He could change it, I thought.
I’ve tried to understand my singleness. There have been times when I’ve thought of what could be the reason(s) I’ve never gotten married. Maybe I’m just too broken. I’m too analytical or not communicative enough. I’m critical of my appearance and doubtful of what I have to offer someone. There’s been a vacuum when it comes to understanding and I’ve tried to fill it with speculation. Yet for all my speculating there’s been a seed of something in my heart: blame.
The God of the universe, who could create the world and all that is in it from nothing…
Who could bring a dead man to life with one command…
Certainly, He could change my single status…and yet He doesn’t.
The Blame Game
The blame game has been going on since the beginning of creation…literally. Once Adam ate of the forbidden fruit and God called him on it, Adam immediately pointed the finger at Eve.
The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me the fruit of the tree, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:12)
Don’t we do this too?
God, if I had a husband I wouldn’t have to deal with these lustful thoughts.
If I could find a godly husband, I wouldn’t think of entering into an unequally yoked one.
If I’m Your beloved daughter, why have You withheld this desire from me?
If Not When
I posted a video on Facebook that a few friends had posted. After seeing the message, I posted it onto my SDS page and that began an interesting discussion which I think leads us to blame God for our singleness (at least indirectly anyway). Here’s what I gleaned from that conversation:
- If we bide our time and find satisfaction with God, He’ll bring us a spouse. It’s a thought that many of us have and unfortunately it can become an idol. There’s no guarantee that even if we have a deeply satisfying relationship with God, we’ll get married one day.
Husbands are never a reward for “good behavior”. Anything we receive (or don’t receive) is God’s gift of wisdom and love. Yes, there are conditional promises in the Bible. Some of them begin with “If…”, such as “If you declare with your mouth and believe in your heart that God raised Him up from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). First, we need to confess and believe (through the Holy Spirit first working in us), then we receive salvation (God’s free gift of grace). There’s no conditional promise in the Bible that if we have a relationship with God, then we’ll get the husband. It’s a dangerous and faulty mentality if that is what we’re believing.
2. Married women mean well but can perpetuate the “guaranteed” mentality. The video was made by a married woman who’s message, I believe, is having a deeply rooted relationship with God. She talked about savoring her sweet season of singleness and including God in her adventures. Her 20s were spent encouraging others during her public speaking engagements and practicing a daily habit of abiding with God…and before she turns 30, her spouse shows up. The video is about her story but not all of our stories will be the same. There are some of us who will get married much later than we hoped or never get married at all.
The church has done very little to equip those who remain single to savor their lifelong singleness and become women of purpose. There are many single women who dread going to church on Sundays for the simple reason they’ll hear more about being married than receiving encouragement and fortification for their singleness.
3. Instead of “white knuckling” your single season, keep your hands (and heart) open. Don’t live your life on hold just in case someone comes along. The Bible shows us that seasons of waiting are part of our life in Christ. Passing my mid-30s, I still believe there is a possibility for a spouse since I’m not sure God wants me permanently single. If you have not been called to singleness yet still feel confused as to why you still are, live in the present. There’s no way to know if whether making different decisions would have led to marriage because those doors are already closed. There’s also no way to see into the future, which can feel scary. Living in the present reminds us to lean on God and not on man. You were created for a purpose, which may or not may involve being a wife.
Who’s To Blame?
When we find ourselves anxious about our singleness and wanting to assign blame, we can ask ourselves “Is singleness my fault or is it God’s”?
The answer is that it’s no one’s fault. Singleness is a gift from God. Too often, we ask to exchange that gift for something we think is better but in God’s eyes may not be. What if singleness is God’s best gift to you at this moment? Or for the next 5, 10, 20 years?
I’ve made the mistake of trying to change God’s mind when it came to wanting one particular man and I learned that if I had trusted God, I could have spared myself things I wasn’t ready for. If we believe God’s wisdom is infinite, trustworthy, and loving toward us, can we embrace singleness as His best rather than our worst nightmare?
Singleness is not easy, but there are women and men in the Kingdom who are here to encourage you and help you lead abundantly blessed lives.
Look for them, pray for them, become one of them!