Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rather give up life than give in to singleness?

I believe marriage is a wonderful thing, when two people come together in such a way that love is multiplied, their joys doubled, and burdens halved.  I believe marriage is a Godly thing, when each person is able, through their union, to pursue the plans and purposes God has for them.  I believe marriage is fabulous, when God is the center and the relationship finds them drawing closer to Him and closer to one another.

I have always wanted to be married and to have a family.  Perhaps even more so after becoming a Christian, when a desire was birthed within me to leave a legacy of Christ like living and loving, for my children to pick up and pass down generation to generation.

I still want to be married and to have a family, but more than this I have come to a place in my life and in my spiritual walk where I'm more than willing to surrender that desire, in exchange for what God desires for me.  Of course many of us say this. In fact I have thought this many times in the past about marriage, but I was never really committed to the idea.  I am now. It didn't happen over night, it took years, but I have more than accepted that it may be God's will for me that I remain single. I have actually embraced this possibility and see the benefits of it.

I didn't expect however, that embracing such a possibility would result in an outpouring of concern from some in the Christian community.  It's as if the family of God thinks I have given up on life.  No Cathleen, keep fighting, keep breathing, this is not the end - God has someone for you, hold on!!!!!!!  

Maybe God does have someone for me, and if so - Wahooooo!!!! bring on "Charles Ingalls", praise be to God!.  However if not, then Wahoooooo!!! Praise be to God, just the same.

Here's the thing, as much as I believe in marriage, I do not believe it's the be all and end all for Christian women. I've come to realize that perhaps my getting married would be a hindrance to the plans and purposes God has for me.  If this is the case, than I shall pass on wedded bliss thank you very much.  What God has planned for me, is better than anything I can plan for myself.

If I look back on my life, I can see NOW, the benefits of my singleness in my Christian walk, the breadth of ministry it has allowed me.  The single focus it has afforded me.  Perhaps this is God's plan for me, in order that I may be more effective for Him and others, not for just right now but forever. 

This is where I'm at, but we are all at different places along this journey, and  for some, right now, the thought of such a possibility for their life, elicits copious amounts of anxiety.  Admittedly the title of this blog is a bit of an exaggerated question, but for some it seems the thought of having to sacrifice their life for Christ, would be easier than having to surrender to a life of singleness for Christ.  This reminded  me of the story of the Rich Young Ruler and I found myself wondering how we would respond if Jesus said to us, "in order to grab hold of the abundant life I have for you, embrace a life of singleness and follow me".  Would we, at these words be saddened, and go away grieving, unwilling to give up our desires, for what God desires of us? Would we respond much the same way the Rich Young Ruler did when Jesus answered his question "What must I do to inherit eternal life", by telling him to sell all he owned and follow Him.

I am in  no way suggesting that it is better for all to be single, certainly not. I am affirming that it is best to place all our desires in God's hands, not holding to tightly to anything, lest we be unable to grab hold of all God has for us.  I do not know my future, whether I shall be married or not, but I do know that I can trust my future to God.  It is faith that allows us to be content in all things, a growing trust that allows us to relinquish control to the one truly in control and find peace in the places God brings us. 

So ladies, whether, single, married, dating or divorced, as Valentines Day rushes upon us, let's celebrate the God who loves us extravagantly and praise Him. May we grow in faith, and in the confidence of  knowing that the plans and purposes God has for us are better than anything we can dream for ourselves.