I recently shared my testimony with a special group of women, and now I am posting a portion of it here in hopes it might bless someone else!
I was actually quite content to be single all through my teens. But there came a day in my early twenties when a good friend told me out of the blue that she had begun a courtship, and suddenly my "contentment" evaporated. It was very easy for me to think that I was content and happy with my singleness until He gave others relationships. And, like the child whining because a sibling got a bigger scoop of ice cream, I started to feel sorry for myself, wondering, "Why does she get to get married and I don't?" And it was then that the first lie about singleness began to creep into my thinking and subtly affect how I viewed myself.
Lie #1: This lie says that if marriage is a gift from God, then it is inherently unfair that I am doing what is right and still am not married.
If I indulge this attitude I am loving God only for what I can get from Him, not for Himself. I am saying that the reward for my righteousness is whatever makes me happy--like marriage--and if I don't get it, then life is not fair!
Truth #1: The reward for righteousness is God Himself, and salvation.
If I remain single my whole life that doesn't mean that I didn't win the prize--because the prize is Christ! If I have Him in singleness or in marriage, I have enough.
Lie #2: I am not married because I am not good enough.
Not beautiful enough, not interesting enough. Or I'm too introverted, too much of a book worm, or too conservative. This is not only a lie of Satan, but it was a huge warning sign that I had placed my identity in what others thought of me, not in my position in Christ. If you have struggled with falling for this lie, it may be a warning sign of a misplaced identity in your life as well. Many women of the world also recognize these thoughts as lies, but they respond with equally as empty proclamations of feminism.
Truth #2: Only God defines my worth.
The truth is that I was expecting marriage to validate that I was worthy of being loved: I was making marriage my god, and I was unsatisfied, for only God defines my worth.
There are so many amazingly encouraging verses I could share, but I will just share this one that tells me that God chose before the foundations of the world to adopt me.
Ephesians 1:3-6 " Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved."
My value is not found in what others think of me: if it were, I would be sunk! It is not even found in my own righteousness, for my righteousness is no cleaner than filthy rags! My identity, whether in this stage of singleness, or possibly in marriage in the future, is found in my position in Christ.
Although part of my purpose right now is preparing myself with the qualities and skills a wife and mother would need to have, those are characteristics any godly woman should have! But my purpose also includes living for Christ now. Being content with what I have now. Being a servant now. Don't wait for "later" or for a magical wedding day to jumpstart your life!
God brought me through this identity change several years ago, and when I realized that my place of singleness is not just a waiting around time but is actually God's best for me right now, I was able to then discover that God has a purpose for this time in my life. The amazing providential thing is that at that point when I was learning contentment I never could have dreamed that in just a year or so my contentment would be tested in an even bigger way.
I went from having friends begin relationships to having my identical twin sister and best friend starting a courtship, getting married, and moving across the continent. I am so grateful to look back now and see that before that happened God was preparing me to trust in Him, to take Him as my reward, to find my worth in Him, to rest in His will for me, and to identify myself by my relationship with Him, not my relationship status. When I truly accepted and believed who I am in Christ and that this time of my life is His very best for me right now, it made going through all of those life changes so much easier!
The beauty and mystery of each of our life stories will come into focus only from the vantage point of eternity. For then we will realize that even the God-ordained relationship of marriage is only temporary, and that when I stand before Him in Heaven I will be accepted as part of His Bride, the church. And that is my beautiful and true identity!
P.S.To read about a third and fourth lie we can be tempted to believe about singleness, check out these posts:
The Myth of the No Man's Land Between Childhood and Marriage
“I Spy,” © 2011 Flood G, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.