General Relationships

Now That You Are Married

The countless conversations I’ve had with young warrior men driven to be married, only to find themselves in a rough place. They pray for God to bring a girl into their life. Some venture out, date a few and fizzle. Some make traction in the relationship only to see it suddenly crash and burn. Wounded. Tears. Heart-ache. Love torn. Disillusionment sets in. 

I love Jesus and I want to be married!  Why is this not happening?

My Marriage Journey

I was 21, on a university internship in Lawton, Oklahoma, when God hit me hard with the desire to be married. Up until then, my focus has been so intense on getting through architecture school, I barely had time to breathe let alone develop a relationship with a woman. That, coupled with my own lack of godly self-confidence put me last place as a candidate for The Bachelor.  It would be another nearly 9 years before I walked the aisle in marriage. To be honest, my warrior years were lonely, arduous, difficult. Not that life didn’t have successes; I had many! Just not in the area of marriage. 

In the end, it took a matchmaker to set me up with my wife, Sandy!  Yes, a man gifted with the wise ability to introduce couples to each other. Sandy and I were couple number 6 or 7 for him. We asked him to return to Canada and perform our marriage ceremony. What a glorious day!

You might be a single warrior guy looking for a wife. Or, perhaps, you have a girlfriend that “could be the one!” Or, maybe you’re the guy like I was dating and breaking up. Sometimes, the journey towards marriage has more to do with the guy getting his act together. Less boy, more man. Less looking for a woman to be your mom and you becoming a man who can speak into a woman’s life.


“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Ephesians 5v31 ESV

Yes, by all means, God is talking here about sexual intercourse! It’s what’s on every guy’s mind! If you are a single man, my prayer and hope are that when you finally get married, the two of you will experience awesome sex! However, before you let those raging hormones have their day, there is something far greater, far more essential to marriage that you need to get a handle on. Oneness has a lot to do with spiritual and emotional intimacy. 

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5v25-27 ESV

There is a parallel to how God calls the man to husband his wife and how God cares for His church (His bride). When you, as a warrior, are walking in a yielded relationship with the Holy Spirit, you are empowered supernaturally to love your wife in the same way Christ loves His church. Your every desire is to see your wife cleansed, without spot or wrinkle, holy and without blemish. Pure. Loved.

If you want to have great sex with your wife, be a man who has an on-going, close walk with Jesus and allow that settling of your soul in Him to impact how you love your wife. God made us men and women for intimacy. Intimacy with God first, through Jesus Christ, and intimacy with each other as husband and wife. 

The writer of Hebrews had this to say

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Hebrews 13v4 ESV

We lose oneness, we lose intimacy when we let sin enter the marriage. When our eyes wander off to other women, real or virtual. When pornography arouses us instead of our wife. When we let petty issues become mountain-sized arguments. When we let emotions get out of hand. Who wants to have sex when both of you are at odds?  

A Word of Advice

For the single warrior reading this, there is great wisdom in practicing godly sexual self-control. 

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 1 Thessalonians 4vs 3-5 ESV

Treating your body with holiness and honor while single will pay off massive dividends when you get married. I know, when the hormones are raging, demanding release, it doesn’t sound like wisdom to practice self-control, but I’m here to tell you from my own failures, you will enter your marriage with regrets if you do not practice Holy Spirit self-control.

The other word of advice I can offer is in your singleness, foster an intimate walk with God. Pursue adventures that feed your masculine soul. God is not a wimp who cannot face the push of a man’s soul that wants depth and closeness. Pursue God as your greatest adventure and in doing so watch Him shape your manhood into something very attractive to a woman.

For the married warrior, I hope your honeymoon was awesome!  I hope the marriage bed has been filled with lots of intimate moments, maybe even some little ones by now snuggling next to the two of you!  Reality has probably hit sooner than later. There’s nothing like little kids knocking on your locked bedroom door when you two are in the middle of “things”! Mommy, the door is locked! I have to tell you something important!  What, honey? Ethan just threw up! It’s yucky! Not funny at the time, but even then, let the love Christ has for you and your wife pour lavishly over your little boy who is now fighting the flu. The biggest challenge for young married couples, kids or not, is to not let life get too domesticated. 

Dirty Dishes and Laundry

Life is full of dirty dishes and laundry. Lawns to mow, bills to pay, cars to fix. It’s easy to let those daily things crowd out the intimacy God calls you to as husband and wife. Instead of thinking of them as necessary evils, look at them as ways to express oneness. You are in this together for life. For richer or poorer. In sickness and health. Oneness is expressed in your sexuality, but it’s also expressed in how you live each day together. The more you as a married warrior love your wife in a way that she blossoms in her womanhood, you will be used by God to accomplish a supernatural oneness that no man can ever accomplish humanly-speaking.

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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