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Topic: Marriage

Confidence at the Altar: Getting Rid of Mr. Right

July 3, 2013

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By Lindsey Carlson

My college roommate and I used to joke that we wished our future husband’s name was tattooed somewhere on us at birth, kind of like Xavier Roberts’ name comes stamped on the backside of a Cabbage Patch doll. We laughed about how much easier life would be if we had the ability to know from the beginning: a) if God intended for us to marry and b) who God had in mind. Then, we wouldn’t have to worry about wasting time on the wrong guy or worrying we’d never find him.

With no husband-identity-revealing stamp in sight, my roommate and I were left to wonder, stumbling through dating like every other single girl.

The Man

Before officially dating, Kyle and I spent countless summer hours chatting long distance, late into the night, as we read John Piper’s The Pleasures of God together. We discussed theology, our hopes and dreams, and we also laughed and joked a lot. At the end of the summer he asked to pursue me for marriage and I was thrilled.

Kyle was kind, funny, talented, and wise and he loved Jesus. He wanted to become more Christlike and he wanted to do life alongside me. He saw God’s work in my life before he saw my sin. He graciously challenged my faith where it was weak and helped me to trust God in ways I hadn’t wanted to. Kyle loved the Lord and he loved me, so marrying him should have been a no-brainer, right? Wrong. I still worried.

The Struggle & Doubt

Like every other guy out there, Kyle also had weaknesses. He struggled as he learned to lead me, we often bickered like immature children, and we weren’t as physically pure as I wished we would have been. With each issue, a new seed of doubt was planted in my mind and heart. What if Kyle wasn’t who God wanted me to marry? 

I was quick to interpret our struggles as a “sign” from God, warning us to break up. Kyle saw it differently. He saw conflict as an opportunity to practice peacemaking the way we’d have to if we were married. If we were in covenant, we wouldn’t have an easy “out” and we should learn to go to God with our troubles and settle them scripturally, through prayer, and the Holy Spirit’s intervention – instead of taking the easy way out and breaking up.

Confidence Down the Aisle

On the day I walked down the aisle toward my groom, I wasn’t one-hundred percent convinced I was marrying the “right” guy. I still had a nagging feeling I might have missed a hint or cue from God even though I loved Kyle and wanted him to be the “right” guy. How I longed for a stamp of surety from God. I wish I’d known then, what I know now. God wasn’t waiting for me to find a specific guy of his choice like a needle in a haystack or doing a face-palm when I picked Kyle.

Instead of questioning if your man is “Mr. Right,” question yourself. Are you eager and willing to love, honor, and obey this man, following him as your spiritual head? Are you excited to serve Christ alongside him? Are you his Eve?

In Kevin DeYoung’s book Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will, he addresses single guys struggling to find Mrs. Right:

“I know this may sound crass, and your parents might not appreciate the advice, but guys, if you like a girl and you’re both Christians and your friends and family aren’t alarmed and she actually likes you back, you should probably get married.”

So, I’m going to take his thought one step further and say to the girls, if you like the boy and you’re both Christians and your friends, family, and spiritual leader (father or pastor) aren’t alarmed and he likes you back, you should probably get married. And stop flipping out.

10 Year Later

This summer, Kyle and I will celebrate our ten year anniversary. We’ve had a lot of great times and just as many hard times. Today, I love this man exponentially more than I loved him that hot July day when I timidly promised to love him forever. Our marriage is thriving because God is faithfully honoring our commitment, giving me strength to:

  •  Say “I’m sorry” when I don’t want to.
  • Forgive when I’m hurt.
  • To be silent when I want to argue.
  • To submit when I want to fight.
  • To follow when I want to lead.
  • To love, honor, and obey when I want to scream.

Ten years later, I know I didn’t marry the “right” guy. I married a fantastic guy who God has made the “right” guy through our commitment and I couldn’t be more thankful.

And So For You, Scared Bride-to-Be

Ask yourself these questions: Does your groom love Christ? Does he love and honor you? If these two questions are a resounding “Yes!” then move forward in faith. If you’re unsure, ask trusted friends and family around you. If you make a covenant before God to partner with this man for the sake of the gospel, then Christ will be in you both – willing and providing you with everything you need to endure.


Lindsey Carlson lives in Houston with her worship-pastor husband and their four active kids (all under age 9). Her home is filled with the sounds of childhood (galloping horses, swashbuckling heroes, and the occasional sibling brawl), the near-constant presence of music in some form, and volumes of great literature, old and new. You can catch her regular reflections on faith and worship at Worship Rejoices or follow her on twitter.
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