Tuesday, March 4, 2014

One Lie About Singleness (and Marriage, Too!)

So, I am going to climb up on my soap box for a bit.  I'm not getting up there to speak down to anyone - but to try to make my point clearly.

In a recent conversation, a friend told me why she entered counseling.  She casually stated that she was talked into going to counseling by a friend who told her that she didn't have to go, but that if she didn't go, she would never get married.  She would always be alone and always stuck with her sin! It was as if her friend was telling her, "Go fix yourself and then God will bless you with marriage."

I got a little excited when I heard this.  Angry is the better word for it, actually!  While it is true that counseling does help us see ourselves (and sometimes our sin) more clearly, her friend was telling her that she needed to fix herself before she could get married. And I think a lot of people think this.

I want to tell you, this is not so!  Obviously, God is calling us as women to grow more like Christ.  And for some of us, counseling really is a must. But we seek wise counsel in order to grow and mature, not to work to earn a mate.  The bad idea here is that marriage is a reward or guaranteed outcome for that growth or maturity.  Marriage is NOT a reward.  Marriage does not come when we get our lives figured out.

Marriage is a gift of God.   It is NOT a reward (nor is it a goal we use to motivate ourselves to get help when we need it).  If I had waited until I deserved marriage, I would never have gotten married.  I know women who waited until their 40's to marry - not because they were unworthy of marriage, but simply because God hadn't chosen to give them a husband.  I know women who have married at 20 (me included) who then went on to struggle with selfishness and maturity and had lots of growing to do.  Our worthiness did not determine our marital status.

The problem here is not mainly wanting to earn marriage or deserve marriage.  The problem is our view of God.  Do we look to God for karma (giving us what we deserve) or to be a Santa Claus (giving us what we want), or as a Father (who gives us grace)?  As singles, if you look to God for karma, you will try to improve yourself in order to earn a spouse.  If you look to God as Santa Clause, you will create a list of what makes a perfect spouse and demand that God give you exactly what you ask for.  But if you approach God as Father, the giver of grace, you will run to him with your needs, desires, pains, joys, and requests - eagerly trusting him to meet your needs, even if he doesn't give you exactly what you request.

I recently heard a single woman quote John Newton:  "Everything is necessary that God sends.  Nothing can be necessary that he withholds." We must learn to trust God, that in our singleness or our marriage, He is good and He is working out our story to HIS glory.  Do we have a right to demand anything from God?  If karma or Santa is our standard, then sure.  You can demand a husband.  But if God has redeemed us as His own, if he has paid such a heavy price for us, then we are daughters of the King!  We are His!  What rights do we have to demand that He give us anything.  He has given us all things already - salvation!  redemption! restoration!

I am not saying that we don't struggle with being single, or being lonely while married, or any number of struggles that we as women have.  But please, stop trying to earn a different situation and rest in the situation you find yourself in - being the daughter of the King of Heaven!  Have grace for yourself... remind yourself that your current situation isn't a reward or punishment.  You don't have to earn anything from your Father the King!  You just need to trust Him.

1 comment:

Kristy said...

hey friend. Love the quote in the 2nd to last paragraph...love that paragraph especially! Well said, my friend.