It is the new year. It is that time when everyone makes new year’s resolutions to better themselves and their life. Perhaps many of the resolutions you made on January 1st may already be broken by the time you are reading this blog post.
Nevertheless, it is not too late to develop goals for yourself regarding your desire to get married. It is important to forge a strategy for meeting a suitable spouse rather than sitting helplessly by on the sidelines.
As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” However, Franklin was not the first to come up with this infinite wisdom. The psalmist prayed to God in a similar adage, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.” (Psalm 90:12 NABRE)
Now you may be thinking to yourself, “I cannot make someone date me or marry me. I cannot snap my fingers and just meet the person who will become my spouse.” This is absolutely true. Nonetheless, by putting together an action plan that includes both spiritual and temporal parts, you are inviting God to work on your behalf and cooperating with him. You are doing your part and letting God do his. You also may be putting yourself “out there” in ways that you might not have considered previously doing had you not developed a strategy.
What are some of the aspects of your plan or strategy? Let us consider the spiritual component first. At a quick glance, your personal “get from prolonged singleness to marriage” program would include, but not be limited to, the following five elements:
- Scripture Study
- Church Writings
What about the temporal component of your strategy? Of course, you would want to tailor the elements in accordance with your own personal needs. May I suggest your plan include, but not be limited to, the following elements, as applicable:
- Biblical Dating Principles
- Openness to Opportunities
- Honest Inventory of Personal Roadblocks
- Available Resources
While this may seem overwhelming, I assure you it does not need to be. As you learn about each essential feature of your program, you can start implementing them. Also, I intend to blog about each of these features to assist you in its development.
The next step is to set goals for yourself; goal setting is a part of your overall strategy. You can set an objective for yourself in different areas, taking baby steps with God’s help. Sooner then you know, you will be seeing progress in this area of your life! “But as for you, be strong and do not relax, for your work shall be rewarded.” (2 Chronicles 15:7 NABRE)
As you design your overarching strategy and each component thereof, what types of things should you take into consideration as you build it? The scriptures have something to contemplate. The following verses provide wisdom that you should consider as you move forward:
1. "May God remember your every offering, graciously accept your holocaust, Grant what is in your heart, Fulfill your every plan." (Psalm 20:4-5)
2. "But the plan of the Lord stands forever, Wise designs through all generations." (Psalm 33:11)
3. "Plans fail where there is no counsel, but they succeed when counselors are many." (Proverbs 15:22)
4. "Entrust your works to the Lord, And your plans will succeed." (Proverbs 16:3)
5. "In his mind a man plans his course, but the LORD directs his steps." (Proverbs 16:9)
6."The plans of the diligent are sure of profit, but all rash haste leads certainly to poverty." (Proverbs 21:5)
7. "For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for our woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)
Based on the above verses, what truths should be incorporated into your goals to help you move towards finding a suitable spouse? First, remember that marriage is God’s plan, too. He put this desire in your heart and wants to help you get there. By forming a strategy and starting out on the hard work ahead, you are beginning to cooperate with God in this process.
Next, entrust your plans to God. He will direct your steps. If you are going down a wrong path or a goal you set is not feasible, he will let you know. God will help you out. Also, your hard work will ultimately pay a dividend, both spiritually and temporally. Finally, I recommend sharing your strategy with a couple of close friends. Ask for their feedback and counsel, adjusting your course, as necessary. However, ensure that the folks you share these goals with believe in your married future.
In conclusion, no plan will be perfect. My own strategy was not, and I was not. You cannot be. This is because grace is needed to find a suitable spouse and to get married. And this is very hopeful and encouraging news. It does not depend on us. It depends on God. He just wants our trust and cooperation, as with all things.