I want to get married.
There, I said it.
Who wouldn’t, anyway? Marriage displays God’s good purpose for us; and we are all wired to desire for companionship and intimacy. As a child who’s part of a generation that glorifies romance, I was one of those girls who would plan her “dream wedding” down to the most minute details. Growing older and more mature in my walk with Christ, the picture of marriage became even more beautiful for me. However, I fear that there is also a danger to this kind of perspective. The concept of “patiently waiting for marriage” has somehow produced in some people the thinking that getting married gives someone the license or go signal to serve Christ.
“Okay, Lord. Give me my husband and I will love and serve you with all my heart! I’m willing to wait, by the way. :)”
In her book Emotional Purity, Heather Paulsen says that “an underlying, unspoken feeling in Christian circles seems to be that marriage brings you to a deeper level of spirituality. It is almost as though marriage is the pinnacle of the Christian life.”
I used to think like this, too. I used to only dream of that ideal wedding with the ideal man; and even created a detailed description of what he would be like.
But then one day, a sudden realization crept in: What if I’m not going to get married yet in the next few years? What if I’m not going to get married at all? What have I been doing with my life? All those daydreams, all those hours spent planning my married life, they will all be for naught.
At that moment, I realized how much I’ve been wasting my time (and feelings) all along.
Imagine the things I could have done with all that wasted time. I could’ve been a better student. I could’ve done more housework. I could’ve been a friend to someone who needed help. I could’ve learned a new skill. I could’ve spent more time with God. I could’ve done all of this… but I didn’t. Why?
I was crippled by my desires.
Don’t get me wrong, though. Waiting is a beautiful, beautiful act of worship. My point is just that some people (like me) have the tendency to make the process of “waiting and preparing for marriage” the single overarching purpose of their lives.
It’s not. There are things we can do to serve God as singles that married people may not be able to do. There are lives we can touch as singles that we may not be able to if we were married. There are fruits we can harvest now. Not when we’re married, not when we’re engaged or in a relationship, but now. And more importantly, there is a work being done in our lives right at this moment.
So instead of merely “waiting” passively for that person who would be our partner in serving Christ, why don’t we actively serve Him in the best manner we could in this current season of our lives?. Instead of imagining who our future lovers would be, why don’t we strive to grow deeper in knowledge of God, the ultimate Lover?
In her essay Becoming Esther, Charo Washer says:
Singleness is not a waste of time or a sitting on the sidelines, but a time that God has set aside especially for the woman, to make her into what He wants her to be, and to use her in ways that just might be impossible after marriage. Singleness is a time in which a woman is to cultivate the virtues that pertain to being a woman of God, so that she can offer to her future husband and the world something more than just a pretty face.
So I will wait, but I will not in vain. I will wait patiently, faithfully, expectantly, and fruitfully. I will wait not just with all of my heart, but also with both of my hands. I will work for His Kingdom. I will work for His glory.
That way, my singleness will not be only a season of waiting, but a season of passionate service and self-denial, as a sign of absolute surrender to His will.
Post by Jessamine Pacis, TLW volunteer. Jessamine is a writer, soon-to-be law student, and forgiven child of God. A proud INFP, she can usually be found daydreaming or consuming copious amounts of cereal at any time of the day. She prattles about random musings and her imperfect (yet beautiful) journey with Christ at itsjesss.wordpress.com.