Singles are getting conflicting messages from today’s culture, both Christian and secular. Is it okay to want to be married? Is there anything a never-married woman can do, within a biblical framework, to “assist” the process? Good news! There is. Candice Watters from Focus on the Family’s Boundless webzine knows what she is talking about, and since she is successfully married and in a godly, thriving marriage, I found her wisdom well worth heeding.
As a currently single young woman, I have recently been frustrated by the amount of relationship counselling books that are (for the most part) written by singles. What’s up with that? Doesn’t that seem like the blind leading the blind? So one of the first things I did when I saw this intriguingly titled book was to check up on the author. And hey! She’s married! So obviously, I could sit down and pay attention. I know of many people who often go through their lives to-ing and fro-ing in their quest for whether or not it’s “God’s will” for them to be married or single, and this book – once and for all – turns that thought process on its head. Read on.
Using clear-cut guidance from Scripture and the wisdom of older mentors, Candice Watters lays it out plain: unless you have specific Paul-like qualities, tendencies, and traits in your life that all but guarantee you the rank of celibacy, you are meant to get married. Period. It all comes quite simply back to God’s first mandate to man:
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” – Genesis 1:27-28
Even in sight of this, the author in no way makes marriage an idol to throw your life after. She quite clearly states being “careful for what you wish for, because you might just get it”. Having said that, since marriage is no light task, she makes the point that the effort invested in reaching that objective should not be assumed easy, either. I felt emboldened and encouraged by the fact marriage is something that can – and should be – sought after with the same degree of prayer, passion and anticipation as any career. It can be prepared for, it can be a purpose to strive after, and though the results and timing are ultimately in God’s hands, there are things women can do to take advantage of the opportunities God brings across our paths to speed the process.
God is sovereign. And God works through means… We get our bread from the hand of God through the hands of all the people who had a role in making it possible. Just as with bread, I believe God provides husbands and wives for those who desire to marry. Ultimately, it’s God who brings us a mate. But not the way He dropped manna from heaven. This is a book about means – about how God can provide marriage through the work of our lives and those around us – not in a frenzy of desperate activity, but in a symphony of faithfulness among a community of believers pursuing the lives God has called us to live.
Packed with wisdom and solid guidance it may be, it wasn’t the easiest read. It took me a while to get engaged with the flow of the book, and some of the chapters felt extra long. This is more the kind of book you read a bit at a time rather than sitting down to consume it cover to cover. Yet if you take the time to do so, you will mine a lot of valuable advice from its pages. Though predominately directed at women, I also feel this book would be a good eye-opener for men desiring marriage as well.
If marriage is something you feel called to but aren’t certain of God’s will concerning it, read this book. It’s a well-aimed call to singles to rise up and seize hold of the purpose they know God has placed on their lives, and to not be afraid in reaching out for it.
Published on 18 February, 2014. Last updated on