This week, Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, & Life Together, the new book by Grace and me, was released. The book is a hard and honest look at our the difficult times in our marriage and how a biblical understanding and the Holy Spirit helped us rediscover our love and friendship for one another.
We wrote the book in hopes of helping others build a marriage that is Jesus-centered, built on deep friendship, and strong till the very end.
On January 15, we also begin the Real Marriage sermon series, which will be a 11-week series based on the book. And starting in February, we kick off the Real Marriage tour, covering the material in a number of major cities in the U.S.
For those of you who are single and hearing that we’re focusing on the Real Marriage content over the next 11 weeks, you may be thinking, “The misery of it all! Another reminder that I’m single.” You may be tempted to check out for a while or not pay attention, but that would be a mistake, as Real Marriage will be important for you.
Here are nine reasons why Real Marriage is for singles.
1. Real Marriage Is about Biblical Relationships in General
Because a marriage is based in friendship, the principles we share in Real Marriage are principles that apply to all friendships. The chapter on friendship in marriage will also help you be a better friend and build deeper friendships.
2. The Study Guide Includes Material for Singles
In addition to the Real Marriage book, there is a DVD curriculum and study guide written by Mars Hill Pastor Brad House to dig deeper into the content. Every week of that curriculum has two sections—one for singles and one for marrieds to ensure that single people are not some afterthought.
We made this a priority, as for the first time ever in the U.S., the majority of adults 18 and over are single, including the majority of our church. We love you, and want to help you engage with the material on a level that is applicable for you.
3. You’ll Probably Be Married One Day
Statistically, 9 out of 10 people will get married. So, Real Marriage will be great preparation for you for that day. Take it from a guy who found the land mines by driving over them—a little teaching up front goes a long way.
4. Real Marriage Will Help You to Counsel Others
Some of your friends are probably dating, thinking of getting married, engaged, and/or married. Just because you’re single, doesn’t mean you don’t have wisdom to share with those friends regarding relationships. Paul and Jesus were single, but they still talked and taught on marriage. Real Marriage will help equip you to give good counsel to friends regarding their relationships.
5. You Will Understand Your Family Better
The relationship our parents had impacts us in ways we often don’t understand or see. The material shared in Real Marriage will help you to objectively look back at your parents’ marriage and evaluate what kind of relationship they had, what kind of legacy they modeled for you, and how their marriage may have affected the way you look at and approach relationships in your own life.
6. You Can Investigate Your Idols of Independence and Dependence
Some of you are single and you have idols of independence. You say, “I don’t want to get married. I don’t want to be tied down. I want to come and go as a please. I want to do my own thing. I like being independent.”
Some of you are single and have idols of dependence. You say, “I can’t be alone. I have to have a date. I always need to be in a relationship. I’m terrified of being alone.”
Jesus says, “I’ll never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). You are not alone. And Jesus is God, and your whole life is put together by him. So, you’re not independent either.
Real Marriage will help you examine the twin idols of independence and dependence in you life.
7. Real Marriage Will Help You Deal with Sexual Sin
Throughout the Real Marriage content, we deal a lot with sex, sexual sin, and sexual abuse. With a high percentage of singles both in the country and at Mars Hill, some of you have done things that you regret and you don’t know how to experience healing and hope.
Others of you have had sin committed against you sexually and you need help. The Real Marriage material provides much hope and guidance in this area, as Grace shares her experience as a sexual assault victim and the healing she found in Jesus. Statistically, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men admit to being sexual assault victims. We want to help.
Additionally, if you are at Mars Hill and need healing from sexual sin you’ve committed or have had committed against you, we encourage you to get involved in a Community Group and, if need be, a Redemption Group, to find healing.
8. Learn How to Live a Full Life As a Single Person
We worship a single guy named Jesus. He never married, but he did live a full and perfect life—the best life ever lived—as God incarnate. We want you to see through Jesus that being single is not some form of second-class citizenship. Rather, we want you to understand that your singleness gives you a great opportunity to minister well, serve the church, honor and glorify God, and to, if you so desire, prepare well for marriage.
9. You May Find a Spouse
If you attend Mars Hill or one of the churches going through the Real Marriage campaign with us, this might be a good time to find a spouse if you’re looking for one! We’re talking about marriage, single people are coming to hear it, and theoretically, you could meet someone.
We’re looking forward to sharing the Real Marriage material with you in the coming weeks. Not only will it be shared at Mars Hill, but over 2,000 ministries are also signed up to cover the material in some capacity through our Real Marriage Campaign.
We’re praying that as this practical and Bible-based teaching on marriage is shared that many lives and marriages are changed. We’re also praying that for our single friends, that this material would be effective as well. We have you at the forefront of our hearts and minds as we begin this exciting series.
Purchase a copy of Real Marriage today: