It’s happened. It’s finally here. After years of praying the bug has finally bit, the relationship bug, that is. Our church has a large singles group for it’s size. For years we’ve been praying that it shrinks…because people start getting married. It’s happened! I’m involved in three weddings this spring/summer. It’s a very exciting season.
But, what if you’re not one of the people that’s been bit with the relationship bug? What if you’re like me, one of the people who prayed for it and is watching it unfold on the sidelines?
Lately, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with a few single gals that are struggling. One thing that makes me smile is the fact that it’s not just the girls in their 30s that struggle with contentment. If you’re a girl and old enough to marry, you’re gonna struggle. :) Somehow, somewhere, sometime, to varying degrees, but it’ll happen. As I’ve been talking to these ladies (and my own soul), I’ve had a growing burden to blog. If you are in a relationship, already married, or single, please read on. I have thoughts for everyone. ;)
Has God forgotten me? Is He angry with me? Is He toying with me? Be honest, if you’ve struggled with contentment you’ve thought something like this. I have too. Recently God has arrested my soul and shown me how ludicrous, untrue, and sinful those statements are. They are the complete opposite of the truth. If any of those statements were true, God would not be God. He couldn’t possibly have a flaw in His perfect character and still be the Holy Creator. But, that is not what has arrested my soul and calmed my struggling soul. What has? The doctrine of adoption. Huh? I never would have imagined that this aspect of gospel doctrine would so dramatically change my trust and confidence in my Savior. But, it has!!!
I could blog for days on this doctrine and how it has affected contentment in my life. But, that’s a whole blog series to come. Suffice to say, if you are struggling with contentment (in any form) I highly recommend you read this book, Children of the Living God. If I could purchase a copy for every person I know, I would. The knowledge that God is my loving Father who desires and gives what is best for me assails every doubting question in my soul. Here’s a sample:
God’s grace restores to us what Adam lost for us – sonship to the God who made us, loves us, and provides for us in every detail in life.
But the knowledge that the Father has bestowed his love on us, so that we are called children of God-and in fact are his children (1 Jn. 3:1-2), will, over time, prove to be the solvent in which our fears, mistrust, and suspicion of God-as well as our sense of distance from him – will eventually dissolve. Then we will enter into a richer experience of confidence and assurance as the children of our Father in heaven.
Many Christians go through much of life with the prodigal’s suspicion. Their concentration is upon their sin and failure; all their thoughts are introspective. That is why (in the Greek text) John’s statement about the Father’s love (1 Jn. 3:1) begins with a word calling us to lift up our eyes from ourselves and take a long look at what God has done: Behold! – look and see – the love the Father has lavished upon us!
This reproves men’s squint looking. They do not look at God’s love, but at themselves and at their own corruptions and afflictions. It is a wonder that God’s children should pore only upon their corruptions, and not consider what love it is for God to discover them and pardon them.
-Sinclair Ferguson, Children of the Living God
If you’re struggling with contentment, I beseech you, look to the cross. Come before the throne of Grace and plead for the comfort, strength, and grace that our heavenly Father is so eager to supply. Even when an earthly husband feels like an utter necessity, God truly is our portion and all we need in life. (No, I’m not a married person saying this…I’m very much single and very much not wanting to be!) As my mom so wisely put it, a husband (insert anything else you’re desiring) will not satisfy your longings. He will hurt you, disappoint you, make you mad…the only thing that can completely satisfy your longings is the Savior. So, as you’re waiting for Prince Charming, spend you time gazing at the Savior. Build your relationship with Him, for it will serve you when you are married. I have more thoughts, so most likely, I’ll be blogging on this more in the near future.
For those of you in relationships. Don’t feel guilty!!! Right now we have some young gals in serious relationships. I know they struggle with the fact that they have a guy when many godly older woman in our church don’t. You MUST remember one important thing. God is SOVEREIGN. He has chosen for you to be in a relationship and that friend/sister/brother/co-worker to be single. He has a plan and a purpose for your life and for theirs. God never deals the same way with each of His children. Each one has a different journey, with specific delights and trials. No two journeys look the same. How can you serve your single friends. Oh that’s simple. Two things…pray for them and continue to pursue them. Often when a friend is in a relationship, singles friends don’t know what to do. They feel like they are intruding and getting in the way. So, when you can, include them into your life and activities. Make it known that you want to be friends and serve them (even though it will look different than when you were unattached) in this unique season of life.
For those of you that are married, I have two encouragements. ASK! If you have a good relationship with a single, ask how they are doing with contentment. Nothing has blessed my soul more than a married woman taking the time to draw me out and specifically ask me how I am doing with singleness. It’s not an intrusion. As a married person, you have a unique perspective and much wisdom and encouragement to be shared. Secondly, include singles into your lives. Have them over for dinner. Invite them to your family picnic. Invite them to join your group at Five Guys for lunch after church. Many singles don’t want to intrude. They want friendships with married couples and families, but they feel like they have nothing to offer. Take the first step, go after the singles in your church. Invite them to be apart of your family.
Though it’s hard to see it at times, singleness really is a gift. It’ a unique time to press into God and serve His church. It’s also a unique time to have fun and be crazy. :) Do you spend your time wishing for what God hasn’t given you? Or do you focus your heart on truth and enjoy the God things He has put in your life in this moment?