In one of Lord Tennyson’s poems he says, “In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” And he’s not wrong. Young men, if you’re unmarried, you should be taking deliberate steps towards getting married.
I’d like to trace out three steps you can act on immediately to move towards marriage. Remember, this isn’t a complete list, just a starting place. First, work so hard that you fall asleep before your head lands on the pillow. Second, run the numbers for providing for a wife and 2-3 children, and…tah-dah…there’s your new 5 year plan. Third, take initiative and plan a co-ed event, inviting some godly, older couples to chaperone. In other words, learn Solomon’s trifecta of diligence, prudence, & initiative.
Some have pointed out that while a man takes a woman for a wife, a woman is given in marriage. Thus, young women, your assignment is a bit different. So, here are three steps for young women awaiting a suitor. First, instead of making a Pinterest wedding board, apply yourself to learning, perfecting, & widening your homemaking skillset. Second, ask your father about which young men in your community he deems respectable. Third, learn to glorify what you’ve received; make your dwelling lovely, make your dollars stretch, and adorn your inner man with meekness so that your outer countenance beams with the glory of holiness.
To the broader congregation, pray for these single men and women of our body. Invite them over for meals, Bible studies, and keep your eyes open for good matches (and, it bears mentioning, for matches that’re just bad juju). Older men exhorting younger men (Tit. 2:6-8, Pro 1:8), and older women teaching younger women (Tit. 2:3-5) is God’s discipleship program. Finding a godly wife, or consenting to marry a godly husband isn’t intended to be done in isolation; rather, it’s a function of life in the body of Christ.
We live in a culture that hates marriage. God commanded us to hold the marriage bed in reverence, and we’ve done quite the opposite. We’ve sundered the glory of marriage with our commitment to no fault divorce. We’ve sullied the marriage bed through porn, same-sex pollution, adultery, and abortion. Even in the church, those professing Christ, have failed to raise our sons & daughters to honor this gift of marriage.
May the Church of our Lord Jesus to assist our young men & women to pursue the blessing of marriage in such a way as to demonstrate to the world the great mystery of Christ and the church. And may God grant that as we reform our view of marriage to be in accordance with His word, that our culture will be reformed as well. Underneath all of this is the truth that the only way we can receive the many good gifts God has to give––marriage, children, financial prosperity, and so on––is to first ask for and receive this gift of mercy and grace through Christ.