Singleness Is Not A Waiting Room
Shayla stares at the clock for the fifth time after sitting down in the stiff red arm chair. The sound of the receptionist’s fingers flying across the keyboard semi-drowns out the noise of the thoughts that have been plaguing her for the past hour.
She’s watched several women both older and younger, get called back to their appointment, even though they arrived after her. She’s been patient and the magazine rack, water cooler and revolving door of patients in and out, have become eyesores to a woman who’s been waiting for her time that keeps getting pushed back. She’s done everything right. Showed up early to her appointment, brought all of her necessary documents, and she’s even been taking her contentment vitamins that Instagram account recommended. So, what’s the hold up? Why hasn’t she been seen yet?
If you grew up with any number of siblings, you are all too fond of the amount of manipulation we could dispense upon one another. I mean down to bartering the worse chores for the better ones, to backing your sibling into the corner of not snitching on you since you had dirt on them too, we became experts. Experts at manipulating our obedience and that of those around us, to conform to our will and pattern of expectations.
This mindset and what some would call a “talent”, got drug into our relationship with God, in which we heard viral stories of God sending women husbands because of their “total surrender” and we immediately thought we could yank God’s chain too with ours. Our motivations have easily taken the route that we never planned to go. And our expectations of what God should do in response to our false humility and adherence to His decrees, started to mimic the very same perverted prosperity gospel we all claim to hate and detest.
BUT WHAT IF I'M MORE CONTENT?
Many women around the world have been fooled into thinking that by reaching some special level of contentment, that it would make God move on their behalf faster in the marriage department.
“Just serve more.”
“Get involved in your community.”
“Reach a point in loving God so much and watch Him bring you what you desire the most!”
“The moment you stop looking is when God will send your husband.”
Do, do, and do some more, they say. Yet, what about all of the women who have been doing and serving faithfully and giving all they have to help make disciples and volunteered to look after their married friends kids so that they could go out on a date night? What about those women, who have followed the “formula”, yet still find themselves wanting and desiring and still...well...waiting?
There is absolutely no level or volume of contentment that we can attain, that will make God bring a spouse quicker. It doesn’t matter how many relationship Amazon bestsellers you’ve read, what virtual Christian relationship gurus you’ve spoken to or how much you tried to present your “perfect” works before God. We cannot bully God into moving on our behalf. He cannot be bought, manipulated or coerced. He works all things according to the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11) And because He is sovereign and has thus determined in eternity’s past how and when and why and what He would do, our efforts today, no matter how well-intended, can alter or shift what He has already written.
Have we begun to build tower-like structures with our manipulation driven obedience tactics to reach God’s sovereign hand to move on our behalf with our will? We read the story of the Tower of Babel and think how dare they, yet we mimic the motivation behind what they did, and try to stack our obedience and contentment cards up high enough so that God will finally budge.
Oh dear Sisters, contentment has everything to do with delighting in God and experiencing pure satisfaction in Him, than it does with Him giving us stuff. Because what happens when the ring comes and the man is there and we’ve finally gotten our heart’s desires fulfilled, yet we still don’t think Christ is better than all of that? What happens when the weight of our faith is founded upon God answering prayers to our liking, yet the moment those things get rocky or don’t meet our soul’s needs like we thought they would, we desperately ask God to change things or end them? What happens, when we’ve learned to master levels of being just all right with God for a season to get something, that we don’t realize we don’t even care anything about The One whose hand we are begging from?
Christ is our ultimate prize and our heart’s desires and eye’s gaze is to be permanently fixated upon Him. He fulfills the deepest longings. He meets our needs when we soon discover all of the things we wanted will and have disappointed us. He was and is the goal, of any good gift given to us by The Father. And we can’t miss that waiting around for the next “best” thing.
GIFTS AND SERVICE
Singleness is not a waiting room, it is a state of service unto God. It is a gift to be surrendered daily to The Father even when the weight of desire is crushing our lungs as we heap out heavy sobs of frustration with what we understand to be lack. It is an invitation to experience God’s sanctifying work in such a unique way that warrants undivided devotion and undistracted commitment to Him.
The most important thing we take away from where God has us right now, is the reality of His sovereignty in it all. We mustn’t mystify the will of God and think that we have to run through a ton of hoops and mazes in order to land in the right spot. Wherever God has us today is where He has called us to right now. And instead of rushing our hearts and minds into the next pin on our Pinterest board, we should seek to understand, develop and enjoy all that God is doing in us today, right now, at this very moment.
I know it’s hard to imagine any of this being true, especially if you’re climbing up in age and are watching all of your close friends or even younger siblings get engaged and married. But what if what God is doing in you is just so worth it, that He would orient your life in such a way that it would mean some things are not for right now? What if “all things” that He is working for your good as Romans 8:28 speaks of, is found in those valley moments you try so hard to pray your way out of? What if, the very gift that you are forsaking in today, is the very gift that was so perfectly crafted by the triune God eons ago, that it would catapult you into glorifying and delighting in God something serious?
MARRIAGE IS NOT THE AWAITED APPOINTMENT
Can I be real honest about something?
I asked God for lifelong singleness, several times. And you know how He responded in 2017? He gave me a fiance. Great! He totally heard me! Haha!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve had my share of desiring marriage here and there, but for the most part, I asked The Lord could I stay single because I love it so much and just the freedom to do and serve The Lord. Although I am engaged to a wonderful man, there are ways that The Lord has become my everything in these days, weeks, months and years of singleness, that I struggle with preparing to give up. If I am completely honest, I have wrestled greatly with the idea of marriage because I understand what Paul meant in 1 Corinthians 7. And even with an amazing man of God that has pursued my heart and asked me to be his wife, I still wrestle with the reality, of God calling me to something completely different, than what I envisioned for myself.
Over the years, I’ve learned that marriage is not this awaited appointment that we should circle on our calendars in anticipation to receive. Singleness is not the precursor to marriage. It is not this purgatory we sit in, awaiting our final destination. And it certainly isn’t a fairytale end, to a bunch of princesses who need to be rescued from their single tower. Just like it’s equally satisfying and God-glorifying sister gift called marriage, God is using His daughters with this gift, to do things for His kingdom that are so worthwhile.
This life is about His glory and The Gospel message being made known to all Sister! It’s about disciples being made and all things coming together as they have been unfolding in redemptive history. It’s about knowing God and loving Him with all that you’ve got, as He informs you about who He is through His Scriptures and the leading of The Holy Spirit. This is a wild, fun and exponentially amazing time to not sit around and wait for your name to be called, but to realize that you have already been called by The God of the universe, who woke you up from your grave of sin and called you to be His.
True life begins not when we gain a spouse, but when we lose our old self and gain Christ. No matter how cliche this reality may sound to a heart that is cold towards the place they’re in relationally, it is the truth nonetheless. We have everything we will ever need in Christ.
We don’t get more of what we need in Christ by changing our Facebook relationship statuses and wearing jewelry on our left hands. We get all that we need, by becoming children of God, who have gone from death to life, single to the Bride, of the true Kinsmen Redeemer, who purchased us with far more than a 3-months salary could ever buy.