By LESLIE LUDY
I’ve often struggled with discontentment in my singleness. People have told me I should be more proactive in trying to find a husband (i.e. join singles groups, try online dating, etc.). I’ve never felt comfortable with those suggestions but at the same time, I do have a strong desire for marriage. Do you have any advice?
You are certainly not alone in this struggle! Countless single women feel pressured to “hurry up and get married” so their life can “start.” There are plenty of subtle messages from well-meaning friends and family that imply you aren’t really “complete” until you finally meet your husband and get married. As a result, it’s all too easy to put your life and happiness on hold until you have a ring on your finger. And in this age when social media and Internet dating provide quick and easy ways to connect with the opposite sex, the temptation to build your single years around the pursuit of a guy — rather than the pursuit of Christ — is stronger than ever.
Certainly God puts a very high value on marriage. It was, in fact, His idea in the first place! The majority of us are called to be married. There is certainly nothing wrong with desiring to be married, preparing practically for marriage, or taking steps toward a romantic relationship with someone as God leads. The problem comes when we overlook the amazing opportunity God has given us in the single years, letting that season go to waste because we are desperately seeking marriage above all else.
Corrie ten Boom wrote, “Marriage is not the answer to unhappiness. Happiness can only be found in a balanced relationship with the Lord Jesus … [When you belong to Christ] you can be happy with or without a husband — secure in Jesus alone.”
If you are discontent, the solution will not be found in “fixing” your singleness. The true solution is found in dealing with your discontentment. I encourage you to take your life, hopes, dreams, and desires and lay them at His feet. In return, He will replace your discontentment with a joyful, peaceful surrender.
I once knew a single young woman who longed to be married and have a family. But God had not yet brought her husband into her life. She didn’t feel called to a lifetime of singleness. But she knew that until God unfolded His plan for marriage in her life, He had called her to live out her single years well … for His glory. Rather than pining after marriage, she spent those years pouring out her life for others and sharing the love of Christ wherever she went. Someone asked her one day, “Are you called to singleness?” and she replied, “Today I am.”
What a powerful example! If you are single today, don’t worry about the next two, five, or twenty years — or whether you are called to a lifetime of singleness and how you would ever be able to handle that. Simply rest in the fact that if God has not yet brought your husband into your life, He has a plan for you as a single woman today. And He will give you the grace and strength to bring Him glory through your singleness today. Meanwhile, build your life around the pursuit of Christ — not the pursuit of a relationship — and He will lovingly shape and fulfill the desires of your heart in His own perfect timing and way. He is faithful.