Oh Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. —Psalms 139:1-2, NIV
You’ve got to date a lot of Volkswagons before you find your Porsche. —Author unknown
I would like to think I had the market cornered on this thought long before the pop singer Beyoncé got hold of it. Why? Because I have lived the life of a single lady and I am WELL acquainted with the blessings and challenges that it brings.
First of all, let me remind you that if you are single, you are just as important, valuable and meaningful as all the married ladies. I realize that some of you reading this may be perfectly content with remaining single, and that is fine. There are also some of you who would like to be married. That is fine too. I have found there are advantages to both.
When I was single, I thought about being married A LOT. I just knew that once I got married, most of my problems would disappear.
I had visions of waking up each morning as this wonderful man held me in his arms and adoringly told me how much he loved me. Then we would get up, have breakfast by candlelight, do our morning devotional together and pray. Afterward, we would be off to do our work for the day, but not before we stared into each other’s eyes and told one another how we longed to be together again at the end of the day. During the day, there would be a surprise delivery of roses from him and I would rush home to make my husband his favorite dinner as a thank you for being the most wonderful man in the universe. After dinner, he would help me do the dishes because he couldn’t wait to whisk me off to the bedroom and, well, you know …
AFTER I WOKE UP FROM THE BARBIE MOVIE PLAYING IN MY HEAD, I realized that married life was just a little different than what I had envisioned. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great advantages to being married and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. There are also some great challenges. I can no longer have only Dr. Pepper and catsup in my refrigerator. Now that I am a married, my refrigerator is in constant need of cleaning because of all of the cooking I do at home.
Now my friends who knew me in my single days would never believe this, but take heart my friends, I AM cooking. I no longer have the privilege of grabbing a burger at the drive-through without a thought of what someone else might want. I am married to a man who expects a fully cooked meal every night and if I do not deliver, it does not make for a happy evening in the Perry home. After all, this is the way he was raised.
Which brings me to another point. Not only must we deal with our own baggage from days gone by, we will also deal with his. We all have it, and we bring it into our marriages. I think this is why God said that marriage is for a lifetime. It takes that long to unpack all the “junk in our trunks.” Marriage is a two-person show, FOREVER. Oh, we may think we can just get out if it doesn’t work, but God’s Word says that it is not that simple. According to the Bible, unless there is adultery or abandonment, we are in it for the long haul baby!
Did I also mention that you get to pay double the bills, wash double the clothes, clean double the mess and have double the heartache? After all, when you love someone as deeply as a husband, you can be hurt deeply as well.
Now I can hear some of my married friends saying, “Wow, that’s a nice negative spin on marriage!” No, it is a REALISTIC spin on marriage. There are many great things about marriage that the church teaches us, but somewhere along the way, many of our single ladies are receiving the message that once they get married, their lives will miraculously turn around. I know because I meet many at my conferences that tell me this is what they believe.
I am sure that single ladies get as tired of hearing what I am about to say as I do of saying it, but here goes: Marriage is not intended to make us a whole person. That is what JESUS does. We are not a bunch of “half people” walking around looking for someone to make us whole when we are single. We are whole because of the life we live for Christ. Therefore, marriage is designed to make us HOLY more than it is to make us “whole” and happy.
Many women tell me that they are looking for a man to “complete” them. May I tell you that I believed this lie for a long time? I believed that until I found the “right one,” there was a missing part of me somewhere. This is a lie that the enemy would love for you to believe. You are complete because of what Jesus did on the cross. PERIOD! There is no other man who will ever “complete” you except Jesus.
So what about that constant urge that won’t go away? You want to be married and you want to have children. You do not feel God has called you to a single life, yet no one is showing up, and it isn’t for a lack of looking! One phrase I heard quite often in my single days was, “Just pray about it. God will bring you the right one.” I always wanted to laugh when someone said this and respond, “That seems like all I do these days!”
The truth is, prayer really is the most important thing you can do for finding God’s will in this area of your life. Then we have to take our hands off and accept what He does as a result. This can be the difficult part, but it is vitally important.
I know if you are single and really want to be married, you are most likely spending countless hours on your face before God. Do yourself a favor and leave it there. Stop trying so hard. You are wearing yourself out and if God says it is not time for you to have a mate, you can kick and scream all day but it will not bring your man any sooner.
When God is ready to give him to you, there will be nothing that can stop him. Let me repeat that. NOTHING can stop God’s man from coming into your life when you are praying and trusting God for him. So relax. Give yourself and God a break. God’s clock is not broken and He is not worried about your biological clock. Remember Sarah? We are talking about God here. The ONE who made you, who formed you and the ONE who knows what you need.
Think of being in training. Every day is a fresh start to train for God’s purpose. This could be the most exciting ride of your life, so stay in the game. Stop obsessing over “the man” and get your eyes on “THE Man.” He is the ONE who completes you, and when you are complete in Him, look out! Your life will be more exciting than you ever dreamed as He brings His plan to completion.
When you are discouraged read Psalms 139:1-18. He knows where you are, He knows what you need, He planned each day out before you were born and there is nowhere you can go that He will forget you. He loves His single ladies!