I’m not sure why it seems that singleness is such a hot topic lately. I see all kinds of quotes, pieces of advice, blog posts, articles, and books for people who are single. First of all, being single in your early 20s is a very different story than being a single in your 40s. It’s a whole different thought process and way of dealing with things, and I don’t think they should be approached or dealt with in the same way. I think that’s often overlooked. Anyway, there are all kinds of quotes and things geared toward single women… please enjoy the following:
“Being single doesn’t mean no one wants you, it means God is busy writing your love story.” (saw that one on pinterest the other day 😉 )
“Once I was completely satisfied in God, He brought my husband along.”
“As soon as I decided I was okay being single, my husband came along.”
“Trust God with this. His timing is perfect.”
“Dance with God. When the time is right, He’ll let the perfect man cut in.” (sometimes I gag a little when I read that one)
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying these little sayings are wrong (It’s better to trust God than to go rushing after things ourselves). They’re good pieces of advice (although oftentimes a bit cheesey.. or a lot cheesey ;)), but I don’t think they’re BEST.
I’ve let my mind take these types of sayings through the natural thought progression. It seems to me that the end thought is usually this: that a man is at the end of the road (no worries) and we just have to be satisfied in God until then. Waiting implies an object to be waited for. If I am waiting on a man, even if I am “waiting” on God to bring him to me, I’m going to be disappointed. What is the object of my waiting and my longing?
And the “trust God” piece is often tied to timing – trusting God’s timing in bringing a man. Yes, God’s timing for all things is beautifully perfect (even in my short 21 years I can attest to that!), but trusting timing implies that the prize is a man. “I am trusting God…. to eventually bring me a husband.” The little sayings I listed above are headed in a good direction, but stop before they really arrive at a good place.
Then I decided there’s one question that would finish the thought out and end in a position of clarity. Or we can bypass everything, ask this one question, and still have clarity.
If I am single for the rest of my life, is Jesus worth it?
Is He worth it?
Yes, trust God, be satisfied in Him, be caught up in Him, “dance with God” 😉 PERIOD. Not with the intent of a man at the end. Just because He is God. A lot of things written at Christian, single girls implies that if we are willing to WAIT, God will bring the man. If we are willing to trust God, He will work things out. After all, good things come to those who wait… right? But what if they actually don’t?
I recently read something entitled “The Gift of Waiting.” The author learned a lot of wonderful things and sought the Lord faithfully during her time of waiting for the man she knew she wanted to marry. God showed her great things and I was challenged by the way she pursued the Lord. But at the end of the story, she married the guy. Yay! I love fairy tale endings! Makes me feel good inside. It was a good story. But what if what we call “good things” don’t actually come to those who wait.
I didn’t have any issue with the post itself, but it characterized what I think a lot of those types of writings seem to unknowingly imply. By her happily-ever-after marriage to the man she waited on, the main concept I walked away with was that waiting is worth it, don’t rush things, wait on God’s timing, He’ll bring the guy around. Be faithful to God and follow Him, pursue Him in the waiting, He’ll bring the guy around.
Again, don’t get me wrong – I agree with that general line of thought! But it seems to stop short. That line of thinking leads me down a dangerous road because it (even subconsciously) makes God the means to an end (a man). I don’t ever ever ever want to make God a means to an end.
I would rather as myself, “If there is never a man, never a husband, is Jesus still worth it?” It’s a yes or no question. There’s really no middle ground. If I can answer that question right now, it’s a lot easier moving forward and very freeing. Life is a win-win! Would I rather have Jesus than a man in my life? If I get to be 40 and there is no man, will I be bitter and resentful toward God or will I say, “Some days it makes me sad, but Jesus you are still worth it and you are more precious to me”?
Maybe that question is taking things to an extreme. But if so, it’s a helpful extreme. It makes things very black and white.
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” We all know that one right? I think it can be scary when we start applying that to romantic relationships. “Delight myself in God and He will give me the man of my dreams.” Yikes. If that’s what we believe (usually subconsciously), do we end up distrusting God and un-delighting in Him when He doesn’t give us what we think is the desire of our hearts? (Spoiler: Jesus Christ is, at the core, the desire and satisfaction of my heart. And yours. That’s how He’s wired us.) By the grace of God I’m getting closer and closer to delighting so much in Him that my heart’s desires are aligned with His, and that my heart’s desire is HIM.. but I am not there yet. And so our hearts yearn on.
I think all of this can be helpfully applied to so many things we idolize or yearn for in life.
So there’s just the one question: If God never brings _________, will I still find Christ worth it?
I desire only to see the face of Him I love. God grants that desire every single day.