Monday, April 27, 2009

Single and....Happy?

Bethany asked about being prepared for singleness if that is God's will. I think that at some point in our lives, we girls have asked ourselves this question. Do feelings of insecurity and jealousy plague you as you watch close friends happy in relationships? To me, it's always a reminder of my own singleness. Over time, I have been able to push past these feelings even though they still creep in once in a while.

All throughout my teen years, I caught myself daydreaming about the special young man who would one day come into my life and sweep me off my feet. As I continued to dwell on this, the more discontent I became. I still have to check myself when I get carried away with my thoughts. As my mom likes to tell me, I'm the hopeless romantic, especially after watching a Jane Austen or Elizabeth Gaskell movie. Are these thoughts OK to have? I think so. It is Godly to have that desire to be a wife and mom. I can't wait for the day the man that God has created for me comes into my life. But if these thoughts take our minds off what is truly important-Jesus Christ-then there is a problem. I have been guilty of this, and I'm sure you can relate.

Over the past year, these feelings of discontentment have gradually faded as I have grown closer to Christ. I truly believe that I can be happy being single if that is what God has for me. He is all I need to be fulfilled. No man, no matter how handsome, Godly, and attentive, can fill that gap in my heart like Jesus can. Remember when Job, instead of cursing God, gave praise when nearly everything was taken away from him? I always wondered how I would react in a situation like that, and to be honest, I don't think I would act as Job. Although Job felt a keen loss when his family was killed, he was able to push past his grief and bless his Heavenly Father. That is true love and devotion.

“ Naked I came from my mother’s womb,

And naked shall I return there.

The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;

Blessed be the name of the LORD.”

In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

Job 1:20-22

In 1 Corinthians 7:1-9, Paul discusses marriage and singleness. In verses 7-8, Paul expresses his desire that "all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in is good for them (referring to the widows and unmarried) if they remain even as I am." I know this sounds silly, but when I was younger and I would read this passage, I always thought Paul was bitter because he wasn't married himself. As I matured, I gradually realized what Paul meant. I think we all know how distracted young people in love can get, and married couples are easily sidetracked by busy schedules, financial burdens, and family obligations. A single Christian man or woman can serve God more freely without any of these distractions as well as building on his or her relationship with Him. Look at the ministry Paul had-he was able to travel and reach out to countless Christians in the churches without feeling guilty for leaving his family behind.

No matter what God has in store for you and me-whether it be singleness or marriage-know that He loves you with an everlasting love. We can serve God as single and married women and be perfectly content in both situations-if our hearts are right with God. Gladys Aylward and Amy Carmichael never got married, but I can't think of two women who served God with such a passion as these two. They loved God so strongly that they risked their lives for His sake and the sake of others. So Bethany, I hope I've answered your question. I struggle with this area as well, and I'm still learning a lot. Girls, I would love to hear your thoughts on this if you have any to add!

In Christ,

"Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness you will know what His will is."

~Amy Carmichael


Maxine said...

A wonderful, mature,and insightful post, Sara. There is no better place to be than in the center of God's will, and if that place is singleness for a season, then you will find peace and joy there. I'm glad He is giving you peace for this season in your life.

Ella said...

I have to agree with what you said about romantic feelings being okay. A lot of Christians seem to preach that thinking some romantic things or watching romantic movies is sin.....while you have to watch it, I think our desires for love are God given.

Right now, I am in the stage of singleness and I have to admit, it is best at the present time. If I were in a relationship, I would be missing out on some incredible times with my family (like our adoption) But Lord willing, singleness won't last forever!

Bethany said...

Dear Sara,
Thank you so much for these encouraging words. As I passed my seventeenth birthday I started to hear more about singleness. I soon realized that my dreams I'd had since I was young could possibly be replaced by new and better dreams. Dreams that God has given me.

This post was perfect. I have started to read many books on singleness and using those years wisely. You have combined (and added) to everything that I have gathered so far. Thank you for your words of wisdom! I must tell you that, though I haven't met you, from the posts I have seen you have proved to be walking out your years of singleness with wisdom and much grace. Continue well!
Blessings Bethany

Sara said...
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Sara said...

Mrs. R, you are so right. There really is no better place than being in the center of God's will!

Ella, that's so great you're able to share these special moments with your family. I too think our desires for love are God given--it's a natural instinct (especially as girls) to desire love and affection.

Bethany, that is so exciting about these dreams you are having about your future! I know God will use you greatly. It's an encouragement to me to see you desiring to serve God.

Love in Christ,

i_feel_like_a_weasel said...

Hi! I found your blog looking for the lyrics to a song...and I'm so glad I did. It seems really cool, would you mind if I joined?

Beverly said...

Hi Megan,

Thanks for your comment! We'd be happy to have you subscribe to our posts - there is a box on the right hand sidebar that you can click on to join!


Some Dude said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Some Dude said...

Interesting thoughts.

I don't think I would act like Job did if I faced similar circumstances. Job must have been quite a remarkable person to lose everything and still worship God.

Olivia said...

Great post Sara! I'm currently working on a few posts about singleness and such and may I link back to you when they are finished in a list of good further reading? God bless you and may you live radiantly whether you become a wife and mother someday or not.