriage and relationships. Here are some lies that Christian women need to replace with truth from the Scriptures.
Deception from the World
Scriptural Antidote if you are born again
My parents had a difficult marriage so that means I will have a difficult one too.
Ezekiel 18:20 says “The person who sins is the one who will die. The child will not be punished for the parent's sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child's sins. Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behaviour, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness.”
I never had a godly father figure so that means I will struggle relating with men in marriage
You have a father in heaven and through Jesus Christ he will sanctify you daily to become relatable to men. Jesus even affirmed the superiority of our heavenly father in Mathew 23:9 “And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.”
No one in my family history has had a working marriage so the curse of the family is upon me.
Galatians 3:13 says “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." In Christ, you can do all things, even thrive in marriage, because he strengthens you.
There are no good men left.
God always has a remnant in every generation, saved by his Grace and mercy- include marriageable men.
What other deceptive philosophies have you adopted?
2. Fearfully holding onto a wrong relationship
The second reason why young Christian women are not ready for godly relationships that lead to thriving marriages is fearfully holding onto wrong relationships. Young Christian women must take bold moves and not participate in relationships without direction that do not glorify God. You probably know what I’m talking about. He does not take initiative, the relationship is killing your walk with God, he has no intention of marriage, you are constantly fighting, you do not honour sexual purity and the marriage bed (Hebrews 13:4), he does not lead and guide you spiritually and you are afraid to leave. Many born-again women that I have talked to, who are in such situations, give the following reasons:
- What will my family think?
- I’ve invested too much time with him in this relationship.
- I don’t think I will love again
- My biological clock is ticking
- He is better than most men
- He only hit me once
- I committed to date till marriage
- I will convert him into a Christian.
- He will change when we get married.
Beloved, allow me to respond to all these in brief:
What will my family think?
You will not marry your family.
I’ve invested too much time with him in this relationship
God is the author of time. He can redeem in one month what was invested in three years.
I don’t think I will love again
You can love again and you will love again. Because the Spirit of God is in you, Beloved, and God is Love (1 John 4:8)
My biological clock is ticking
God’s timing is more accurate than your biological clock. Ecclesiastes 3:11, "He has made everything beautiful in its time." Stop comparing your life to others.
He is better than most men
Your man is not the standard; Christ is.
He only hit me once
Violence is not of love. If he hit you once nothing says he won’t do it again.
I committed to date till marriage
Ending a dating relationship is not sinful because it is not a divorce.
I will convert him into a Christian.
You cannot change the eternal state of anyone. Salvation is God’s work, not man's work.
He will change when we get married.
Unless you have the gift of prophecy, I am betting heavily against this one.
God expects wisdom from you in your dating life. And that wisdom may mean ending a relationship that does not glorify God and that has no direction. You may fear disappointing many people who knew you were dating but realize that disappointing others is a small cost to pay for the benefit of a future godly marriage.
3. Holding onto past hurt
Another reason why young Christian women are not ready for godly relationships that lead to thriving marriages is holding onto past hurt. Godly men, just like many other men, often get repelled by women who hold onto baggage and self pity. This is not to belittle your pain, Beloved, but rather to encourage you to stop living in it and to give your baggage to Christ for he cares for you. I read a devastating story of a woman who was kidnapped and raped on her wedding day. Later, after finally getting married, her husband died and the community blamed her. The situation only grew worse but this woman held onto Christ and rose from the pain in her life. She even remarried and she now has a thriving marriage and ministry with an admirable godly man. If you have been through something similar, let that short story encourage you that your life is not over. The same God that worked in her is the same God at work in your life. If you have not been through half of that, beloved, do you see how holding onto pain can be dead-weight? The lady in question trusted in Christ and is encouraging many more hurting women through her ministry. Allow Christ to take the pain of the past. Cast all your cares on him, for he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
4. Poor spiritual growth
The fourth reason why young Christian women are not ready for godly relationships that lead to thriving marriages is poor spiritual growth. Meredith MacInnis, a friend of mine, commented on one of my recent Facebook posts, “We all have this longing for solid and healthy marriages deep down because we are made in the image of God, and he wants that for us …” Her statement struck me! How profound! How true! The yearn for good marriages comes from our design- the image of God. And since that is true, it only makes sense that the ultimate love doctor is God Almighty. Waturi and I have a principle for any Christian who is about to get into a relationship: Run so fast towards God, if anyone keeps up, introduce yourself. In the pursuit of Christlikeness, all other things (even a good marriage) shall be added unto us (Matthew 6:33). Perhaps you have been chasing men harder than you have been chasing God, Beloved. The danger of pursuing anything more that God is idolatry. Humans easily make idols out of their pursuits. It is good for young Christian women to desire marriage. But it is better for them to desire godliness, because with this, the right attractions will happen. Jesus Christ is the greatest man you will ever have, Beloved. After you die, there will be no man-woman marriage in heaven, but you will have Christ as your Lord and groom for eternity. Let Christ be the man who graciously steps aside in the dance when the godly man arrives. Since marriage is only on earth, you may as well do it right and enjoy it fully. Pursue godliness and grow spiritually, Beloved. How can a godly woman grow spiritually?
- Hear the Word (See Romans 10:7. From other mature men and women of God e.g. podcasts, recorded sermons)
- Read the Word (See Revelation 1:3. get a personal encounter of God speaking by reading what the Bible says)
- Study the Word (See Acts 17:11. Researching what I read and verifying its veracity and appropriate use.)
- Memorise the Word (See Psalm 119:9-11. Committing to memory what I study so that I have a ready word to share to anyone in need and a stocked arsenal against temptation and false doctrine.)
- Meditate on the Word (See Joshua 1:8. Musing about the words of scripture that I have memorized and allowing the Holy Spirit to use them to search my life)
- Practising the Word. (See John 13:17. Doing what I learn. God wants us not only to appear changed on the outside but to actually change on the inside.)
The fifth reason why young Christian women are not ready for godly relationships that lead to thriving marriages is worldliness. I have met them. They email me frequently. When you prod and get to the bottom of things, you see the root cause. Worldliness. Worldliness is the young Christian woman reading or watching 50 Shades of Grey despite hearing what the reviews say. Worldliness is the young Christian woman flirting with a man to see how far he can go. Worldliness is the young Christian woman leading worship on Sunday morning and streaming erotic videos on YouTube on Monday. Worldliness is the young Christian indulging in flippant comedy that mocks virtue and godliness. Worldliness is the young Christian woman forgetting the high cost of her salvation on the cross and the precious worth of her soul. Worldliness is the young Christian woman who complains about a rough relationship with God but still spends time with carnal friends. A young Christian married woman wrote this to me on one of my posts in March 2015: “ I used to watch Scandal so faithfully till the Lord condemned so much. I was a young bride watching a series that made a mistress and a married man look like they had more chemistry than with the wife. This made me rethink Scandal and many other movies in fact now I rarely watch any movie or even TV.” Worldliness, Beloved, as much as you may hate me for saying it, is foolish. It’s not legalism, it is wisdom. A professing Christian woman in a university in Kenya revealed this to a friend of mine: She stated that the man she marries must have lots of money before anything else. She added that it didn't matter if he was walking with God or not because her first priority was a man that earned more money than she did. She believes that if they have enough money, everything else will play out well. When we hear such things at play in the life of a young professing Christian woman, it probably bespeaks two things:
a. She is not truly born again.
Going to church and being affiliated to Christianity does not make you a believer. Jesus clearly lays the true picture of being a follower? Do you have a personal relationship with him characterized by obedience? 2 Corinthians 13:5 says to this young woman “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?”
1 John 2:15-16 also says to her "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
b. She has traded the treasure of salvation for worldly treasure
Revelation 3:15-20 says to this young woman “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”
If a young born again woman is worldly, how can she crave the blessing of Ephesians 5:25, of a husband that loves her as Christ loves the Church? Should she meet that marriageable man of God (and they are there in plenty), he would have nothing to do with her. For what do a pretty face and a killer smile mean in heaven’s economy if the Kingdom of God is not advancing? Beloved, if you are in the cloud of worldliness, the cry from the Saviour in Revelation 3 is “So be earnest, and repent.” Christ will come for a pure bride, not a worldly one. And if Christ’s choice is reflective of a godly man’s choice for a wife, you win twice when he spots you! Remember Beloved, all the worldliness cannot drown the grace Christ gives you- grace is pardon and reward (Ephesians 2:8-9) but it is also power over worldliness (Titus 2:11-12). As the famous quote truthfully states, “All the water in the world, no matter how hard it tries, can never sink a ship unless it gets inside. All the evil influence of the world, no matter how hard it tries, can never sink a Christian's soul unless it gets inside. Therefore, guard your heart with all diligence.”
What other reasons do you know of that make young Christian women unprepared for godly marriages?