What about us?

It is clear that when two people get married, each and every story is going to be different. As much as we would like to find the button to push or the formula to plug, the whole thing is a mystery, from start to finish. You can see why some cultures and some eras just let the dads settle things by arranging marriages. Makes me shudder! But I know that God can and does use all kinds of means to bring about good ends. I once knew a couple from India who met on their wedding day, and they were very happily married. Even so, not a practice I want to recommend.

But for all you unmarried women out there reading this, especially those of you who do not fit into the “early” category, these posts on early marriage can just be aggravating. I can see why. So here are some suggestions for you in the hope that you do not lose heart.

First off. Marriage is a means, not an end. It is not the only means of glorifying God, but it is one of the common means. But He has other means. So glorify God where you are, in what ever state you are in. That is a tall order and requires diligence. Coasting always takes you downstream.

Second. Whatever it is you are doing, whether it is endless college degrees or working in an office, don’t be restless. Contentment is a work of grace on the inside, and moving or changing jobs will not fix it. You may be exactly where you are supposed to be, so don’t get antsy. But if you have good reason to press on, then consider it. The important thing is to flourish where you are. See that your soul is prospering, wherever you are. And if it isn’t, then consider what is causing the impoverishment. Is it an internal problem? If so, you will just take it with you. If it is an external problem, perhaps the solution is to change your position or take a new job. Find a church that will provide nourishment and fatten you up.

On the other hand: You may need to push your comfort zone a little and get out and meet some new people. (And I don’t mean at the bars.)  Go to a conference. Visit friends. Don’t hide out. Don’t get in a rut. Change things up a bit. A new hairdo? An updated wardrobe? Losing some weight? Consider whether these things might be spiritually healthy improvements.

Unmarried women ought to enjoy domesticity as much as the married women do. Embrace your femininity. Push yourself a little more. Take a cooking class or learn to sew. Redecorate. Paint. Throw a party. Make friends with little people and old people. Don’t retreat or minimize the impact you can have on your community. Give yourself away everyday, and God will continue to fill and refill your capacity to do it all over again.

And as you pray for marriage, ask God to shape your ideas about marriage. We all have much chaff mixed in among the wheat. Learn to think about marriage in a Christian way, and jettison those worldly ideas that have taken root.

All this to say: God did not forget about you. You did not slip through the cracks. He has planned good things for you, and He will never leave you or forsake you.

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19 thoughts on “What about us?

  1. What a great thing the Christian life is. As we are walking in obedience seeking to glorify and love God and serving man, we will be blessed. That road might mean marriage and it may also mean singleness, but either way if our goal is to glorify Him, we win! The contentment that joy in God produces is often what can be attractive to a godly man who is looking for a wife:-) But no matter what, His plan is perfect!

  2. Great advice. I’d add that, while girls should get out and meet people, I’d discourage others from making the mistake I made. Hanging out with older married people or children doesn’t count! Get out of your comfort zone!

  3. I’m the Erin that commented on the last post. My problem is an external one (little tiny beloved church), but I’m trying to keep things moving. While I agree with the other Erin that we win either way, and while I’d rather be single and walking humbly with God than married and forgetting him… I’d still give a lot to be standing in front of a sink brimful with my own dirty pots and pans, or teaching letter sounds to an unwilling five-year-old for the seventh time, or picking up my own clutter with a toddler hanging on my skirt and a colicky baby in one arm. I do that anyway, working, but there’s a difference.

    Thanks very much for this one, though; it was encouraging, and reminded me of some things that had gotten piled in miscellaneous dusty corners of my mind.

  4. I’m passing this great article on to share with others.
    Being content and not restless while being single and desiring marriage is a job I think in as much as being married is. =) Or it can be. But I am trying, very much daily to let God take care of the bigger things while applying practical things in my life.

  5. Thanks so much for this post, Mrs. Wilson!
    Your encouragement to move “further up and further in” is greatly appreciated.

  6. I’m by no means an old maid, but with some of my friends jumping happily into lovely early marriages, it occasionally feels like it :P. This post has reminded me to quit worrying and focus on what’s important–contentment and pursuing of God’s immediate calling in my life. So thank you :).

  7. Thank you for another great post, Mrs. Wilson. A bit of encouragement now and then is such a blessing!

  8. Thank you, Nancy. Moms get concerned for their daughters too. Reminders for trust, obedience and contentment in the Lord of Hosts are always timely.

  9. Thanks for the encouragement, Nancy! I’m reminded of a sermon on Walk In The Word about 1 Timothy – but godliness with contentment is great gain. It’s not godliness with marriage, godliness with a great job, godliness with no family content, it’s godliness with what? With contentment! And what kind of gain is it? It’s great!

  10. Just for the record…

    Having just turned 42 on Saturday (I’m still celebrating…happy birthday to me!), I’m definitely way beyond the “early” category and well into the “old maid” category. And I didn’t find the marriage post aggravating, but alleviating. Hooray for any encouragement to the body of Christ to reform its attitudes toward marriage to spare future generations of women the pain of protracted singleness!

  11. Much of the same wisdom can be applied to those who are waiting for children. The call for thankful hearts and fruitful hands is always appropriate, no matter the season. Thank you, Mrs. Wilson!

  12. I have always felt that God wants us to be pro-active in finding a spouse…..yes, I believe that God can bring him to me but “getting outside the comfort zone” and meeting new people or passing along an email address doesn’t hurt either.
    Thanks for your tips and advise. They are wonderful for my soul.

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