Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Challenge to Single Men

“How do I know if I’m Ready for Marriage?”; I’m often asked this question by single men. It seems to me that this question is daunting to many men in our culture. Yet I believe young Christian men need to step up to this question and take the challenge seriously. I offer the following questions for you to consider yourself if you are a single man as to your readiness for the relationship of marriage. If you’re discipling or have influence with a single man, you might consider these subjects in your conversation to stir him “to love and good works”. If you’re a single woman, please think thru these character qualities as you consider dating someone. 

Before you start, please hear me, no one will meet these criteria perfectly, no one, but as you think thru this, ask “Am I/is he growing in these areas. The Christian life is identified by growth, not by perfection.  regarding what it is to be a godly man. I pray that this document will stir the hearts of the reader to pursue progressive sanctification for the glory of God and for the good of your soul, whether you’re single or married.

1. Are you truly a Child of God?
o  Have you truly repented of your sin and self-righteousness and fully trusted in Christ alone for your eternal life and for your identity in Christ?

2. How long have you been a believer?
o  Wisdom and maturity come over time. It is very unusual for a “rookie Believer” to be ready for a serious relationship. You must first seek to grow and develop your relationship with God before you’re ready to develop an intimate, human relationship.
o  How long depends on the individual, but I would suggest that it most often will take 1-2 years to learn what it means to be a disciple; it takes time to establish new habits and demonstrate true life-change. 

3. Can you accurately and clearly articulate the Gospel? Are you able to present a clear picture, off-the-cuff, of the following key elements of the Gospel?
o  Who is God and what is He like?
o  What does the Bible say about what it means to be human? Where did we come from and why are we here on earth?
o  What does the Bible say about sin? Where did sin originate and what are the effects of sin?
o  Who is Christ and what has He done to deal with sin?
o  What is grace and why is grace integral to dealing with the problem of sin?
o  What kind of response does the Gospel call for from sinful, fallen humans?
o  What are the results that give evidence that a person has fully embraced the above truths? 

4. What are the specific results in your own life that demonstrate that you have, in fact embraced the Gospel for yourself?
o  True salvation will demonstrate a heart-change manifested in different words and actions. What are the tangible differences that you’ve seen in your life as a result of your salvation? Is there a growing difference between you and your unbelieving friends? If not, why not? If not, what do you believe God would have you do?
o  If a young lady has a father that is thinking biblically and wisely, this ought to be one of his main concerns about you. If you have not developed a life-style that demonstrates that you have been transformed by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, why would a godly father allow his daughter to develop a relationship with you?
o  If, as a single man, you haven’t demonstrated a hunger and thirst for righteousness and a desire to serve the Lord, it is highly unlikely that you will love and lead a wife the way the Scriptures commands.

5. What are your personal, spiritual disciplines? 
o  Are you pursuing and walking in integrity and purity thru a focused, biblical prayer-life and a disciplined pursuit of God thru daily reading, studying and meditating on scripture?
o  Are you being discipled? Are you learning how to handle the Bible biblically?
o  What does your discipler/parent say about your overall maturity? 
o  What do they say about your “readiness” to be a head of a household? 
o  How do you respond when others suggest you need to grow in certain areas?

6. Are you a committed member of a local church?
o  A man who is not willing to submit to authority is a man who is not likely ready to lead others. It takes humility and submission to lead in a way that inspires others to submit to you.
o  Have you served long enough to have considered how God may have gifted you?
o  Do have a vision for where your life might best glorify God?
o  Are you committed to growing as a servant of the Lord by serving others?

7. What is your reputation in the local church?
o  Do you know your elders? What do they say about your maturity, integrity and your heart for serving others? 
o  What do those who know you say about your integrity? Would they say that you live out your claim of Christianity? (1 John 2:6)
o  Have you served long enough that others who know you can identify your giftings?
o  Do others ask you to help because you’ve developed a reputation of serving and caring for others?
o  What others say about your maturity and commitment to serve God in the local church can be a good indicator of your “readiness” for marriage. If you have not shown yourself to be faithful in serving others, it’s not likely that you will serve your wife “and give yourself up for her” the way the Bible calls you to.

8. What are your closest relationships like?
o  Do you have a healthy, respectful relationship with your parents? 
o  Do you invite them to speak into your life and decisions? 
o  How do you show love and compassion to your parents and siblings?
o  Have you learned how to seek and offer forgiveness?
o  Do you have any broken relationships that you refuse to reconcile?
o  Have your dating relationships been pure and respectful? 

9. Are you growing in your ability to lead others spiritually?
o  Are you discipling others less mature than you are?
o  Do you take opportunities to speak into others’ lives spiritually – in the church body, at school and/or work?
o  Are you concerned with others relationship with the Lord?

Men, no one will be able to say “yes” to 100% of these questions, however if you lack the desire to grow in these areas, you would be wise to post-pone seeking a long-term relationship. 

If you, and others who know you, can say that you are growing in these areas and that your heart desires to continue to grow within the community of the local church, then you may be ready to consider seeking a life-long help-mate. As you move forward, seek good counsel from someone who will speak the truth to you about your maturity to help you make wise, well-informed choices.

You might work thru the book, Marry Wisely, Marry Well, by Ernie Baker for help in thinking thru these themes more specifically.
For help with understanding how to know God’s will, check out Decision Making and the Will of God, by Greg Koukl, (CD Audio or Mp3 download @

May God bless you as you seek to know Him. As you do, you will be equipped to love and lead a wife for her good and for God’s glory.

Kent Kloter

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