Maybe it’s just me, but lately I’ve been seeing a lot of “marriage vs. singleness” discussions among Christian young adults.
The debate looks something like this: many young adults are still single, and some are married. The married people are on the “WOO marriage is so great and if you’re not married you’re missing out big time” side, while all the singles are either trying to deny their emotions (“I’m single and I will enjoy it/pretend I do”) or just open about their desperate desire to get married.
Maybe I have no right to even have an opinion on the matter, since I’m a married, twenty-one year old Christian woman who hasn’t experienced a real “season of singleness.”
I might not understand how hard it is to wait for God to bring someone into your life, or wonder if He ever will.
Maybe I can’t understand how hard it is to trust God, when being a wife and mother is the greatest desire of your heart.
What I have to say actually has nothing to do about the singleness versus marriage discussion. It’s more to do with how God’s will affects the quality of either season of life—whether that’s singleness or marriage.
Maybe it’s not about whether or not you’re married.
Why do so many singles feel that they are missing out if they’re not married? I think it’s a matter of understanding why marriage can be a blessing…and how it can also be quite the opposite.
My marriage is a wonderful blessing to me. My husband is a pretty amazing man. I have more respect and admiration for him than anyone else. But here’s the thing: my marriage isn’t a blessing because my husband and I have forever committed our lives to each other, or even because he’s such a great guy. It’s a blessing because it’s where God wants me.
There are also many unhappy marriages in the world, folks. I know couples who would probably say their marriage is not a blessing to them. Marriage itself isn’t the blessing here.
Likewise, singleness is a blessing for some and not for others. If you are single and you believe that’s where God has placed you for now (which has nothing to do with how you feel about the situation and all about God’s will for your life), you will be—and are—blessed.
We don’t miss out on the blessing because we’re either married or not. We miss out on the blessing when we refuse to stay where God has placed us.
When we look at marriage and singleness and say one is better than the other, we stand dangerously close to the edge. We tempt ourselves because when we believe one is better than the other, we often pursue it relentlessly, regardless of where God is guiding us. It’s so easy to just charge ahead with what we want and ignore the Lord’s leading.
The blessing happens when we choose to be where God wants us. Every step of my relationship with my husband was guided by God. I didn’t push for it. But what if I had believed that no matter what, being single would make me more “blessed”? If I hadn’t married, I wouldn’t be in God’s will and would be worse off.
For those who are married, marriage is a blessing not because it’s a marriage, but because God put those two people there. And for others, singleness is not a blessing because they’re single, but because they are walking in God’s path for them.
Next time you’re wondering which is better—marriage or singleness?—remember that it’s not the circumstance, but the reason you’re there.