Singleness is NOT a Punishment!

From time to time you may hear an oft repeated adage that “You need to let God fulfill the desires of your heart before He will bring someone into your life to love.” I wanted to encourage you lest you begin to believe that somehow you must not be loving God enough: being content in your circumstances and placing God first in your life doesn’t necessarily imply that God will bring you your future spouse; it’s not an equation. One does not inevitably follow the other in sequence. So please don’t worry that because you’re single that you must be doing something wrong. Believing this misinformation will only bring shame and feelings of inadequacy.

Well-meaning friends and family have all kinds of explanations and advice for why we are still single. I can hear the echoes in my head now: “Perhaps God is teaching you to rest in His promises and fully rely on His provision” or “Perhaps He is teaching you to completely surrender.” Perhaps those things are true but God isn’t punishing you by withholding a good thing because you aren’t yet “good enough” for the blessing.

Regardless of the reason I find myself alone, I know one thing is true: God is drawing me closer to Him and realigning my thinking about Him. One of things I’ve been learning is that I have been trying so hard to please Him when He is already well-pleased with me. Yes! If you have the blood of the Lamb covering your sins, God only sees absolute perfection when He gazes upon you, His beloved. In Hosea 2:19 He says to us, “I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.” Like the twitterpated, smitten Prince in a fairy tale sweeps in to win the heart of his beloved, we too are pursued by our Lord who desires us and cherishes us deeply.

A friend told me recently, “Stop trying to make God proud.” At first that didn’t make much sense to me but I have since come to understand what he meant. Since childhood, I’ve endeavored to make my life a fragrant aroma to my King. We are called to be a living sacrifice to God so biblically this isn’t a wrong mindset but how often are we striving to serve God with the things that we DO? Proverbs 19:21 reminds us that “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Instead of running to and fro doing this and that for the kingdom, what if we stopped and simply just enjoyed being WITH God in quiet stillness? Remember the story of Mary and Martha? Martha was busy scrambling around the house getting food prepared to serve Jesus while Mary was sprawled out comfortably at His feet soaking up His company.

mary-or-martha

There’s nothing wrong with doing good things for God, as long as whatever you do, you do with all your heart as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23). John 15:4 reminds us that we can’t bear fruit unless we are connected to the vine. All of our righteous deeds are useless unless they are done with the correct heart attitude. When we are abiding in Jesus Christ, all the hope, peace, joy, love, and guidance we need flows directly from Him.

So thank you, sweet reader, for joining me on this journey I find myself in. I know it can sometimes feel like it but singleness is not a punishment. In fact, I find it can be a blessing in many ways. The biggest blessing so far is more time to spend with God and serving others.

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7 thoughts on “Singleness is NOT a Punishment!

  1. Jamie Carter says:

    It can be hard to feel that it isn’t a punishment sometimes though – I know mother’s day is coming up and I have to do my best to celebrate my own Mom, but she was a mom by my age and well, I’m not. It’s funny, I remember how I was supposed to shame those “loose” girls for their foolish decision-making skills and I could be prideful in my holiness, but now, they’re the ones getting honored and it’s Christianity itself that’s shaming me for following it’s rules too perfectly. At this point, the only thing I’m convinced about is that Christianity has caused much of this frustration by having the message being turned up too loud and repeated too frequently; fortunately, at this rate, there won’t be much of a next generation (and even less of a church) if it keeps on repeating this mistake.

    • I am sorry. You’re right, singleness certainly feels like a punishment. That’s primarily why I wrote this whole entry… because I keep thinking somehow God must be making me wait because I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing. That’s the wrong attitude… it’s not that we’re not doing enough, it’s not even that we’re doing wrong at all. It’s just a season we have to walk through for better or for worse.

      We’re not supposed to shame anyone… but I do see some unwed mothers in my Facebook feed and sometimes I feel a little jealous that they have what I so desperately want. My mom had two children ages four and two when she was the age that I am now. So it hurts a lot, of course it does. But think about it from another perspective: they have to be single moms and it’s not easy. I want the blessing of waiting so that my children will have both a very involved and loving mother AND father!

      What is the message you were referring to that Christianity as turned up too loud and too frequently?

      • Jamie Carter says:

        The whole emphasis on the role of women as mothers and wives; it leaves single women in the lurch – as if we’re somehow less than true women. It tells women that we’re only good for one thing and never celebrates women outside of that context.

  2. This post almost made me cry. Thanks for posting about this.

    • You’re so welcome! I’m glad I could be an encouragement to you. 🙂 ❤ I'm tired of people offering unsolicited commentaries on my relationship status. Well-meaning as people are, I'm 31 years old, and it's nothing I haven't heard before. It gets to the point where I start wondering if maybe I'm doing something wrong and that's why I'm still single. We should be celebrating our singleness rather than always trying to "cure" it! "Be thankful in all circumstances," God's Word says!

  3. Great post! Singleness is definitely a blessing. We are not meant to be married in this life. That’s not why god created us.

    • I respectfully disagree. In the beginning God created Adam AND Eve and He said that it isn’t good for man to be alone. He said to them “be fruitful and multiply.” Yes, it was a command. They were to fill the whole earth with more people. That’s not the main reason God created us, but it’s a beautiful part of life that is a part of worshipping Him because it was a command and part of our glorious purpose to honor the Lord.

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