New flash: the substance of our lives does not begin with marriage. Singleness is not a hiatus to be endured. There is a lot of hard work taking place between now and “I do”. Do it well and you learn to turn into Jesus with your loneliness, unmet desires and temptations. You press into Him with questions of your worth, the pains of shedding the old man, and recovering brokenness. This is your time to grow in intimacy with Jesus without encountering shame. You learn who He’s made you to be on the earth. This is His time to take first place as our sole desire, resource, and primary motivation.
Singleness is our chance to fall in love with our First True Love. When that is our goal we will be enabled to live from a place of being loved instead of reaching for love. He becomes first in our endless longings for attention and affection.
I know what you’re thinking; to wait, watch, pray, and reserve romance for His choice is just not natural. I agree, it’s not natural. It’s supernatural. Hello? You know, you were born-again for the impossible, right? The grace to wait upon the Lord single, untangled from multiple choices will force us to listen beyond our natural and sometimes raging desires. It is an optimal environment for the fruit of self-control to show itself strong. It uncovers the ugly truth about our need for love; it stink’n never ends. He is the only One Who can answer its depths. Our mates deserve to be free of such an impossible demand. I think the best gift we can bring to our wedding day is a heart knowing it’s already fully loved by Jesus.
So, what do we do with our natural longings while we wait? Glad you asked. One day a co-worker and I went to lunch. Puzzled by my faith, she was asking a similar question of me. Okay, her real question behind her question was; what do you do when you want to have sex? I told her, “I’m honest with God and I’ll tell Him the truth, ‘I want to have sex and I want it now’ or ‘I’m lonely and I can’t wait another day’. Sometimes He brings me peace.” Then I stunned her, “Sometimes, I suffer.”
I’ve learned there is a grace to suffer. Grace does not mean you won’t feel it. It means you won’t stop believing in His goodness as you suffer through with Him. The world around us thinks, because God made us with natural desires, we have a right to help ourselves to pleasure them. And that my friends is making Him in our own image. Now, I don’t deny my desires, I deny their power to be the boss of me. Behind every struggle is more of Him to encounter, His power and presence to overcome every untimely desire. Much like Jesus, I will suffer longing because of the joy set before me: my someday husband.
Enough for today I say…