was sitting in class learning about all the ways our country was slipping from
its constitutional foundations. And in a moment of exasperation, I raised my
hand and called out, “So what’s the solution?” … I knew how hard it was to
change the culture and was losing my will to believe there really was a
solution. But I was hoping that maybe this passionate, articulate, creative
professor had some new ideas to teach us…. Dr. Hubert Morken didn’t disappoint.
He looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and let his grenade fly: “Get
married, make babies, and do government. That’s how we win.” His response was
so different from what I was expecting that it nearly knocked the wind out of
me…. Even though I grew up in a Christian home, with parents who were committed
to staying married…I had picked up the idea from the Christian culture around
me that celibate service was superior to marriage and that to be truly
spiritual, you had to at least be open to the possibility. Now this was
professor was telling me that God’s plan for believers, most of them anyway,
and for the future good of society, was marriage and babies. Family. It was a
shock to my system. ~ from the introduction to
Get Married by Candice Watters
Candice Watters is bold, and she’s on a mission to challenge
the “being single is holier” myth that has pervaded Christendom in recent
years. Her unabashed endorsement of Christian marriage is a breath of fresh air
and offers hope to unmarried women who desire godly spouses and families.
I first came across Mrs. Watters’s writings on
Boundless.org, the webzine she started in 1998. Boundless overflows with
thought-provoking articles for Christians who want to live by God’s Word in a
world that is often hostile to its precepts and principles. I’ve been most encouraged
to see a number of Boundless writers stand firmly for Christian marriage,
encouraging men to grow up and pursue it and women to prepare and pray for it.
Let’s face it; there are thousands of unmarried Christian
women out there who wonder where all the “Mr. Rights” have gone. Where are the
men who desire a godly wife and have a vision to bring up the next generation
of Christians? In our culture of “hooking up” (yes, sadly, even in Christian
circles) and extended adolescence, a mature, respectable man is regarded like a
UFO sighting: rare, unbelievable, and unlikely to pass by again.
So when Candice Watters boldly declares that women need to
get serious about marriage and pray for it to happen, it might seem a bit
pie-in-the-sky to jaded women who’ve nearly given up. But Mrs. Watters doesn’t
just cast the vision; she provides practical, biblical steps that single ladies
can take in their quest to become a “Mrs.”
Get Married: What
Women Can Do to Help It Happen covers this topic from many angles, providing
insights into the “holy pursuit” of marriage, why men aren’t jerks, living in
preparation for marriage, and praying boldly for a godly spouse. Whether you
come from the courtship camp or have never heard of the term, you can benefit
from this refreshing, challenging book. I found myself dog-earing pages and
highlighting sentences and paragraphs as I read through the book twice, marking
out quotes I wanted to send to unmarried friends to encourage them.
Get Married is chock-full of winners,
and Mrs. Watters is not afraid to tackle the hard questions and the sticky
For those of us who have grown up homeschooled, guided and
protected by godly parents who prepared us for marriage, it’s often all too
easy to forget that there are women who come from very different backgrounds –
women whose fathers are absent or uninvolved; women who weren’t provided the
option to prepare for marriage but were pushed into a career and now wonder if
it’s too late for marriage; women who were told that putting off marriage and
cramming in as much education before having children was the best route to
take. Mrs. Watters deals with all of these situations and more, making this
book extremely helpful for those caught in the cultural and economic backwash of the
feminist movement and lacking godly mentors or instruction.
Right from the start,
Married tackles the notion that it’s better or more spiritual for
Christians not to marry.
Mrs. Watters demonstrates that very few Christian singles actually pursue the “undistracted”
celibate service that Paul wrote about in first Corinthians. It’s far easier to
pursue leisure, consumerism, and selfish ends:
our culture, a single woman must take pains to experience “undistracted
devotion to the Lord.” There are few, if any, cultural expectations placed upon
her that require selfless service…. While there are some first-class single
Christians serving faithfully, most Christian singles spend their free time
doing things outside the realm of biblically defined celibate service…. In my
experience, the demands of caring for spouse and children have actually pushed
me closer to holiness and pulled me further from the temptations of idleness.
As Hebrews 13:4 declares, “Marriage is honorable among all,”
and Mrs. Watters allows Scripture to speak for itself as she demonstrates that
marriage is the norm and celibacy the exception. Having shown that it is a good
thing to desire marriage, Mrs. Watters naturally moves on to the nitty-gritty.
How on earth is a girl to get married when the culture (and often even the church)
One chapter I appreciated greatly is titled “You Need a
Network.” Too often, unmarried Christians are encouraged to simply pray and
wait instead of plugging into a multi-generational community that can and will
help them toward marriage:
provides the framework for receiving the protection, input, accountability, and
encouragement essential for a strong foundation for marriage. What does your
community look like? Are you in fellowship with a multigenerational body of
believers who encourage and challenge each other? Are there people in your life
who are able to see your Christian character in action and also know you desire
a good marriage?
But, as Mrs. Watters notes, many women have no desire to
seek counsel from older women and often consider it “meddling” when moms,
grandmothers, and church “aunties” ask about their married state. Young women
are spending time with their peers instead of seeking the very women who can
help steer them toward godly marriage. Mrs. Watters writes, “It’s
counterproductive to give older women—who may have good leads—the impression
that you can take care of yourself, and that any effort to help is interfering.”
Asking for help is a good thing!
Perhaps most importantly,
Get Married emphasizes the importance of prayer—and not just
individual prayer-time in one’s closet but group prayer with fellow unmarried
friends and godly mentors. Mrs. Watters encourages unmarried women to pray
boldly for the desires of their hearts and shows from Scripture that God both
commands us to pray and desires us to do so because He loves us. She also
convincingly declares that prayer will change things:
all the damage done by two generations of feminist activism, think of the
positive change that could come if a generation of women prayed faithfully for
godly marriages. When you pray, it changes you, transforming your character and
making it possible to live daily like you’re planning to marry.
Get Married does
also provide a reality check for those hoping that marriage will make them
happy or provide the fulfillment they seek. While marriage certainly can bring
these things, the goal of godly marriage is not the advancement of the almighty
self. Mrs. Watters writes, “Asking God to help you find a mate is asking Him to
take you from a place of single focus to one that will require selflessness.
Far from being the answer to all your dreams and fantasies, marriage will be a
crucible for making you more like Christ.” And that brings us back around to
the whole purpose of Christian marriage: to present to the world a picture of
Christ and His Bride, the Church. Doing this will take us through valleys and
up mountains. It will challenge us, change us, and sanctify us. Marriage is,
ultimately, not about us; it is about Christ Jesus, as Candice Watters aptly
demonstrates in this excellent book.
If you’re an unmarried woman who wonders what God would have
you do, read this book. I don’t guarantee you’ll agree with every word (have
any of us ever met a book we’d agree with 100%?), but I do guarantee you will
be challenged to change your thinking, pray hard, and seek out the counsel and
guidance of godly older Christians. You will find yourself driven to the Word
with new zeal and you will find renewed hope that God hasn’t forgotten you. If
you’ve got the gift of celibacy, then you don’t need this book. But if your
heart’s desire is to marry a godly man and serve the Lord through building a
Christian family, get this book, buy copies for your friends, and start
time we stop wasting our most marriageable years wondering if we’re meant for
marriage and start doing what we can to get there. I’m not suggesting you find
a guy and pop the question. And I’m not unaware that in this fallen world, some
women will remain single because of poor decisions on their part or the part of
men who might have been their mates. But I am encouraging young women to do
what they can.
Thank you, Candice Watters, for the boldness to declare the
truth of God’s Word on marriage and the impact Christian families can have on
their world. We need more reminders of the obvious in our confused times, and
Get Married clears the haze and focuses
a sharp lens on this most important topic.
To learn more about
or to order a copy, please click this link.
The Watters Family