In Christian marriage, the union between a man and a woman is instituted and ordained by God in the lifelong relationship between one man, as husband, and one woman as wife.
Have you ever found yourself wondering why a certain person you know isn’t married yet? Have you ever gone so far as to ask a single person why they’re not married? The question of who is married and who is not and why, has a multitude of emotions tied to it and, essentially, it is quite intrusive and personal, yet the questions continue and will continue to be asked over time.
We’ve all heard the question asked, sometimes without reservation, but does that mean it’s okay or even our business to ask the question of someone’s marital status, unless you’re filling out a medical or other form?
Through this Bible study, let’s undertake some self-examination of our expectations, reactions and attitudes towards people who are/were single and what God’s plan is/was for them.
REACH FOR YOUR BIBLE
Look at the story of Isaac and Rebekah and how God brought them together (Genesis 24). It was sovereignly planned and controlled by God.
Read Genesis 24:12-22. Reflect for a moment and discuss how your grandparent’s courtship compares with your children or grandchildren’s or other family members today?
The whole story of how Rebekah and Isaac got together was another amazing plan laid out by God. Abraham’s instructions to his servant were very clear. Rebekah was a remarkable young woman and we are reminded of her absolute faith and trust in this situation. Isaac had no idea what was going on until she arrived on his doorstep.
In verse 58 it says, Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.”
What a courageous act! Off she went with a stranger, accompanied by her ‘nurse’. She didn’t really know where she was going but had a pretty good idea of what she was getting in to.
Here’s how the story could be interpreted in 2019.
A highly respected business man in your community has a son who’s not married. (Let’s call him Abe). Abe runs the local hardware store. He decides it’s time his son found a nice local, Christian girl, with a kind heart to settle down with and have a family. So Abe asks his foreman to go down to his favourite café and wait for a Christian girl to call in to buy lunch.
Abe has given his foreman some strict instructions of what type of girl he’s looking for, for his son. Sure enough, when the right girl comes along, the foreman goes up to her and says, “I’ve got the perfect man to be your husband, come with me.”
Ok, maybe I’ve cut the story a bit short but think about it. What if this girl already has a boyfriend? What if it’s her last day at work and she’s leaving to go and live overseas? How can you tell a Christian by looking at them? It would be crazy to think she’d just say “Yes, sure. Can I just go home and tell my folks what I’m up to?”
In the lead up to the task at hand, Abraham’s servant asked God for guidance in this very important task. In verse 12 the servant Eliezer prays Oh Lord, God of my master, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.
How do you think Eliezer was feeling towards the task at hand?
When we think about the single people we know or are in our family, we need to trust God’s plan for them.
Imagine if you said to someone“Aren’t you married yet?” and they respond with“Are you still married?”, how do you think you’d respond?
The more we get to know and trust our Father, we experience that he gives only good gifts to his children. He knows whether or not we are best to be married, and he knows how we will be able to serve him best. So, if we are to remain single, we know that his will is best – indeed, in 1 Corinthians chapter 7, Paul says that to remain single is better. If he wants us to be married he will have prepared a partner for us before we were born, and he knows best how to bring us together.
All things work together for good to them that love God (Romans 8:28).
Delight thyself in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:4,5).
If you’re a parent, remember to pray for your single child. Don’t consider their single status as “where have I gone wrong?”
We read in verse 67 that Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her;What a relief! This turned out to be a real love story. Take a moment to reflect on any ‘love at first sight’ stories in your group.
Seek God and he will fulfil(or change) your desires(Romans 12:2) in his perfect way and his perfect time (Romans 5:6; 8:26-27). Would we want it any other way? God holds our every moment in his hands (Psalm 31:15), and he will not let us slip through the cracks of his gentle fingers. He cradles our lives and our hearts in his hands, and he will not forget his children.
If God has intended marriage for the single person you’re thinking about, He will bring it to fruition and will be faithful to ensuring it will be brought about. In the meantime, seek God in what he has for you now. God has a purpose for each of us, single or married, and it is a shame to miss living his purpose fully for you in whatever season you are in by becoming too focused on whatever season he has in store for you next.