Not Unredeemed

… living the beautiful tension between what is, and what will be …

Alive and Fully Engaged: Facing the Trials of Marriage from the Limbo of “Engagement”

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A guest post by a dear friend and writer, Lindsay Debach. Enjoy!

This post is in response to our friend Katie’s challenge from the October 6th Post, entitled “Single Vision”, about embracing your life now, as a single person, being the best you can be.

But I’d like to offer a bit different perspective…I am engaged and I liked being single.

So I’m walking the aisle of limbo gazing at the not-so-distant shores of matrimony with dread, while the life of singleness I left behind looks pretty sweet. Instead of, as Katie mentioned in her Single Vision post, thinking “will I ever get married?” I’m asking “What if marriage is really, really bad?”

My parents aren’t divorced, but I have seen some bad marriages go down. I’ve read the books, listened to the sermons…and yeah-what I’m gathering is that: “it ain’t no picnic.”

-You’ve got to share your time, your money, your emotions, your energy.

– You’ve got to be vulnerable, with your feelings, your body, your weaknesses.

– You’ve got to sacrifice (a deplorable concept in a consumer-driven culture) your plans, your space, your time.

THIS DOESN’T SOUND VERY FUN TO ME! Especially after having lived as a single person just shy of 30 years. Yeah, you get lonely, but there are friends, family, and self-discovery.

As my wedding draws closer I’m learning that my fears are largely due to my perfectionism. A fear of “messing up.” I’m convicted by the admonishment of Oswald Chambers:

“Beware of the piety that has no prep-supposition in the atonement of the Lord. It’s of no use for anything but the sequestered life.”

When you’re single, you can live that “pious” life when you go home at night. No one to share with, to have to listen to and be patient with, to get annoyed at. Not to mention what you have to sacrifice.

In essence, you can be “confident in the flesh” (Phil 3:3) that is your own saintly behavior.

But then…we wouldn’t need a Savior.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
 2 Corinthians 5:21

The applying of the grace that Christ showed to us at the cross through daily sanctification is the model
for Christian marriage. Spouses will mess up, they will lose their patience, be unforgiving, say what they shouldn’t. But each instance is an opportunity for Christ’s grace to intercede. Through learning to love and share our lives with another, we have an opportunity to become more like Christ by seeing His redeeming work in how we love our spouse. Even in the bad times.

In his book When Sinners Say I do, Lee Harvey says that marriage: “requires daily grace, daily repentance, daily pursuit of each other and of the Father.”

A tall order, but isn’t that what every Christian should be pursuing anyway?
 That’s the kingdom of heaven played out right in the messy, over-tired, rainy day normality’s of life. It looks different whether or married or single, but the bottom line is that we should be pursuing the Father, no matter the circumstances.

Single, married, engaged, whatever…we’re all sinners and all saved by Christ’s grace. The illumination that marriage gives of Lindsay QuoteChrist’s redemption is one that I’d like to apply to my life as a single person. Not dreading the inevitable storms of marriage, but taking joy from the fact that the same redemption I’ll receiving in marriage is what I’m receiving now! When I mess up, when I’m not good enough, when I’ve been let down and have let others down.

So as a single person who is “fully engaged” (pardon the terrible pun), I’d like to use this time in the middle to appreciate Christ’s grace to me. I will mess up, but I stand on the rock that is my salvation…even though it might look like the aisle of limbo.

Lindsay lives life with gusto, and is passionate about theology, family, and culture. It was an honor to have her guest post today!

“Alive and Fully Engaged” is a part of the “Today’s The Day: Being Single and Fully Alive” a 31 Days Series. To read more from this series please click here.

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Author: notunredeemed

Jesus follower, people lover, truth scribbler. Addicted to pain (growth). Passionate about relationships, identity and the transforming power of Christ.

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