“Look, I can testify about seeing something that isn’t there. You buy the off-brand crackerjacks and start chowing down with gusto, anxious for that prize. Halfway through, you realize they don’t taste just right, but you just keep eating. You’re sick before you realize the off-brand box of nastiness is empty.”
This is a quote from a conversation I had yesterday.
I can neither deny nor confirm myself as the source of this quote, but I will say that I’m a single woman who commiserates with the frustration of not just waiting for “the one,” but wading through the “not the ones.” Although I like to face my situation with humor, it can be easy for me to become jaded in the quest for a mate.
The Lord ever impresses upon my heart the importance of maintaining an attitude of biblical love before love comes.
Once upon a time, we were all children playing this crazy game of tag. And there was nothing like running long and hard, breaths heaving, looking back at that kid on our tail who had been transformed into the biggest threat imaginable, sprinting headlong for that tree, and grabbing hold of it for dear life: Safe! Respite!
Now, imagine if the tree was bobbing and weaving and running away from you.
But part of the beauty of singleness is learning to wait patiently.
There’s a ditch on both sides of the road when it comes to patience: there’s the sing-song Pollyanna, “Waiting isn’t hard at all! I’m completely fine! Happy happy happy!” followed by a maniacal eye twitch. And then there’s the angst-riddled, “It’s never coming. Forget it. Marriage stinks anyway.” complete with funeral garb.
What we need here is a middle of the road honesty about the holy desire for marriage complete with a supernatural patience for God’s all-wise timing in the matter.
We all know that feeling.
It’s like standing against the wall at the high school dance waiting for the star quarterback to walk up. He’s tall with broad-shoulders — so smooth and confident; and that letterman jacket. Can’t you just see it draping across your shoulders on a chilly night at the drive-in?
And he looks up. He’s spotted you. He’s smiling while walking towards you. All of your dreams are about to come true when the president of the chess club hikes up his suspenders, tugging up pants that were already hanging three precarious inches above his white-sock-robed ankles, slicks back his cowlick, and barrels towards you.
Yes, singleness means being kind to men and women that may not be “the ones.” But we should not judge the fruitfulness of a relationship based on its ability to provide us with a spouse — rugged or otherwise.
Sometimes, we can be selfish: We’re all about the return in relationships. We want to meet “THE ONE” or no one at all. We want it to be on our timetable or no one’s timetable.
Look out for the interest of others above yourself. Don’t be so tied up in your own agenda that you can’t see the forest for the trees. Persistence is an attractive quality in a man. But if he is persistently after your attention to the detriment of your comfort or his other responsibilities, realize that your attention will not always be his priority. Someday, his doggedness after another goal may be to the detriment of you.
Love selflessly, and prize those who do the same.
The word of God paints a beautiful picture of how the Lord humbled himself to serve others (Philippians 2:1-11).
Do not spend your singleness pining after being served. Look for ways that you can help others. Do not stomp your foot about how you long to be cherished. Instead, cherish those that the Lord has put into your circle. Do not fall under the crushing weight of pride because it’s not your turn; rejoice with those who rejoice.
Do not enter every relationship seeing what you can get in return.
Single women can become the most shrewd wheelers and dealers I know; this girl has a brother I’d like to get to know — hey, bestie!! This event will have a gaggle of single guys present — sign me up!
But when we focus our heart on giving of ourselves and our time for God’s glorious purposes, we aren’t just living in the transient world of singleness and pining over the volatile world of marriage; we’re living with an eternal view. Do not become so caught up on the beauties of marriage that you lose sight of the source of marriage’s beauty which is the Lord himself; who we are privileged to serve whether married or single.
Be honest with yourself and with others. Let your struggles be known and seek humble prayer as you pray earnestly for God’s grace on your life.
You are not superwoman. We all know that sometimes you break down and cry and curse the heavens above for the lack of available men.
Please admit it, or this will just be really awkward for me.
Be truthful about the things the Lord is teaching you during your wait. Be truthful in mourning, and be truthful in dancing.
Love Never Fails
Even if the Lord does not grant you the privilege of loving a husband (Ephesians 5:22ff), he has given you the privilege of backing up a few verses and loving the Body of Christ with whole-hearted sincerity. And he has given you the privilege of loving and serving the Bridegroom with your all.
Don’t give up on finding the prize in the crackerjack box. You are already the possessor of innumerable treasures in Christ. Love and live full-heartedly for him.
This article originally appeared at RAANetwork.
I’ve been in Atlanta all week with my husband. We’re here half for ministry (for me), part for work (for him), and part for some quality time with just us two. We left on the heels of hosting my family all the way from Zambia. In fact, seven of my siblings, my mom, and my dad are back in our eighteen hundred square foot home with our sons. I should be laying in a hotel bed binging Parks and Rec with my husband. And I will be soon. But I have something to say about motherhood and mom guilt.
A few months ago, I wrote an article for Legacy about friendship. In it, I tried to be as honest as possible about the struggle of being a transplant in Mississippi’s foreign culture, and my own hang-ups with making new friends. I hit send. Weeks passed. A couple of months. Then the article went live. And I had more than one friend reach out to me and ask me if we were okay. “I thought we were friends!” Undercover Trust Issues I’m not a journaler, and I try not to use my articles as thinly veiled diary entries. However, there…