Singleness can be such a lonely, discontented period for many young women. However, it doesn’t have to be that way! An attitude of discontentment is an inward problem of the heart. Instead of looking outward for things that will change our circumstances, we must look inward and change the condition of our hearts. Our Heavenly Father wants us to rejoice always, in all circumstances, and through all trials that get thrown our way. We don’t have the “right” to pick and choose, we must rejoice in all things in order to follow in the footsteps of our Savior.
Joy and contentment are choices, not emotions, which is why the Apostle Paul wrote, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.”
Many dread, hate, and then can’t wait till their period of singleness is over and their gallant prince finally arrives, rescuing them from their life of drudgery and turning them into a princess. However, this season is a blessed time whether it lasts a mere few years or an upwards of ten years or more. God expects us to use our time wisely while we are on this earth for soon “we’ll be gone, in the blink of an eye”. So the question is, how can we productively live our lives for an unknown amount of time while we are seemingly in a place of limbo that is without clear direction as far as life course? And how can we, as young women dedicated to serving in our parents’ homes while waiting on the Lord for the next step, fill that waiting with real purpose and meaning and not duty and obligation? The answer to these questions can be found in the definition of the word “wait”.
In the original language, the Hebrew word translated “wait” in Psalm 27:14 (see the beginning of the article) literally means to look patiently. So if we re-wrote this verse using this literal translation it would read “Look patiently for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; look patiently for the LORD!” Wow! This changes the more passive impression “wait” gives to something more active. We are not to sit around “waiting” for the Lord but instead need to actively “look patiently” for/to the Lord. We must make Him our sole focus and the Fulfiller of all our needs. In making Christ the center of our lives and our All in All, and by always keeping Him as Lord on the throne of our hearts, we will be complete. And if our completion is found in Christ, than we don’t need to look for a husband to feel fulfilled. This, my dear sisters, is the secret of contentment.
God has put each one of us here on this earth for a special purpose only He knows. It is our job to seek after that purpose, and once we find it, to take hold of it with all that we have and all that we are. Don’t look at marriage and children as necessarily the supreme goal, but view them as icing on the cake, so to speak. Be 100% alive and excited about life NOW. Don’t be like a limp plant which suddenly comes alive when a charming young man sweeps in and moves it to a new life. Instead be the sunflower soaking in the rays of the sunshine and fully blooming wherever it’s planted. God gave us life and breath; therefore, how could we do anything less than give it all back to Him and live it out for His glory? As the first doctrine of the Westminster Shorter Catechism states, “The chief duty of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” So live your life looking to Jesus and His higher calling, putting Him at the center of all that you do, and He will bring rich and abundant blessings into your life which may or may not include a husband and family. If we do this, then the years we have in singleness will not be wasted or feel like they drag on forever.
I’m sure that many of you believe that God’s calling for you is to be a future wife and homemaker, which is a great and marvelous high calling and one for which you must prepare and equip yourself. However, be careful not to make that the sole focus of your singleness because you might not get married for a while, and God also has other purposes for your life before that time comes. Marriage is the uniting of two imperfect sinners not merely to perpetuate a godly generation, but also that together they may become a more powerful and united force for God’s kingdom and His glory. Your perfect match might not be perfect for you in that you share the exact same interests or have compatible personalities, but that you both have the same or complimentary God-given callings and purposes on your lives. By basing a relationship centered on Christ and what He has called each of you to, you will be able to discover if you can be a helpmate to this man not only on the home-front but also on the spiritual battleground. However, you cannot know if your life callings are similar or complimentary unless you know beyond the shadow of a doubt the purpose for your own life on earth. This is where the season of singleness comes in. It is the period of our lives when we can focus on what God has in store for us. We are not random pieces of dust taking up space on God’s arena of history, but active participants placed here with purpose and for a reason. So spend this time right now seeking the Lord and His face, and He will give you the answers that you seek.
In our resolution to trust God with our futures, we will be going against the norm, and will, therefore, stand out. We live in a culture that mainstreams everything from the entertainment we watch to the way we live our lives. So as we strive to go against the flow we will encounter opposition, peer pressure, and possible mocking from the world in which we live. In the midst of such disapproval, it is even more important that we focus solely on the One who has given us His promises, and remember why we have chosen the path we are walking. When asked the “do you have a boyfriend?” question, have a clear, intelligent, convincing, and non-defensive response ready. It could sound something like this: “I am resolved to wait for the perfect, God-appointed young man who will get to know me through the safety and structure of courting.” Look on the positive side and think of all the drama, heartache, and wasted time and energy we don’t have to experience because we have decided to “look patiently” for/to the Lord!
Throughout Scripture we see our lives likened to a race that isn’t completed until the Lord calls us home, and many times we are exhorted to run with great endurance and in such a way as to win. I firmly believe that if we are running this race of faith with our eyes fixed on the One who has called us and are faithfully going about our Father’s business, then our Omniscient God will cause our race track to cross with another’s, a young man also focused on winning the race and with whom our loving Father has preordained us to partner with, that together we may press on toward the goal of our high calling. So I encourage you, dear sisters, to start running your race of faith full out and see what exciting things God has in store for you, His beloved daughter!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”
A note to my brothers in the Lord:
Although this article was written with young women in mind, these same concepts apply to you, young men in the faith. I have seen too many of my brothers in Christ so focused on getting financially secure enough to marry and start families that they lose sight or miss altogether the ways in which God could use them to build His kingdom that are outside the sphere of husband and father. So my encouragement to you: Run NOW in such a way as to win the prize, and store up for yourselves treasures in heaven that will last through eternity. For the glory of God and the unconquerable love of His Son, take hold of your high calling and RUN!
“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”
~C. T. Studd
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