Pastor Matt Chandler has some advice for young Christian singles on Valentine's Day: Compromising a devout Christian spouse just for the sake of getting married will almost always result in more heartbreak.
In an interview with the Desiring God podcast, the lead teaching pastor of The Village Church in Highland Village, Texas, and author of The Mingling of Souls: God's Design for Love, Marriage, Sex, and Redemption answered several questions from the "not-yet-marrieds."
Too often when Christian singles remain single longer than they want to, "what I have tragically found is that Christian singles hit an area of desperation, particularly young women, and they will go: 'Yeah, he is a Christian, he comes to church.'"
But in truth, he continued, "what they're saying is this guy comes to church a couple of times a month, but outside of attending a service, he doesn't have a real seriousness about growing in his understanding of the Lord, growing in his understanding of the Bible, being a prayerful person, no vivication or mortification that can be spotted, and no one who really knows them enough to speak to the growth in their character."
The problem is compounded by the issue of loneliness where it's tempting to compromise and just get married, Chandler adds. Yet such a move can worsen the loneliness if the spouses are not on the same page spiritually.
"Unfortunately, a lot of godly women get to a place where they are tired of the 'weirdness' of Christian dating and the apathy from Christian men to actually pursue them. And it has led them to marry — I won't even go as far as to say 'lost guys' — but what I will just call 'neat Christian boys' who go to church a couple of times a month and own a Bible," Chandler said.
"This ends almost every time in heartbreak," he added. "Now they are in a marriage where she feels trapped in that covenant relationship, and so she tries to 'fix' her husband. That's not working, so she hopes maybe having children will fix their marriage. They have children, and now the father is discipling their children not toward the Lord, but away from him."
Yet, it's a grave mistake, he emphasizes, for pastors and Christian leaders to convey the message to struggling Christian singles, particularly women, to "find your contentment in Christ. Isn't Christ enough for you?" because it amounts to throwing cold water on the desire for marriage.
"I think that's such a terrible response, because the desire to get married is a good desire. It may even be a desire woven into them by the Creator of the universe, " Chandler said.
"If the Bible says, 'He who finds a wife finds a good thing' (Proverbs 18:22), that's all I need to affirm a desire for marriage in men and women."