Before & After
Before and After: we’ve all seen the pictures. It could be weight loss photos, a home remodel, or a fashion makeover. The before and after dynamic is filled with hopeful anticipation and often results in a navigational challenge. I.E. Now that I’m here, it’s not what I expected. Or, my lifestyle change requires me to adapt in ways that I’m not familiar with.
Singleness or Marriage: Which is easier?
One of the greatest before and after scenarios is that of going from singleness to marriage. Here’s what I discovered. Before I found my beloved bride, I pressed into God with great zeal, due to her “absence” in my life. After I was married, I found myself pressing into God with great zeal, due to her “presence” in my life. In our first book, Longing for Eden, I summed it up:
“Married couples are thrust in the crucible because they cannot possibly avoid the death to self that living intimately with one person entails. Singles are thrust in the crucible because they cannot possibly avoid the death to self required in surrendering their desire for marriage into God’s sovereign hand.”
Content Before, Content After
Being single doesn’t cause the need for refinement, nor does being married. They are simply “contexts of life.” The “before” is not a prison to escape, nor is the “after” a permanent carefree resting place. Singleness is not bondage; marriage is not bliss. Encountering Jesus on the journey is paramount in every season and if we don’t give up, our desires will be fulfilled. Everyone must press through “deferment”, keeping their eyes on the prize.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Prov.13:12)
Transitions connect the dots that take us “from glory to glory.” 2 Cor. 3:18