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. Boy was I wrong- about the second part of that. God certainly had other plans.
I wanted to write a post about being an unmarried woman at my age, since I am just a few weeks short of my birthday and I am not a wife or mother. I know I am not the only one in this category and I just want to tell everyone it is OKAY to not be married in your 30’s and not have children yet either. I would even go as far to say it’s okay to not have that in your 40’s either if that isn’t God’s will for your life yet.
God knows I desire to get married and have children in the future, but I also believe God knows that in my 20’s I was not ready for that at all. 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 so 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. But 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.
I am here to say from my own experience that sometimes it’s just not God’s will for you to be married yet, and sometimes we just need to accept that. It doesn’t matter what age you are- God does not work on your timetable. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.
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.
As a single person, you have the time to have focused quiet time with God, whereas when you are married, you have to look out for your spouse’s needs and children’s needs. That is no easy task, and it is very time consuming. I recently took my 7 year old niece for a week to be with me at my house in Virginia. Nobody was helping take care of her, it was just me with that sole responsibility. It was much more challenging than I thought it would be. She required a lot of attention and care. I found it difficult to get any time alone just to pray and read and recharge my batteries. I can imagine what that is like for moms on a daily basis, and my little experience gave me so much more appreciation for all moms out there. It is a full time job being a mom and I think single women just need to take advantage of their time before they venture into marriage and motherhood. We don’t realize how easy we have it sometimes. We really only have to look after ourselves and we have so much freedom, we should be taking advantage of that.
I realize that some women do get married young and that’s God’s will for their lives. That’s wonderful, and it teaches me that God works differently with everyone. I know some people with spouses that help them achieve their goals, and help them get close to God. That’s a beautiful thing.
But 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.
Only a relationship with God can satisfy the deepest longings of your heart, whether you are married or single. –