Young, Single & Career-Focused? Read this before it’s too Late!
It’s a mark of maturity when someone realizes they need to take charge of their life and figure out how to pay all of their own bills, so way to go!
More than that, it’s even more important to discover God’s calling in the realm of career; to grasp just what it is you were put on this earth to do. So if that’s your focus, I want to applaud that. LOUDLY!
I celebrate your desire to grow up and become who you were meant to be, whether you’re still a student, or your school years are behind you.
However, I have just one question for you to ponder:
Do you think your future marriage
holds the potential of being
as challenging and
as rewarding as your career?
Are You looking for Meaning?
Truth is, when I was young, single and career-focused, like yourself, I never considered that question. But now, I realize that’s because I thought it was in my career pursuits that I would find myself. I assumed this was where I would derive the greatest personal fulfillment and make the most significant impact on the world.
In comparison, marriage seemed like the thing I had to do if I wanted to have sex and not feel bad about it. And maybe I might have a kid or two, but I wasn’t so sure about that part.
Twenty-three years post graduation, I can see I had it all wrong. Marriage is so much more than the portal to guilt-free sex, while the career I so diligently prepared for has delivered far less meaning to my life than my Forbes-front-cover fantasies had led me to imagine. Further, I know that…
When I eventually face my maker, the impression I made on the world at large will matter very little in comparison to how faithful I was in loving, serving and ministering to the needs of the people who knew me best, starting with my wife and children.
I’m telling you this, because I want you to live for what really matters, and I think you want that too. So here it is straight up: if I had to choose between a rock star career or a rock star marriage, I’d choose the marriage every time.
Are You Looking for Challenge?
That said, a rock star marriage is no cake walk. Marriage has been daunting at times and parenting (which, for most, comes with the marriage territory) has been excruciatingly difficult.
Sure my work life has proffered plenty of challenge, but jobs come and go. Marriage is supposed to be until death. If you don’t like someone you’re working with you can quit, ask to be reassigned or have them fired, but you start having kids and you’re stuck with those things until they leave your house. And even then, I hear they keep coming back for holidays. And when they need something.
It’s a mystery how I could have been so eager to attend four years of college for my career and then halfheartedly suffer through a few hours of premarital counseling for my marriage. And it’s NO mystery that this minimalist preparation for the hardest relationship you’ll ever undertake results in so much marriage misery and divorce devastation.
Make no mistake, your future marriage will be challenging. At least as much as your career. But of course it will, because the most significant endeavors always come with the most intense challenges. And anyone who’s accomplished a rare feat like climbing Mt Everest, or launching a successful business or celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary wouldn’t have it any other way.
Are You Looking for Reward?
Despite the difficulties and disappointments my wife, Julie, and I have faced in our almost twenty-three years of life together, it has been worth it! So worth it!
Though we still describe our college experience (when we met) as being the four funnest years of our lives, the last two decades of marriage have been far richer, deeper, and more rewarding. We can’t quite put it in words.
I want this same experience for you, twenty-plus years from now, the privilege of trying to explain what your marriage has meant to you; how it’s decimated who you once were and turned you into something you never imagined you could be.
Not Either/Or, but Both/And
So, what am I Trying to Say? Forget about career and get married?
What I am saying, is this, if you can accept that your future marriage holds the potential of being as important, as challenging and as rewarding as your future career, perhaps you ought to seek to understand what marriage is all about; what it actually promises you and what it will demand of you in return.
Maybe you should consider preparing for it as intentionally and intelligently as you must a successful career. And maybe you ought to start now.
And while you’re at it, you should endeavor to grow in the art of seeking God’s will in your current relationships: family, friends, work and otherwise. Then you’ll be better practiced at discerning His direction when it comes to your dating life and future marriage.
And if your heart is telling you, “YES! DO THIS STUFF! WHAT HE SAID!” then don’t stop reading here. Be sure to check out our hot topic page dedicated to relationships at this link.
God may very well be calling you to an amazing career. Maybe more than one before you retire, and for sure a variety of different jobs. However, God will only call you to one marriage. (All the more reason to give it some thought, eh?)
So while you’re pursuing His will in career, seek His heart about your relationships and get ready for the awesome calling of marriage.
Michael (MJ) Johnson
Co-Founder, President & Dean of Dating
Future Marriage University
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
Want to go beyond what a blog post can accomplish? The LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE YOU FALL IN LOVE!
It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.
Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through it on your own, but it’s more fun with friends, so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study. Even better? And ask a married couple you respect to lead it!