As I’ve noted in my last two posts, Lisa Anderson of Focus on the Family teaches modern Christian women that “actively pursuing marriage” means:
- Praying for a husband.
- Talking about wanting a husband.
- Waiting for her godly man to show up and answer her prayers.
HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE YOUNG ADULTS TO ACTIVELY PURSUE MARRIAGE, INSTEAD OF PASSIVELY ASSUMING THAT IT WILL JUST HAPPEN “SOMEDAY” OR “EVENTUALLY”?
I believe marriage is an intentional pursuit. It begins by praying boldly for marriage and your future spouse. It involves preparation and growing into mature adulthood so you’re in a position to marry. And finally, it’s an active search. For men, this means literally finding women of character (Prov. 18:22) and asking them out. For women, it means being open to marriage, talking about our desire for it, and accepting offers of dates from eligible, godly men.
Of course, in their “season of singleness” while waiting for God to send them Mr. Right, modern Christian women are forced to focus on becoming independent career women. And who can blame them if they find themselves riding the carousel to pass the time? They don’t want to follow the feminist script, mind you, they just have no choice. They have to wait for God to send them their husband. They are simply too traditional to do anything else.
This reminded me of a story I shared a little over a year ago about Gladys Aylward. After converting in her late twenties, Aylward decided to travel from Britain to China as a missionary*. Some time after she followed Focus on the Family’s advice to Christian women who want to marry. She started praying for a British husband, and no doubt talked about how much she wanted one. Then she waited for the man to travel from England to China to find her. But as Dr. John Piper explains, the problem with the plan was the man she prayed for failed to man up:
“Miss Aylward talked to the Lord about her singleness. She was a no-nonsense woman in very direct and straightforward ways and she asked God to call a man from England, send him straight out to China, straight to where she was, and have him propose to me.” I can’t forget the next line. Elisabeth Elliot said, “With a look of even deeper intensity, she shook her little bony finger in my face and said, ‘Elisabeth, I believe God answers prayer. And he called him.’” And here there was a brief pause of intense whisper. She said, “‘He called him, and he never came.’”
Now, that experience, I would guess, is not unique to Gladys Aylward.