Video Teaching: Why Aren’t You Married? Part 2
Barry and Lori explore the topic of why some singles may not be married, even though they desire to be and give some tips for singles. Part 2 of 2.
LORI: Hey, guys.
LORI: This week we are going to be talking about why aren’t you married, part two. And last time, it was basically about women, and this time it’s going to be men. And my Barry B. is going to do a lot of it.
BARRY: So yeah, I’m going to share some thoughts here. You know, I wanted to start with one of the things I said last week about Lori wanted to be married, and she did a lot and thought a lot to prepare for that. And so, the first question is, do you really want to be married? And what does that mean? Sometimes when people say, “I want to be married,” that means like, “I hope I meet the right person.” Okay, well, that’s a good thing. Sometimes it means, “I want to focus on my education, my career, get a job, so that I’ll be ready for marriage.” Well, those are good things to do and be ready for, but those in and of themselves don’t prepare you for marriage. They help prepare you financially. And then maybe, “I want to be married,” means, “Oh, I’m just waiting for God to show me the right person.” Well, that might work, but there’s two things. God might want you to find the person instead of Him just bringing that person to you. And secondly, even if God shows you the right person, you have to build a relationship. God won’t do that part for you.
So, there’s a lot to do to be ready for marriage. So, it’s a lot more than finding the right person. Marriage ends up being a lifelong mindset of you working out a relationship with another person and in a family that will become the most important people in the world to you. They really should be the first priority of relationship for you throughout your life. And it’s going to be a relationship with a small group of people – your wife, your children – that will have tremendous impact on each other. Whether you want to or not, you’re going to have a lot of impact on each other. And it’s one of the reasons why – because of the importance of those relationships, it’s something worth preparing for and thinking about rather than assuming, “Oh, that part will happen automatically in my life.”
LORI: And I think, too, now in our world, marriage and family is not a priority. But I think to say this, that it really is a priority to God.
LORI: When he created Adam and Eve, that was a priority that they were together and, you know, having children, filling the earth.
BARRY: Be fruitful and multiply.
LORI: Being fruitful and multiply.
BARRY: Good lead-in to my next point. From my experience, my life attitudes have changed a lot about marriage since I was twenty years old in 1973. And so, in the 1970s, things were changing because the sixties brought a big change in thinking and mentality, but a lot of us that were raised in that age still had thoughts from our parents that were different. So, my upbringing and even my personality, I tend to be a planner; it helps me to think ahead and think of marriage and planning for it. I’m not the kind of person that has a real strong bent towards just going out and having excitement and adventure. And those qualities have really risen high in popular values right now for people. Be adventurous; go have fun. And there’s a strong emphasis on independence now, of doing your own thing, and as I already mentioned, a strong emphasis on career or get your education going and get good income. And those are all good things, but again, those don’t prepare you for marriage in and of themselves. They prepare you to take care of things in life.
I was talking to one of our sons that was living in Los Angeles, and he was saying how the culture there really doesn’t lend itself in many ways to thinking about marriage and preparing for marriage. It really lends itself a lot more to thinking about having fun and thinking about being single. And so, the culture that you’re in really can affect you and influence you in ways you don’t think about unless you really stand back and pay attention to it.
I think another issue that’s very popular now is whole idea of going after your dreams, but typically marriage and family is not considered something to be dreaming about. I’m sure there are women out there, probably especially women, dreaming about it, and some men as well. But I think God wants us to make our marriage and our family one of the things that we dream about – having a good marriage and a good family. And you know, I think something else that feels like it’s been a shift in my mind and the way I think about things is, it seems like nowadays the idea is, “Go and change the world!” But you do it outside your family; you do it through your job, through your ministry, through your talents and gifts, instead of, “Change the world and improve the world through this family that you’re entrusted with.”
LORI: Starting from within.
BARRY: Yeah, from within rather than just from without. And those two are not mutually exclusive. They don’t need to be, and I don’t think they’re supposed to be. But I think there’s been an emphasis, maybe a shift in emphasis, where the outside is emphasized more than the inside, more than the family. But I don’t believe that’s changed for God. I still believe that the vow to love each other until death and raise a family together and bring children into the world that did not exist before is still a higher value to God. So really watch out and be careful of today’s values. Some of them sound really good, but be careful to evaluate them against Scripture and against what God has said. God is not old-fashioned; His ideas are not old-fashioned. They’re still good even if they feel old-fashioned because of new values and new common ideas that are coming up.
So, another thing Lori talked a lot about last week was about being intentional – being intentional about marriage and relationship. And so, I want to talk about five things – and again, I’m kind of talking to men, but a lot of these will apply to women as well – five things that you can do to be intentional and prepare yourself for marriage.
So, number one. Cultivate your individuality rather than cultivating your independence. And so, instead of just saying, “I’m going to be out there and do my own thing, be free to do whatever I want,” focus on, “I need to become the person that God called me to be,” and live it out. Do it consistently. Live a Godly life in a way that makes God happy; it will make you happy, too. And it’s a way that you can live no matter who you’re with, no matter what the circumstances are. Because if you develop that individuality with you and God, and you’re going to bring that – you’re going to bring a consistent you into your marriage. If you just focus on independence, then who knows what you’ll be tomorrow, you know? So first, cultivate individuality.
Oh, I did have a story to tell you. And this was kind of a good thing that I think God helped me with while we were dating. I don’t even know if you know this; I think I told you the story. But we were dating, had just been dating a few times and were pretty new in our relationship, and I was out with a bunch of the guys from the church. And we were doing something; I don’t know what we were doing one evening. We were in a car, and one of the young guys says, “Oh, I’m going to ask Lori Tebay out on a date.” Her maiden name is Tebay, so he was going to ask Lori out on a date. And I sat there in the car, and I was dating her at the time. And I thought, “You know what? She’s free to choose whoever she wants, and I need to give her that freedom. If she chooses this other guy, it would have been a bad choice – ” no, I’m just kidding. She’s free to choose, and I have to give her that freedom. And I have to have that freedom. And it was part of – I think something that God gave me is it helped to allow freedom and to really be myself and not try to win her, capture her, convince her, except by just being in relationship with her and being who I really am.
LORI: I think another part of that is just your confidence in who God made you to be and your confidence in who you were with Him, that you didn’t have to conquer me, or you didn’t have to have me because you were, you know, you were really at peace with who you were with the Father.
BARRY: Well, you should be looking at my notes; that’s the next step. The next point is number two, place your confidence in God rather than your talents, your abilities, your qualities, the things you’ve accomplished, things like that. Place your confidence in God and who you are in the Lord, who He’s called you to be, who He’s made you to be, and make the most of that. If you put your confidence in yourself and what you do, things like that, rather than putting it in God, you’ll probably attract a woman who will either number one, put her confidence in you as well, and you’ll –
LORI: In what you do.
BARRY: Yeah, in what you do, and you’ll establish a really nice, strong, codependent relationship that will end up being a huge burden of you carrying the responsibility for you and this other person and them putting responsibility on you. And that would be a codependent [relationship]. Or secondly, you may marry and attract a woman who does the same thing and puts all of her confidence in herself apart from God, and then you’ll most likely have a really nice, independent relationship where two people are living together but not really well connected – not connected in a way that a good, strong marriage and family needs to live it out as God planned a marriage to be and really be one flesh.
So, a third tip is to save your money and plan for the future rather than spending it all on fun as a single. You know, if you live – I hear the idea spoken quite a few times, “I want to live out my life and have fun before I get married.” Well, I think when you accept that, you’re accepting a lie about marriage. And that is the lie that marriage is not going to be fun; it’s not going to be fulfilling, and the only thing that really is fun is going out and doing whatever I want – spending money, going places, seeing things, doing whatever I want. And number one – and it’s okay to do those things, but keep it in perspective. And when it really ends up becoming a mentality that downgrades the quality, the value of marriage and relationship and especially what it is in God’s eyes, then you’re really believing a lie, and it’s not going to be fulfilling like you really think and hope it would be. You want to tell them about Caleb, what he did in terms of saving and preparing?
BARRY: Yeah. I love that because our oldest son, he – and I know all of our kids have really – all of our boys have really thought highly of marriage. They want to be married; they want to find the right person, and they’ve thought that ever since they were little. And it just continued on as they’ve gotten older. But he went ahead, and he chose a job. He got a good job realizing, “You know, I’m going to want to support a family. I’m going to want to have a wife. I’m going to want to support a family.” He got a good job, and then he had an opportunity to get a good deal on a house. And he bought a house. And he still wasn’t married. We were kind of joking; I remember telling him, “Well, Caleb, you’ve got a good job; you’ve got a nice house.” He goes, “I just need a woman.” And he actually had a conversation with the Lord, and he told Him – I remember he told me one time; he says, “You know, I am asking the Lord to bring me my wife so that we can be married by the time I’m thirty-one.”
BARRY: Wasn’t it like in the next year?
LORI: I think – I remember him saying that – he may have just turned thirty at that point. But he was – I remember him saying, “I want to be married by the time I’m thirty-one.” And you know what he did? And I love this because it was a step of faith, and it was kind of a prophetic act. But he went ahead, and he started saving money for an engagement ring for this woman that he didn’t know who it was at that point. But I thought that was pretty cool because it showed where his heart was, you know, where his affections were; your money is where your affections are.
BARRY: Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Whatever you treasure and invest in.
LORI: And he was investing in not just, “Oh, I hope, I hope,” but the hope, the expectation that, “I’m going to have a wife because God wants me to have a wife.”
BARRY: And it worked.
LORI: It did! By the time – he got married by the time – he was thirty-one when he got married.
BARRY: And he – did you say he met his wife –
LORI: Do you want to say it?
BARRY: Like three to four months after he decided, “I’m going to begin saving for a wedding ring for my wife.” And within three or four months [he met his wife] – now, that’s not a formula.
BARRY: It’s not – there’s no guarantees. We’re not giving any guarantees on this or anything we’re saying. But it’s really the mentality of – like Lori mentioned the verse, it’s really good, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be.” What are you investing in? What’s important to you?
BARRY: I remember years ago counseling a young lady who had gone to school, got her education and was working. And she wanted to be married, but all of her time was spent on learning and doing work. And she really spent very little time on building relationships, and guess what she got good at? Doing work and doing school. And the relationship didn’t happen until she really decided to focus on that and invest in it.
LORI: And sometimes that means sacrificing and stepping out and risking and doing things you don’t want to do.
LORI: But how important is that to you?
BARRY: So, number four, another tip to help you in preparing for marriage is make marriage and family one of your dreams. Make it one of your dreams intentionally. Think about it; plan for it. Read about it. Think about what you want for your marriage; think about what you want in raising children, what kind of parenting you want to have. Study it.
And then number five, something that goes along with this, of making it one of your dreams and one of the ways you can really help learn about marriage and family, is expose yourself to other good, healthy families. You know, a lot of people – I was actually talking to one of our other sons – Justin was saying this, and he compared it to all of his single friends he had in Los Angeles, tons of single friends in Los Angeles. He’s back up here in Redding now and just with some families. He’s going, it’s so incredible that they invite him in to their family, and he watches. Some of the people he’s talking to have a really good marriage, and they have really good relationship with their family. And they invest in their children. And they spend time together, and they have fun together. And it’s healthy relationship; it’s not broken relationship. There are broken marriage, just like there’s broken singles in relationship. But he’s found some people that he goes, “This makes me actually want marriage. It makes me look forward to having this and developing this, building this for my own life.”
So, that’s another really good tip. I did that without thinking about it when I was single. I was invited into other couples’ lives and did things with their families and things like that. So, it was real helpful.
LORI: Yeah, that’s really good.
BARRY: So, you know, when you stand before God after life is done – right now, we’re planning for life and doing life. But when it’s done, God’s not going to be impressed with your degrees from college. He’s really not going to be impressed with your title and your job, how much money you made. He will care about what you did with all those things, but the things in and of themselves are not going to be what impresses Him at all. But I can guarantee you, He will care about how you treated the wife that you vowed to love for the rest of your life. He will care about how you treated the children that you brought into the world, the children that He breathed life into and put His spirit in them, the children He loved as His own creation. That will really matter to Him. And so –
LORI: I wanted to say one thing before you close.
BARRY: Yeah, I think I’ll just pray after that, so go ahead.
LORI: Okay. I wanted to give you a prescription just like I give the women last week.
BARRY: She’s good at this.
LORI: And it’s actually the same thing. I want you to take some time really soon after this, as you listen to this – maybe even listen to this again, but take some time and write a letter from God to you. And do it in the form of – He’s going to be speaking and helping you come up with ten things to write down to position yourself for marriage. And this is personalized to you. Every man’s is going to be different because there’s different things in your life that you need to be working on versus somebody else. But take time, and let Him just speak to you. “God, what – Holy Spirit, what is it? What things do I need to be doing to be ready for the woman that You have for me?” And then just write it down, and let that be something that you spend time praying over and just meditating on with Him, allowing Him to be speaking to you about that. Because sometimes it may be things that will take some effort, and He – I believe He’s even going to help you with that.
So, Jesus, we just ask that You would come – and you can jump in here, too. But we ask that You would help them right now in this little exercise, in this prescription, to be able to open their hearts up to allow You to come and speak to them about this very important thing, and that they would be able to hear Your voice and get a strategy and get a game plan from heaven to them – to you at this point. We bless your spirits to be able to come into alignment with His purposes for you in preparing you for marriage.
BARRY: Yeah. And Lord, I just thank You that You designed us well as men and women, and You put in our hearts desire for relationship. And Lord, I pray for all the people that have been hurt and wounded or have allowed their hearts to become hard against relationship. I pray, Lord, that You would soften them, and You would raise up a multitude of people, a generation of people, that do life well. They really do life well, but they keep family, relationship, marriage as a very high priority, the priority that You give it. And Lord, I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
BARRY: God bless you, and have a good week.