My name’s Tim, and I’m 19. I’m one of those people who never dated through high school, and it’s never really bothered me before. However, recently (past few months or so) I’ve become increasingly conscious of being single. While I acknowledge that it isn’t something that should concern me, I can’t help but feel lonely or sad (pinch-in-the-chest feeling) whenever anything related to dating is brought to my attention. How should I react to this change in myself?
Thanks for your question. Let me offer some thoughts about how to “react” to these new feelings that I hope will encourage you.
First, you can take comfort in the fact that your increased desire for intimate fellowship with a godly woman is normal, good and right. Embrace that desire and cultivate it according to the biblical design. That means acknowledging your feelings not just as a desire for female companionship, but as a desire for marriage.
As I and others have written in numerous Boundless articles, the Bible treats marriage — at least for people who do not feel particularly equipped to remain single and celibate for biblical reasons (see 1 Corinthians 7) — as a normal part of growing into godly maturity. Jesus himself and other biblical authors treat marriage as a part of the normal progression into biblical manhood and adult life. Jesus described the usual life people were engaged in before the flood (and will be in the times just before Christ’s return) as “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” (Matthew 24:38). Also, in Luke 20:34-35, Jesus draws a distinction between normal life before His return (“The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage” and after our resurrection from the dead, in which we “neither marry nor are given in marriage”). We also see both Paul and Peter positively describe marriage as a wonderful picture of the Gospel and a relationship that sanctifies and protects and enriches the lives of God’s people.
In other words, your desire is a good thing. Too many young men your age continue to show no interest in pursuing marriage because it represents a level of responsibility and maturity that they don’t want to embrace. As I write below, you’ll want to think through the right time and way to approach dating and marriage, but you’re certainly on the right track in desiring it.
Second, if you’re not already doing so, begin deliberately preparing to be a godly husband, which essentially means consciously seeking to grow as a Christian and as a man.
Read the rest of Scott Croft’s answer in this week’s Q&A.