Looking to Marry
It was a rainy evening in late September when we first laid eyes on each other. We were both in St. Louis, Missouri attending the 2014 UPCI General Conference. After a powerful service one evening, we began to walk aimlessly with a group of mutual friends to a restaurant that was—to our dismay—already closed. As we all stood out on the street corner, staring at the darkened windows in disbelief, suddenly a torrential downpour came out of nowhere! We were finally able to find shelter inside a random Sushi place, but by that time we were all completely soaked.
The night was unforgettable to say the least. As we sat there shivering, happy as could be, eating our sushi, we could have never imagined that just three years later we would stand together at an altar and say, “I do.” Looking back on the earliest stages of our relationship, it is undeniable that God was writing our love story from the very beginning. His timing in bringing us together was so perfect. We couldn’t even have dreamt it to be this wonderful had we tried.
Aside from choosing to live for Christ, choosing a spouse is the most important decision any of us will ever make. All clichés aside, it truly matters who you marry. Your choice in a spouse has the potential to make or break you. This is especially true if your desire is to be in ministry. That is why we strongly believe every Apostolic young adult should make finding the perfect will of God for marriage a prayerful quest.
A practical place to start would be to make a list of what you desire in your future spouse. Write down the desires of your heart on paper. Be specific about the qualities you really want in a husband or wife. This could be everything from character and integrity to sense of humor and physical appearance. Psalms 37:4 says, “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” God cares about even the smallest details of our lives. If it’s important to you, it’s important to Him! Once you’ve gotten real with yourself and with God about what you want in a future mate, give that list to God and continue to pray over it until He brings it to pass.
But what to do in the meantime? First of all, don’t just date to “date”. Dating is a special kind of friendship that may lead to love and marriage, so if you wouldn’t marry them, don’t date them. You’re wasting your time!
Secondly, seek godly counsel. Include your parents and your pastor in this sacred search. Your spiritual leaders are able to see red flags in a new relationship you may not be able to see. Psychologists have proven that our brains are unable to think critically when we are falling in love. Powerful chemicals wash over our brains and cause us to see nothing but good in the object of our affection! It takes at least a year for this infatuation stage to wear off. While you are seeing through rose-colored glasses, your spiritual head may see that you are settling for less than God’s best.
Lastly, rather than look for someone who is marriage material, be marriage material! You will never get the years of your singleness back. Do all you can to become the best you you can possibly be during this season. Be consistent in your personal walk with God, get involved at your local church, go on a missions trip. Get out into the field and get to work!
Boaz first noticed Ruth because she was working in the field. Don’t get me wrong, the field can be a lonely place at times. You may not always understand the time you spend in your field, but know that God has you there for a purpose. Ruth couldn’t see it at the time, but God had her right where He wanted her to be. Beautiful love stories are written when we let go of the pen and allow God to write our story for us. Give yourself wholly to God and the work of His kingdom, and He will do the rest!
Christian and Kalyx Bulgrin currently serve as Ohio District youth secretary and youth pastors at The First Apostolic Church of Tallmadge. They are happily married.