The greatest riptide in our pursuit for marriage isn’t really being unchaste, having unrealistic expectations or personal compromise to whatever degree.
I do not however want to make them seem any less riptides than what they actually are.
Riptides can kill you. Riptides can kill your destiny. They have the potential to rip you apart.
Random sex, casual hook ups, have left many scathed with deep emotional wounds that have taken years to heal. Yes, sex, when practiced out of the safe confines of our Lord, has the potential to inflict upon us misery, chaos and hurt.
Expectations have led many to disillusionment, depression even unbelief. Compromise has led many to vanity. Voided at heart, wanting to please everyone, at their own expense. Vanity has left many angling at every corner for appreciation, applaud, another appreciation, too much of it that it defines their worth.
Without it, they drown.
So do not underestimate the power of riptides and their effects in our hearts especially in the season of singleness.
However, what I am talking about here lies at the core of Christian morality. At an inch’s reach of every human heart. One that made the world what it is now. One that corrupted the purity of God’s love to mankind.
This riptide is called pride.
Of course, we rarely admit to that fault – our prideful hearts. More so, Christians, rarely do any of us admit to have that heart. But it has the potential to make a resting place even in the most “sacred of hearts.”
Funny how I think a harlot could clearly be closer to heaven than a diabolical preacher who thinks that perfection starts and ends with him – but of course, nothing is a better ‘evil’. Its better all together to think of yourself as really nothing -that His strength might be put in perfect display.
Have you seen a rich person struggle to be richer than the next door neighbor?
Have you seen another accumulate so much wealth but still loses sleep over not getting that “particular house”, that “particular deal”, “that handshake” that his rival got? It’s not about being particular, or choosy, it’s pride.
Its pride that made Lucifer lose his glorious position in heaven and was cast down to earth.
It is pride that he plants at every heart that cannot discern his schemes.
Its pride that the devil uses to have a man against his wife or a wife against her husband.
It is pride that he uses as a weapon to make those in the singleness season think, “what else do I need to know about marriage?” “Why do I need accountability?” “Who says God cannot help me make decisions alone?” “Why do I need to listen to advice about marriage, marriages are different!” “Advice about marriage is overrated.”
That is pride.
It is pride that pushes one to think that they can see far into their relationship, yet one is simply colorblind to the colors on the canvas of marriage. That aloofness, is the sure path to the dark abbeys.
A dark pit with no one to call out to, no one to help, no one to ask a word of advice, simply because of pride.
The devil loves to put us in isolation – especially in the season of singleness, because he loves the tree that grows in the dark and the fruits birthed therein. They rootless, tasteless, colorless, brittle and deformed.
As I pondered more about this, I was reminded of the Word in Proverbs 18: 1-2, 12
A man who isolates himself pursues selfishness, and defies all sound judgment. A fool has no delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own opinion
Before destruction the heart of man is proud, but before honor is humility.
It is highly irrational, a complete anti-God state of mind to think one can go through this life without counsel and wisdom. It is even more morbid to think that you can rely on your own understanding for God cautiously warns us against that very thing – Proverbs 3:5-6.
It doesn’t mean that God cannot speak to you, but an encounter with God pushes you right where He wants your heart to be. A heart full of humility, postured enough to listen to wise and godly counsel from those who God places right along your path.
You cannot date and date well, with the right tools without the counsel of godly men and woman who have been tested and approved.
You cannot marry and marry well without surrounding yourself with wisdom and godly people who inject the right flow into your marriage.
Bad company corrupts good morals but it’s equally a death trap to be ensnared by self-conceit.
To think that you two can go about your dating life and courtship without godly extortion, encouragement even rebuke for you to grow, is pure folly.
Pride eats the very possibility of love, contentment even commonsense. Hasn’t the bible said that one goes against all rational judgement?
We may think just because we don’t sleep round, rave all night, compromise, that our hearts are safely tucked in. Yet, the devil takes the lift the highest point and watches in utter admiration as his seedlings of pride sprout up fast in our hearts.
We go against all reason, we fail to heed to counsel, we fail to ask for help, all in the name of “God will teach us, we don’t need people.” But this same God doesn’t contradict himself. He says in his Word,
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
He knows through a community of believers,[those whom He places along our paths in every season], something is birthed that cannot be birthed in isolation, alone, tucked in your own reasoning and feelings. You will be held accountable for every action.
The devil hates us to be accountable to one another. He knows healing, comfort, peace, growth, and holiness are born. He hates all that. He would rather have us hurting, broken, distraught, stunted, bloated, tainted, dead. Yes dead.
He knows that at our most vulnerable point, he can pluck us out of eternity.
His mission is to steal what you have inside of you, destroy it completely into ashes and finally kill you.
We therefore who are dating, should be resolved enough to separate ourselves from all those things which would divert us from or retard us in the pursuit of Godly wisdom.
You cannot date outside Godly wisdom and a community of believers who hold you accountable. Otherwise, you two will lead each other’s hearts into heart breaks. Young love, often needs guardrails.
You should seek to retire out of the noise of this world’s vanities, the clutter of the world, the advice of the world, and then seek and intermeddle with all the means and instructions of wisdom, from them that the Lord puts along your way to learn from.
If you are in the season of singleness, especially more so if your dating, be willing to take pains and try all the methods of improving yourself, be acquainted with a variety of opinions, take what builds you, that you may prove all things and hold fast that which is good – 1st Thessalonians 5:21.
Do not allow the riptide of pride to lead both of you into its deadly snares.
Strip down your prideful hearts, ask the Lord to help both of you be willing enough to learn, grow, understand and take in Godly rebuke for your hearts growth.