This article is intended for young, single Christian men, although others may get some benefit from it, because there are Scriptural principles involved. The first of those principles is being willing to admit when you have made a mistake.
No one enjoys admitting that he’s done something dumb, something really stupid, something so radically boneheaded that he ought to be sent back to the first grade to start all over again. I’d just try to forget it if it hadn’t been so painful and so devastating to my Christian life. It seems to me that the only thing of value that I can salvage from the wreckage is to warn young men not to make the same mistake I did. Three mistakes, actually.
First: I didn’t actively seek the right woman and marry her.
Second: when I did get seriously interested in a young woman, I didn’t take the matter to God in serious and continuous prayer until He showed me if this was the right life partner for me.
Third: I didn’t ask God to help me deal with the pain that resulted from my own stupidity in this matter. I even blamed God for it for many years.
What happened was that she appeared to be a Christian, and in fact may have been, but her faith in God and in the Lord Jesus was definitely not the foundation of her life. I gave my heart away to her before I realized this. When I finally did realize it, I did follow the Lord and not my heart, but the emotional agony that I went through lasted for decades. At the moment I first realized that we were unavoidably going to part, I had the sensation that I had been stabbed under the ribs, with the knife angling upwards into my heart. She and I were talking, and the physical sensation of being stabbed was so real that I instantly looked down, fully expecting to see a knife handle sticking out of my body. I was shocked that there was no knife.
The years that followed were often worse. I remember one day months afterward when the emotional pain suddenly struck like a blow, for no apparent reason (as it did many times). At that moment, without conscious thought, the words arose in my brain, “I’ll never walk through the fire again, not for anybody.” At one point I could feel my brain struggling to get free from the pain of reality. It felt the same way a slipping clutch in a car does. The experience left emotional scars that are with me to this day. That’s why I’m still single. I just could not risk that pain again.
It can happen to you! You are not exempt, and the potential for being wounded is present very early in a young man’s life. There are reasons why love and marriage are so important to each of us. The right wife can make your life much easier and much happier. She may also be a necessary part of God’s plan for your life. If not “the right woman”, then at least “a woman approved by God” is almost certainly necessary for maximizing your happiness and implementing God’s plan for your life.
The wrong woman can make you feel like you’ve lost a knife-fight with a vicious opponent. I’m not trying to be funny here. I know from experience how it feels (losing a love; not getting into a knife fight).
A song sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford put it like this:
“Six foot four from his head to the ground,
Weighed two hundred an’ forty-five pound,
But I saw this giant of a man brought down
To his knees by love.
Drinkin’ and fightin’ and gamble on luck,
Look you in the eye and never back up
But I saw him cryin’ like a little whipped pup
On account of love.
Ever since Time, nothin’s ever been found
Stronger than love.”
For almost all men, being a bachelor is something to be avoided. If you think bachelorhood is God’s plan in your case, you’d better be sure. The consequences of being wrong about this decision are extremely severe.
Understand, guys, for almost all men, being single is not God’s plan.
A woman is an incredible creature whom God himself personally designed to be a man’s most capable, trusted, loved, cherished, respected companion and assistant throughout his adult life.
In Genesis 2:18, God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone.’ ” Remember that, in the initial overview of Creation given in Genesis 1, when God finished Creation, He said that it was good. (Genesis 1:31) In the detailed account of Creation given in Genesis 2, we discover that the Creation was not pronounced good until after God created Eve. The woman was necessary in order for Creation to be pronounced good by the Lord God.
The foregoing is the background. Let’s talk about specific matters that marriage affects, and precisely how marriage affects those areas.
Every healthy young man is a sex machine. Men remain interested in sex all their lives, but we are obsessed with sex in our teens and early twenties. Our minds are constantly presenting us with sexual thoughts and desires. It takes almost nothing for a healthy young man’s mind to begin to fantasize about sex.
A Sunday School teacher in the early 1960s told the all-boys class I was in that as a teenager he became so worried about his constant sexual thoughts that he went to see a psychiatrist, thinking that he was a dangerous sex maniac who should be locked up. The psychiatrist gave him a bunch of question-and-answer exams, most of which had little to do with sex, as far as he could see. After reviewing his responses, the psychiatrist told him in a serious tone, “I’ve got bad news. You’re normal.”
That’s not a joke. It really happened.
Fellas, this is God’s way of telling you, “Get married, you fool!” Did you know that the Bible says that forbidding people to marry is a doctrine of demons? (1st Timothy 4:1-3) (NOTICE: Scripture does not say that not marrying is a doctrine of demons; it says that forbidding people to marry is a doctrine of demons.)
Denying fulfillment of an extremely powerful God-given need
is a recipe for disaster.
God gave you an awesomely strong sex drive in order to give you an awesomely strong motive for marriage. If you apply that sex drive properly, your marriage will be stronger for it. But remember, the more powerful something is, the more damage it can cause if misused. When you begin to drive a car, you’d better be sober, careful, and capable. If you operate a motor vehicle irresponsibly, you can kill people or devastate their lives – including your own and those of people who weren’t even directly involved in the accident. The same thing is true of sex, so use it the way God intended it to be used! One of the things that a wife is supposed to be is a sex partner. And you are supposed to be her sex partner. Sex isn’t dirty or harmful unless we make it so. Among other things this means that your wife, as well as you, should enjoy sex. That’s the way God meant it to be! Listen to this excerpt from Proverbs chapter 5:
”Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer – may her breasts satisfy you always; may you always be intoxicated with her love. Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman? For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths.”
I recommend that every young man study the entire book of Proverbs. It’s full of hard-earned wisdom.
In Genesis 29:20-21, we see that Jacob loved Rachel very much – he worked for her father for seven years to be allowed to marry her. That is not lust, fellows, that’s love. But Jacob’s statement at the appointed time was very sexual: “Give me my wife! I’ve fulfilled your terms, and I want to go in unto her!” “Go in unto her” is a King James euphemism for “I want to have sex with her!” He wasn’t exactly shy about it, was he? Also, Jacob did not say, “What the heck, we’re engaged, we don’t have to wait to have sex.” He honored Rachel by waiting until after they were married. Honor your woman, men.
Isaac, when traveling in Gerar, a foreign country, was afraid that one of the “Gerarans” would kill him in order to get Rebekah, his wife, because she was so beautiful. (“Beautiful” in this case obviously means “lust-provoking”, “sexy”, “desirable”.) Isaac therefore told everyone that she was his sister. (“Take my wife; just don’t kill me.” A real man, huh?) However, he couldn’t keep his hands off her – Genesis 26:6-9 tells us that after they’d been there “a long time”, Abimelech the King of Gerar looked out his window and saw Isaac “sporting with Rebekah his wife.” “Sporting” is a very general term, but whatever they were doing was sufficiently intimate that Abimelech called Isaac in and said, “Look, it is certain that she is your wife, not your sister…” I don’t think they were playing canasta, guys.
If you enjoy sex the way God intended, it will release and energize you, just as any God-given gift will. If you try to get through life without sex, you will suffer unnecessarily and severely. I wish before God that I could go back to 1971 and make a different decision. Don’t put yourselves through it, young men. I can tell you from personal experience that being a bachelor, if it’s not God’s plan for you, is a miserable life.
Many years ago, a Christian organization published a tract called “The Four Spiritual Laws”. One of those “laws” was, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” If you are supposed to be married, how are you going to accomplish God’s plan for your life if you reject the assistant He assigned to you?
I wondered for decades why everything I tried to accomplish failed. It seemed as if God enjoyed making me miserable. I knew that couldn’t be it, but I couldn’t explain it any other way. Then one day, many years too late, I somehow began a process of discovery, during which I finally understood several things that had been mysteries to me till then. For one, I remembered that God had told me that there was a specific woman for me, who would be everything I needed. I was glad to hear that, but I didn’t act on it. I didn’t start looking for her, didn’t try to figure out how to prepare myself for marriage. And when I found myself attracted to one particular young woman, I failed to take the matter to God in prayer and ask for His guidance. The stupidity is nearly unbelievable.
I am convinced that God had a specific plan for my life, and it included a specific woman. I failed to actively seek this woman, failed to avoid the wrong woman, failed to ask God’s guidance, failed to take the pain to Him for healing, failed to learn from my stupidity, and began blaming God for the pain I’d caused myself. (These failures occurred over a period of many years.) At each point I further disqualified myself from His plan. Not realizing this, I spent my life in vain, trying to find God’s will for my life, and when that failed, trying to at least have some measure of worldly success. (That failed too.) Fellows, listen up: I’m sixty-seven years old. Because I failed in this one matter of finding the right spouse, I am convinced, after careful self-examination, that I have wasted 99.9% of my life to date. Do you hear me? My life has been wasted because I didn’t give prayerful, intelligent, prolonged attention to finding the right wife.
Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and finds favor with the Lord.” I certainly want to find favor with God. Too late for me; not too late for you.
Have you ever heard the term “Supermom”? The woman who can do everything, do it right the first time and on time? “Ordinary” women hate her for setting the standard so high. “Supermom” was described thousands of years ago, in Proverbs 31:10-31. Listen to some of her qualities: She is virtuous. Her husband can trust her. She will do him good as long as she lives. She works (WILLINGLY!) with her hands. She’s not lazy. In fact she’s awake, planning the day’s activities and doing housework, before sunrise. She oversees the household well, including servants. She’s capable of dealing successfully in real estate and farming. She makes clothes for herself and her family, including winter clothes. She is foresighted…charitable…wise…kind…she’s so good at all the things she does that her children and her husband praise her.
I’ll grant you, “Supermom” even intimidates most men. Don’t worry; that degree of superhuman achievement is very rare. However, you can expect to find at least some of those qualities in every Godly woman. And with the help of a Godly man, you might be amazed at what even an “average” woman can turn into. I’ve seen a woman who married the right man turn into an incredible example of a wife and partner in Christian living. Sound like a partner worth having? I think so too.
Believe me, young men, you don’t know what loneliness is unless you have a truly dysfunctional family. If you have parents, a brother, sister, or friend you can talk to, can really share things with, someone you can trust, then you have no clue what loneliness is. In my youth I never thought about loneliness. I was always active, for one thing. And I had wonderful parents, and friends over the years whom I could talk to and trust. These things can disguise or prevent loneliness – temporarily. Sooner or later, though, you come home to an empty apartment or trailer, and you realize that it’s not a home. It’s just where you sleep and eat. There are many times, eventually, when you want someone just to talk to, or just to hold and be held by, and if there’s no one, you suffer, brother.
I remember parts of two songs that express it well. One, by Neil Diamond, had this to say: “ ‘I am!’ I said, ‘I am!’ I cried, and no one heard at all…” The other singer’s name escapes me. His song said: “I have cried like a baby in the darkness of my room, with no one there to love or understand…”
Believe me, guys, it’s going to happen to you if you’re not married. The positive side to all this is that a good wife will be there for you. Most men take their wives for granted. I earnestly urge you not to do that. If you romance your wife all through your marriage, you will find that when you need her companionship, neither of you will hesitate, and you will be comforted by her presence. When I say “romance”, by the way, I’m not talking about sex, or not only sex. True romance involves what I mentioned earlier, finding out what women in general (and your woman in particular) want, and providing those things with a smile, without in any way making her feel obligated or indebted to you. “Those things” are more often approval, acceptance, and unconditional love. Flowers on her birthday and your anniversary are very important, but not the things. They must be genuine expressions of your sincere attitudes. Listen to words of pure wisdom:
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for her.”
What does it mean to love like that? Jesus, the Son of God and also God Himself, Who never did anything wrong, never hurt anyone, allowed Himself to be insulted, slandered, harassed, spat on, beaten, humiliated in public and in front of His own mother, and tortured to death, by evil men, for the sake of those who would believe in Him. That is what your wife has a right to expect from you, if that is what it takes to protect her. On a more mundane level, read 1st Corinthians 13:1-8, the all-time classic description of unselfish love. Here are just a few characteristics of agape love (agape is the Greek word used in this Scripture and in the New Testament for Godly, Christian love):
“Love is patient…love is kind…does not seek its own…is not easily provoked…never fails…”
This is not possible in our own strength, but “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” This is the commitment God requires of you if you want a Godly woman to share your life and be your assistant. Based on my observations of Christian couples, I think making that commitment in reliance on the Holy Spirit is the wisest decision you could ever make.
In all things, your attitude and hers should be compared first and always to the Word of God. Don’t take someone else’s word for what the Bible says. When you get this far, you’re on the edge of becoming an independent adult, and you should realize that your life together will be your responsibility, and no one else’s. If you don’t know how to handle it, study the Word, and ask advice from mature Christians whose lives lead you to believe that they know how things should be done.
Goodbye. Have a nice life. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Remember me in your will.
If you missed this related article by Lawngren you might like it too! Daisy