Waiting is hard to do and these days no one wants to do it. We become irritated if we have to wait longer than 30 seconds in line at the store, upset if it takes 10 seconds for a page to load on our computers, and enraged if the car in front of us is doing the speed limit! Coffee must be instant and food must be fast (which fast food is not really all that faster). Our expectations are to not have to wait on anything.
However, waiting is one of the most important aspects of the christian life and marriage. God wants you to learn how to wait. It is a part of the process of conforming us into the image of His Son. Notice the following words from the book of James;
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.James 1: 2-4
God is not making you wait to just toy with you, rather it is in His purposes and plans for you to wait on things. His timing is always perfect even when our expectations may be different. Waiting is trusting that He knows what is best.
What does it mean to wait and what should you wait for? Let’s consider four things you should wait for in marriage.
1. Wait on Marriage
God designed the physical, intimate connections between a man and woman to be enjoyed inside the covenant of marriage. (see Genesis 2:25) This is the part of marriage that Satan has viciously attacked. It has become common and acceptable in our society to sleep and live together before marriage. This is not the design of God for the marriage covenant.
Save yourself for your spouse before marriage
The Bible explains this principle in I Corinthians 6: 12-20. It goes all the way back to the beginning of mankind, when God put Adam and Eve together, two became one flesh. God created this beautiful act of the joining of two inside the covenant of marriage. It is a connection of two people so intimate, that it is exclusive of anyone else in the entire world. However, when you make this connection outside of the marriage covenant, you not only sin against God, but you rob yourself of the joy, intimacy, and pleasure that you could have had within His plan. The Bible makes ii incredibly plain so that there can be no misunderstanding, or room for misinterpretation.
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.I Corinthians 6:18
Wait until you are married. It is one of the things in life that is truly worth waiting for. This is the most precious gift that you can give to your spouse, to be able to say “I am yours and only yours.”
Keep yourself for your spouse physically
The pull of adultery is real. It draws us through the things of this world, like it has never before in history. There are images and videos that you can access within seconds without anyone ever knowing. The internet has connected us so personally, that you could literally stumble into the act of adultery online. Jesus was way ahead of his time when He spoke the following words:
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.Matthew 5: 27-28
Instead of working to cultivate the two becoming one flesh Bible principle of marriage, sin draws you into a trap of finding it elsewhere. The thing that we miss is that doing things God’s way is always better for you.
Keep yourself for your spouse emotionally
There is also another aspect of adultery that threatens your marriage. Long before you begin an affair, you become unfaithful emotionally. You begin to share how you feel, and personal things in your life with someone who is not your spouse. You have conversations that connect you in ways that should only be between husband and wife. It does not take long for that to turn into something more intimate. It is like you are growing a relationship with someone else that will blossom into something ugly and dirty. It will become something that makes you ashamed.
This is where the work in marriage comes into play. It is that you work on keeping the relationship with your spouse growing and intimate. In this way you can turn to each other for emotional and intimate connections. Protect your marriage by having an affair with your spouse instead of someone else! You become the person that your spouse can turn to for their emotional and physical desires.
2. Wait on Restoration and Healing
There is no instant healing for the pain and hurts in marriage. Perhaps your spouse was unfaithful to you, or you were unfaithful to your spouse. Maybe your spouse has disappointed you or your marriage is a disappointment to you. It takes time and patience to heal, like having a broken bone takes weeks of rest, checkups, and probably an uncomfortable cast.
Have patience with your spouse
I like to think about how incredibly patient God is with me. Before I knew Him, He gave me so much time to get right with Him, in my case, it was years. Even now, He will show me things I need to correct in my walk with Him, and it takes me so long to get those straightened out. God is patient.
This is where marriage gets tough. Being patient with each other when things are not the way you want them to be. This is when God uses your marriage to make you more like Jesus. He has designed marriage to teach you patience. It is in this teaching that you find the joy and reward of loving each other through your problems.
Use the Power of the Spirit
God has given us the power of His Spirit to live the christian life. When your relationship with Him is right and thriving you can experience Him helping you become patient. Stuck right in the middle of the Bible’s description of the fruit of the Spirit is the word, longsuffering. This is the word that can change your marriage with God’s help. Be longsuffering or patient with your spouse. It may takes some time for things in your marriage to improve, but that is OK, because time is a gift from God.
You have time
This past week, that would be Saturday, July 13th around 11:30 am my sweet 8 year old nephew was suddenly taken from this world. Our time with him was done. God has given you the gift of time with your spouse, use that gift to patiently love and bring restoration to your marriage. Maybe you could use that time to make your marriage special. To fix your love for each other.
Your patience with spouse reflects your patience with God
The Bible has a way of putting life in a different perspective when you read it. This is a truth about marriage that is hard to practice, but necessary to succeed. How can you love God who you have not seen, when you don’t love your spouse that you do see?
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?I John 4:20
Loving and being patient with your spouse is in a way, a form in which you love God. Wait on your spouse. Wait on your restoration. Wait on your recovery. Wait on your marriage to get better.
3. Wait on material things
This is the big one. That problem that almost all married couples face. It is waiting to have things. The young married couple expects to have what the couple who has been married for many years has. The couple with unreasonable expectations buys a house they cannot really afford, a car with outrageous payments, or frivolous things on credit. I think about my niece who is getting married soon, they don’t have all the “things” yet, but they have each other. You don’t need those things, you just need each other.
What do you really need?
It is like God made the passion and intensity of love so great when you start out that you don’t need anything else. When you first start out in marriage, you live on love. It is in the early days that you must learn the lesson of waiting. This is a lesson that all married couples need to learn. God designed life, so that you would have to wait. Learn to wait on “things” and enjoy the moments that God give you together right now. Nobody can afford to buy the time that you have.
Don’t bury yourself in debt
I have known couples who have a lot of things that I have never had, but they were miserable. The truth may be, that the couple who can afford to have all the things that you don’t, may not really be able to afford them either. It is OK to wait on things, and just learn how to enjoy each other.
Get your priorities right
Jesus preached to those who were obsessed with the things that they needed or didn’t have. He admonished them to focus on spiritual things above the material. Within his admonition was a promise to provide those things that were needed:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.Matthew 6:33
Let’s just be honest. You have what you need, and if you are happily married, you have something special that money can’t buy. Put God first in your marriage, and He will make sure you have those things that you need.
4. Wait on Jesus
This is a misunderstood Bible principle. Waiting on Him, is not the same as waiting at the hwy department for your number to be called out. It is instead like being a good waiter or waitress at a restaurant. It means taking orders, and anticipating the wants and desires of the one being served.
In waiting, we serve Him. In serving Him, we stand still while trusting in His plans and purposes. In waiting we become as the sheep of Psalm 23, resting in the care of our shepherd.
You can rest in the fact that He will give you the desires in your heart that He puts there.
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.Psalm 37:4
You can rely on the promise that you will see Him face to face.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.I John 3:2
4 Things You Should Wait on in Your Marriage
- Wait on Your Marriage
- Wait on restoration and healing
- Wait on material things
- Wait on Jesus