I first met my wife Cathe at a Bible study I was teaching. She was there with her two sisters. They went everywhere together, and I realized that getting to know her would mean including her sisters too. So, one night after Bible study, I suggested that the four of us go out for coffee. (I had just bought a car with a stick shift, and somehow, I thought Cathe would be impressed with that.) So, we all got into my car. As we were driving along, a huge truck started coming toward us in the middle of an intersection. Suddenly, I couldn't remember how to shift gears. I started screaming and pounding on the wheel. I made quite a first impression.
But Cathe got to know me, and I got to know her. In fact, we spent three years getting to know each other before we decided to get married. When we pledged our love to each other on our wedding day, we knew it was a lifetime commitment.
If you're single and you're a follower of Jesus Christ, then I can assure you, God is vitally interested in your choice of a marriage partner. He wants to reveal the person He has chosen for you, but it's important to go slowly and carefully into that decision. Next to committing your life to Jesus Christ, it's the most important decision you'll ever make.
God's first desire for everyone, married or single, is a total commitment to Jesus Christ. As followers of Christ, we must be willing to accept God's will, even if it's contrary to ours (Matthew 16:24). However, we need to realize an important truth about God's will: His will is good because He is good (Psalm 34:8). Some people are afraid of God's will. They fear that once they submit to God's plans, He will force them to do something miserable. That's a warped concept of God. He loves you. You are not a victim of chance, hoping you'll be lucky enough to find a good mate. God has a plan and a purpose for you, and His plans are better than any you could imagine for yourself.
Just as important as God's will is God's timing. Until God reveals His choice for you, He wants you to find contentment in your unmarried state. Single people often envy those who are married, and married people often envy those who are single. But the Bible tells us, "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you' " (Hebrews 13:5 NKJV).
Many, in their desire to be married, have become desperate in their search for the right person. But the singles' scene, from nightclubs to mindless TV programs that only emphasize sex, offers nothing but emptiness. Not only is it shallow, it's also spiritually harmful. Don't let this world tell you what to look for (Colossians 2:8).
I know it's hard sometimes. It gets lonely. You might be thinking, "I'm tired of waiting. I'm just going to go out and find someone and hope I make the right decision." Please throw on the brakes. Slow down. Don't make that mistake. Rushing into marriage without the proper timing is like building a house without the proper foundation.
Some people are called to be single their entire lives. This is rare, but it happens, and its a special calling from the Lord. However, this isn't God's calling for everyone. Just as surely as God has created you with a void in your life for Him, He also has created you with a void in your life for a companion, someone with whom to share your life (Genesis 2:18).
If you're single and want to be married, then I believe that God has handpicked someone just for you. It might be someone you've never met. You might meet that person next week, next month, or next year. You might meet that person today. Or, perhaps it's someone you've known for years. Whoever it may be, God will reveal that person in His timing.
Until then, it's so important to follow God's way and wait on His timing. Be faithful to Him and live the way He wants you to live. Seek to live a life that pleases Him (Matthew 6:33). He will bring that person into your life. Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
The story of Johnny Cash’s life and spiritual struggles offers hope to anyone who has had trouble staying on the straight and narrow path—and reminds us that God redeems broken lives and makes them whole again. My new book, Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon is a fascinating look at a unique and talented musician and follower of Christ!