This week I received a great question from one of our singles: how can singles play a part in rebuilding America’s broken marriage culture?
While there are a variety of ways in which singlehood does much good for The Kingdom, helping rebuild a marriage culture is a vital contribution of singles. Here are two key ways singles can help rebuild a marriage culture in our country.
First, prepare yourself for a Christ honoring marriage. Unless you are called by God to be single, you are supposed to get married one day. And, as one of my friends likes to say, Scripture teaches marriage is a cornerstone of life, not merely a capstone. Your future marriage is merely a capstone if your logic is anything like this: I’m going to finish school, get a good job, make good money, so I can buy myself a new car, and scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef, and do this and do that, and then when I’ve done all I want to do I’ll settle down and get married. That is unbiblical and a very low view of marriage and your future spouse. On the other hand, a cornerstone in construction is the foundational stone against which the other stones in the foundation are laid. In other words, all the decisions about the other stones are made in reference to the cornerstone. This is how a single, not called to singlehood, should think about marriage. You should be content in singlehood until the Lord’s timing brings your spouse, but you should also be very aware that you are preparing yourself to be someone’s spouse one day. So, decisions in your current reality should heavily take into consideration this future event.
Here are examples of how marriage as a capstone vs. marriage as a cornerstone plays out differently in a single’s life:
Capstone – Because they are thinking only of their current singlehood and not their future marriage/spouse, they are already thinking selfishly. As a result, the single pursues all kinds of personal pleasure, racking up debt. Then when marriage comes, they bring lots of debt into the relationship. It is really hard to start a family if the family is steeped in debt. Further, because marriage is merely a capstone, the single will selfishly pursue sexual pleasure and not think about their sexuality in light of their future spouse. Then when marriage comes, they bring lots of sexual history into the relationship. This significantly impacts a marriage relationship.
Cornerstone – On the other hand, if a single is preparing themselves to be a spouse, it will shape their finances, sexuality, and a variety of other arenas in a completely different way.
So, the first way a single, not called to singlehood, can contribute significantly to building a marriage culture is to properly prepare themselves for marriage. Singlehood with marriage as a cornerstone instead of a capstone bears testimony that marriage is foundational to God’s design for human life and flourishing. We prepare for marriage, we get married, and then we go through life together with our God-given spouse, deeply complementing each other physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
A second key way a single can help rebuild a marriage culture is to protect the marriages around you. Seek to strengthen them and not to harm them. There are a variety of ways this can be done, here are some examples: Don’t engage in personal relationships with married people of the opposite gender. Don’t covet another person’s spouse–don’t flirt with married people, seduce married people, or respond to a married person flirting with you or trying to seduce you. Push people in troubled marriages toward restoration of their marriage, not divorce. Pray earnestly for the married members of your church to have healthy marriages. If there is a good marriage conference at your church or in your area, volunteer to serve in a logistical way so married people can be in the conference. If a married friend is in marriage counseling, volunteer to keep their kids during counseling as a way to encourage the counseling.
Two ways singles can help rebuild a marriage culture is to properly prepare themselves for marriage and to protect the marriages around them.