By Cally Logan, Crosswalk.com
Marriage is a beautiful gift from God; it is something to be prayed for, considered with discernment, and pursued with maturity. God designed marriage to be the unification of a man and a woman on this earth, sharing in relationship with each other and Him in harmony. Yet as wonderful as marriage is, for many, marriages can be something that invokes fear or apprehension. Why do some of us fear marriage?
Fear of the Unknown
Change of any kind, be it good or bad, often brings with it feelings of fear or worry. Much of this is because there is something unsettling about entering into the unknown. Forecasts in the weather can predict that it will be sunny with a high of 75 on Thursday, but until we actually reach the day of, we cannot be entirely sure. Life changes can feel like this as well. We can have aspects of our life geared for a smooth transition, but wrenches often get thrown in the mix, causing us to develop anxiety. This is an example where partnering with God is so important not only in marriage but also in life. We rarely know exactly how an event will go or how a relationship will prove, but we can stand firm in the truth that He is Lord if times are terrific, and He is Lord if times are rough as well.
The things of this world cannot give us guarantees, but He can. In developing a deeper and richer relationship with God, we can rest in the fact that He is unchanging (Hebrews 13:8), and He is with us in all things. When we shift our focus on Him rather than our problems or the anxieties of potential problems, it is there that we can find rest, security, and freedom from fearing what tomorrow will bring. Recall the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:25, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” Rest in knowing that God is already in tomorrow, and God is with you in today.
Failed Marriage Examples
With statistics pouring in that around half of all marriages fail, it is more than likely that you have closely seen a marriage crumble, or you have heard a story about troubling sides of marriage. Isn’t it strange that we so often listen to the disparaging accounts of something more than we hold hope in the glowing aspirations of something? Because of our human condition in this fallen world, we are prone to sin, and that sin is often committed against one another or in hurtful ways towards one another. These sins can manifest into deep pain, resentment, and in the case of some marriages, invoke divorce. Yet should the failed marriages around us dictate if marriage is for us? Just because your parents struggled in marriage, or everyone in your family ends up divorced does not mean that is your portion in this life.
Invite the Lord to sit with you in these fears, discuss vulnerably with Him what you have seen and experienced in seeing those around you, and place those fears at the throne. Seeking therapy may also help uproot and reveal common family triggers that you can avoid by knowing exactly what they are. Just because marriages around you have failed does not mean that your marriage will too. Just as many become the first in their families to graduate from college, you can be the first in your family to have a godly and enduring marriage.
Lack of Self Confidence
Another fear that presents itself along with apprehension towards marriage is the fear that you are somehow lacking or not good enough. Self-confidence is so important in healthy relationships. We often confuse self-confidence with pride, but there is a very distinct line between the two. Pride boasts one’s self, giving all success, attributes, and accolades to the flesh. On the other hand, self-confidence recognizes in humility one’s flaws, shortcomings, and journey. However, it stands tall knowing that you are still valued, important, and deserving of respect despite all such things. Your name often will hold meaning, but that meaning is never “doormat,” “unimportant,” or “insignificant.” When we learn to hold confidence in ourselves and know that we deserve God’s best for us, we then can come into marriage or relationship with trust, conviction, and assurance. It is a journey to enter into this freeing place, but once we start viewing ourselves as God views us, we start seeing through a different lens. We start to see that settling is not an option and that receiving good gifts such as a God-ordained marriage is so much more about His Kingdom than it is about our feeling worthy or not.
God Has a Different Plan
Another reason that is seldom discussed is that perhaps the lack of peace in a relationship and the consideration of marriage is because God has something else in mind. As humans, we can rationalize or convince ourselves that something is the end all be all or the best we have to hope for, but that is not always true. Just because something is easily accessible does not mean it is what is best for you. This is where partnering with God and really dissecting your fears can grant so much freedom. Through breaking down your concerns with God in prayer or with a Christian counselor, it can become clearer if the things holding you back from marriage are from you or from God pushing to sway you in a different direction. Do not discount that the Holy Spirit works within you to guide, direct, and encourage you in the best way you should go. Perhaps that fear is not something to be ignored but a beacon lighting the way towards something God has instead.
Walk it Out
Marriage feels risky at times and can cause anxiety for many, but it does not have to be that way. Come before the Lord vulnerability, authentically and in full truth, willing to patiently wait for His response. Perhaps there, you will find the comfort to move forward or find that He has something better in mind for you if you wait and trust Him. Know that no time is ever wasted or spent in vain coming before the Lord; in fact, it is the greatest action any of us can take with any fear, worry, or decision we have to make.
You say in Your Word that it is not good for man to be alone. We believe that Lord, and we believe that you created marriage with the intention of fellowship, relationship, and communion with each other and ultimately You. In that, we pray that it would not be our own flesh trudging us forward, but rather that it would be us following Your call. Please work within us to help us understand why we have fears, what the roots are of these fears, and what call to action is required of us to walk into Your best for us graciously. We praise Your name now and forevermore that You care so richly for us, and we come with thanksgiving now in Your name for what lies ahead.
In Jesus' Name,
Photo credit: © Getty Images/grinvalds
Cally Logan is an author and US History teacher from Richmond, Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys leading a high school girls’ small group, cooking, and spending time in tree houses. Her latest books, Dear Young Sparrow and Unveiled are available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. Check her out on Instagram and Twitter, @CallyLogan.