There was one question I wanted to ask you but I forgot to: is feeling convinced God has uniquely prepared you to help someone mature in Christ a good reason to marry them? Is feeling you are suited to help them a valid reason for commitment?
It may seem like a silly question or an obvious answer but I felt I need to ask it and would like to hear your opinion.
That’s a good question. There are two ways to understand your question. First, you might be asking whether you should be in a position, spiritually, such that you are prepared to lead your wife, when you get married. If this is the case, before you are married, you should feel suited to help your wife grow in Grace and wisdom after you are married. If you aren’t prepared to lead your woman friend, you shouldn’t be thinking about marriage. You should be thinking about maturing. If you aren’t mature, you aren’t even qualified to pick a godly wife. Immaturity leads to all kinds of problems and if you aren’t mature when you pick a woman to marry, who knows what kind of trouble you’ll find yourself in.
The other way to take the question is to hear you asking whether the woman you marry needs to be prepared to be married. If you mean, “She is very immature and needs help to grow to be the kind of woman she may become someday—with help. And I feel qualified to help her to grow,” you need to wait. This is the ditch in the opposite side of the road. In the first instance, the young man is not mature enough to lead. In this example, the woman is not mature enough to be lead.
In both cases, there is a sense in which no one is mature enough, beforehand, to handle the things they are going to face in marriage. You are young, she is young. Neither of you have a very good picture of what you will be facing in the next few years. One thing you do know, however, is that you will need to believe, trust, and obey God in order to have a happy and vibrant marriage. If either of you is not doing that very well in your life now, while single, it will only get worse when you get married. Marriage has a way of amplifying everything.
So, if you feel the need to help your young woman to mature for marriage, you should probably break things off with her until she is ready to get married. And, you shouldn’t try to be her savior, or teacher. People have a way of “faking” it, often without even knowing they’re doing it. Emotions further obfuscate the situation and you can find yourself in a relationship that is based on “love” rather than godly wisdom.
You want to marry a woman who can come along side you and begin helping you walk with God right then. You don’t want to marry a project person. The reason is that you never know what you’re going to get with a project person. She may zoom right into Christ’s likeness and be a great help to you. This is not very likely, based on past performance. More probably is that she will never come to where she is helpful, and you’ll always be in a battle with what she is, as opposed to who she could be, if only…
To summarize: both man and woman need to be mature enough to fulfill their roles in marriage. He needs to have the kind of relationship with God, right now, that fills him with the desire and ability to lead his wife to become even more godly and thus beautiful. If he is not mature in this way before he gets married, he won’t love his wife well after marriage.
She needs to be the kind of mature and godly woman that causes her to be ready to lay down her life for her husband and to submit to him as she does now with the Lord. If she is not submitting to God now, she won’t submit to him after marriage.
In both situations, marriage is not something magic that changes people automatically. It simply causes their problems to be even more pronounced.
I hope this helps.