We’re praying and fasting this Monday during “lunch” time for: 1) God-honoring and healthy marriages, 2) courage for men to be who God has created them to be, and 3) courage for women to be willing to see where we need to change (and then change). Drop the donut, grab a friend, and set aside some time to pray! And as you do, you might consider….
In the last few months, lots has been written and revealed about marriage. I’m thinking of the Pew/Time magazine report which said 4 out of 10 Americans see marriage as obsolete; or this week’s Wall Street Journal article Where Have the Good Men Gone? about women outpacing men in education & employment prospects–and the related effects on marriage; or the latest policy discussion about civil unions, etc. It seems to be the talk of the town everywhere I go. Honestly, I wish it weren’t a topic I had to think about. But I’m so single, and it’s so there! There’s just no escaping it.
So, I want to propose a different take on the whole question of men, women, and marriage: maybe all the relational chaos–and the un-marriage between men and women that is cascading around–is at core simply a living metaphor for our culture’s spiritual chaos. If marriage is somehow a symbolic pointer to the bigger picture of Jesus and his bride (Eph. 5:32), then perhaps all the un-marriage (a made up word, I know) simply points to our culture’s increasing disconnection with Jesus. It’s also symbol, too, but inverted?
Now please do NOT hear me saying that you or your best girlfriend are single because you are disconnected to Jesus; it’s not true for me, and I can’t imagine that it’s true for you. Rather, I’m talking here about cultural trends. Our culture as a whole seems to be increasingly disconnecting from Jesus, and I can’t help but think that in many ways, we are all living with the relational fallout of that reality.
So this week, as you pray, definitely pray for specific men, specific relationships, specific longings. Process with your girlfriends, confess your sin, pour out your heart, ask for more of Jesus’ loving Presence, and definitely take the time to celebrate the sweetness, fun, dates, transformation or general good that you are experiencing. But also, at the risk of sounding like a sweaty, pleading tent preacher from the 1930s: pray for revival. Seriously, please pray for the people in your life who are yet to intimately know God as revealed in Jesus and experienced through his Spirit. Pray that the relational break between so many people and God could healed. And lastly, because I honestly believe this serves men & women alike: put in a little extra prayer muscle on behalf of the single guys out there. For, when they have bent their knee to the King, it makes them far more able to stand upright with a woman. And honestly, I think most of us are longing for more of those men.
Many Blessings on your Week,