I heard this phrase recently: “When you stop wanting marriage, God will give it to you.”
On one hand, it does feel like a humble and deferential sentiment, deferring to God and trusting in His gracious providence. It has the sense of being content, rather than discontent, with where the Lord has you. It communicates a kind of anti-idolatry.
But then I think of what Jesus had to say about desiring good things (and be assured: marriage is a very good thing).
Consider Matthew 7:7-11, which has Jesus saying, “Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.” The implication is that when we desire something good and within His will, it is appropriate for us to ask God for that thing, and to keep asking. We’re not to stifle such desires, but to confess them to our Lord.
Or consider the story Jesus told of the man who kept knocking at his friend’s door, asking for three loaves of bread. Jesus explains that “because of his shameless persistence and insistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs” (Luke 11:8). As such persistence proves effective with a friend, such persistence will prove effective with God.
Are you single, and wanting to be married, and are you losing heart? Jesus directly addresses this, offering a parable “to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Jesus speaks of a widow (interestingly, an unmarried woman) who kept petitioning a judge for something. Finally that judge relented because “this widow keeps bothering me.” In the same way, Jesus says, God will come to the aid of those “who cry to him day and night.”
Jesus did not condemn people for strongly desiring good things. He affirmed persistent, even bothersome, prayer. Whether you’re wanting your daily bread or a husband, taking your concerns to the Lord is a very good, and very appropriate, thing. Be encouraged and, as Jesus said, “Do not lose heart.”