People frequently reference Matthew 6:33 and “seek first His kingdom” in discussions about waiting for a potential spouse.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33 NIV).
But, for years, I had no idea what the verse meant!
Matthew 6:33 — “…seek first His Kingdom…”
So, let’s dig in. In the above text, Matthew admonishes us to, “seek first His kingdom.” Let’s take a look at what this phrase both means and doesn’t mean.
First, what DOESN’T “seek first His Kingdom” mean for Christian Singles?
The truth here is that Matthew encourages us to grow closer to God. But, our relationship with Him is not meant to be a placeholder. For example:
“I will seek first His kingdom until I meet my spouse and then I can rely on him.”
Also, spending time with God isn’t meant to be a filler. As in:
“I will seek first His kingdom until there are other things on the agenda, like arranging dates, planning a wedding, and building a home together.”
Second, what DOES “seek first His Kingdom” teach believers who are dating?
On the contrary, the phrase conveys a pattern or a habit in our lives.
“Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” indicates:
“Get yourself right with God first.”
“Your personal relationship with God is what will pull you through difficult times in your marriage. No person can withstand that responsibility.”
“Watch out you don’t make a future relationship your idol; put your faith in the God who is faithful.”
“Nothing can heal the hole inside except God, not even a husband or a wife.”
So, that explanation helps clarify the meaning, but the waters are still muddy. Thankfully, the psalmist offers further clarification on what it means to seek His kingdom.
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4 NIV).
When I first read this, I thought the verse meant, “if I delight in the Lord, He will give me what I want. If I draw near to Him, He will answer my prayers.”
However, God doesn’t always grant our desires. Instead, He places new desires in our hearts which reflect who we are to Him and who He is to us. (Did you get that?)
He doesn’t only grant the desires, He provides them.
“Give me the desires of my heart…” You see, what we long for changes as God cleanses and transforms our hearts. So, “seek first his kingdom” is showing us where our focus needs to be…not on our desires but on God.
Matthew 6:33 — “…all these things…”
Let’s move on to the second half of Matthew 6:33. The verse continues that if you “seek first His kingdom” then “all these things will be given to you as well.”
“All these things,” references what?
Previously, in Matthew chapter 6, God instructs us not to worry about life, food, drink, or clothes. He will provide for us as He does for every being in the world.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them (Matthew 6: 25-32 NIV).
Now, catch this. God gives life, food, drink, and shelter in the same fashion He gives desires in Psalm 37. Both our material needs and our spiritual needs are part of God’s provision. When we seek His kingdom, God works out the details…in ALL things.
As we grow in sanctification, our priorities change. Subsequently, we find God meets our new needs and desires in ways we could never predict.
So, how does this verse apply to singleness?
As Christian singles, we need to understand that a husband or wife cannot replace our relationship with God. He is not a temporary placeholder for a future spouse. That’s number one.
Secondly, we must seek after God to become whole in our relationship with Him. Then, our needs and wants for ourselves and our future mate, which are shaped by God, will be met and fulfilled through Him.
Featured Image By Duong Huu