By Ryan Duncan, Crosswalk.com
It’s fairly common to ask children what they’d like to be when they grow up. I’d imagine most of us can still remember our answers to that question from when we were kids. An astronaut, a cowboy, a princess; when you’re young, no dream is too fantastic. As you grow older though, your goals tend to change shape and become more realistic. Many of us simply dream of getting married, finding a good job, and raising a family in a nice home. Surely that’s not an unreasonable thing to hope for?
Unfortunately, life doesn’t always move in the direction we planned, and for Christians, this can be especially heartbreaking. We’re told that God has a purpose for our lives, one to help us flourish and make us prosper (Psalm 37:18-19). Yet it’s hard to keep faith when the best years of life are behind you, and still there’s no spouse, no children, no home. Calley Sivils found herself contemplating this very subject in a recent article on DesiringGod. Sivils, who had always hoped to get married when she was younger, was troubled by her continued life as a single Christian. In the end, Sivils left her readers with a few important thoughts to consider when waiting on God. Below, you can find her abridged entries as well as some advice from another longtime single believer,
Make God the Treasure and Anchor of Your Life
“While we wait, we will be tempted to envy others. There are many people getting married today that are not following the Lord and have (sometimes flagrantly) disobeyed him in the process. Regardless, if Jesus is our greatest treasure, we do not obey in order to gain a husband or a wife, and we do not groan under the perceived unfairness of unrepentant people getting married.”
“My purity is not for me. My wedding is not for me. Marriage (if it happens for me) will not be for me. All these things are for the Lord and for his glory, not for me so that my life turns out ‘fairly. Instead of praying for fairness in this life, we pray with Jesus, “Not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42).”
Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Alone
Truth be told, I think many of us are embarrassed to live a life of singleness. We’re afraid of traveling, or even going to a movie, because these are things traditionally done in pairs. As a result, our day-to-day existence becomes dull as we wait for God to send us someone who will complete us. However, this is not a healthy mindset for believers to have. Before we take on the responsibility of marriage, work, or parenting, we must first cultivate our own courage and faith as individuals.
Our spouses and dreams should not become idols that compete with God. Instead, we should be able to stand as Christians who can live and rejoice in God regardless of our status in life.
Refuse to Settle for Someone Who Does Not Love Jesus
“While we wait, we will be tempted to settle. We should not draw comfort from the assurance that God has someone for each of us to marry. He may not. Even if he doesn’t, or even if that person comes into our lives ten years late (by our schedule), that does not give us the right to rebel, disobey, or run away. None of us is entitled to marriage. I am not entitled to marriage.”
“Our only constraint in seeking a spouse is to marry someone within the body of believers (2 Corinthians 6:14). It’s a simple guideline, and yet so easy to compromise. But if we’re to have marriages that glorify the eternal God at all, we cannot fall into the trap of setting aside faith, and basing our crushes and choices on temporal qualities like physical appearance or material wealth.”
What about you? What are your thoughts on waiting and marriage? Be sure to leave a comment in the space below!
*Ryan Duncan is an Editor for Crosswalk.com