My stomach churns when I hear this falsehood tossed around in Christian circles: That the ultimate reward for purity is marriage. Come again?!
Marriage can be a great gift, but it’s not the ultimate reward. God is; not a guy, a relationship, or a marriage.
Then there’s the sentiment that:
The ultimate reward of oneness in marriage will be worth every moment of loneliness.
Yikes, that’s a long time for tween and teen girls to wait for their reward—especially in a culture of instant gratification where the average marrying age for females is 27–30. So a girl’s to pine away in loneliness for three long decades? And then, suddenly, it’ll all be worth it? I don’t see how that’s good news.
But this, on the other hand, is: You don’t have to wait until marriage to experience the happiness you’re looking for today. It’s yours for the having. Now.
Single or married, sixteen or senior citizen, joy is found in God’s presence, which can be experienced anywhere, anytime:
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11).
Our hope for the “good life” isn’t tied to marriage; it’s tied to the One to whom marriage faintly points.
At least, that’s what I thought; until I was corrected by Matthew 5:8. You know, the verse that says:
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall snag a great husband.
(Oh, whoops, I grabbed the wrong translation.) Let me try that again:
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
There. That’s right. Seeing God is purity’s reward. God-gazing is the greatest reward that exists.
David got that. In Psalm 27:4 he asked for just one thing, “One thing have I asked of the Lord . . .”
What one thing would you ask God for? For most of my life, a husband would’ve been at the tip-top of my list. But when we read the context of Psalm 27, we learn that an enemy army is encircling him as David writes this wish. I’d expect him to ask God for weapons or a divine rescue. Instead, He asks to gaze on God’s beauty,
“One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.”
Let’s make sure we’re not misleading our girls. God is their reward; not a guy, not a relationship, not marriage.
And if you’re single—or if you’re in a miserable marriage—you, too, can experience the happiness you long for. Today.
It’s found in His presence.
This post was originally posted on ReviveOurHearts.com.
Paula (Hendricks) Marsteller is a compassionate Christian communicator.