Single (especially Christian single) people are forever being given advice on how to prepare themselves for marriage/dating. There are tons of books, dvd’s and podcasts giving tips for successful singledom, urging singles to get their act together in preparation for this impending life-long commitment to ‘someone’. For example:
“Get rid of debt” they say …
“Be the kind of person you’re looking for” they say …
But what if I told you you’ll never get married? What would you do then?
If, perhaps, I was super prophetic, and had a distinct, clear and personal message from God, and told you that I have received word from the Lord above, and you, my dearest friend, are destined to remain single for the rest of your days … How would that change the way you live your life? What, or who, would become your priority then?
Would you reconsider speedily paying off debt?
Would you finally book that cruise in the Caribbean?
Would you stop going to the gym?
Would you stop going to church?
Would you think “God doesn’t love me” and give up on Christianity altogether?
Just to state the obvious, i’m not saying that any of the above mentioned points are bad advice. What I AM saying, though, is that we shouldn’t for a second think, that whether we are married or not has to do with anything other than God’s perfect timing, and perfect plan.
Tons of people get married while they are over weight; in debt; waiting or not waiting; happily or miserably single. So clearly that has nothing to do with it. I think we can therefore also assume that getting out of debt, or having a good, morning bible-study routine, is not going to help get a ring on your finger any sooner either.
Another thing i hear people say is “As soon as i was content in being single, that’s when i met my husband”. Things do seem to happen that way, but I firmly believe that it has less to do with someone’s victory over their marital status, and more to do with God, in His grace, bringing them to a place where they are whole and healthy, prepared and able to share themselves with another. It’s the way God blesses relationship … Let us not think that it is anything we did.
Single people should stop being encouraged to live in anticipation of marriage. We know married couples mean well when they say things like: “We find marriage so wonderful, we just want you to be married too” and that’s real sweet. But what you SHOULD want, is for us to be making the best of our lives NOW! For us to be living in the moment, encouraging us to enjoy every phase of life because it won’t last forever. Let’s face it, the possibility of marriage for most people reading this, is very good, but let’s also remember that with the beautiful blessing of holy matrimony, comes hard work, sacrifice and compromise. A husband/wife is a blessing, not a reward for being ‘Superbly Single’.
“Get out of debt”: YES! Good advice! Why? So that you are ready and able to do ANYTHING God asks of you! Maybe it includes marriage, maybe not.
Don’t wast time trying to “become the person you’re looking for” … you should be working on becoming more like Christ, not trying to become more ‘marry-able’.
The only thing any of us should be living in anticipation for, is the promise of eternity.