Maybe Singleness Isn’t about Waiting for Marriage

So many young adults today endure singleness as a "season of waiting" for the good stuff: marriage. But what if marriage isn't really better than being single? Read more here!

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.

Disclaimer:

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.

It’s not about where you are, but whether you are willing to surrender here & now.

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Figuring Out God’s Will for Your Life

It can be so hard to figure out what God is telling you what to do. How do you know what His will for your life is? It may not be as hard as you think. Click here to read more!

Have you ever read or watched Anne of Green Gables? It’s a wonderful novel and movie series about spirited orphan Anne Shirley fostered by a brother-sister duo who grows up to fulfill her dream of being a teacher. She has an incredible imagination as a child and knows that she wants to one day be a school teacher, just like her role model Mrs. Stacey. Of course, she goes on to charm and inspire everyone she comes in contact with and eventually marries the man she has always truly loved. It’s an all-Canadian story about cherishing the people in your life and following your dreams.

I grew up watching Anne of Green Gables (I think I’m due for another movie marathon now.) Somehow, I always thought my life would be like that, too. That when it came to going to college, I would simply follow my dreams. I would know what career I was called to. I also thought that I would be successful at everything I did and that it would all simply come together. Unfortunately, I didn’t experience an epiphany or revelation calling me to anything specific.

If you’re thinking about your future now, it’s likely that you’ve heard the phrases, “Follow your dream” or “Do what you’re passionate about.” But what if you just don’t know the answer to the pressing question, “What will you do for the rest of your life?”

I’m now in my third year of college, and I’ve been blessed enough to enjoy what I’m doing. But when I started college, I really wasn’t sure. So what do you do if you’re in those final years of high school or even a high school graduate and have no idea what you want to do with your life?

Consider God’s will, not just your own.

This one might sound a bit cliché, but when you switch your focus from “What is the best thing I could do for me?” to a perspective of, “What is the best thing I could do for God?” things change a bit. I had the desire to serve God in whatever job I did. I didn’t want to get a job just for the money but I wanted a job that would glorify God. If the goal is to glorify the Lord, it takes some of the pressure off. Now I’m doing what He wants me to do instead of trying to figure out the best career for myself.

Look at is as an opportunity to explore.

When I went to college, I really didn’t know if accounting was what I wanted to do. I did it mostly out of practicality, since I knew that business knowledge would be helpful in nearly any field. I also wasn’t going to be spending a lot of money since I was staying at home, so it wasn’t a huge financial loss if I decided I didn’t like it. Also, it was a two-year program—not a complete waste of time if it didn’t turn out to be everything I dreamed of. You have your whole life ahead of you. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get it one hundred percent right the first time.

Take your God-given desires seriously.

My true desire as a young woman is to be at home raising my own kids and loving and inspiring other kids. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t have much to say about being a stay-at-home mom—especially when that person is just leaving high school. Not a lot of seventeen-year-olds go around saying they don’t want a career. Sixty years ago, career women weren’t the norm. Now, women at home aren’t the norm. While my desire to be a stay-at-home wife and mom someday was real and honorable, it didn’t authorize a refusal of college education. One thing I knew I loved doing was teaching piano. I had been doing it for two years and loved it. I knew I wanted to continue teaching, but again, it wasn’t a full-time job at that point. By going to school for a job that could be part-time or full-time so that I could also teach piano and stay at home, I felt like I had made a good use of my tuition fund.

But what if you still don’t know? If you can’t figure out God’s calling in your life, do you just wait for Him to give you a revelation?

As Christians, we tend to think like this:

I need to do God’s will for my life. What is His will? I can’t figure it out. If I make the wrong decision, that means that I’m out of His will and it will take me who-knows-how-long to get back on track. I won’t be able to serve God properly and I will have messed up my whole life. I’d better just wait on God.

These conclusions are not true. We will not mess up God’s plan for our lives if we make one or two or seventy decisions. God has given us free will and the ability to make our own decisions. If God is telling you to do something, you’ll know. That’s why He sent the Holy Spirit to live in us. If you truly just don’t know what God is telling you to do, chances are He’s leaving it up to you. God is not there waiting for us to make one wrong move and mess up His plan. He will fulfill His plan no matter what you do. When your desire is to truly serve Him, He will honour that.

Take a deep breath and relax. God may be calling you to something specific, or He may be calling you to just make a decision. Instead of sitting around waiting for God to tell you what to do next, do something now. Serve Him and He will show you the next step.

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. (Prov. 3:6)

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