When I take a step back and look at this blog from a distance, I can see how it might be a little off-putting to some. Some specifically who may be single and frustrated, in a messy relationship, or too young to be considering this kind of relationship. It looks like everything is perfect, right? It looks like everything is all-good.
Let me start by nixing that. Yesterday Austin and I had our first big fight. I am talking melt into a puddle of tears and wonder how the heck this whole marriage thing works kind of fight. The kind where we dishonored one another and our Maker all at once.
You see, we are people. Messy, broken people who struggle with pride and anger and selfish ambition.
And you are on the other side of the screen, only seeing the beautiful.
Here are the words I have for you, beloved. Here is some encouragement for no matter where you are. Words that I am not qualified to give you, but that He promises in His Word.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
You are loved right there. Right where you are.
There is a Jesus who left His throne. Who came to this earth that His children might love Him above everything. Grasp to that. Hold tight to the husband that will never leave you, never yell at you, never let you down. When you want to be going on a date, go to a coffee shop and spend intentional time with Him. When you go to a wedding, come home to time in His word. He has already loved you. He has chased you and sought you more than any man ever will or is even capable of doing. He does not ask you to get yourself together first. He isn’t concerned with any dirty appearance you may harbor in this moment. He is only concerned with you loving Him and loving Him deeply. He has the rest. He loves you more than you can fathom and wants you to cling to Him now.
There can be joy in singleness.
In last week’s post, my sweet friend Abby wrote, “Singleness is a fun, interesting stage of life that I’m dead set on taking advantage of. You could do as many Proverbs 31 studies and maybe learn to sew, but I think preparing for marriage looks like working for God’s kingdom.”
Take a look at Paul, the Biblical MVP. He says in 1 Corinthians 7:6-7, “Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.”
He treasures his singleness as a gift. An ability to focus on Jesus alone. To give His life to the only One who is 100% faithful. A part of me is jealous of Paul.
I am convinced completely that God gave me a relationship so early on because He knew that I would sin in singleness. I’m not hard core enough to handle it. He knew that I work better with a continual accountability partner than I might on my own. Praise Him for that. But I am beautifully envious of those who can ride this roller coaster with only Jesus and the church in their car. You inspire me, sister. You make this whole loving The Lord thing look easy. You are a testimony and a witness and if you need me to tell you that I look up to you humbly because of that every day, I will.
Do NOT settle.
Please. I spent years settling. Literally jumping from boy to boy to boy searching desperately for the picture perfect relationship that might lead to a marriage. Yes, I found the relationship The Lord intended for me. I was brought a good man. But is our marriage picture perfect? Heck no.
You will get hurt if you seek to fill a void that media–even Christian media–tells you you might have. Wait for Jesus to bring you your man if He has one for you.
I remember sitting in the car one day in high school. I was getting ready to get into a relationship with a really good guy. A guy who loved Jesus more than anything. He was searching for a partner to join into a God-glorifying relationship with. He was handsome, polite, loved by the parents, everything I could imagine I might want.
I pushed shuffle on my phone and the song “You’ll Come” by Hillsong began. “I have decided, I have resolved to wait upon You, Lord,” sang into my ears. Crap. I thought. I knew that God was calling me to nix it. I had no clue why. Honestly, I still don’t really know other than the fact that Austin Groves was living in a dorm 10 miles down the road. Some times He tells you to wait, even when it doesn’t seem right. Listen closely.
Surround yourself with other single, Jesus-loving women.
I know it’s hard. The Church is filled with ministries that promote the family. Dig deeper. Find someone who can disciple you. Someone who has done all these things well and taken advantage of this single gift she has been given with angst. I can give you my words all day long, but you have been given people of The Church for a reason. Surround yourself with people who are in the same boat as you. That beautiful, sometimes unbalanced, but never sinking boat that The Lord placed you all into. Don’t try to swim to my boat or the boat of your friend who is dating or wherever else you want to be.
He is the best husband you could ask for.
I can imagine that there are days you get tired of hearing this. But my sister, that doesn’t make it any less good and true. Take it from me, someone who has an AMAZING husband. My husband lets me down. He is broken. He is being sanctified. As deeply as it might hurt, I could live without Him if I were put in that situation.
I could NOT live without my God.
Perhaps that is what marriage has taught me. In the most intimate human relationship there is, I have come to love He who isn’t human even more. I have been reminded that my earthly hero is made of dust. My heavenly hero is never ending, never failing, always good. Ephesians 5 commands husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Austin will say that he fails at that daily. That’s okay. I don’t hold up my end of the bargain either. That’s what we signed up for–to learn to be better in these areas daily and get rid of them ASAP.
But please, sister, realize that He loves you better than any man ever will. Find joy beyond imagination in this life stage. Do not settle for what the world would have you settle for. Put the time and effort into your Savior as you might your husband.
He is holding you. He has a plan for this–whatever it may be. He loves you beyond comprehension and wants you to love Him first. Maybe after that, He will provide a husband. Maybe He won’t. Either way, I promise you. He is the best that it gets.