by Beth Brown
In her book Get Married: What Women Can Do to Help it Happen, Candice Watters poses the question, “Are you planning to marry, or just hoping to?”
I remember the tension of this question when I was single. There is a fine line between a godly preparation for marriage and presuming you know it’s God’s will that you will marry. I also remember the opposite extreme of this thinking which was to ignore or even despise the idea of marriage because you’re afraid it won’t ever happen. So what does it look like to ‘plan to marry’? Candice offers some great advice:
When I hear the phrase, ‘living like you’re planning to marry,’ I think of ‘planning’ in the context of ‘intending’. Intending means doing things that are consistent with what you expect to happen and avoiding things that aren’t. When it comes to getting married, intending looks a lot like basic Christian discipleship — doing things God calls you to do and not doing the things He tells you to avoid.
She goes on to suggest several helpful concepts for being intentional toward marriage:
- Biblical community — Be honest and vulnerable about your desire to marry within your community
- Biblical stewardship of your time and gifts — This means getting out of debt as well as honestly evaluating how you use your time while single
- Purity in dating relationships — Uphold purity in your relationships, anticipate that you are saving your sexual relationship for your future spouse
- Seizing opportunities to connect with a future spouse — This one is particularly good and will be addressed in part two of this blog….
So, in what ways are you living your life planning, and not just hoping, to marry?
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