Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Quotes from Getting Serious About Getting Married

(An excellent book; I very highly recommend it).

"We have been told over and over that singleness is a gift. But it's the kind of gift that makes us cringe and smile politely while we desperately search for a gift receipt so we can return it.... Despite this common attitude, we are conditioned to accept singleness as a gift form God and to be content.... I want to share with you that this teaching on singleness is a new one--and a radical departure from classical Christian thought that for centuries viewed marriage as a rule for everyone, with only a few exceptions. Christian tradition has never validated wholesale singleness. To the contrary, virtually all of our Christian forefathers regarded protracted singleness as unbiblical and believed that young adults were under a divine duty to marry without undue delay." (pg. 16)

"The feminists falsely claimed that their ideology would set woman free, and I believe we have often been equally deceptive within the church. Just as careers and sexual independence left women unfulfilled, so teaching singles to find fulfillment in Christ alone has not erased their loneliness. They have been mistakenly encouraged to believe that God can fill any void they might have. 'Let Jesus be your all in all,' women are glibly told.

We assume that God is so big and powerful that he can fulfill any need, make up for any deficit. We assume that God can fill the spouse-shaped void he created in us. I'm not challenging God's omnipotence in any way. But I am saying that we need to examine whether his own revealed nature would ever make him do such a thing. God's ability to do something and God's willingness to do that thing are two entirely different things. Just because God can do something doesn't mean that he will.

God created us to need food to satisfy hunger, clothing to keep us warm, and shelter to keep us dry. He could satisfy those needs with himself but instead created us to pursue their fulfillment. There is not a shred of evidence in Scripture that God is willing to fill the spouse-shaped void with himself." (pg. 110-111).

"When contentment is touted as a viable solution for the sorrow of singleness, it doesn’t take long for it to become a prerequisite for achieving marriage at all. An offshoot of this belief is what I call the doctrine of numbness. Many of us have been taught that we must become completely neutral or numb to the idea of marriage before God will bless us with it. In other words, God will not drop marriage into our laps until we are completely satisfied in him and put our desire for a spouse on the altar of sacrifice, much like Abraham offering Isaac.... The truth is that God prefers our enthusiasm and embrace of his design to lukewarm neutrality.... Why would God make us desire marriage by design and then test us to assure our ambivalence toward that very design?... We think we must sacrifice everything to God, even the things he wants us to have! We forget that God is the one who instituted marriage to bless us.... God made us to need marriage, just as he made us to need oxygen, food, shelter, clothing, work, children, and friends. We must cooperate in pursuing his will for us.

Hannah wanted a baby. Jacob wanted a wife. They didn't apologize for pursuing their self-interest; God gave them those desires in the first place. Killing the self never requires the abandonment of self-interest, only of selfishness. When we lump the two together, it's all too easy to label the person unhappy with singleness as ungrateful, discontented, or selfish." (pg. 117-118).

"I want women to be married. Marriage is wonderful. I love waking up every morning next to my husband--and sometimes waking up earlier than expected as little feet patter into our room. I love riding to church in the passenger seat and having a hand to hold during the service. I look forward to the passing of years and what they will bring, rather than anticipating each birthday with dread. I love having a date every weekend. I love the freedom to have legitimate sex whenever we want.... I have a husband with whom I can share my deepest thoughts and affection. We are building a life together and we are creating a legacy to leave for our children.” (pg. 189).


1 comment:

  1. "Why would God make us desire marriage by design and then test us to assure our ambivalence toward that very design?" Exactly! I couldn't agree with Maken more, about the "doctrine of numbness," about God creating us with a spouse-shaped void that He will not fill with Himself, just as He doesn't fill our bellies with Himself when we hunger. And so we must continue to pursue the desires of our hearts. "Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart." ~ Psalm 37:4. Don't stop dreaming, friend :)