In last week’s blog, I made the statement that, There are five things that we should do before we get married or if we never get married! So if our ship never comes in we still need to make sure these are done”.  Well there are six. However, I have written a lot about the first one already so please go back and take time to read that blog. Nothing works if you do not make God the center of your life. If you are not Becoming the Partner Who You Want To Be, you are missing the most critical component to a successful marriage.

Click the link and learn more about #1.

The Great Commission is Yours!

Let us talk about #2 today.

In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus is speaking to His disciples and He says, “All power is given unto me in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen

This is always referred to as the Gospel Commission. A commission is a duty or talk committed to a person or group to perform. So my thinking then is this. OUR commission as disciples, is to accomplish the commission given by God, i.e. to disciple the world. But MY mission as an individual is to accomplish the commission through the calling that God has brought me to through a conviction from the Holy Spirit. Now. In 1 Corinthians 12:7-10, 28, we read about some of the specific ways that the Holy Spirit uses us to fulfill the commission of Matthew 28. Those include, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, different kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues, apostles, teachers, helps, and administration. Do we see anywhere in the list the gift of marriage? Is there any indication in scripture that God gave the gift of marriage for the fulfilling of His work? No. Is marriage your mission? Some of us have acted like it is. We have studied it, talked about it, fasted over it, and done  all manner of other things in this unrelenting focus on marriage as though it were the calling that God placed on our lives.

Is marriage a good thing? Yes. It is not always done right, but marriage is from God and it is good. Is it an important thing? Yes. Is it God-ordained? Yes. Can your mission lead you to your spouse? Again, yes! Can your mission prepare you to be a spouse? Yes. Can your mission be shared with your spouse? Yes, absolutely! But is MARRIAGE your mission? No. No. No. No. NO!

How do I know that? Well, first it would mean that God has no use for over about 280,000,000 Christian singles who are currently in the world. And for many of them who will die unmarried, He will never have a mission. Does that sound like God? He has about 3 billion people who do not know Him at all, and He decides to leave over a quarter of a billion on the sidelines of the Great Commission. Seems unlikely.

Living in Ideal Order

Second, I believe that the ideal plan of God was that we know and be working in our mission before we say “I do” to anyone. Especially if we have the privilege of being Christians BEFORE we get married. That fact alone should give us a significant advantage over any other non-Christian single. We can have our life in God’s ideal order before He leads us to our spouse. Therefore, marriage cannot be our mission. The God-ordained marriage comes AFTER God has prepared you, revealed to you, and begun working you in your mission. If you really want to be on the path to marriage, you must focus on the steps to your mission. How do I know? The Bible tells me so.

Let’s take a walk through Genesis 2 and see what the Bible has to teach us about how God managed the first humans and their relationship. It is important that when we are trying to understand what God’s ideal plan is for us, that we go back to the beginning where it was perfect. In the period before the Fall, you can find the answers to what God ideally wants for His children. Obviously, because of sin, we can’t always have the ideal. However, it is important and incumbent upon us as professed children of God who want to live as closely aligned with His desires for us as we can on a sinful earth, to confer with God and study His ideal in order to know where we should stand on any issue.

In studying God’s ideal for His children, for me, I discovered six mission-related criteria that God put in place before He brought Adam his wife. I believe these need to be in place for us before we get married to have the marriage God intends for us. And most certainly they need to be in place if we never get married.

#1 Let God form you and breathe life into you. I have not worded it this way in the previous blog, but as I stated in the introduction, I went in depth about the importance of an intimate, transformative relationship with Christ, before we attempt to choose a spouse. Check out Becoming the Partner Who You Want To Be to read about that.

#2 God needs to give you a home.  

In Genesis 2:8, God planted a garden and gave it to Adam as his home. A home does not mean a house necessarily, but it means a place of stability and security. Too many single people skip this critical step and they bring instability and a lack of security into their marriage. What do I mean? Finances!  Money! Cheddar! Benjamins! Whatever you call it, let us talk about it.

Obviously, Adam did not need money before sin, nor did he have any debt in that half a day before Eve was created, but we are following a principle here. God gave him his home and place to bring the wife he did not know he was going to get for them to live. His children were supposed to find a place of joy, peace, and security there. To be raised taking care of the garden and valuing the gifts of God in that place.

In our world, we should have the same. This is not just for men. All of us as singles should be creating stable homes, places where we can live securely, bring a spouse, have children, and live in joy and peace. Where there is financial instability, that cannot happen.

For many years of my adult life, I was terrible with money. I did not have much at first, but the more I had the more I spent. I was in debt and always living paycheck to paycheck, no matter the size of the paycheck. I was always stressed out and worried that something was not going to get paid or I would not be able to do the things that my friends were doing because I could not afford it.

This was difficult enough just by myself. If the lights were disconnected for a day or two, I could survive and no one would ever know. If the gas were turned off and I was cold, I could just add some blankets and socks. But imagine bringing a spouse and/or children into that instability.

Too many singles are so focused on finding love and getting married and having a partner that we do not take the time to actually prepare and plan for the realities of that life. Money is a huge reality of life. And money and the conflict that can come with it is always on the list of reasons for divorce.

And when comparing higher income to lower income married couples research has found that though they value marriage similarly and disapprove of divorce similarly, lower income couples marry less and divorce more primarily due to ECONOMIC FACTORS!

12 money reasons people get divorced

We have a responsibility as Christians to learn how to manage God resources effectively and stably before connecting our lives with someone else and bringing them into our financial mess.

I know that God is our provider, but God does not employ divinity to do things that are within the hands of humanity. “Thus Christ would show that humanity is to co-operate with divinity. What human power can do divine power is not summoned to do. God does not dispense with man’s aid. He strengthens him, co-operating with him as he uses the powers and capabilities given him.”

What are some of the things that we need to address before connecting our life with another person?


The rich rules over the poor and the borrower is servant to the lender.

I believe the bible is 100% true and I seek to align my life with all aspects of it as I gain understanding. I am not trying to be sacrilegious in what I am about to say. But for me, there is almost no other verse in the bible that resonates more powerfully than this one. Every time I read it, I am shook because of its utter and complete verity. I mean FOR REAL!!! If you have experienced, or are experiencing, the subjugation of poverty or the slavery of debt, you will feel this verse in your core.

Two days ago, I paid off Capital One. Yeah. I sold my house and from the proceeds I was able to secure my Emancipation Proclamation from one of the foremost “Masters” in the business. Now, here’s the thing. I had closed that account at least two years ago in my attempts to get out from bondage, but basically I made a bunch of payments that just allowed them to keep getting rich even while I was not able to use the card. The weight that I felt lifted when I hit submit on that payment. If you haven’t experienced it you need to. Now I only have one debt left. And it is a biggie, the infamous school loan. However, the fact that all other debt is conquered gives me breathing room, but also experiential faith in my ability to take this final weight off my shoulders eventually. And I have a plan for eliminating it as quickly as possible.

Now some may push back on getting out of debt before marriage. They may argue that it would take too long and they are losing time with the future spouse to wait on it. I say use that as motivation to do whatever it takes to eliminate it. There is no deadline for marriage as long as there is breath in your body. Do not rush into a lifetime commitment when you are committed to your lender.

And even more so if your intended is debt-free. Marriage should not be the equivalent of a government bailout for one party or the other. If you are enslaved to a debtor then you are not able to provide a stable home for your spouse because you are not even in control of your own life.

Counsel to One in Debt—Be determined never to incur another debt. Deny yourself a thousand things rather than run in debt. This has been the curse of your life, getting into debt. Avoid it as you would the smallpox. {AH 393.4}

Make a solemn covenant with God that by His blessing you will pay your debts and then owe no man anything if you live on porridge and bread. It is so easy in preparing your table to throw out of your pocket twenty-five cents for extras. Take care of the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves. It is the mites here and the mites there that are spent for this, that, and the other that soon run up into dollars. Deny self at least while you are walled in with debts…. Do not falter, be discouraged, or turn back. Deny your taste, deny the indulgence of appetite, save your pence, and pay your debts. Work them off as fast as possible. When you can stand forth a free man again, owing no man anything, you will have achieved a great victory.10 {AH 393.5}

And when you have achieved this victory, you will be that much more prepared for the serious commitment that is marriage. For in that relationship you will be required to deny yourself, you will be held to a solemn covenant, you will have to take care of all the little things, you cannot falter, or be discouraged, or turn back. And if you do all of that, your marriage will be a great victory for the glory of God and the perfecting of your character.

MONEY MANAGEMENT- yes- Budgeting

Many, very many, have not so educated themselves that they can keep their expenditures within the limit of their income. They do not learn to adapt themselves to circumstances, and they borrow and borrow again and again and become overwhelmed in debt, and consequently they become discouraged and disheartened.7 {AH 374.2}

All should learn how to keep accounts. Some neglect this work as nonessential, but this is wrong. All expenses should be accurately stated.8 {AH 374.4}

“Budget” is the most hated word among those who are reckless with their money. I used to have a love-hate relationship with it myself. At some point, I knew that I wanted to do right, but the requirement of consistency and self-denial kept me in a vicious cycle of starting and stopping a budget or money management plan.

Thomas Tusser wrote in a poem 460 years ago something that remains true today, “A fool and his money are soon parted”.

A Fool And His Money Are Soon Parted

That all changed when I stepped into a Financial Peace University Class!

It was there in the Fall of 2011 that I walked into a class that literally changed my life. I learned about this thing called the zero-based budget which is not restrictive so much as it just requires you to

designate where the money goes every month before the month comes. You get to decide, within the obvious parameters of what bills you have to pay, where the money goes and how much of it goes there. When I made a plan for my money, I literally had extra at the end of the month when before I was always praying for the next paycheck. I started an emergency fund and had money for emergencies. As Dave Ramsey says, “I started telling my money where to go, instead of wondering where it went”. That was real freedom. Within a few months, I was house hunting and in January of 2013 closed on my first home. The benefits from that were innumerable both financially, socially, emotionally, and practically. But I just sold that home last month for a significant profit that will allow me to build and increase in a way that can take care of me and my family for years to come.

And it all started with doing a monthly budget.

If you are in debt or irresponsible with money and you are blessed to still be single, do not even consider getting hitched until God in partnership with you correct this issue in your life. I could not recommend Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University more. Not only have a taken the class twice, but I have also been a facilitator three times. The most important part is it comes from a completely Biblical perspective. But, however, you choose to do it, DO IT!

You must allow God to give you a “home”, that is financial stability and security before inviting anyone else in.

I have so much more to say about finances for singles so I am going to make this at least a two-parter. Do not worry we’ll get to the other things in time. So make it your mission to come back next time for Part 2.

In the meantime,

Live and (Spend) On Purpose!

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