In Marriage & Love on
10 June, 2013

Single and in love

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She’s 22 years old. She’s got a college degree and a stable job. She loves the Lord with her whole heart. She’s got a strong family, sweet friends and many ambitions for her future. So the only missing piece to the puzzle must be this: Why isn’t she married—or at the very least, dating to find her future hubby? Is there something wrong with her?

No, there is nothing “wrong” with her—she simply realizes that it’s better to be single than to marry {or even waste time dating} a man of the world. When it comes to dating and marriage, she is holding out for a man of God who loves the Lord, understands the gospel, has a servant’s heart, is a hard worker and relies on God to turn his eyes away from evil things—a man who is not perfect, but who strives to become more like Christ with each passing day.

And truthfully, she hasn’t met him yet. She jokes that she’d also like to add “must resemble Prince Caspian” to her list of requirements. But deep down, beneath the surface, she knows what’s important. She’s missed the red flags in the past and had her heart broken to pieces before; she’s learned to look closely at a man’s heart, not his outer appearance or his charming one-liners.

She also knows that regardless of whether she ever becomes a “Mrs,” her life is in God’s hands. Yes, one of her greatest desires for her earthly life is to wear a white dress, say, “I do,” and live each day in pursuit of holiness alongside a husband. Oh, and she wants a few kids, too.

With every chick flick, Jane Austen novel and wedding invitation, she dreams more and more of her own future love life. She has learned to rejoice at the happiness of others, but she’s not perfect. She has to fight for joy and ask God to sustain her and help her turn away from envious thoughts. She chooses to surrender it all.

So why does she do it? Why does she work so hard? Why doesn’t she dress the part, flirt like it’s going out of style, marry the first offer she gets and finally start “living”?

Because she’s already living. She’s single, and she’s in love.

And here are three things she believes in strongly.

Marriage is a gift from God, but it’s not the ultimate gift He gives to us.*

Weddings and marriages are beautiful things. They truly are gifts from God! To be honest, I have a hard time holding back tears each time I watch a bride walk down the aisle. I can’t help myself—witnessing two individuals commit to serving one another for a lifetime is simply amazing. But it doesn’t end there. Marriage isn’t the end-all, be-all. It’s not the greatest gift we receive from God.

Even the best marriages are only “til death do us part.”*

As we are told in Matthew 22:30, we are not going to be married to our earthly spouses when we get to heaven. Marriage is not eternal; marriage is earthly. So there must be more to the picture. There must be something more satisfying, right?

The good news is there is. God created marriage to be a reflection of Jesus Christ and His bride, the Church {Ephesians 5:25}.From the very beginning, long before Christ even was born, God spoke to His people through prophets in the Old Testament, proclaiming that He would send a Lamb without blemish to be slain for our sins {Isaiah 53}. As a result of Christ’s obedience and death on the Cross, we are offered an eternity with Him {John 3}.

Even the best marriage cannot compare to our relationship with God.*

Nothing we experience on earth—not the perfect spouse, the perfect house, the perfect kids, the perfect job nor the perfect salary, nor anything—can compare to the satisfaction, fulfillment and joy that is Jesus Christ. When we come to Him and repent, our sins are forgiven and we are promised eternal life {John 3:16} and everything we need to make it through this life on the earth {Philippians 4:19}. For some, that might mean a spouse. For others, it may not. Married or not, we are all promised this kind of love:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” ~ Ephesians 2:4-6

If you’re not trusting in Christ today, I encourage you to come to Him. Lay aside your dreams and desires for your life, and know that each day of your life has already been planned out by God! My mom recites Psalm 139 to me regularly. She reminds me that God has ordained each day of my life before one of them came to be. I can trust Him, rely on Him and LOVE Him with my whole heart. God is NOT the means to an end—He is the end. He is the prize! Aside from Him and His faithful love, there is nothing else I need in this life.

Jen

 

*Special thanks to Pastor Bob for inspiring this post. All three subheadings are direct quotes from his message on Matthew 5:8. Thankful to have a pastor who preaches truth.

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8 Comments

  • Christine

    Jen, another beautiful post. You speak so much truth and I wish more gals would see that we can only be complete in a relationship with Christ. Our future spouse can complement us, but they cannot complete us. The Lord delights in our love and when He sees that we are focused on Him in this season of life He WILL bring the best according to His timing. I wish more girls would give their hearts to the Lord, knowing that He will protect their heart and only give it away to the right man when He knows its right. I am not sure if this is Max Lucado’s or Maya Angelou’s quote, but this is one of my favorites: “A woman’s heart must be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him to find her.”

    11 June, 2013 at 8:34 am Reply
    • Jennifer Hope

      Hi Christine,

      Thank you so much! And I love that quote, too. I agree with you, and wish more girls would see that a man can’t complete them…my heart is to at least reach one girl who really needs to hear this message.

      There was a time in my life when I thought I would be “incomplete” without the guy I was dating, and the Lord was SO merciful to me because when that relationship fell apart, He was there to take my broken pieces and mend them back together and make me complete. Though it was painful, I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world because now I know who I am above everything else: a daughter of Christ. It is SO good to be content with that and only that. It’s okay to still pray for a future hubby, too-as long as we trust in God’s will and His best for our lives.

      Thanks again for stopping by! 🙂

      11 June, 2013 at 8:32 pm Reply
  • brianwilliamsen

    Excellent post, friend. So much truth in what you’ve written here. Hope you are doing well!

    12 June, 2013 at 12:10 am Reply
    • Jennifer Hope

      Thank you very much, Brian! It was so the Holy Spirit speaking to me through my pastor’s sermon a few Sundays ago. Glad you enjoyed it!

      12 June, 2013 at 5:54 am Reply
  • Deby

    My friend Patri sent me this blog(I’ve been feeling kinda down on this same issue) I have to say everything you say is right on the money.

    12 August, 2013 at 5:23 pm Reply
    • Jennifer Hope

      Praise God! I am so glad she sent you here, and I’m praying that God will bring you comfort, peace and patience in this area. It can be hard to be single in a world of relationships, especially when you get to the age where all your friends are getting married. But he has our lives written out–every day he wrote before we were born (Psalm 139). So if he’s got plans for you or I to get married one day, he’ll bring it to fruition in his perfect timing. 🙂 God bless!

      13 August, 2013 at 8:49 pm Reply
      • Deby

        The hardest part is waiting I guess, even if patience is a virtue. But I know if something is supposed to happen it will so there’s no point fretting. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with the world and I’m glad my friend happens to work with you (Patri = Patricia)

        God bless you, and I can’t wait to read what’s next.

        13 August, 2013 at 11:44 pm Reply
        • Jennifer Hope

          Hi Deby! That’s so funny–when you called her Patri, I had a good feeling it was my coworker Patricia! She’s a sweet girl.
          Thank you for reading 🙂 I’m hoping to get a new post up soon!

          14 August, 2013 at 8:09 pm Reply

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