Next to following Jesus, there is no more critical a decision than determining who you will marry. No matter how a marriage turns out, you will be undeniably connected to this person for the rest of your life.
That’s why it is so vital that you don’t settle.
- I know you are getting older.
- I know your friends are already engaged.
- I know your family is pressuring you.
- I know that the pool of candidates is decreasing by the year.
- I know that you don’t want to be lonely.
But that doesn’t mean that you need to settle.
Many people have initial standards for dating and marriage, but when the candidate pool decreases, an urgency to find someone increases. Don’t settle for less than God’s best.
In fact, due to all of those issues above, you desperately need to beware of settling.
- If you are older, then you ought to be wiser to make decisions with staying power.
- If your friends are engaged, you should look around and notice how some of them have changed for the worse to keep that relationship intact.
- If your family is pressuring you, I guarantee those who have marriages worth repeating would not want you to force something to work that really isn’t healthy.
- If the pool of candidates is decreasing, that just means that the field has narrowed so you can focus.
- If you don’t want to be lonely, realize you can experience an even worse type of loneliness than being single, you can be married and lonely.
You know you are settling when you have to explain some character trait away to those you trust.
- “Well, he’s a really good guy once you get to know him.”
- “She just acts standoffish until you get to know her.”
- “No, he does go to church, but he just doesn’t go all the time because he works a lot on the weekend.”
- “She means well.”
- “He doesn’t talk a lot about his faith, because he’s just kinda private in that way.”
- “Her past has a lot of things that you wouldn’t just understand.”
You know it. They see it. But you don’t want to be alone any longer, so you are tempted to settle.
And you know it.
It’s not like you are looking for a perfect person, but you do have standards. You did have standards. You had that ideal of what you always wanted. What you knew you truly needed.
But you didn’t find it.
You tried that one relationship, and it was a trainwreck.
The door for that potential relationship with that friend closed because you dragged your feet last time, and you don’t want to make the same mistake again.
I get it.
You don’t want to be alone.
There is something worse than being alone – it’s being married to someone who doesn’t treasure Jesus above all else.
I know it will hurt to end the relationship. You will have to change social media statuses. You will have to face a barrage of unending questions. You will be forced to see all those memories on social media.
But you’ll be free.
You’ll be free to be all that Christ has called you to be. You’ll be free to seek Him first and His righteousness, and all those things you are worried about will be added to you (Matt. 6:33).
It might take a little longer, but it will be worth it.
I pray that one day, you will look back and say those momentary sad tears after a breakup were worth the lifelong happy tears that a godly partner will bring.
God has good plans. He has a clear standard.
Don’t settle for anything less than God’s best.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.