Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

8.28.2012

The Myth of the No Man’s Land Between Childhood and Marriage

big storm no-man's land (definitive version)


I’m 22, which means I’m old enough to be an adult, but young enough to still have stubborn weeds of foolishness, insert-foot-directly-in-mouth moments (“When I was young…”), and general lack of perspective.  I’m also single, which status means that I’m stuck in our culture’s stereotype of an awkward no-man’s land: not a carefree kid, but (especially according to insurance companies) not a responsible adult.
 
If you’ve seen War Horse, you know what kind of a no man’s land I’m talking about: a gray place of vulnerability, purposelessness, and despair.  You’re a walking target and landmines and traps and barbed wire abound. 
                                                                                     
But do I have to be relegated there?  Hold the bus, or the horses, or your pigtails—whatever happen to be handy, ladies, because don’t you agree with me that an entire paradigm shift is in order?  What if the culture has it wrong about me only becoming truly responsible once I’m married?  What if I’m not in a no-man’s land between childhood and adulthood?  What if God tailored this season in my life for me as the way I could best glorify Him right now? 
 
Since I know He did {Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”}, I’m going to rephrase that emphatically: God did tailor this season in my life for me as the way I could best glorify Him right now. 
 
And since my season is that of a single daughter at home, and I am positive there are more than a few of you out there in a similar role (hello, lurkers!), then I propose that we stop wandering around aimlessly in our self-imposed no man’s land and realize that we are vital to God’s kingdom right now. 
 

1. Know that you are VITAL to

unifying your family. 

 
Vital, essential, indispensable, and pivotal.


“That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; That our daughters may be as pillars, sculptured in palace style.” {Psalm 144:12}


This verse literally says, “Our daughters like corner columns (beautifully) carved.*”  And Matthew Henry comments, “By daughters families are united and connected, to their mutual strength, as the parts of a building are by the corner-stones.**”  Christ is the chief corner-stone, but the fact that God calls us corner columns triggers the explosion of a million fireworks in my head. 
 
Therefore:

If I am contentious, my family will be lacking unity.
If I am weak, my family will be missing a force of power for God’s kingdom that He intended to aid in my family’s kingdom work. 
If I walk away from my role as a corner column in my family, this may affect my relationship with Christ the cornerstone as well as the relationship of other members in my family with Him. 
 
Which brings me to the next point in dispelling this myth...all about the mighty and impactful Kingdom work God has for us girls in this special season.  That will be next week, when I share what the Lord has been teaching me about how His plan meshes with our culture’s myth of a no man’s land! 

What has the Lord been teaching you on this topic lately?



Photo Credit: filtran
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 
*Gesenius's Lexicon. Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for zaviyth (Strong's 2106)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 28 Aug 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?
Strongs=H2106&t=KJV >
 
**Henry, Matthew. "Commentary on Psalms 144." . Blue Letter Bible. 1 Mar 1996. 2012. 28 Aug 2012.
AuthorID=4&contentID=1267&commInfo=5&topic=Psalms&
ar=Psa_144_12 >


18 comments:

  1. Amen, sister. I don't think our marital status should define us single women--what we do with our lives should.

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  2. Absolutely.

    I hear and appreciate and love your heart!!!

    Remember, I'm praying for you!

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  3. I am not sure if you intended it as a pun or not, Lauren, but "no-man's land" can also infer there is no "special man" in your life at this time (aside from father and brothers and friends, of course). Your post is timely because just this morning as I prepared breakfast, I was counting some of the blessings of this "single season." It is good to be reminded that no season is wasted and God wants me to trust Him and receive and give all that He desires during this time. Thank you! I look forward to the next post.

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  4. Yes, yes, yes! Thank you for the encouragement, Lauren. This is a good reminder for all.

    Keep standing strong!
    ~Emily

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  5. Lyndee--I love that whatever season God has for us is simply a part of His sanctifying process for us! Becoming like Him should be our goal, no matter if He brings marriage or not! Thanks for your comment!
    Mrs.G--Thank you so much for praying for me--you don't know how much that means to me! And you are a wonderful example to me of a woman who is using your season of life as a wife and mommy in such a wonderful way!
    Ruthie--Achem...yes, of course I planned that wonderfully perfect word play and agonized until I got it just right! Actually...not! (= But I'm glad that it turned out to be a perfect accident! Thanks so much for your example as a godly single woman!
    Emily--You're welcome! It's great to hear from you! We'll keep standing strong in the Lord together, sister!

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  6. Nice, Lauren! I hadn't quite taken it so far to connect my role as daughter to Christ role as CHEIF cornerstone. Makes my role that much sweeter, if I do say so myself. :) Can't wait to hear what else you have to say next week!

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  7. Hi Lauren,

    I have been reading your blog for a long time but rarely comment. I love this post, it is good to see that you are not just looking ahead and are enjoying your time as a single lady! God chooses not to give all of us a life partner so I do find it sad to see girls just looking ahead to what may be rather than enjoying what is and accepting His plan for the future - although I do pray that you and Mikaela will find some nice young men in good time!

    This isn't on the same topic, but I have a prayer request if you don't mind. I live in England, and recently a very well-known campaigner Winnie Johnson died - her son was murdered in the 1960s by a terrible couple known as the 'Moors Murderers' and his body was never found. She spent over forty years searching for him, hoping only to give him a Christian burial but she was never able to do so. I can only pray that they are finally united in heaven, and I hope that you will do the same. It brings me to tears even thinking what that poor woman suffered.

    Rachel

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  8. At 22, I had been working as a nurse for 3 years. I didn't marry until 27 and didn't have children until 30. I am now a grandmother in my late 50's and a Christian over 45 years.

    Stay at home daughterhood is not taught by Christ. Preferably stay at home momhood, but not daughterhood. It is a doctrine of man and you are wise to question this, because it will bury your talent, for which you will have to answer, handicap and possibly destroy your future, or that of your future children. The things you accomplish being a stay at home daughter - caring for a home - anyone can learn quickly. It does not take years of apprenticeship.

    Christ is to be our focus, not family or marriage. I suggest you use these between years to get an education utilizing the talents you have been given and which can realistically provide for your future, and use it. You will then be far better prepared for yourself, your family, your husband, for Christ; should the need to work arise after marriage, or if you do not marry.

    Marriage is not the end all be all. Some never marry. The bible actually says that to not marry is the better state to be in. Some are widowed. Some are divorced. Some are left with sick or dying husbands. There are no guarantees. The only guarantee we have is our salvation in Christ.

    What will you do if your parents or husband become sick or die unexpectedly, or your husband suffers a financial disaster and you are left with nothing? No education. No money. No means but huge responsibilities and children who need to be provided for? It happens. And what if you then get sick?

    Get to work on your life so that you can be an asset to Christ and others, not a liability. The best way to do that is to become a fully functioning responsible adult through education and work. You are an adult. And you will have to answer someday for what you have done with your gifts. A woman accompanying her husband to the mission field is far more valuable if she is a nurse, doctor, teacher. Anyone can set a pretty table.

    The no man's land you seem to think you are caught in is the result of being told by man to stay at home while burying your talent. Sitting around pining about your state of limbo makes you look like a fool, and not a very wise fool for Christ.



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  9. Dear Mrs. Anonymous,

    It is good to hear from a Christian grandma—I love grandparents who follow after the Lord, as mine do. I also am glad to hear your affirmation of stay-at-home motherhood. You’re right, there are some instances in which no matter the sacrifice, it is impossible for a mother to stay at home. However, we can agree that being a wife and mother is a mother’s primary role.

    I don’t want there to be any misunderstanding about my article. I agree with you that marriage is not “the end all be all” and that some never marry. I do not agree that the Bible says that to not marry is a better state to be in. I Corinthians 7:8 says, “But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am.” But Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD.” If you say that I Corinthians 7:8 says that being single is superlative to marriage, then by that same logic Proverbs 18:22 would mean that the single are cursed by God to not have a good thing and favor from the Lord! Either state is good only if it is God’s will for my life. I would rather never marry than marry the wrong man, you can be sure.

    Now, as to stay at home daughterhood, I am not questioning it all! I believe that I am blessed to be a stay at home daughter, and that home is the ideal place to be until marriage. Why else would Genesis 2:24 say, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”? Dinah is a sad and extreme example in Scripture of a daughter who went out to enjoy the lusts of the world and was led astray. (See Genesis 34) Titus 2:4-5 says, “that [the older women] admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” Even if I never marry, learning to be discreet, chaste, a homemaker, and a good woman are valuable skills that I am learning from my mother and many other women in my life right now! I think you sadly degrade the calling of motherhood when you say anyone can learn those things quickly. Motherhood, as you well know, is not merely about baking casseroles.

    I am not questioning my role as a single daughter at home. But I am questioning the purposelessness, selfishness, and living for the moment that I see so many young people in my age bracket falling prey to. I actually don’t think I’m caught in a no man’s land. But I do think that our culture, and even some Christians, propogate the myth of the no man’s land. I know that I do not need to live in fear of the almighty “what if [fill in the blank”, but live trusting in the providence of God. But I also know that this precious time that I have needs to be redeemed, and skills are important to develop, which is why I’m working on a college degree, teaching music lessons, playing in a local symphony, writing a blog, writing for a Christian ministry, teaching my siblings, and canning peach jam and vacuuming carpets all at the same time!

    I’m not in limbo pining for a man—I’m happy and content where I am and where God has placed me. God has certainly been challenging me to use this time even more for Him, and I am always growing in that! You note that I “look like a fool, and not a very wise fool for Christ.” I am indeed nothing more than a fool saved by the blood of Christ, and I am honored to be one. In the words of I Corinthians 1:26-17, “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.”

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  10. Victoria--Doesn't it make it so sweet to think of our role in that way? Connecting my life with Christ's always makes things sweeter! What is going on in your life this fall?
    Rachel--Thanks for coming out of the woodwork and commenting! It's especially fun for me to hear from someone in the lovely country of England! I agree that it is so important to be content in whatever season God has us in! I am definitely not pining away for marriage, but at the same time I am preparing for it should God have that in my future! It's certainly a balance!
    I will definitely pray for Mrs. Johnson's family and friends--what a terribly sad situation. Your compassion is admirable.

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  11. Love this topic! Could talk about it for hours! What a dynamic time to do amazing things for the Lord! No other time in life can you be discplied and perfect the gifts and talents God has given. Lauren and Mikaela you girls are such radient testimonies of dynamic and fruitful single years. You love the Lord with all your heart and that is so awesome! There is nothing more sad than single people who have gone to school and now make good money and dont love the Lord. Lets talk more!!

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  12. Excellent post there! You definitely hit the nail on the head.

    I was wondering if your family would be at on of the Christian Heritage picnics? I think my family is planning on going to the one in Battle Ground. :)

    ~Bethany

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  13. Ruth--You are such an encouragement to me! Thank you for your sweet, honest words. I completely agree with your last sentence--loving the Lord is the most important thing! I definitely want to talk more about this with you!
    Bethany--Thank you! We're actually helping host that picnic, so I'm so excited to see you there! Hopefully we'll actually get to talk this time! (-; For rsvp purposes, how many from your family will be there?

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  14. @ Anonymous who said "At 22, I had been working as a nurse for 3 years. I didn't marry until 27 and didn't have children until 30. I am now a grandmother in my late 50's and a Christian over 45 years."

    Here's my story: At 22, I lived as a child of the devil, did not believe in Christ AT ALL. I didnt marry until 28 and didnt have children until 30. I didnt not come from a Christian home, and the timing of my marriage and children had absolutely NOTHING to do with me being a single daughter at home. I lived on my own, and unfortunately, did not meet MR right. BTW, late twenties is NOT late for getting married. I needed time to get my degree ya know. A person will marry who God has given them. It will be at God's timing. Sorry for rant, but your message came off wrong.

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  15. Oh good!!! I will be excited to see you all there! And it will be fun to talk more... ;)
    There will be eight of us going. Unfortunately, my dad has to work that day and so will miss out. :(

    ~Bethany

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  16. Anonymous#2--Thanks for sharing your story. I am so glad God is sovereign and in control of all things--including when and if I will marry!
    Bethany--Yay! I'll see you on Saturday! We'll miss your dad, though.

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  17. LAUREN: You note that I “look like a fool, and not a very wise fool for Christ.” I am indeed nothing more than a fool saved by the blood of Christ, and I am honored to be one. In the words of I Corinthians 1:26-17, “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.”

    ANONY GRANDMOM: Your article caught my eye, because it wrongly dismisses truth about SAHDism. I've seen people caught in a no man's land. Some get out, but reject Christ, others, slowly rebuild. I've seen what happens when disaster strikes stay-at-homes, in various levels of preparedness. All would say they were trusting God and living in no fear of the future. The one's with a marketable degree backed by credible experience and reliable insurance plans fare better. It appears you have not researched the issues involved, or talked with those whose experiences differ from yours.
    Yes, we are fools for Christ, but don't miss the point. We are to be wise fools for Christ. Not everyone's experience is the same and your experience is not absolute truth declaring mine as myth. Do your research. Consider these realities; for you are teaching many through publication, and as such, are, and will be, more accountable.

    I have been away this week and that is why this response comes now. God bless you, keep you, and may you be, a wise fool for Christ.

    Anonymous Grandmother

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  18. Anon. Grandmother:
    My reply comes late, as well, because I have been so busy lately. I read your comments, thank you for the time you put into them, but realize that we will obviously continue to disagree and the internet is hardly the forum over which either of us will be convinced. I have seen sad examples of daughters who are staying at home, and also sad examples of daughters who are not: we all have sin natures, do we not? The no-man's land I referred to is the land of thinking that now is not the time in which I must glorify God--that that comes at a later date. And so I live glorifying God right now in the sphere in which He has placed me.
    Blessings on you likewise!
    ~Lauren

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