“As Christ Also Is the Head of the Church”
For a man of God, Ephesians 5:23 and 28 lay the foundation for your role in marriage. “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body….So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.” As a single member of the church, this is a daunting task, one never accomplished in your own strength. But how then do you prepare for the role of leadership and the calling to love?
Though Christ’s kingship may be an office of authority, his priestly office uniquely displays selfless and self-sacrificing leadership on behalf of his church. So too, a godly husband will lead by sacrifice, ensuring the needs of his wife are met, even over his own. How do you prepare for that type of leadership? To your sinful heart, a life of service is not natural, but as a Spirit-filled young man you are capable and called to serve in the kingdom of God. A single man who is active in the spheres of the kingdom will know how to give of his time and energy for his wife, should God call him to that role.
The sacrifice of Jesus Christ flowed out of his love for his church. Again, how do you prepare to love a spouse while you are single? The emotional aspect of love is difficult to prepare for, but there is much more to love than emotion. Love seeks the good of another; there is no better example of good than what Christ has done for us, as spoken in John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Seeking the good of your wife means caring for her soul. This points to your calling to seek God’s truth and to lead your wife into it. Bible study, godly conversation, and society attendance, among other things, will all build your knowledge and understanding of biblical truth. Growing in these practices will facilitate this particular aspect of love that you must show your wife.
First Peter 1:15–16 highlights an important aspect of Christ’s leadership: “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” The perfection of our Lord manifests itself in his fleeing from sin and temptation. Your leadership in holiness directs those in your care to be holy too. This dedication begins in your single life as you flee the temptations this world has to offer, and must then flow into your dating life also. Flee from all temptations of sexual sins, child of God, and be holy.
Your prayer to God for a godly wife is pleasing to him. Ask that he give you wisdom and the ability to lead, that he would teach you what it means to selflessly serve in love, in truth, and in holiness.
“Her Price Is Far above Rubies”
The desire to marry is a natural inclination for a godly young woman. That longing is neither despised by God nor discouraged in his word, as the Lord formed that relationship by his hands and considers it a “good thing.” In Genesis 2:18, 22 we read, “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him….And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.” We look forward to this marriage relationship as daughters of our heavenly Father.
For some, marriage comes quickly with little time for preparation. Others may wait for a time, hoping and navigating their lives as single women. And still others wait, desiring a good thing and yet finding God’s answer to them to be no. God molds each woman in service to him, and in all this he speaks to his daughters, writing the value he places upon them on their hearts. “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!” (Ps. 139:16–17).
We wait with patience, but also with purpose. Scripture abounds with verses similar to Psalm 62:5, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” We confess God works all things to our salvation, and we prepare for marriage by learning trust in God’s plan for our lives right now. No matter the duration of your single season, there is practical, biblical preparation to participate in.
First, your relationship with your Lord matters. God has graciously given you the desire to know, seek, and love him; these are building blocks he sets to prepare you for any godly relationship. We learn love, honor, and respect for others from the Lord! Second, Proverbs 4:23 instructs the child of God to “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” The world has much to say about how you should live in your singleness and in your marriage. It is tempting to be caught up in this messaging, but the thoughts of your mind, your actions and words, and certainly where you spend your time and energy all impact the state of the heart you have been called to guard. Finally, connected to both your relationship with God and guarding your heart is prayer. In this season of waiting, your prayers for patience and trust in the Lord, for strength to reject lies you are told by the world concerning purity and marriage, and also for the desire that he will bring a spouse into your life do not go unheard. They are answered according to his plan for you, and with much grace.
Originally published June 2021, Vol 80 No 6