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← Options for Finding a Spouse - Ask Pastor Tim

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Showing Revision 1 created 01/01/2019 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. James just sent this one to me today.
  2. And I almost deleted it.
  3. But you know, as I went out,
  4. I go over to Brackenridge to pray
  5. and I couldn't get away from it,
  6. so I thought you know what,
  7. I'm going to visit it.
  8. "I'm single.
  9. In your video:
  10. 'Important to Walk in
    Purity Before Marriage,'
  11. you mention that in 1 Corinthians 7
  12. that those who lack
    self-control should marry.
  13. What about Christians for whom
  14. there are no prospects in sight?
  15. Especially as a woman
  16. waiting for someone to pursue you
  17. is frustrating to the point of tears
  18. and heartbreaking.
  19. You say "get married"
  20. like it's something we
    can just get up and do."
  21. Well, I don't want to
    be insensitive to this,
  22. but I do want to point out this:
  23. "You say, 'get married,'
  24. like it's something you
    can just get up and do."
  25. It's not me that says it.
  26. Paul says it.
  27. Let's look at it. 1 Corinthians 7.
  28. 1 Corinthians 7:8-9
  29. "To the unmarried and the widows,
  30. I say that it is good for them
  31. to remain single as I am,
  32. but if they cannot exercise self-control,
  33. they should marry.
  34. For it's better to marry
    than to burn with passion."
  35. This is typical.
  36. It's typical that people say
  37. to the preacher or teacher,
  38. "you say,"
  39. but what's important
  40. is that we really listen
  41. and we be Berean and ask ourselves this:
  42. Does Scripture say it?
  43. You see, Paul is the one saying here
  44. get married.
  45. But anyway, that's just a side note.
  46. Let's keep going.
  47. "You say, 'get married,'
    like it's something
  48. that we can just get up and do,
  49. and it's rarely that simple.
  50. Sometimes it seems married people
  51. are flippant and insensitive
  52. towards single people
  53. telling them to just be content."
  54. Which she realizes is not untrue.
  55. "And I don't think that married people
  56. remember how fierce
    the battle is with purity
  57. when they were single.
  58. It's very frustrating.
  59. You said yourself you longed to be married
  60. but the Lord kept you single for 3 years
  61. and that was not enjoyable.
  62. You longed to be married.
  63. Is there a practical side
    to getting married?
  64. Also, should churches
    help singles get married
  65. and if so, what can churches do?"
  66. Now look, I am not being sarcastic

  67. when I say some of the things
  68. that I'm about to say.
  69. This is not sarcasm.
  70. What are the options?
  71. I mean, let's seriously ask that question.
  72. If you have a young lady or a young man,
  73. they want to be married,
    but they're single,
  74. what are the options?
  75. I just went riding
  76. with three brothers from the church -
  77. went on a bike ride before the Bible study
  78. and I typically do that on Tuesday's.
  79. And oftentimes, Craig asks me
  80. what are the questions
    you're dealing with tonight.
  81. And I'll tell him.
  82. And I told the guys - I told he and Carlos
  83. that I wanted to deal with this question.
  84. And I said I've got like 12 options.
  85. And I said the first option is:
  86. you can go to a bar, you can get drunk,
  87. you can go home with a guy.
  88. And I told the guys
    I'm not being sarcastic,
  89. and Carlos goes,
  90. "No. There's a lot of people
    who choose that."
  91. That's absolutely true.
  92. That's not sarcasm.
  93. (incomplete thought)
  94. Look, what I want to do right now
  95. is give options.
  96. And I'm not necessarily going to tell you
  97. whether these options are right or wrong.
  98. I'm just going to tell you
  99. what are the options.
  100. What are the options if you find yourself
  101. in a single state
  102. and you're struggling with being there?
  103. I'm not saying that some of these options
  104. are options to choose or not choose.
  105. Some of them may be marginal.
  106. Some of you may think
  107. well, yeah, you could do that;
  108. or some of you may think,
  109. well, that's inappropriate.
  110. I'm not really here to be your conscience.
  111. I know some things are wrong.
  112. They're obviously wrong.
  113. Some things are obviously right.
  114. Some things are in the grey matter.
  115. Some of you may have certain thoughts
  116. and some may have others.
  117. But what are the options?
  118. You find yourself sexually frustrated
  119. and/or intently lonely,
  120. and you don't like being single.
  121. So what do you do?
  122. (unintelligible)
  123. Well, like I say,
  124. I'm not being sarcastic here,
  125. but one option is sin.
  126. I mean one option is:
  127. I'm out of here. I'm going
    to go live with my boyfriend.
  128. And people choose that
    option all the time.
  129. I'm going to go to the bar.
  130. I'm going to get drunk.
  131. I don't know any other way to find a guy.
  132. That's the way it happened in the world
  133. and now I'm trying to be a Christian
  134. and I've had it.
  135. I'm frustrated
  136. and following Christ is too hard.
  137. Or you just make Christ out:
  138. Well, He'll forgive me,
  139. and so I'm going to go do this.
  140. That's an option.
  141. Another option.

  142. You can get online and you can say
  143. I'm going to and eharmony.
  144. And I don't know, Christian Mingle?
  145. James: Sovereign Singles.
  146. Tim: Sovereign Grace Singles.
  147. People do that.
  148. I know Christians that have done that.
  149. We know a sister that was
    in our church that got married
  150. through seeking on some
    kind of Christian (website).
  151. You can do that.
  152. R.C. Sproul's son, different people.
  153. What was that one?
  154. (incomplete thought)
  155. They had a data breach.
  156. James: Oh, he was on an adultery website.
  157. Tim: Yeah, there's adultery websites.
  158. There's all sorts of
    options on the Internet
  159. to try to find people.
  160. You can parade yourself.
  161. You can kind of create fictitious you.
  162. You can put your best picture.
  163. And you can say all the things,
  164. have the light just right,
  165. make it all look good,
  166. and have nice background.
  167. You know, you can really stage yourself
  168. and portray yourself exactly
    how you want there.
  169. And lots of people do that.
  170. What are other options?

  171. (incomplete thought)
  172. This is a young lady.
  173. We heard not too long ago:
  174. well, didn't Ruth initiate?
  175. Didn't she go pursue Boaz? She did.
  176. So it was suggested that
    if you're a young lady
  177. and you're frustrated -
  178. you're frustrated waiting on the guys,
  179. you could take the initiative.
  180. And there are girls who do that -
  181. lost and saved.
  182. There are girls who do that.
  183. Right or wrong?
  184. Well, some would say Ruth
  185. seems to indicate that maybe
  186. it's not wrong all the time.
  187. What else? What's another option?

  188. You can strive to make
    yourself more attractive.
  189. That's an option.
  190. And maybe there's some validity.
  191. You say, how?
  192. Now listen to what I'm saying,
  193. making yourself more attractive -
  194. sometimes a carnal flavor
  195. tends to come out of that,
  196. but I'll tell you if there's a godly guy
  197. looking for a woman to marry,
  198. the things that will
    make her attractive to him
  199. are the things that a girl
    who wants to find a guy like that
  200. should be making themselves attractive in.
  201. What can you do?
  202. Let's just talk about
    the physical side of it.
  203. You know what? If you're overweight,
  204. is that going to have any impact
  205. on your ability to get married?
  206. Perhaps.
  207. And it not only speaks
    perhaps of physical things,
  208. but it speaks of very
    likely spiritual things.
  209. Maybe like a lack of self-control.
  210. Making yourself attractive...
  211. do you want to just
    let yourself fall apart?
  212. Like you're undisciplined?
  213. That's not good.
  214. Dressing -
  215. I'm not saying somebody
    should dress worldly,
  216. but can somebody dress in a way
  217. that might be more attractive?
  218. (Incomplete thought)
  219. Sometimes people talk
    about dressing smartly or nice.
  220. Not necessarily worldly,
  221. but looking shabby.
  222. Making yourself attractive.
  223. You know what?
  224. Sometimes there are women
  225. who are very unattractive
  226. because they're loud, they're proud,
  227. they're boastful, they're arrogant.
  228. Now, sometimes there are women
  229. who are too quiet -
  230. on the opposite end.
  231. They never talk to a guy.
  232. They shy away.
  233. Maybe you can put yourself in a position
  234. where you're actually rubbing shoulders
  235. with those of the opposite sex.
  236. Let's hold the questions till the end.
  237. Maybe just letting there be
    something mysterious about you.
  238. I mean, I've known some young ladies
  239. that are telling a guy like the second
    time they meet or something
  240. they love them and there's
    nothing very mysterious.
  241. There's not much of a challenge.
  242. I'm just saying, these are things
  243. that you can do.
  244. A young lady can put herself
  245. where young men are.
  246. And again, I'm not telling you
  247. whether these things are right or wrong.
  248. I'm telling you these are options
  249. that people have at their disposal.
  250. You can seek to stir up some interest.
  251. Here's something not to do:

  252. Here's an option that probably is wise.
  253. We were at the Pearl on Sunday night
  254. and Mack was speaking
    to a good crowd of us
  255. and somebody asked him
  256. about his marriage.
  257. And he was actually talking about it
  258. and being very transparent
  259. about some of his struggles
  260. and his communication issues
  261. that he's had to overcome,
  262. and he told us a story
  263. about this last New Year's,
  264. and said it was 9:55
  265. and his wife asked him to stay up
  266. for the New Year,
  267. and he said I go to bed at 10,
  268. and he said my eyes were hanging low,
  269. and she put on a Hallmark movie.
  270. And he said it was 13 degrees outside
  271. and he went outside and stood out there
  272. until he was wide awake.
  273. And he came in and he watched two or three
  274. Hallmark movies with his wife.
  275. Missed the New Year
  276. because they were all into the movie.
  277. He said it was wonderful.
  278. Now that might be good for a man
  279. who's trying to strengthen his marriage.
  280. That is not good for a young lady
  281. who is single to sit and watch
  282. two or three of those.
  283. She ought to stay as far away
    from those as possible.
  284. Why? Why expose yourself to that?
  285. Why do that?
  286. What else?
  287. James: What's a Hallmark movie?
  288. Tim: It's a romance movie.
  289. James: Our wives obviously
    watch them all this time.
  290. Tim: I've watched some with my wife.
  291. They all have the same storyline,
  292. just different actors and actresses.
  293. They are identical - every one of them.
  294. They're the kind of movies guys hate.
  295. But if you watch them with your wife...
  296. She's actually asking about

  297. whether the church should be involved.
  298. Now that's an option.
  299. Could you look to your father
  300. to help set you up with somebody?
  301. Could you look to your pastor?
  302. I'll admit some people
  303. are better matchmakers than others.
  304. But that's a possibility and that happens.
  305. There's communication and I have it.
  306. Very likely, James has it.
  307. There's communication with elders
  308. in other churches at times
  309. about singles in the church
  310. and possible matches.
  311. Here's an option.

  312. This is a serious option.
  313. Surrendering yourself
  314. to living a life of singleness
  315. to the glory of God if that's
    what God has called you to.
  316. You say, well, here I am struggling.
  317. I'm struggling with singleness
  318. and you're going to give
    me that as an option?
  319. Yeah, I think that's a tremendous option.
  320. Let me say it again.
  321. Surrendering.
  322. (incomplete thought)
  323. But just surrendering yourself
  324. to that reality.
  325. You know what, when I was single,
  326. I asked the Lord:
  327. Lord, I'll stay single.
  328. I don't have any problem staying single
  329. if You'll help me be single.
  330. I mean, if You'll grant
    me a gift of singleness
  331. and grant me
    contentment to be single,
  332. I'll happily stay single.
  333. But I think that's a real, genuine option
  334. is to say: Lord, I'm surrendered.
  335. I'm surrendered.
  336. I am not going to live my life
  337. like life doesn't start till I'm married.
  338. I'm surrendering that to You.
  339. Lord, here I am.
  340. I'm ready to serve You
  341. and if You want me to serve You single,
  342. then I'm going to serve You single
  343. as best as I can.
  344. I think that is an option
  345. that you really want to consider.
  346. This is one to think about.

  347. I've given lots of options.
  348. Make yourself more attractive.
  349. Get on the Internet
  350. and use one of these match-making deals.
  351. There's all sorts of things.
  352. Talk to the pastor. Talk to other people.
  353. Go to where the guys are.
  354. Communicate some.
  355. Fix the things that are wrong.
  356. Make yourself more attractive.
  357. There's all these things
  358. that you can think about.
  359. Girls taking initiative.
  360. But I'll tell you what Scripture says.
  361. Not so much about getting a husband
  362. or a wife,
  363. but I think you can put it in there.
  364. Because what Jesus is talking about
  365. is food and clothing.
  366. The basics of life.
  367. And you know what He says?
  368. Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven
  369. and all these things
    shall be added unto you.
  370. You know what one option is?
  371. Just all out serve the Lord.
  372. (incomplete thought)
  373. Listen, we have a God
  374. that if He wants you married,
  375. you can be on a desert island
  376. where there's not a guy
    1,000 miles from you
  377. and He will get that guy there
  378. and you will be married.
  379. James: Or you can be in India
  380. and some guy from Bangladesh
  381. ends up over there and you marry him.
  382. Tim: Right.
  383. I mean, when Ruby - she was in a church,
  384. no single guys.
  385. I'm looking at moving
    to a different church
  386. in the same city.
  387. John Sytsma called me and told me:
  388. we know you're single
  389. and Pat just wanted John to say to me,
  390. look, there aren't any
    eligible young ladies here.
  391. It was like that didn't
    even cross my mind.
  392. I'm not going down there
  393. because there's a bunch of single ladies.
  394. I'm going down there
  395. because that's the kind of
    church I've been looking for.
  396. Ruby's dad would say to her
  397. even if God has to bring your husband
  398. from 1,000 miles away -
  399. well, that's exactly what happened.
  400. The thing is seek first the Kingdom.
  401. (incomplete thought)
  402. Yes, pray. That came up before.
  403. And don't underestimate that.
  404. I'm not putting these options
  405. in order of priority.
  406. In fact, I'm probably putting
    them worst to best.
  407. But the thing is don't underestimate
  408. the God that Christians have.
  409. We have us a God who's able to do
  410. exceedingly, abundantly,
  411. beyond what you ask or think.
  412. (incomplete thought)
  413. This is a huge thing.
  414. You know what one of the good options is?
  415. Is renew your minds.
  416. Renew your minds.
  417. You say what do you mean?
  418. I mean this:
  419. you can be single
  420. and you can be in a situation
  421. where you see all these married people
  422. and you say: woe is me.
  423. Okay, let me ask you something.
  424. Are you a Christian?
  425. Yes.
  426. Woe is me?
  427. You've been saved from your sins.
  428. In a very short time, you're
    going to be in Paradise.
  429. This life is fleeting.
  430. It's over in a moment.
  431. It's like a breath of fog and it's gone.
  432. You are going to spend forever -
  433. eternal life, abundant, overflowing,
  434. an eternal weight of glory,
  435. and you're saying woe is me?
  436. Wake up!
  437. It is not woe is you.
  438. In fact, the Apostle Paul said
  439. that if you're married,
  440. you're going to be taken
    up with worldly anxieties.
  441. But if you're not married,
  442. you can give yourself freely
    and fully to the Lord.
  443. What does that mean? Renew your mind.
  444. It means on judgment day
  445. when sister so-and-so over here
  446. is being rewarded for the 60%
  447. she was able to bring forth in her life
  448. because 40% was given to worldly endeavors
  449. that really didn't amount to much,
  450. and you're over here and you were single
  451. and you could have
    devoted your whole life -
  452. you want to be that person that:
  453. "Oh, well done! A hundred fold!"
  454. You don't want to be tenfold
  455. because 90% of the time, you pined away,
  456. self pity, oh "woe is me."
  457. Listen, renew your mind.
  458. The thing is you're not the only person
  459. suffering in this world.
  460. And there are many married people
  461. who are just as lonely
    or lonelier than you.
  462. And there are people that are married
  463. that are very miserable.
  464. And I guarantee you this,
  465. that look, we have us a God,
  466. and I think there's a place to come to Him
  467. and pray, Lord, I ask You, please,
  468. give me a spouse
  469. or give me the grace to be single.
  470. That's very reasonable.
  471. Why would He not give
    you either one of those?
  472. He will!
  473. When we're suffering and you're like Paul
  474. and you come and say
    I've got a thorn in the flesh
  475. and would You please take it away,
    and you ask three times,
  476. what's the answer?
    "My grace is sufficient."
  477. And I think that's where our
    expectation needs to be.
  478. And you need to renew your mind.
  479. You need to think right about things.
  480. Think right.
  481. The Apostle Paul teaches
  482. that if you're single,
    you have the ability
  483. to serve the Lord like
    married people don't.
  484. Don't waste your singleness.
  485. Don't waste it pining away,
  486. feeling like you have an entitlement
  487. to be married
  488. and somehow God has done you wrong
  489. until you get a spouse.
  490. Don't think you're the
    only one that suffers.
  491. We can think like that.
  492. We often think that way in our suffering.
  493. But remember, we have a
    sympathetic high priest.
  494. That's what Scripture says.
  495. And He's able to relate.
  496. He stayed single His whole life.
  497. He was a Man of Sorrows.
  498. Charles Leiter's done a message
  499. on the loneliness of Christ.
  500. If ever somebody was
    lonely, it was Christ.
  501. He suffered alone on that cross.
  502. And here's the thing,
  503. our lives really are momentary.
  504. You need to renew your mind there.
  505. And you know what?
  506. Even the people in this room
  507. with the happiest marriages -
  508. one of us is going to die
  509. and probably not both of
    us on the same day.
  510. Somebody's going to say goodbye.
  511. And it's over.
  512. John Piper wrote a book called,
  513. "This Momentary Marriage."
  514. It's just momentary.
  515. And then there's eternity forever.
  516. And I guarantee you, in a million years
  517. it will not matter which
    ones of us were married
  518. or which ones of us weren't married.
  519. What's going to really matter is
  520. whether you were in or out;
  521. whether you served well;
  522. whether in the end, it's:
  523. Well done, good and faithful servant.
  524. You had your hand up.

  525. (from the room)
  526. Yeah, I noticed you were talking
  527. from the perspective of the female,
  528. but I wanted to ask you
  529. could you elaborate -
  530. I heard a lot of talk
  531. about the gift of singleness.
  532. Can you tell us like
    what you think that is?
  533. Tim: Well, it seems to be a gift

  534. and it seems to be something
  535. that some people have
  536. that other people don't have.
  537. And what is the gift?
  538. I would say it's a lack of
    need to be married.
  539. It's the ability to be content
  540. to stay single.
  541. I want to read something to you.

  542. I often go back to this.
  543. This is "Praying Payson" - Edward Payson
  544. of Portland, Maine.
  545. James: What page is that?
  546. Tim: This is page 410 of Volume 1.
  547. He is dying.
  548. Listen to what he says.
  549. "Christians might avoid much trouble
  550. and inconvenience
  551. if they would only believe
  552. what they profess,
  553. that God is able to make them happy
  554. without anything else."
  555. Seek first the Kingdom of God.
  556. Seek first God.
  557. Single people - I can tell you this,
  558. in my singleness,
  559. did I want to be married?
  560. Yes, I wanted to be married.
  561. But I can tell you this,
  562. I had visitations of
    the presence of Christ
  563. in those three years of singleness
  564. that I have not had
    since I've been married.
  565. They are the most
    fulfilling things imaginable.
  566. Listen to what Payson says.
  567. "Christians imagine that if such
    a dear friend were to die..."
  568. or I'll insert here:
  569. or if I wasn't to get married,
  570. and it's like my spouse died
  571. before I ever met him -
  572. "or such and such blessings to be removed"
  573. (like the blessing of marriage),
  574. "they imagine that they
    should be miserable."
  575. And that's what happens.
  576. Oh, woe is me. I'm going to be miserable.
  577. I'm not going to get married.
  578. But he says this, "Whereas God
  579. can make them a thousand times happier
  580. without them.
  581. To mention my own case,
  582. God has been depriving me
  583. of one blessing after another,
  584. but as every one of these blessings
  585. has been removed,
  586. God has come in and filled up its place
  587. and now when I'm a cripple,
  588. not able to move,
  589. I am happier than ever I was in my life
  590. before or ever expected to be.
  591. And if I had only believed
    this 20 years ago,
  592. I might have been spared much anxiety."
  593. The truth is God alone
  594. without anything else
  595. is entirely satisfying.
  596. Renew your mind.
  597. Renew your mind.
  598. To find God is it.
  599. That's the sum.
  600. A good option is to abandon
  601. marriage idolatry.
  602. Marriage is not God.
  603. A husband is not God.
  604. A wife is not God.
  605. Not even close.
  606. Not even to be equated.
  607. And if you're living just for marriage,
  608. you want to be careful
  609. because idolaters do not inherit
  610. the Kingdom of Heaven.
  611. Live for God.
  612. Renew the mind.
  613. Renew the mind.
  614. Become convinced of
    really what is important
  615. and what satisfies.
  616. Here's a man - a godly man - at the end,
  617. and he's realizing just
    how fulfilling God is
  618. (incomplete thought).
  619. What we have is his words.
  620. What he's saying is true.
  621. God is entirely fulfilling.
  622. And when we can get where my soul
  623. pants after God,
  624. like the deer pants after the waterbrooks,
  625. my soul longs, it pants after You.
  626. When we live that way,
  627. when you find God
  628. and you drink richly from those springs,
  629. you can be single.
  630. You can be in the fires.
  631. You can be in prison.
  632. I mean, one of those Covenanters -
  633. I wish I could remember,
  634. his name is just barely escaping me.
  635. It's like Cameron. Cameron, I think.
  636. But he was one of those
    Scotch Covenanters.
  637. They said he received like
    six or seven mortal wounds -
  638. any one of which would have killed him.
  639. But he was hacked up.
  640. They chopped him up with swords.
  641. They threw him - he's dying, bleeding -
  642. they threw him in the dungeon
  643. and they just piled chains on top of him.
  644. And his fellow comrades were
    in the dungeon with him.
  645. He's just laying there a broken man,
  646. his body's all shattered.
  647. And he was able to communicate to them
  648. and said I don't think I can bear
    up under this much longer.
  649. And when they inquired,
  650. they found out what he meant
  651. was not: the tortures of all these wounds
  652. and chains are killing me.
  653. He said, "I am experiencing
  654. the glory of God to the degree
  655. that I don't know if I
    can sustain it much longer."
  656. He did die.
  657. But the glory of God
    being revealed to Him -
  658. if we will pant after that
  659. and chase after that
  660. and not be content until we have that,
  661. I guarantee to find God
  662. and to drink of that cup,
  663. that so surpasses anything
    marriage can bring.
  664. And if a person has their eyes
  665. set on marraige and finding a husband
  666. and they're so full of anxieties
  667. and so full of discontentment,
  668. they're exalting marriage to something
  669. that they should not exalt it to.
  670. That's dangerous idolatry.
  671. But we need to be convinced.
  672. We need to have our minds renewed.
  673. Well, may the Lord help you

  674. to sort through the options.
  675. See the good ones.
  676. Reject the bad ones.
  677. Embrace the good ones.
  678. Father, I pray for the singles
  679. and I pray Lord,
  680. may they hear this.
  681. May they really hear this
  682. and long after You and find You,
  683. pursue You,
  684. as that deer pursues those waters
  685. when famished and thirsty and panting.
  686. Lord, we all want that -
    married or single.
  687. Give us a greater thirst for You.
  688. And we would take this opportunity
  689. to pray too for the Spirit of God.
  690. My daughter's birthday is in two days.
  691. I can think about giving her gifts.
  692. Oh Father, if we were the
    sort of Father that You are,
  693. knowing what we know about ourselves
  694. and our desire to give
    good gifts to our children,
  695. Lord, how much more will You give
  696. the Holy Spirit and we ask You to do it.
  697. Give the Holy Spirit to us.
  698. We ask in Christ's name, Amen.