Our social media timeline is filled with videos and posts on how to find a spouse. Couples go viral for being relationship goals. Everyone wants to start a YouTube couples channel to share their love story. This trend has crept into the Christian arena where many ministries talk about relationships and how to find a spouse but don't emphasize the gospel, repentance, being born again, and preparing for the return of Christ. These ministries and organizations capitalize and appeal to single women. What single woman doesn't want to hear about how she can get her knight and shining armor, with a Christian spin to it? Many single women are consumed with marriage, but not as concerned about serving Christ, knowing His word and making disciples.
What is the relationship gospel?
The "relationship gospel" promises single women that if they stop having sex, stop dating around, and start having quiet time and serving in the church, then God will send their spouse. When we minimize our sinfulness, don't talk about repentance, holiness, what it means to be truly born again and only focus on relationships we deceive people into thinking that marriage is the ultimate goal of the Christian life and not Christ. The gospel isn't 5 steps to get a Godly marriage. The gospel isn't about us being a power couple and someone's relationship goal. The gospel isn't about us having the perfect love story. The gospel is about Jesus dying to reconcile guilty sinners back to Himself and to be in fellowship with us. Wholeness doesn't come from marriage, it comes from being in Christ!
Coming to Christ can give us a Godly marriage, but that's not the reason why we come to Christ. We come to Christ because we're sinners in need a Savior. If we "come" to Christ on the basis of what He can give us and not for who He is, we didn't truly "come!" The relationship gospel focuses on trying to get women to change their externals, so that they can find a spouse. This is the opposite of the true gospel. The true gospel changes us on the inside and those changes manifest on the outside. Throughout the years, I've encountered so many single women who are hyped to follow these single movements. They read the love stories, go to all the conferences, and do all the things thinking it will result in getting this "perfect love story." Normally, I see the hype last a short time and they go back to the world after it doesn't turn out how they expected. Or they actually get married and completely stop talking about Christ. They were never truly converted. There motives were never for Christ. There heart was never to serve the Lord for who He was. It was all about what Christ can do for them and give them.
Talking about courtship and marriage is definitely healthy for believers in it's proper context. The Titus 2 woman teaches the young women about loving her husband and raising Godly kids.(Titus 2:4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.) However, she is teaching a young woman who are already saved. This was not her method for spreading the gospel to an unbeliever. We cannot teach Godly principles to people who haven't been born again. I definitely think it's important to talk about Godly courtship and marriage because many new believers don't know. However, this isn't the only topic that we should put more emphasis on. I know that most people don't want to hear the gospel, it is controversial, convicting and you will get backlash. I know that relationships is the "new thing" and this is what everyone wants to hear about. I know this is what gets the likes and followers but we have to check our heart motives. Do we care more about them following us or following Christ?
The dangers of preaching relationships is not only the false conversions but giving women false hopes. God never promised that just because we abstain from sex and start going to church that He'll send us a mate. What about the women who are walking in celibacy, not dating around, and living for God but years and years pass by and they're still not married? What if it's not 15 years from now? What if it's not in God's will? God never promised us a spouse, He promised us eternal life. It is dangerous to tell women to follow a check list to get a man and it never comes to past. All of our stories will be different. We cannot assume that what we did will work for everyone else! What about the women who actually do get married but never get converted? Marriage is temporal, eternity is forever. Their soul is more important than their marital status.We should be spreading the gospel and telling women no matter what happens, even if they never get married they can still be effective for the Kingdom and help win souls.
The true gospel of Jesus Christ
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news that God saves sinners. Man is by nature sinful and separated from God with no hope of remedying the situation. But God, by His grace and power provided the means of man's redemption in the death, burial and Resurrection of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Did Jesus die so we can get a man? No! Did he die so you can life your best life now? No! He died to free us of sin and reconcile us to the Father. The whole entire bible from Genesis to Revelation is about Jesus Christ. The old testaments prophecies and points to Jesus and the new testaments talks about His ministry and second coming. Jesus first message was "Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand" (Matthew 4:17) and the last thing He said was "Go into the world and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19) So how come our message is centered around marriage? Are we making disciples or a bunch of goats who want marriage and not God? God is more concerned with your relationship with Him than your relationship with a man. He is more concerned about our eternity than the temporal. There won't even be marriage in heaven(Matthew 22:30) So what good does it do to get married but you've never been born again and you perish? The basics of biblical womanhood, courtship, and marriage is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Have you been born again? We cannot have a Godly courtship and marriage if we don't know God! The central message and focus of all of our messages should be the gospel of Jesus Christ. Everything should ALWAYS point back to Him!
1 Corinthians 9:16 For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!