You want to get married. Celibacy… is not for you! So should you seek, like Matthew 7:7 says, or should you wait for the Lord like Psalm 130:5 says?
There are two schools of thought when it comes to finding the special person with whom we will share our lives with. One that encourages singles to take steps to meet potential partners, and one that advises singles to wait for God to send them. The first school of thought appears more pragmatic, and the second much more “spiritual”. Several Christian circles adhere exclusively to the second. So, what line of thought should we follow? The short answer is both!
The verse Matthew 7.7 (NIV) says,”Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” The three imperative verbs here are action verbs. God’s promises are free, but we still need to do some sort of action to receive them. Salvation, for example, is obtained by grace, but we still have to open the door of our heart, acknowledge our sins and pray the prayer of salvation. Ruth, for example, made an effort to get noticed by Boaz (see Chapter 3 of the Book of Ruth).
When it comes to finding a special person, there are many small things you can do. For example: work on your imperfections, participate in singles activities, share with your friends what you are looking for in a future mate, etc. It’s important not to hide or be embarrassed by your social status. However, don’t spend all your time in search of a “soul mate”. If you spend more time “hunting” than you do developing your relationship with God, there is a problem. Once your quest takes up all your thoughts, it’s time to put on the brakes. You only have to do a few steps, not put your trust in your own efforts.
Some people rely exclusively on God by quoting Psalm 130.5 (NIV), “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” The context of this verse reads more toward redemption than a future wedding! However others will cite verses in the Song of Songs or Habakkuk, or elsewhere, to encourage Christian singles to trust God. Now they are not wrong. It is important to put our trust in God. When we pray for our future marriage, we need to give God the sovereignty to guide us toward a person according to His heart.
When we trust in God regarding our social status, it places us in a position to listen to God’s opinion about the people we encounter. If we only search with our own strength, then we risk forgetting to check if they have God’s values. When we pray about this area of our life, we won’t forget to check with Him when our heart starts floating around our head.
In short, waiting for God does not mean remaining in our basements, praying and hoping that a special someone will ring our doorbell. Your beloved is not going to appear before you in a cloud, accompanied by violins. It’s the same way that God does not want us to just pray for lost souls, but also witness to them. The same is true for your future wedding : prayer is necessary, relying on God is essential, but God wants you to do a few steps too.