"But Jesus said, 'Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone. Some, from birth seemingly, never give marriage a thought. Others never get asked—or accepted. And some decide not to get married for kingdom reasons. But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.'"---Matthew 19:11-12(Message)
While having a conversation with a few guys, something hit me. Hit me in a way I'm not sure I've paid much attention to before. Until now.
Although I have been a big (HUGE) fan of the Message Version of Matthew 19 (1-12) ever since I read it several years ago, and even though I theoretically got what it means that everyone is not mature enough for marriage, it wasn't until I was really listening to these fellas talk that I received my own "ah ha moment" of what Christ was (translated as) saying.
NOT EVERYONE IS MATURE ENOUGH TO LIVE A MARRIED LIFE.
The guys that I was hanging out with? They're good dudes. They really are. Smart. Funny. Ambitious. Yet as I was listening to them share their thoughts/theories on relationships, while I couldn't initially put my finger on it, the following day I did.
A GOOD MAN DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY EQUATE A MATURE MAN.
I liken it to a seed.
A seed is a beginning.
Amazing things can be in the seed.
Oh, but seeds need time to grow...
I think what happens to a lot of women is they will see a man and *assume* that because they see good things in him that automatically he is marriage-now potential. Then when he does something that disappoints them, they chalk him up to not being as...awesome as they thought when the reality is he can still be *good*. Just not yet *mature*:
Mature: complete in natural growth or development, as plant and animal forms; ripe, as fruit, or fully aged, as cheese or wine; fully developed in body or mind, as a person
To be mature is to be complete in growth and development.
To be mature is to be ripe or fully aged.
To be mature is to be fully developed in mind and body.
Now for the record, one of the reasons why I'm all for people waiting until they're closer to 30 before marriage is because 30 biblically symbolizes "maturity for ministry". *Marriage is definitely a ministry* and there are even statistics supporting the fact that getting married under the age of 25 isn't usually...the wisest move (click this link to read an article and this link to read some stats). Yes, there are exceptions. I even know a few and *even them* say they don't recommend people doing that they did (getting married super young).
And yes, I also get that the definitions of maturity sets a really high bar. Honestly, a lot more marriages would survive if bars were higher on the front end. Complete. Ripe. Fully developed. That doesn't mean *perfect*. It's actually *immature* to expect something from someone that you can't deliver (and none of us is perfect--I John 1:9-10). However, if there's one thing that complete (having all the required or customary characteristics, skills, or the like), ripe ( and fully developed ( all have in common, is time.
James 1:4 tells us that completion requires patience.
Matthew 12:33 tells us that a tree is known by its fruit.
Ephesians 4:7-13(Message) speaks of the importance of being fully developed.
Acts 1:4(Message) tells us that timing is the Father's business.
And do you know what all of this has in common?
*It's all found in the Bible*.
Hebrews 5:12-14(AMP) tells us this:
"For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God’s Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food.
For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]!
But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law."---Hebrews 5:12-14(AMP)
When you're spiritually mature, you're intentionally about speaking out God's will.
When it comes to your purpose, your thoughts and your actions.
(Yes, spiritual maturity is evident in someone's actions.)
When you're spiritually mature, you are able to distinguish between what is morally good---and not.
What is noble---and not.
What is contrary to divine and human law---and what is not.
And so yes, when Christ said that not everyone is *mature enough* for marriage, I discern that all of this was taken into account. Therefore, I am confident in saying that one of the biggest mistakes that women make is not looking for the kind of man who is *mature enough*, especially *spiritually mature enough* for marriage.
A man can have all kids of awesome qualities but if they are not complete, ripe and fully developed and/or he is not *spiritually* at a place where God's will is paramount in his life, where he is noble (of an exalted moral or mental character or excellence) in character (Colossians 3:12-17) and he lives in accordance with divine law while having the utmost respect for human law, guess what? *He's not mature enough for marriage*. And you know what? If you are not striving in these areas, neither are you.
Yep. That's what I've got this week, y'all.
As your running down your husband-to-be list and checking it twice...
Please (PLEASE) make being with a mature man a very top priority.
The spiritually immature "play house".
The spiritually mature "build a life under God's standards".