This post won’t make sense to most of you reading it. I ask God as I write that He would speak through this post to the few that may be in the same struggling “season” as I am in. A friend of mine since high school always told me “there is a time and season for everything” this quoted from Ecclesiastes 3. After my friend Norm passed away I opened up the book of Ecclesiastes and God spoke, through His word, to me again “a person’s death is better than his birth”. I am thankful that God has laid out a road ahead of me and at the end of this road I will die. I will die entering life. That day will be sweet and satisfying. Today as I was at the bookstore I read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Here is what I read:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose;a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Lately, I have been asking God why am I in the season that I am in right now. I am twenty-one, have another semester left until I graduate, just moving out of the house, and the big one, single. While all of my friends around me who are my age or younger are getting engaged, married, or having kids, what am I doing? This is something that I ponder on from time to time. Sometimes it is frustrating and other times I am thankful for my singleness. There are many girls and guys who are single and serving in the ministry. I guess thinking about the subject of being single long enough can cause a person to write about it.
I don’t know if I will be helpful, but my hope is this:
1.) You will not be disappointed with God about your struggles in singleness
2.) You will find joy in God in the midst of your singleness
3.) You will see the purpose that God has given you in your singleness
There are some sections that I will drag over from my first blog that I started writing on 2 years ago. This season of singleness is a gift, but it is gift not to be taken for granted or treated as an idol. There is a big command that God gave us in the garden of Eden it might ring a bell.
“And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” Genesis 1:22
Yes this is a command directed at Adam and Eve, but it is also for humanity. We have been doing this ever sense. One of the greatest reasons and defending arguments of God designing marriage is for the purpose of procreation. In order to procreate there has to be a man and a women. Here is the Scripture to support this:
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24
Paul says it again to the Ephesians:
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Ephesians 5:31
So what is going on here am I stating my opinion on what marriage should look like? No, but yes. I do believe God ordained marriage specifically for one man and one woman. The purpose of this unity is that each would hold to each others vow made on their wedding day, and the only way they would separate would be according to the law that Jesus Christ stated in the Gospels. My goal is this “being fruitful and multiplying”. When I am single I hope to be fruitful in the ministry and doing His will in multiplying disciples as He gives me the opportunities to. When I am married I hope to be fruitful in bringing children to this earth with my wife, and I am multiplying more workers with my wife for His kingdom to come here.
Back to “A Time for Everything”.
There is a time for everything including a time for singleness and there may be some struggles during this season. These struggles are the waves that crash into the boat, and just as soon as you feel like you are going to sink God hits you with you a reminder of why He has you where you are at in life.
1.) I wouldn’t necessarily call these struggles, but I would say these are “learning points”. I will be honest they did start out as struggles. I didn’t like labeling myself or feeling labeled as the only young adult in church who is single. Either you were patronized for singleness or constantly badgered by people asking “where’s your girlfriend?” Or “when are you getting married”. It’s quite frustrating when you see your friends married, living the “good life” filled with everything you can’t do. That is called being envious, right? Most of these young couples had jobs, money, and were a being fruitful, and from my viewpoint as I stood so far away on Mt. Kilimanjaro I saw this like everyone else in the Church as “being successful”. If your married, getting married, or a couple it seems these days your something more in the church. (to me) If your not then you need to find someone quick or we will bring the Indian culture here to the U.S and we will arrange a marriage for you. I thought after high school it was go to college, go to college, and then I could hide behind that. That barrier shrinks as you climb up the class ladder waiting to get to the next phase in life. I don’t want to spoil the next chapter, but as I sit here in Doc Bryan at Arkansas Tech, I cannot help but to explain the upside to singleness, there are many advantages to being single, as there are being in a relationship especially when it comes to ministry. I do find it hard to sit back and watch relationships go through some of the most difficult times feeling like I have the solution to solve the dispute. So where is the struggle in this? It sounds like I am the one who is causing the struggle, right? Yes, partially, I do find myself as I beg anyone who is single who knows a married couple, or couple who you are friends with. Be mindful. Don’t think so much about their life that it causes you to worry. That is just plain foolish. I have found myself being in that position. I always ask God, I bet I could better than what that boyfriend or husband is doing. You know, I could treat a wife well, be that spouse that provides, and is a godly man in the household. Then I realize, I am at where God wants me. One of my friends, who is actually married told me “God has a time and season for everything and everyone”. Her husband is one of my best friends, and we meet every Wednesday night after church to talk. Their marriage, and other couples encourage me by their faithfulness to God in their marriage.
Not getting what you want.
This is a particular subject that I can say is painful. What I mean by “not getting what you want” is the constant frustration of not finding someone of the opposite sex that you find would be your “match”. Either they have a boyfriend or girlfriend, that you want, or even you may be to picky about what a person looks like or a habit they have so it turns you off from wanting to go the extra step in conversation with them. We have all faced the moments when we feel like we see the “one” and somehow reality shows us that we picked wrong…again. This past week I have experienced this. A girl who is god fearing, loving, encouraging, and if Proverbs 31 was in the dictionary her picture would be next to it is not seeing anyone right now.
I don’t have an idea of what books you have read or who you have talked to about finding the right girl or guy, but I can assure you God knows this patience stricken path. Rest in the satisfaction that God knows. His knowing is better than our knowing it is the eyes that don’t see but still believe that honors God. There are so many girls who I have been around the past three or so years of being single and honestly the Gospel loving, people caring, and selfless living type of girl is out there I have seen her. There are several of them and I could marry all of them, but I know God has one set aside for His glory to unite us. Those women or men that you may think your attracted to, check to see if it is the love of God instilled inside their hearts that draws you to them. Do not make the mistake of falling for a guy or a girl, when its the love of God drawing you closer to them to be their friend instead of their future spouse. Trust me, its difficult, and quite painful, but its God that we must seek to be able to contrast the love that leads to relationships, to the love that leads to eternal friendships.
I revised this and made a few changes, and please married couples who are far much wiser than I please comment below to bring more wisdom and counsel from your experiences to help the singles understand that God’s timing is perfect timing.
I am not a dating expert nor do I have a degree in relationships, but I do my best to maintain a steady diet of His word. From there I seek His wisdom for these certain topics. In the next post I will explore the other two points I had stated in the beginning of this post.
Right now I can say I don’t know if God has a significant other for me, but what I do know is in this question:
Why would God call someone into pastoral or any type of ministry without preparing a helper to unite him to that will go with him into the thickness of ministry? I understand there are men like John Stott who has been single his entire life and one of the greatest servants and disciple makers of the 20th and 21st century. I trust in Gods perfect plan I ask God that He would allow you the eyes to see His ways are different, but His ways are greater.