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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Not Married? Waiting . . . Or Not?

Photo by: digidreamgrafix

Snow White sings “Some day my prince will come.” And, of course, he does.

Stay in the Castle by Jerry Ross is an allegory about the teen girl who remains in the castle until her Knight in Shining Armor arrives.

There’s another book, Lady in Waiting: Becoming God’s Best While Waiting for Mr. Right by Jackie Kendall. It’s very good teaching.

So, you find yourself in your late twenties, a virgin, waiting . . .

                                      and waiting . . .

                                                                                     and waiting.

You’ve done it all right:
  • You are busy in your church serving God and others.
  • You’ve turned down dates with guys who don’t know the Lord and those professing Christians who wouldn’t be good for you.
  • You’ve dressed modestly and haven’t lowered your standard.
  • You’ve bettered yourself through study and healthy experiences.
  • You have lots of friends and are social.


And, you’re still waiting . . .

                                      for that moment when Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome—you’d take short, fair, and homely, now—comes striding into your life like the fabled knight in shining armor.

You’re still waiting.

Some of you have given up waiting. You’re getting to that age . . . .

You’re wondering if Mr. Right’s white steed got lost somewhere. You’re wondering if you both didn’t get the memo. You’re wondering if you missed him. Or, did he miss you? (How does this work, anyhow?)

Each day, you go through the motions. You keep your hair nice and you fix your face. You try to dress attractively. You smile at everyone and continue to have lots of friends.

And your heart aches when you go to bed. He didn’t show up . . . again . . . today.

_______________________________

May I share something with you?

I think maybe, in Bible-believing circles, with our family-friendly emphasis, we haven’t really given our single ladies the correct message. (We make this same mistake with our young men, too.) Instead of telling them to live permanently—or not—in a holding pattern, waiting game, or whatever you want to call it, why not cut our singles free to live fully? I mean, why do we tell girls they’re waiting? Why do we say things like, “when you get a husband”?

What if God’s personal and perfect will for the young woman is better than having a husband and children?

I’m not preaching heresy here. Let’s look at a familiar passage, 1 Corinthians 7:34. The first half of the verse is for single women and the second half is for married ladies. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. This is probably the clearest verse about the difference between the roles of single and married women.

Let’s read the rest of the passage for context and clarity: And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry. Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well. So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better (1 Corinthians 7:35-38). According to that last verse, who does better? The father that doesn’t give his daughter in marriage.

Oh yes, God says it’s quite okay to marry. But, he says it’s even better not to. Why?

Because there are simply two paths that are equally God’s will. Some women will marry. Some will not.

Who does better in God’s eyes?

I think when we compare Scripture with Scripture, there’s no difference. Both being married and being single are perfectly acceptable lifestyles in God’s eyes.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being single!

It is quite okay if there is no Prince Charming, no steed, and no shining armor. (That’s fairytale, anyway. Ask your married friends.)

It is perfectly wonderful to serve the Lord with your life. (1 Corinthians 7:34a, above.)

Let’s pretend there is a Knight in Shining Armor in God’s plan, but God won’t bring him to you until you’re forty. (His first wife will pass away, and later, he will find you. He is a wonderful man, and you will really and truly live happily ever after—as mother to his four beautiful children.) This is God’s perfect plan for the two of you. God knows this, but you don’t. How are you to live today? Serve God. Serve others. Work, laugh, and be beautiful. Enjoy life. Travel. Live in the freedom and love of Jesus Christ.

When you’re forty, Knight in Shining Armor will walk into your life. You will be happy and ready, but you didn’t waste your life in broken-hearted, frustrated waiting mode up until then.

God blesses single people, just as He blesses married people.

He doesn’t reveal the future to anyone.

The Apostle Paul was single. He was able to freely travel the Roman Empire. The young pastor Timothy was single. Some of the women who accompanied and helped Paul on his journeys were single. Dorcas may well have been single. Lydia might have been, too. There’s nothing wrong with being single.

God wants you to have the fullest, happiest life, now.

You are not waiting for life to begin.

You are living now.
  

10 comments:

  1. I was just rereading a blog post this week (from a blog that is no longer public, sadly - thankfully I had kept this in my files) that we need to be careful we're not giving single young people the message that they're incomplete without a mate, when God says they are complete in Him, or that they should graduate "up" to marriage when as you say, it's not a matter of "up" it's just different paths. We can give them much pain with constant questions like, "So when are you going to get married?"

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    1. Exactly! I firmly believe that marriage is not the only way God blesses a life. The Lord makes us complete.

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  2. Bullseye! There are some posts that just make you wanna shout, "Amen!" This is one of those!

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    1. Thanks for shouting, Charity. God bless!

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  3. Thank you for this! As a single lady, I've been thinking a lot about this lately and glad to see someone put it into words!

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  4. I almost didn't read this article because I have become so frustrated over the years with people's/author's suggestions for singles. It doesn't matter what the topic is on, there is always an underlying idea of "waiting." It drives me crazy...hence why I gave up reading articles about singles, but when I saw you were the author I thought I'd give you a chance not to irritate me. Hahaha. You didn't disappoint. I agree with everything you said and have taught young ladies for years now the truths you have written here. Thanks for a great article.

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    1. You're funny, Shari. I'm glad I didn't irritate you. God bless you!

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