Don’t Spend Your Time Preparing For Your Future Home

Don't

I read a quote the other day, from a title or an article, saying “You should spend every moment of your waking time as a single readying yourself to provide for your future home.”

And I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t actually read the article. And that’s not a direct quote. That’s simply the best I remember of it, though I do remember being shocked at how specific “every moment of your time” was. I did fully intend to read the article, willing to give the author credit for having an explanation, a caveat. But sadly, somehow its page was closed, and I couldn’t find where it came from or where it went. So I shall assume the best of the author, and believe that they intended to explain themselves, and place preparing for our future home in its proper order of importance.

Yet the fact remains, I know of teachers who might just accept that quote as it now stands.

I know of girls who believe that quote just as it now stands.

I  know of people who live that quote just as it now stands.

I used to be one of them.

When I was about 14, I adopted the idea that if I learned how to be the perfect keeper at home, how to do laundry and speak Greek, and how to just be the good little Christian girl; I could get the fast-track to what I wanted — marriage. Looking back now, I’m not even sure how I picked up that earning-what-I-want thought, as it’s something neither my parents nor church taught me. But my temptations have always been more towards the Pharisaic side. So since I was the ‘good girl,’ I lived with this assumption that I’d be married at 18 (or at the latest 19), having a little home and little family soon after. My subconscious clung to this idea as long is it could. But then my 18th year came and went. And nothing happened. And I went into a little bit of shock. Fast-forward a bit, and here I am, going on 20, with no signs of my singleness changing anytime soon. But I’m wiser now than I was then.

Because then I was seeing all the others about me who did have my perfect little dream being fulfilled. They were in a serious relationship, and they graduated and got married, and they were expecting their first child in a few weeks, and they were expecting their second in a few months.

And there fresh-from-the-waking-to-reality, I wondered, “Why not me?” This was my dream. This was what I had prepared for. This was my thing which I had poured myself completely into, my plans, my coveted goal, my one thing that I desired so greatly, my longing I would pour everything into, my —

My idol.

Because that’s what marriage becomes when you put it on a pedestal. That’s what anything becomes when you make it a prize to be obtained. That’s what happens when you make finding Mr. or Mrs. Right your end goal.

Anything I put before my God, is an idol. Anything I want with all my heart, is an idol. Anything I can’t stop thinking of, is an idol. Anything I give all my love to, is an idol. ¹

Even if it is a good thing.

Because marriage is a good, beautiful thing. The Bible affirms it. And we should defend it against the attacks of the world. But when Good becomes better than God, it’s an idol.

Now, I understand what people mean when they say spend your time preparing for your future home. They want young people to avoid wasting their teen years; they want to warn us away from the idea that we can live as self-centeredly and rashly as we want while we’re single, and then transform into the perfect spouse and parent the instant we say “I do.” And there’s certainly a time and place for that lesson.

But when we devote all our time to something earthly, we’re treading on shaky, transient ground. When we spend all of our time looking for something coming within time, we’re being a bit short-sighted.

Because here’s another part of it. God has already given us His plan for singleness. Regardless of whether or not we ever get married. (Because that might not happen.)

His ultimate calling to us isn’t to us as single or married. His ultimate plan for us isn’t to us as teenagers or adults. His word on how to spend every moment of our time isn’t to us as pastors or businessmen, nor as scholars or athletes, nor as men or women, nor as young or old, nor as Gentile or Jew, nor as rich or poor — it’s to us as Christians.

What is the chief end of man? (All of us, regardless of positions, relationships, or jobs) To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.²

What is our true job, whether we work in a cubical or in sunshine? Glorifying Him. What is our true focus, whether we have three little ones running around or all our big ones flown away? Glorifying Him. How should we truly spend every moment of our time doing, whether we are single or married? Glorifying Him.

Now, in the course of doing so, do we become better prepared for marriage? Certainly. Good Christians are good spouses. (Just as they are good parents and good workers and good citizens.) But the imperative, defining state here isn’t married. It’s Christian.

So no, my job as a single isn’t to spend every moment of my waking time preparing for my future home.

I should spend all of my time learning to love God better. I should spend all of my time learning to become more like Him. The whole of my life should be dedicated to growing holy. My every waking moment should be spent glorifying Jesus.

Because when we focus all our time on preparing for our earthly happily ever after, we forget about the ultimate one. The throne of our heart should be occupied by one Person, one Man alone, and it isn’t prince charming.

Our job is readying ourselves to be like Jesus.

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure. (1 John 3: 2,3)

So perhaps, in a sense, we are to spend every moment preparing for our future home. Because our true future home isn’t some farmhouse or apartment in the city, it’s no beach-house or cabin, it’s not in the country, suburbs, nor metro.

Our future home is a mansion, in a country where the streets are paved with gold.

I’m single, yes. But that’s not what defines me. And marriage isn’t what I’m spending my time readying for.

I am a Christian, first and foremost, now and forever, that is what defines me. And I’m readying myself for the Happily Ever After of all of History, where all is made new, and the Bride is married to Christ.

How about you?

 

 

 

¹ Clear the Stage, Jimmy Needham

² Westminister Shorter Catechism

 

 

 

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35 thoughts on “Don’t Spend Your Time Preparing For Your Future Home

  1. Stumbled on this post and I can definitely say it’s a great reminder. Sincerely all I always hear about single ladies days is about spending every meaningful time in preparation for marriage. Somehow it has placed God has a means to an end(I mean good marriage) and not has the source(i.e. first) . God bless you💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it can be so easy to stumble into that thinking, in our lives, or our careers, or our relationships! Fortunately our God is one of grace and renewal. 🙂 Thank you for your words, and welcome to Seeing Everything Else!

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    • Thank you! Oh, you still should write a post on that, as I’d love to here you nuances and wisdom on this topic! You as well, and thank you for being a faithful friend and witness to His love!

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  2. Yes, you’ve got it exactly! Jesus needs to be the goal and focus of our lives, not marriage, not children, and not careers. I really liked what you said about idols. So true. Good things can become gods in our lives if we’re not careful. Wonderful post!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I understand exactly where you used to be, Belle…because that’s how I always thought I would grow up too. As a young girl, I imagined myself marring at 18 or 19, raising lots of children, and being a Godly, beautiful mother one day. I still hope for that dream, but I’ve realized that being a Christian means so much more. Instead of pining away our time during our single years we need to be living for our Prince Charming who has already given us His life. Instead of seeking love we need to accept the Love that was poured out at the cross. We are bought with a price. As His bride, our job is to remain pure and spotless, living life for Him alone and bringing Him glory. What a wonderful commission!
    Thank you for sharing. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, you put it so very well! We’re longing for and serving the Prince of Peace, not an imaginary Prince Charming. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts, and welcome to Seeing Everything Else!

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  4. Wow, this is such a great reminder! Thanks so much Belle for writing this. I hear a lot about this topic and I feel the same way you do. Marriage is not my end goal – glorifying Jesus Christ is!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This was such a great reminder! I loved the connection with our future home on earth (with a husband and children) and our future home in heaven, and how the second is what we should be preparing for. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “Because when we focus all our time on preparing for our earthly happily ever after, we forget about the ultimate one.”
    Really like that. Reminds me of Col. 3:2, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great points! It’s good to remember that marriage isn’t our end-goal in life, but doing things to help you prepare for it (if that’s God’s will for your life) is a good too! Ultimately our goal is to glorify Christ in all that we do. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Amen, amen, amen. I can’t say I ever had that married-at-eighteen dream (growing up with two brothers, I think I ended up with more of the pragmatic, independent-single-woman mentality =P), but marriage is still something I daydream about sometimes. Like you said, it’s so easy to focus our attention on some earthly goal or dream, when our ultimate goal should be eternal.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Dear Belle, It’s good to remember that we mustn’t place anything above Jesus in our hearts. At the same time, we need to remember that we’ve been placed in this physical world for a reason. I believe that a part of that reason is to enjoy this beautiful world, to cherish this fragile world and to love our brothers and sisters (by which I mean the entire human race, black, brown, white, Christian Muslim, Buddhist…). I suppose what I’m trying to say is that our best worship is to be fully involved in the world, in a Christ-aware fashion.
    Thank you for your post. Its message was one that God wanted me to hear.
    Penny
    xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Certainly! If we are to worship God correctly, it must be in Spirit and in truth, and if we are to love others correctly, it must be with truth and love, else we are nothing more than an empty cymbal, unprofitable, and nothing. (1 Cor. 13) I apologize if this article at all implied that we should withdraw from the world, as that is the complete opposite of Christ’ command to Go forth and Proclaim! My intention with this article was simply to point out that by focusing on and pouring all our love and efforts into anything besides God (be it marriage, or humanitarian efforts, or careers, or school) we turn that object into an idol, usurping God’s rightful place of importance.
      Thank you for reading, and especially for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

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