Introduction

Virtually all single adults give quite a bit of thought to the subject of marriage. The high level of interest is due to the strong desire on the part of many to find a mate and the life-impacting significance of choices made. And yet the prospect of courtship and marriage fills many with trepidation – due to the high rate of marriage failure which persists in our culture. The desire to “get it right” is fueled by a combination of hope for the potential benefits of a good marriage and anxiety over the unfavorable odds against success.

The joys of a fulfilling marriage are among the greatest blessings bestowed by our Creator. But the apprehensions felt by contemporary singles are justified by two grim realities: 1) the venture of marital decision making is more complex than it ever has been; and 2) many single adults who are contemplating marriage are pre-programmed for failure. The external threat to good decision making is the recent and dramatic shift in cultural perceptions of marriage that are profoundly antagonistic to biblical principles and godly values. The internal impairment stems from a combination of biblical illiteracy, damaging personal experiences and dysfunctional models. These adverse influences comprise the “perfect storm” that makes marital decision making so daunting for today’s singles.

Even in this hostile climate, Christian singles have reason to be hopeful about the prospect of enjoying mutually-edifying relationships. But they have to be more deliberate in their approach to marital decision making. Essentially there are four things they need to do:

1) they need to understand and commit to God’s design;

2) they need to grow up and become healthy, maturing adults;

3) they need to make relational choices that are moral and wise; and

4) when they find a suitable prospect for marriage, they need to prepare well together.

They also need helpful resources.

Singleness, Marriage, and the Will of God was written to address the first three of those requirements. Accordingly, the purpose of this book is to equip unmarried Christians to make wise marital decisions according to the will of God.

As a sequel to Decision Making and the Will of God (by Garry Friesen with J. Robin Maxson), this book both summarizes the biblical principles of decision making that constitute “the Way of Wisdom” and then applies them to marital decisions.

As a “Comprehensive Biblical Guide,” Singleness, Marriage, and the Will of God is broad in scope. This volume is actually a compilation of five smaller “books.” The first four explicate God’s design and practical implications for Decision Making, Marriage, Singleness, and Single Sexuality. The fifth offers counsel on “Looking for a Mate.” Practical mastery of these topics constitutes the minimum requirement for competent marital decision making.

The authors hope that pastors, teachers, and leaders of ministries to single adults will recognize the usefulness of this book as a tutorial or textbook on marital decision making. The “Questions for Reflection and Discussion” at the end of each chapter make this book an ideal resource for group study. Indeed, those who study this book with other friends will be far more likely to internalize its insights than solitary readers.

For a free sample chapter and information about ordering the book, please visit the Harvest House website.