Receiving Singleness as a Gift from God - Part Two
- Thursday, December 12, 2002
I am not single by accident. I am not single because the "right man" has never asked me to marry him. I am not single because I have made up my mind not to marry. Rather, I am single because God has chosen for me the gift of singleness.
I believe that I am single according to the perfect will and purpose of God. I have no way of knowing how long He will give me this gift or whether He will ever choose to give me the gift of marriage. I do not know whether it will be His will for me to be single in five years. But I do know that it has been His will to this point in my life.
I must set my heart to respond to this and every area of my life with the words of the virgin Mary when her world was turned upside down by an angelic messenger: "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38).
Certainly there are times when I whimper and long for something God has not provided. But over and over again, He brings me back to that wonderful place of trust and surrender that says, "Oh, Lord, if it pleases You, it pleases me." We tend to think that what is really good is the fulfillment of our desires. But, in reality, the highest good in the universe is whatever God chooses for our lives.
The question is not "What do I want for myself?" but "What does God want for me?" What will please Him and bring Him the greatest glory? What will best fulfill His purposes here on this earth?
For many singles, this will mean a willingness to remain single for a period of time. For some, it will mean a willingness to embrace long-term or lifelong singleness. For most, it will mean, in God's time, the willingness to accept the commitment and obligations of marriage.
While many single men and women long to be married, this is not universally true. With the increase in divorce and widespread dissatisfaction with family life, some adults are choosing to remain single to avoid the pressures, responsibilities and restraints of having a family.
Of course, marriage does involve tremendous responsibility and restraint. But in denying ourselves and embracing God-given responsibilities, we become all that He created us to be. It all comes back to that basic issue: What is the will of God for my life?
I have come to believe that you and I can manage to acquire almost anything we are determined to have. If we want to be married badly enough, we can find someone who will marry us.
If an unhappy spouse wants to get out of marriage badly enough, he or she can get out. But we need to be reminded of how dangerous it is to insist that God give us our own will. In fact, one of my fears is that God will give me everything I want! The history of the Israelites is a vivid reminder that when God gives us what we demand, we may also get with it "leanness into their soul" (Ps. 106:15).
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