Monday, August 20, 2007

the 'gift' of singleness?

wow! so i had no idea this was such a hot topic. yes, i've read all the books; debbie maken's, a bunch by elisabeth elliott, dr. cloud, etc. i've had a lot of internal struggle too. but i had no idea how hotly the (online) christian single community would debate the 'gift' of singleness vs. the 'marriage mandate.'

personally, i see some of both sides. i agree that marriage is god's design for most of us. and i agree that a lot of us are kidding ourselves when we expect service, friends, careers, etc to fill our desires for a husband/wife.

but i see a dangerous slope, which i'm sure others have discussed. as a single person, it's really easy for me to be so focused on my situation that i lose site of my god and the gifts he's given me. is singleness a gift he's given me? well, yes, for right now it certainly is. i very much want to be married (so much so... i'm sure future posts will go into more detail about the tears i've cried and the stupid things i've done out of that wanting). but, right now, i'm single. and it is obvious to me that this is where god wants me. am i happy about it? not always, but i want to be.

am i open to dates? yes (to some extent, but that's another post). am i constantly trying to grow to become the kind of mate i hope to have someday? yes! (dear god, i have read so many books, tried so many things! ha.) BUT, i am also asking god why he has me here. why have i been single for so long? why do i have this feeling in my heart that i'm in this unique place of prolonged singleness for a reason? to quote a recent sermon i heard, maybe 'my misery is my ministry.' we'll see. again, perhaps more on that later.

all of that to say that it's a combination. yes, we live in a fallen world where men and women are failing each other all of the time. and yes, satan is attacking through secular culture and other assorted ways. yes, i mourn the fact that i am 28, still a virgin, and my body is starting to age. some things just suck! but, i can't give up. i have to hold on to hope. i have to believe that he has a plan. that:

'Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior."

(Habakkuk 3:17-18)

so that's what i think. care to comment?


charles said...

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick" - proverbs. The best advice I can offer from the other side of the gender aisle is to say that putting your roots down deep into Him is good advice for whatever is in your future -- and on whatever timetable. You'll need deep roots to be married and deep roots to be single, and you'll be less likely to be dismayed by the dispute about what is "true" -- a dispute that is necessary, IMHO. By extension, also, such disputes as will arise in your marriage.

certain_grrl said...

great advice charles, thanks. and i think it's taken me a while to see that that's what god's been trying to get me to do; put my roots in him.