single – godly or not?
(Originally written at Onward, Christian Soldier)
Recently I’ve been struggling to come to terms with the fact that I am single. I so desire to be married, but I remain firmly convinced that God wants me single right now. Of course, some find being single liberating and are very comfortable, but I honestly am a romantic and dependant on others. I find it difficult to be grown-up and alone, without the constant support from a husband. Even thought I know marriage has its own difficulties, I can’t help but think it would be better than being alone.
BUT… God knows best, and His desire is for me to be single. I need to focus on that. Recently, I’ve been able to see how wonderful it is to be single right now, and how rewarding. I wish many of my married friends had had this experience like I have. There’s an underestimated benefit to not getting married upon graduation.
These have been some of my struggles the past year or so, and as the days go by I am more convinced of my place in life and more importantly, in God’s overall “master plan”. I am content that He has me where He wants me, and since He is good it is the best possible place for me.
I have mentioned Crystal’s blog before, and a post I read today made me struggle to not get angry. It wasn’t as much the post, but the comments and her response to them. An excerpt:
…The feminist movement has radically altered the church’s view of marriage to the point where singleness is held up in higher esteem than marriage. What a sad state our modern churches are in. It breaks my heart and how much more it must break the heart of God!…
Comment: [references Matthew 19:10-12, Luke 14, Luke 18:29, 1 Cor. 7] …All that to say that it is not just “feminists” who may have influenced the Church’s exaltation of the single state. Scripture upholds single life as a valid and holy vocation on par with the calling to family life…
Crystal’s response: …Of course, I believe that God calls a few people not to marry, but those are very few and far between. Even then, those are to be involved in a family — they have an important work — as daughters, sisters, and so forth. Women who are unmarried should not be viewed as “singles” but as part of a family. Marriage is the norm. Anyone who believes otherwise has succombed to lies from the devil…
Comment: The greatest service anyone can have for the Lord is to do what He calls them to do individually. If we love Him, keep His commandments! God alone determines His plan for an individual’s life–not somebody else. There is no one-size-fits-all pattern. I firmly believe that home, family, and marriage are important–but I am not there. And this is because God has not (at this point) granted me that gift. I’m so thankful that God doesn’t relegate singles (especially those who are not such by ‘choice’) to such a second-class status!! Singles are not abnormal. If that is how GOD has us, then there is no more beautiful, God-honouring, NORM-al way of life that we could live.
Comment: …I still believe that it is clear when you look at the Bible in its entirety, that marriage and raising a family is extremely important and if possible should be the choice made….
The second-to-last comment I feel summarizes my views. Of course, I can’t say that I’ve read all the Scriptures and I disagree with her point that marriage is what God desires for everyone. However, I feel that if it was true, then He is very cruel to “keep” some from marrying. I know that we (Crystal and I) approach life from two different angles in that, her goal and purpose in life is to serve God through her husband, her children, and her home. I, on the other hand, want to serve God through my actions and choices – and if I have a husband, children, etc. then I will serve God through them primarily. I believe it is not unBiblical for a woman to work outside the home; whereas Crystal believes it is “serving two masters” to have a husband and a boss (why I disagree is a separate post). Her entire life has been a preparation to be a wife and mother; I of course have not had this same goal (and it’s a good thing then, that she’s the one who is married!).
That being said, her position that the best way to glorify God is by having a family is not surprising, and in the same way it is not surprising that I disagree. I quote:
The greatest service anyone can have for the Lord is to do what He calls them to do individually.
For some, that is marriage, and for others it is not. It’s as simple as that. It frustrates me when people (especially those who are married) try to make it sound as if we are “sinning” by not getting married. I have full confidence that I can serve God just as well single, if that’s what He desires for me. As long as I am where He wants me to be, then I am living up to my full potential. And I bet He smiles about that.