In today’s culture and society, we are told that to be happy in life, we must be married and in committed relationships. Those who are single are looked down on and people often wonder, “What’s wrong with you? Why aren’t you married yet?” I’m at that phase in my life where most of my single friends are no longer. They are all getting married and starting families of their own. Even though we may be happy for our friends, it’s easy to watch these things happen and wonder when it will be your turn. I know I do. But that’s not the attitude that will allow us to be content in our lives. It’s easy to give excuses when people ask when you might finally settle down and get married. But we shouldn’t be searching for excuses. We should be searching for the one who can give us contentment in our situations.
James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” Contentment is just that. A gift. A gift that we can only receive from God. Elisabeth Elliot once said, “If you are single today, the portion assigned to you for today is singleness. It is God’s gift. Singleness ought not to be viewed as a problem, nor marriage as a right. God in his wisdom and love grants either as a gift.”
In the past two years, my life has been full of emotional ups and downs. I’ve been through seasons of questioning God and wondering why He has not given me the gift of being married. I’ve also been through seasons of feeling contentment with where I am in life today. Lately, my life has been full of the latter. A good friend help me to realize that while I might not be where I ultimately want to be, I’m right where God wants me to be. And how can we argue with that? There’s a reason that I’m here today, and while I may not know or understand the whys, it’s not something I’m willing to question God on. God is sovereign and He has great plans for us all, even if they aren’t our plans. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” There are many trials and temptations that stem from living a life of singleness, but if we are able to persevere through these and set our eyes on God, we will ultimately grow in faith and maturity in Christ. And that is a promise I can rest in.
Do I want to eventually get married? Yes. Do I want to have a family of my own? Yes. But will I question where God has me today and go against His will? No. These things I desire may never be. And that’s something that I’m learning to be okay with.
Even though I’m not where I wish I could be, I can feel God working in my life. Being single has been the best gift I could ask for. I’ve been able to spend so much more time studying the Word, praying, and growing in knowledge and wisdom. I’m currently in school getting a certificate from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Women’s Studies. I’m now leading the Women’s Bible Study at my church, and I feel myself growing closer to God every single day. I’m able to serve God in ways that others are not. He’s using me to fulfill His ultimate will. I’m fully aware that things that may not have happened the same way if I was in a different season of life, and I can’t thank God enough.
For those of you in the same situation that I find myself in today, I highly recommend you read Seasons of Waiting: Walking by Faith When Dreams Are Delayed by Betsy Childs Howard. It really helped me in my search for contentment. And I pray that it helps you in the same way. Every single day, I praise God for His goodness and thank Him for His promises.