Most of you know how God has worked in my heart and life in the last year to bring me to a spot where I really love and treasure my singleness. This doesn’t mean a) that I never want to be married; and b) that it’s always a joy to be single. It just means that right now, I am really happy with where God has me and really content to remain as I am for as long as he wills. It wasn’t always this way. Particularly when I was in college I really wrestled with the Lord about singleness. I don’t know if it was the pressure to find a mate at a Christian college, or the fear of man that wondered what people would think if I didn’t date anyone, or the longing for security that I thought a relationship would bring, or the couples around me meeting and getting married….but in the end God always wins in our struggles. He is always right and His will is always best. So my heart is content today and I believe that He is good. There were two primary events that lead to this transformation in me:
1. I remember begging God and begging God to take away my desire to be married or to fulfill or to do something, anything. I remember praying every way I knew how about that situation. And no answer came. I felt alone, and my faith was very weak. I remember finally praying, “God you have got to give me faith. I can’t keep going like this, you have to increase my faith.” A week later, through a series of events ordered perfectly by God, I can recall laying on my bed, in tears, and all I could think was, “I love Christ…I love Christ…I love Christ.” It was a strange feeling to know that that reaction was purely the grace of God. It didn’t come from me– Christ had changed my heart. He increased my faith, caused me to love Him, and showed me that I can’t change my heart. I can only cultivate the soil of my heart in a way that it is ready for His working, but I can’t change it. No amount of discipline of my heart or mind or body, or Bible memorization, or outward behavior can change my heart.
2. The week after that I remember sitting at bible study, and we were all talking about who we submit to in our lives. There were a few college students who talked about submitting to their parents, a few married women who spoke about their struggles in submitting to their husbands…and then it came to me. I was the only single, post college woman in the group. And all I could say was that I had no one to submit to. Apart from my elders and government authorities (which we all submit to) I have no one in my life that I really answer to. I do what I want with my time, my money, my plans, my friends, my house. If I want to go out to eat with friends after work, I can. If I want to leave bible study at 10:30 or 11, I can. If I want to give to a missionary couple, I don’t have to ask anyone, I just do it. And it’s not necessarily sinful. For some reason it hit me that night how wonderfully free I am! I am really, wonderfully, devotedly free. And that freed me to give my singleness in service to Christ instead of using my singleness to get out of it and find a mate!
So all that to say, I am really happy to be single. I know that it’s a struggle for a lot of young women, but I really hope and pray that God can help you see His purposes in it so that you can pour your life out for the kingdom during these years.
I was inspired to write this post because of a letter written from John Piper about his most recent sermon on singleness…just click on the link below to check it out. (For some reason I am having a hard time putting links into my posts…anyone else with me?)
I appreciate the distinctions he makes between marriage and singleness and God’s purposes in both. Marriage does not equal ease, comfort, security, or an absence of loneliness. Singleness doesn’t either. They are just different. And God uses both to uniquely shape us during different seasons of life so that we can be more like Christ. And that’s what matters– being like Christ. Everything else is just peripheral.