Not sure if it’s come through, but as I am a child of divorce, the only thing that I’d assent to being agnostic about is other people. And it’s not that I’m cynical.
“But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men.” (John 2:24)
I can’t say I’m as keen in my ability to read people and motives as it says Jesus was, and is. But since I know myself, I’m therefore able to identify fickleness and shallowness in other people and strike their name from my list. No offense. Does that make them bad or evil? No, it makes them human. Just like me, unperfect. And unless those two things, among several other key factors are identified and reconciled with, placed on the table for discussion, someone shouldn’t be considered a prospective mate. It’s not unkindness, it’s wisdom. Thinking twice about marrying someone that you only think you know should be required of all couples with the intent to marry.
And pre-marital counselling should be legally prerequisite of all couples prior to going down the aisle.
“His disciples say unto Him, if the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But He said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.” Jesus and His disciples speaking in Matthew’s Gospel (19:10-11) on the topic of divorce. He continues on in the next verse: “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake.” I read something once that sought to assert that Jesus was advocating self-castration here, which is ridiculous. Sure, a eunuch is a household slave who was castrated so as to prevent breeding. As blunt as that may sound. But there’s also an implied metaphor of willing celibacy—by choice. Then again, when Jesus talks of “cut[ing] off and cast[ing] from thee” any offensive member of the body (hand, foot, eye, Matthew 18:8-9), I suppose the same could be said for inordinate sexuality? Marriage isn’t just about sex. And when a man is attracted to a woman because that’s all he sees and that’s all she shows, the marriage is lame from the outset. Marriage—Christian marriage—is about two people coming together for the cause of Christ. To tell people about the saving grace of Jesus Christ and then show them how it’s done. No two ways around it. People’s words, in this case, aren’t enough to convince. Actions must show that the words spoken carry weight and resonate with the true state of a true heart. A heart that is resonant with the heart of Jesus.
I am a romantic at heart, don’t get me wrong. But as marriage is the most important decision next to salvation, it should be treated as such. And just because society’s paradigm regarding marriage says one thing, that doesn’t mean I have to align myself with it. As with anything, newness fades. And I’ve been smitten and overwhelmed by different women but know in the back of my mind and the bottom of my heart that the feeling will pass. And I also wonder about the source of such intense feeling. Pheromones? Maybe. But I know that there are deep and tangled reasons as to why I would meet someone and not be able to think of anything else for a time. That’s not good. Think twice.
Here’s the thing. I’m single, though only with reference to marriage. And as I am a child of divorce, my attitudes toward marriage have gone from being diametrically opposed, to neutral, to advocate. But even then, as I do not want to get divorced myself, I’m content to wait. One of the most pragmatic pieces of advice my dad ever offered me is when he told me if I had the desire to marry, God put it there and it’s because He made someone to fill that…not void, what’s a better word? Yearning. I assent to that. I’m willing to wait. And to pray for every girl who in spite of looking like she had what it takes, ended up being only a flash in the pan and then burning out.
The Bible is replete with stories of men and women who God brought together through circumstances that make mine look like nothing. Drawing upon those models for wisdom and encouragement is the thing to do.
How will I know? I’ll know.
“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make an help meet for Him.” (Genesis 2:18)
And until then? Jesus speaking to His disciples: “and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” (John 16:32)