If You've Missed "The One" for You
- Cliff Young & Laura MacCorkle Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer & Senior Editor
- 2012 1 Jan
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to He Said-She Said (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: Can you still marry after you’ve missed the man God had planned for you? God is sovereign, right? He can order your footsteps, because his plan prevails. He says all things work together for those who loved him. But I mean, at 41 years old, how come I’m not married yet?
HE SAID: You can definitely marry after you’ve missed the man God had planned for you, but I have to wonder why someone would want to marry you if you really thought he wasn’t the man God had intended for you?
Many singles over thirty-five ask themselves at some point why they aren’t married. I know I have (along with most of my older friends) and through the years I have come up with a number of possible reasons, but none seem very important.
What is important is my relationship with the Lord now and how I am walking the path and purpose he has set for me today.
You allude to Proverbs 16:9, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps,” and I hear people ask, “What good is it for me to plan if God is going to change it anyways?” or “I’ve been letting God direct my steps, but he hasn’t done anything yet.”
All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
To love God means spending time with him in prayer and solitude. It means listening (and reacting) to his still small voice when everything and everyone around you is screaming something different. It means trusting him by taking steps of faith along his path even when it doesn’t make complete sense. It means stepping outside of your comfort zone because he often gives us opportunities we can’t fathom or could have dreamed of.
We work together with God according to his purpose—not asking God to work within our plans, not setting some arbitrary timeline for him to work and not doing only what we want to do.
Why aren’t you married yet? I don’t think anyone can answer that except for you. For me, there is more God wants to use me for which can only come about as a single.
SHE SAID: Look at your question. The answer is there.
How could you miss the man God has planned for you? If God has a specific man planned for you, then you will not miss him. Right?
If God is sovereign (as you have indicated you believe), then you have not missed out on anything that he has planned for you (Job 42:2). Period. This is the God of ALL creation. The One who planned out the entire history of the world until the end of time. The Father who knows you so intimately that each hair on your head is numbered (Matthew 10:29-31).
I don’t know about you, but to me that is comforting.
But I also understand your frustration and your loneliness. I want to know, too, “why am I not married yet?” (Proverbs 20:24). But I don’t have the answer to that for any of us, just like I don’t have the answer for why innocent children die in the womb or why a cure for cancer cannot be found or why a spouse inexplicably “falls” out of love with another. There are some harsh realities in life that we just don’t understand . . . and perhaps never will.
But I believe the point is not to be mired in “why” in our relationship with God, but in “who”, “what”, “when”, “where” and “how.” As in . . .
WHO am I supposed to ________?
WHAT do you want me to do with ________?
WHEN should I ________?
WHERE am I supposed to _________?
HOW do you want me to go about ________?
There is so much else to do in our single lives than to get stuck in the “why” of our marital status. We could be missing out on what God is trying to do in and through us if we don’t let go of wanting to know “why” we are still single.
My advice to you is to shift your focus and see what else God has put on the plate of your life besides the empty spot where a mate would be—for he is able and willing to do far more in and through you than you could ever ask or imagine.
He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is … Laura MacCorkle, Senior Editor at Crosswalk.com. She loves God, her family and her friends. Singleness has taught her patience, deepened her walk with the Lord and afforded her countless (who's counting anyway?) opportunities to whip up an amazing three-course meal for one.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately (we think they sound eerily similar sometimes, too!).
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to He Said-She Said (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.