Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I Was Never Content Being Single


I'm just going to come out and say it:

I was never content with being single.

Now, let me explain before you jump to conclusions. I think you can be "discontent" with something without being anxious. You can be discontent with the state of our government, but I believe it only becomes sinful once you start worrying or fretting about what decision the President is going to make next.

When I was single, I was content knowing that God knew all the days ordained for me before one of them came to be (Psalm 119), and I wasn’t anxious in my singleness. I had plenty to do and so much to learn. I was joyful.

But I wanted to be married. And I wasn't ready to apologize for that.

People in the church so often speak of singleness as if it’s next to Godliness. Or that by longing for marriage while you’re single you’re somehow communicating to God that He isn’t enough for you.

And then, *bam*, suddenly, once you’re content, God will reward you with a spouse! Good job! You suppressed your God-given desires and proved to Him that you didn’t need anyone in your life, so now the Lord will give you what you wanted.

I’ve read all the books. I’ve heard all the talks. I’ve heard Christians talk about singleness in this way, and I believe it’s wrong.

If you’re a woman who loves Jesus and wants to be married and have a husband and babies and be a wife and a mother, or if you're a man who desires a wife and a family to lead and love – why is it wrong to prepare for or even LONG for that? If you're burning with passion (1 Cor. 7) as Paul so appropriately puts it, is it somehow less Godly to long for a spouse?

It almost seems absurd to say that insisting on contentment in a prolonged state of singleness is a virtue.

I do understand the sovereignty of the Lord over our lives, and prolonged singleness IS the life of many, whether or not they want it...but...

God gives us what we need in season. Everything that is given to us or allowed to happen to us is for our sanctification and altogether for His glory. Whether this be singleness for longer than expected, or marriage when the world is telling you to wait. (1 Thess. 4:3, Rom. 11:36, Col. 1:16)

This is what I've come to realize over the last couple of years: the Lord has you where you are because He is most glorified in your current season of life than where YOU think you ought to be.

So if you're single, don't think that God is punishing you. Don't think it's because you're not qualified enough yet. Don't think that God has forgotten about you. And don't ever, ever think that you have to stifle your desire for the beauty of marriage. Because longing for that which is Biblical it isn't sinful.

Half the time...I don't even know WHY God has me here. Because really, I'm really not that "qualified" for marriage. I'm overly-emotional. I miss spots when I’m cleaning the bathroom. I’m not the greatest driver. I often laugh at inappropriate times and still chicken out when I have to call to make a doctor’s appointment. I don’t have any great skills and I ramble a lot when I talk.

But you know what? God, in His divine sovereignty, knew that marriage for me at the tender age of eighteen was going to be more sanctifying for me than if I was still single. My Heavenly Father is more glorified through my life as a married woman than if I was single. This is evidenced right now in His perfect plan of marriage for me.


I will leave you with this: never stop living a life of thankfulness to Him. Whether single or married, lonely or living with an abundance of relationships, God is sanctifying you as His workmanship, and for His very special purposes. 

16 comments:

  1. What an awesome and encouraging post. I sometimes feel guilty because when people ask me what I want to do, my gut reaction is to be a wife a mother. I know that the Father knows the desires of my heart and I know that whatever season He has me in I am called to bring Him honor. Thank you for your encouragement in this area!

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    1. I am so glad it encouraged you! My gut reaction was always the same thing - and even now with the prospect of children in our future, people seem almost disappointed that you're not striving for something "greater". Don't ever apologize for the desires the Lord has places in your heart, because marriage and motherhood glorify HIM!

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  2. Thank you for these words of wisdom, Beka. And thank you for being willing to share. Very good post. :)

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    1. You're welcome, Kaleigh! I've posted variations of this before, and I've appreciated all your comments!

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  3. So encouraging. Amazing post. Thank you!

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  4. I love, love, love this post! You are so right in saying that the church has it a bit wrong when they talk about singleness. I always hated that line "that if you are not content with singleness that you are not desiring God enough."

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    1. I know! There was once a time in my life where I believed that myself and I'm sure I passed that bit of "counsel" to people time and again. I wish more churches and Christians had a HIGHER view of marriage and encouraged it more!

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  5. I love this honesty! Thank you much.

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  6. This is the absolute BEST article I've ever read about singleness. Period. Thank you, thank you, thank you! God is using your life in an incredible way, Beka, and I praise God for you! I appreciate you being so open and honest. I am printing out this post, and will be referring to it often. Keep going strong, and God bless!

    Savannah L. (a fellow CP! student) ;)

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    1. Wow, thank you Savannah! I had no idea so many would be so encouraged by this post. That really encourages ME!

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  7. As a single girl who is 25, thank you! Thank you for this reminder. It is one that never gets old, no matter how many times we hear it!

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    1. Jess, thank you for your comment! I try to be careful when I ramble on about singleness and marriage because I know single ladies in their 20s and beyond could read my posts and think me naive or hurtful...like, "what does SHE know!" ;) I am so incredibly glad this refreshed you!!

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  8. Beka...THANK YOU!! I have been really struggling with these thoughts lately. "Is it bad that I truly desire marriage?" "Why am I not yet in a relationship?" Even though I'm content with where God has me in life right now, I still desire to get married and want to see some progress in that area. :) I actually just talked to a mentor this weekend about this. I'm so grateful you wrote about this. I hope all is well. I miss talking to you. :)

    Sierra

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  9. I echo many of the other comments...This is a GREAT article!
    I usually don't like republished articles, but this is one that never gets old :) Trusting God that my sanctification is His biggest priority and if/when marriage is right, He'll bring it along... Till then, I know that He understands the desires and that repressing them is not the right answer ;) Drowning myself in Christ and His word is :)
    ~Megan

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