I’m sure most of you have heard the comparison that’s drawn between a husband and wife and Christ and the church. The sacrificial love, the self-denial, the continual acts of service, etc., etc., etc. For a single person, that is terrific to hear. It helps to paint a picture of what my future marriage is supposed to look like, centered around The Lord and reflecting His love into each other’s lives in every single way. However, as a single person, this is also terrible to hear, especially when it’s heard constantly by every pastor who preaches on marriage. I love everything that has to do with love. Some would probably call me a hopeless romantic. This gets me into trouble at times, but one day, my husband will appreciate it.
As a hopeless romantic and 21 year old Christian woman, singleness can suck. (Notice that I said it can and not that it does.) It is seriously difficult. Especially when everything you look at revolving around singleness points you into dating and marriage. It’s rare to hear a sermon that doesn’t idealize dating and marriage while addressing singleness.
In the past months, I’ve been trying this new “intentional singleness” thing. I want to learn as much from this season as I can. Instead of wishing it away and longing for my perfect Christian husband and our perfect little house with our perfect little children, I want to think about how perfect my God is regardless of anything else that I may have or may receive later. Here are a couple places in Scripture that God has led me to that have helped me stay grounded in focusing on my walk with The Lord rather than on my singleness or my future marriage.
1 Corinthians 7:7
“I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.”
Paul, who was never married, writes this to the church in Corinth as he speaks to them about sexual impurity and principles for marriage. Though he wishes that all were single as he is, he recognizes that God bestows certain gifts to certain people – some receive marriage, others receive singleness. The key take away of this? BOTH ARE A GIFT FROM GOD!
“For I consider that the sufferings of the present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from bondage to corruption and obtain freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in childbirth until now. And not only creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in the hope we are saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
That was a lot, I know. Basically these verses are a reminder of the Gospel. We are subject to futility. We are in bondage to corruption. Though we are set free through faith in the work of Christ on the cross, we still suffer presently along with all of creation until the return of Christ. Everything is built on our faith that He has come to save and that He will return to us again. We wait, eagerly, with patience.
Now… singleness is the most beautiful representation of Christ’s current relationship with the church. We are waiting, patiently and eagerly for Him. Singleness, when done right, is waiting eagerly and patiently for God to bestow the gift of marriage upon you. You wait in patience, in purity, and in faith that God will provide.
But here’s the best part of that… even if He doesn’t give you the gift of marriage, your singleness is still a gift. And the passage from Romans 8 still applies to you. Because CHRIST IS STILL COMING BACK FOR YOU. & until that is the thing we long for more than anything else in this world, we will not know true joy – regardless of being single or married.
So. Roman’s 8:18-25 will be my first tattoo on my ring finger. To remind me of my gift of singleness, to remind me of the proper way to wait for my gift of marriage (because I know I’m getting married one day).
And when I do get married, as my husband slides my wedding band over my ring finger, I will be reminded that, underneath it all, my joy is found in the promise of Christ, The Husband, coming to redeem the church, His bride.
Because it’s ALL ABOUT JESUS! God started with the end in mind and before creation He knew of the second coming of Christ. It all points to Him. And I pray that every breathe of my life (even though I know I will fall short) will point to Him.
So, while some have called me a hopeless romantic, I prefer the to label myself a hopeful romantic because the object of my life’s romance – marriage or not – is Jesus, and with Him there is nothing but hope.
Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!