Pursue a Spouse, Not a Career

Pursue a Spouse, Not a Career

Preached By John MacArthur

Now there are some people who have a gift for singleness that means a spiritual–unique spiritual capacity to remain single for the purpose of serving the Lord. Unless you have that gift and it’s clearly defined for you, then you need to be married. I don’t need to remind you that in biblical times people were married by the time they were fifteen or sixteen. Some of you are way overdue. Get married. Many of you are focused on pursuing a career, pursue a spouse. This is a very good place to find one because we have a huge number of single people who need to be married; they need to be married, for every reason that you can think of, but mostly for the reason that this is a gift of God called the grace of life.

I’m not sure why in this particular Christian culture in which we live that we are prone to follow the habits of the world and remain single for long periods of time, but that is a worldly kind of life, taking people who should be married and having them try to survive as single people when they are wired, hard wired and even given the opportunity by God to be married. Stop waiting for the Messiah, ladies. He came and went. Settle for somebody less. And, men, stop looking for the Proverbs 31 woman. That is an ideal to which women aspire. And the truth of the matter is, find another Holy Spirit-led, loving Christian, and get married.

Now on that basis, you can listen to what I’m going to say because if you’re not married, you’re going to be getting married. And if you’re married and you haven’t had children and the Lord enables you, you’re going to be having children, so this is all very urgent for you.

I’m asking you to do something very foundational and you laugh because it sounds humorous. But there’s so much truth that we have a society of people who way over exaggerate singleness, who way over extend singleness and make it very difficult on themselves and develop habits of singleness that make it harder to come together with another person because the groove keeps getting deeper and deeper out of which you have to get yourself out and walk together with someone in unity and love. Your singleness should be as short as possible. Marriage as quickly as possible. And once you’ve picked the right one, engagement as brief as possible.

And all of this, of course, is against the grain of our culture. I’ve been around long enough to know that people used to get married in their late teens and early twenties. That was the norm. And now the society perpetuates singleness out of its own selfish preoccupations and it’s fraught with all kinds of things, not the least of which is immoral behavior. And we are living in time when way too many people are single and single because they are selfish and because either no one can live with them in their selfishness or they’re not willing to give someone else the opportunity to intrude into their agenda.

We are watching the death of marriage. And you could say while we’re watching the death of marriage because of divorce and you would be right. Or you could say we’re watching the death of marriage because of homosexuality and you would be right. And we’re watching the death of true marriage because we’re watching the rise of homosexual marriage, and you would be right. You could say we’re watching the death of the family because of sterilization and abortion. But we’re also watching the death of the family because of an over-extended, preoccupation with selfish desires and personal agendas that push people into some perpetual singleness.

I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
1 Timothy 5:14

22 thoughts on “Pursue a Spouse, Not a Career

  1. Lori, you have no idea how grateful I am that you published these wise, Biblical words from John MacArthur. Thank you so much for performing your duty of teaching the young women {and maybe some older ones, too} these things. May God bless you and your ministry!

    P.S. ~ I purchased your book recently and have just begun reading it. I can’t wait to fully dig in!

  2. I want to marry, no matter what I end up doing! Jobs only get you so far, and you’re easily replaceable! Family, including a spouse is forever! I think everyone should have the love, commitment and companionship of a husband or wife, as who really truly cares about you in this world? Jobs can replace you in a heartbeat. Friends can only give so much, but family is there through thick and thin, for rich or for poor, etc… when I do marry, I will consider it a great honor to be called wife and serve my husband!

  3. I gave up on marriage once and in a strange turn of events I had my sister make an online profile for me because I was going to have fun and go on every date I was invited on just to meet people instead of looking for love. I was so angry at my sister because I thought no one would respond because she made me sound like a prude. One person responded to that profile and we married 3 months later. It’s been almost 4 years now.

    We discussed marriage, children, faith, and spiritual warfare on the first date and had a lot of very deep and important conversations early on. In some ways both of us were set in our singleness and marriage was difficult at first. We both even said that had we not married our relationship would not have lasted, but neither of us regret our choice and we are absolutely head over heels in love and in a strong marriage. I can tell you in my singleness my expectations of what a relationship should be and what marriage was because so unrealistic because it all centered around keeping my life unchanged from what I’d made it as a single woman. A selfish perception.

    All in God’s time he showed me what marriage really is. I hope to become an older woman who teaches Godly womanhood and helps young women see the truth and the light.

  4. I just came across your page, Lori! Thank you so much for the work that you do. I am actually quitting my job & will be home in the new year. I will be running a small business out of our house, but I am thrilled that my husband & my home will be my #1 focus, after years of guilt & unfulfillment in the workplace.

  5. The line I was fed was “Live your life as a single person, and God will bring you a husband when He’s ready.” Okay, that’s strictly true, but you’re a lot more likely to get a husband if you go looking for one! No use in wasting time with regrets, but it would have been lovely to meet my husband 5 years before I did.

    1. I was told that all the time. Just wait on God. Just wait on God. That’s all I was ever told. I was discouraged for years because it’s all I wanted. But eventually someone told me stop waiting and talk to some people. I did then he responded and eventually he asked me out and now we are married.

    2. I have received the same advice from Christian books and other Christian women I admire. The funny thing is though, is that when it’s a career that you are looking for, you are told to pursue it with all your might. There is no “trust God to bring you a career.” I have sometimes wondered if we should take that same attitude of finding a career and use it to find a husband.

      1. I was never told to “wait on God” to bring me a husband. But I didn’t exactly search for one, either. I just went out and about and talked to people and when I met the one for me, I just *knew*.
        Staying at home and not meeting anybody is not going to find us a husband. But if we go out there and are open to opportunities for meeting people, the man God has planned for us will show up 🙂

  6. Since life has happened & I was raised in a pretty dysfunctional family, I know that I was absolutely not ready to get married before the age of 25. I was way too stupid/damaged to know a good quality man if I saw one. I so clearly remember a strong sense- a God nudge?- at 28 that I was absolutely ready. And I made a decision to seriously look for a quality man. There was one that I knew and he was crazy about me. But, he was Jewish. I knew that I might never love him the way I should, but he was the only one I knew would make a good husband. So, I started laying the groundwork in Sept. of that year, and we went out to dinner several times. My best friend told me in Oct. that she had paid for me to attend a church retreat with her in early Nov. So, I went. We walked into the large lodge to get my cabin assignment and my eyes locked with the man doing the registering. Apparently, God did not agree with my choice to marry a Jewish man, nice as he was, but sent me another. That was who I married. The crazy thing is that my best friend had known him for years and she said, “I always knew he was the nicest guy, but I never thought of it…”

  7. Lori, I have a daughter who is almost 25 and would want nothing more than to be married. The Lord has not placed her mate in her life yet. I have been praying for this young man non stop! She is not one to go out and join clubs etc so the Lord will have to bring him to her. she is a godly young woman who loves Jesus and His word. I am praying the Lord sends him soon!

  8. Incidentally, Ecclesiastes 4 has it right: “9Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. 10For if one falls down, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to help him up! 11Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? 12And though one may be overpowered, two can resist. Moreover, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

    When you’re married, you’ve got an automatic ally, someone to watch your back. You don’t have to worry about how many friends you’ve got, and if something bad happens to you you’re not alone. And yes, having someone to “keep you warm” is very nice.

    Being married is fun, and a married couple is strong. To use a modern metaphor, you’re less likely to lose data with a RAID than a single-hard drive setup.

    1. Heidi, “A Cord of three strands is not quickly broken” is what we had on our wedding invitations. There was a braided cross with 3 strands hanging down. 🙂

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  10. This was an awesome and amazing article, Lori! Thank you for posting!

    “Stop waiting for the Messiah, ladies. He came and went. Settle for somebody less.” – Ha, ha! So funny, so true!!

    I completely agree with all of the points that Pastor MacArthur makes here. And it’s so true that marriage doesn’t get easier if you wait till you are older. More temptation to sexual immorality, fewer available spouses your age, and also the rarely mentioned issue of becoming more and more inflexible and set in one’s way because one has not had to learn to live with a spouse and children and learn flexibility.

    When I was in college, the “Christian” advice that I constantly heard was that one had to stay where one was and learn complete contentment in one’s singleness before God would send you a spouse. Looking back, that is nonsense. God gives us that deep desire for marriage for a PURPOSE – to drive us to marriage! As one commenter said above, we would never look for a career by saying, “God, place a successful career in my life.” We would work for it! Pursuing marriage makes so much more sense than sitting and doing nothing. Prayer is always important, and so is human effort.

    Blog on, dear Lori!

  11. I think another reason couples aren’t marrying is because today, many live together, and feel no need to marry. This is so unfortunate and ungodly.

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