Question:
Click here to read Lori Smith's response to this reader in The Single Truth.

Dear Chuck,

I have a dilemma. I don't know if I am supposed to marry or not. I say this because I have a desire to be a good and godly wife. It is not what I think about constantly but it is a regular thought. When I think about being married to a man, I also think about how I want that same kind of relationship spiritually with Jesus Christ. I want a total love relationship with God and I don't want anything to come between that. I have made a decision that if he wants me to be single, so be it, and I would like to be content with that. But if that is to be the case, I have asked that He please, please remove the desire for marriage.

I am 43 years old, never been married and have no children. In the past 13 years, I have been in three serious relationships but none of them worked. Most of my friends are married, and are now working on grandchildren. I keep pretty busy in my church and in other areas of the community, and these things do keep me satisfied. But sometimes, the desire to have a special person in my life gets pretty strong, and then I start to feel sorry for myself.

I know that God said in Genesis that it is not good for man to be alone and I also know that there are some who will never be married. I just don't know which one I'm supposed to be. And before you suggest I pray about it, I have and I will continue to do so. I just want to know what you think.

Thanks in advance.

Chuck's Response:
Thanks for the note about your confusion between marriage and being single. I know you want God's best, and it sounds like you are trying hard to find it.

I think the call to be single is very, very rare. I believe God's best is for men and women to be married because He uses marriage as a picture of His Body the church. Also, as you pointed out, in Genesis 2:18 He says that a man and woman "complete" each other. That implies to me, at least, that we are necessary for each other's complete identity. The reason the Apostle Paul sounded like he was against marriage in some of his writings was because at that time Nero was hanging Christians on lamp poles and setting them on fire to light the way for his chariots. Paul was just saying that because of all of the persecutions of that day He recommend that people stay unmarried so they didn't have additional responsibilities. His Ephesians 5 passage is one of the foundations for marriage, so he was not anti-marriage as some people preach. Therefore, I don't think there are any biblical reasons for you to still be single. Sure there are a few people who are called to minister to a remote tribe in Africa or do intensive language translation or something, and sometimes it is a benefit to concentrate totally on their project rather than a mate, but as I said I think the call to singleness is extremely rare. I don't believe you need to be content with your singleness but I do think you need to give it to God. Those are two different things in my opinion. The next time you have a minute, get away somewhere private, get on your knees and say something like this to God:

"Thank You first of all for the gift of eternal life and your son, Jesus Christ. You know how much I think about my singleness and I don't want this to be a distraction to what I am doing for You. Forgive me when I become impatient. I know You have a special plan for my life, and I just want You to know that if you want me single the rest of my life it is OK. That is not the way I would necessarily write the script for my life, but I surely don't want to be fighting you on this, if you can do better work through my life being single. I'll just focus on serving the people around me right now and let YOU take care of finding Mr. Right for me if in fact that is something You have in mind for me. I want to relax in this thought of You being in charge of my life. Thank you for the many blessings you heap upon me. I love your Son Jesus very much, and it is in His name that I pray. Amen."

With God's Love,
Chuck Snyder

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