Let me encourage your heart today with my story. When I was a teenager, I thought I had my life all figured out- I’d graduate college at 22, get married by 25 years old, and then have some kids and start real life!
Fast forward to reality: I just turned 33 in August and got married a few months later. In our society today, women cringe at the thought of reaching 30 and not being married. When it was my 30th birthday, I was affected by the pressure of society to have a partner and I allowed it to make me depressed because I was single. I thought to myself, surely at 30 years old no man would want me. I was getting older, who would be interested? But that was SO far from the truth. At 31 years old I met my now husband, and he is the best man I could have ever dreamed of having in my life.
What I’ve learned is that it truly DOES NOT MATTER what society tries to push on you. When God has something for you, it’s for you. Period. Society does not get to dictate how your life should be, God does. And things always happen in His perfect timing.
God knew that in my 20’s I was not ready for marriage. As I look back, it makes more sense to me now. My 20’s was a time where I focused on getting my education, and also focused on knowing who I really was. I found out what my talents and gifts were and I was able to learn how to do ministry. It was a time where I failed a lot in personal relationships, but was able to make many life long friendships, and was able to get closer to my family members as well. I also went on mission trips and got my first full time teaching job.
Every time I tried to date someone, it didn’t work out. Every time I tried to force a relationship, I just ended up hurt. Many times I knew I should avoid certain men, but I didn’t listen to God’s warnings because the voice in my head,“You cannot be alone, you shouldn’t be alone,” was louder than anything else. Eventually my plans came to ashes and time and time again I found myself on my knees begging God’s forgiveness. I always found Him right there with me ready to pick up my pieces and heal me, telling me , “I still love you, Lori, I love you so much, I love you so much..”
Looking back on my life, I realize that every time I would get out of a relationship, I became stronger, closer to God, and more focused. I also got more accomplished when I was just focused on me and God, not me and a man.
The sweetest memories of my life are being in God’s presence, just me and Him, as He poured out His love on me and showed me that He is enough to fill me even if no man ever came into my life. He is my Creator, Redeemer, my All in All, my King. He died for my sins when I didn’t deserve it, and repeatedly forgives me as I mess things up time and time again. He chose me when I rejected Him, and still chooses me no matter what I do. He has shown me what true love is. Though I have a hard time receiving it and many times try to turn away from it, He still so graciously offers it to me. It’s incredible. God is love, He is the author of love and the only reason why love exists.
I think throughout all these years God has been trying to show me that in order to give real love to someone else, I needed to grasp how much He loves me first. I also believe that it was God’s will for me to be single because that is how I am able to completely focus on Him, with no distractions. I understand Paul when he writes these verses-
1 Corinthians 7: 32-35:
32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.
Be aware that sometimes God needs your attention in a season of your life, and He wants you to be single. Maybe during that season He needs to heal your heart from the past, or work on sins that you struggle with. If you try to skip that season and force your way into a relationship, you will constantly end up frustrated and with unnecessary hurt. I would like to encourage you to trust that God knows what He is doing in your life. He made you and knows what you need more than you do. Maybe you really want a relationship right now, but He is saying,
“I want to show my love to you in this season, just you and Me.”
Don’t skip out on that, it’s the most beautiful thing you can ever have!
I realize that some women get married young and that is God’s will for their lives. That’s wonderful, and it teaches me that God works differently with everyone. I know some young couples who help each other achieve their goals and help them get close to God. That’s a beautiful thing.
However, it’s up to you to figure out what God is calling you to right now. Is He calling you to be single at this time in your life? If so, ignore what the world tries to push on you. Ignore your family and even friends that may say ‘You need a man’ and ‘When are you having kids? You’re not getting any younger.” People will always have something to say, but you need to be more concerned with what God says.
Some women don’t get married until later in life and there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with you! Although marriage and children are an incredible blessing from God, they do not equal the ultimate satisfaction and fulfillment. You were created for the Lord and until you come to that realization and act on it, there will always be some type of frustration deep within you.
Only a relationship with God can satisfy the deepest longings of your heart, whether you are married or single.
As the famous Saint Augustine said,
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”