How should single men prepare for marriage?
Alarming divorce rates, constant child custody battles, and children who are left out in the cold without both parents at home are one of the many reasons that single men need to better prepare for marriage. While there are many programs that can point men in the right direction, it remains a fact that something must be a miss. Single men need to prepare for marriage by developing daily habits that embrace the initial phase of the original design of marriage outlined in the Holy Scriptures.
According to the article, 3 words of advice for single Christian men longing to marry, the author provides generalities that might not help single men prepare for marriage according to the original design of marriage. The first recommendation encourages single men to have a primary focus on their relationship with God. This author points out that “One of the most important things you will bring to your marriage is your ability to lead your marriage in spiritual matters. Your relationship with God will not only allow you to lead your wife in praying daily, but it will allow you to lead your future wife and kids into God’s will.” The second recommendation revolves around the man himself. The author surmises men to “Develop a servant’s heart. Remember that you’ll be spending a lifetime committed to only one woman, and it should be your goal to be the best servant that you can be to the Lord and to your wife.” Finally, the author encourages men to prioritize their pursuit of God rather than spending their time in pursuit of the person whom they should marry.
This author ha come very close. However with soaring divorce rates, constant child custody battle, and the number of children who are left out in the cold without both parent, we cannot afford to provide advice that is not specific.
According to the original design of marriage, single men need to prepare for marriage by becoming a servant and a good steward over the resources that God provides. In Genesis 2:15, God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. The word ‘dress’ in the Hebrew is ‘abad, which means to work as a servant. The word ‘keep’ in the Hebrew is shamar, which means to protect. To protect means that God provided Adam a stewardship over the Garden of Eden. Single men need to prepare for marriage by learning to serve in their ordained calling and to have a good stewardship over the area of that calling.
The first area of preparation is to learn to serve. True leadership is servanthood, and the greatest leader of all time is Jesus Christ. Servanthood is an attitude exemplified by Christ “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:6-7). The five words in the New Testament translated “ministry” generally refer to servanthood or service given in love. Serving others is the very essence of ministry. All believers are called to ministry (Matthew 28:18-20), and, therefore, we are all called to be servants for the glory of God.
The second area is stewardship. The biblical doctrine of stewardship defines a man’s relationship to God. It identifies God as owner and man as manager. God makes man His co-worker in administering all aspects of our life. The apostle Paul explains it best by saying, “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9). In essence, stewardship helps to define our purpose in this world as assigned to us by God Himself. It is our divinely given opportunity to join with God in His worldwide and eternal redemptive movement (Matthew 28:19-20). Stewardship is not God taking something from us; it is His method of bestowing His richest gifts upon His people.
In the New Testament, two Greek words embody the meaning of our English word “stewardship.” The first word is epitropos which means “manager, foreman, or steward.” From the standpoint of government, it means “governor or procurator.” At times it was used in the New Testament to mean “guardian,” as in Galatians 4:1-2: “What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.” The second word is oikonomos. It also means “steward, manager, or administrator” and occurs more frequently in the New Testament. Depending on the context, it is often translated “dispensation, stewardship, management, arrangement, administration, order, plan, or training.” It refers mostly to the law or management of a household or of household affairs.
Household affairs is a primary focus for a husband and wife. Without the proper marriage preparation men will encounter much turbulence as they negotiate through their marriage. Single men need to prepare for marriage by following the original design outlined in the Holy Scriptures.
Dr. Derrick and Mrs. Sheila Campbell
PO Box 4707
Cherry Hill, NJ 08012
- Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land
- Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land (Workbook for husbands & Wives)
- Advanced Marriage Training for Singles
- Husband Leadership Principles
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Bishop Joseph P. Ravenell
Samaritan Baptist Church
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Dr. James E. Woods, II
El Shaddia Christian Assembly