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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

Dear Sisters, God is preparing us for the Big M

Navigating life as a celibate Christian single can be rough. Inevitably there seems to be a moment in my conversations about singleness with other Christians which makes me cringe. Eventually those dreaded words are spoken, “Oh, but don’t worry; He is preparing you for your husband.”

I cringe because I feel so misunderstood. I could swear I had just articulately communicated to the person with whom I am speaking how I am truly enjoying life as a single (which I most assuredly do), but they seem to be fixated on the idea that singleness is a problematic circumstance in my life which God is doing His best to fix as rapidly as possible, albeit behind the scenes. Though marriage may be in God’s plans for me, I struggle to believe His purpose for my life is so inconsequential, insignificant and dull. Please, God, dream bigger!

It’s not that I am a man-hater. I most definitely am not. I absolutely love seeing a man of God laying down his entire life for his wife the way Christ laid down His life for the Church. So rare. So precious. So beautiful. Perhaps someday there will be a man in my life to whom I will submit while he lays down his life for me, but I pray God is not merely focused on preparing me for something so momentary, so fleeting, so shallow.

How dare I call one of the most beautiful relational pictures of Christ and the Church shallow? Because comparatively speaking it is.

Yet, my dear single sisters, God is preparing us for the big M. This might surprise you, but He is preparing our married sisters for it too. The purpose of all things in our lives is exactly the same as the purpose of all things in the lives of our married sisters. And it has nothing to do with their husbands or our still imaginary future husband, but everything to do with our guaranteed Groom.

Marriage is temporary. I understand its main purpose in my life will be to transform my character into the image of God’s Son in preparation for my ultimate union with my Groom. God has declared this transformation my destiny. The secondary purpose of my still-imaginary future temporal marriage will be to raise up the next generation of people being transformed into the likeness of my Groom and so helping create the crucial stability families provide in culture. A diamond is not forever. A diamond is only till death do us part.

A temporal marriage isn’t able to make you or I happy. It isn’t able to be truly fulfilling. If Jesus Christ isn’t the source of all our fulfillment, our possible future marriage is going to be a devastating disappointment. God didn’t design marriage to fulfill us. He designed it to shape us. It is simply a circumstance in our life. Our circumstances are not meant to fulfill us but rather to transform us. Serving Him with all our hearts isn’t meant to be merely the purpose of our singleness, but the purpose of our entire existence. When we get married, the focus of our lives shouldn’t change. Maybe the circumstances will, but not the mission.

Sometimes little lies can be so misleading! We quit believing what the world of nonbelievers tells us and start believing the ideas of a Christian friend or teacher. However, sometimes we forget that just because an idea sounds more biblical than our former way of thinking, it still may not be entirely true. Consider these thoughts:

  1. “Don’t spend all your time dating losers, instead focus on becoming the woman the man you want to marry will want to marry.” Great advice, except isn’t our focus still on the man and what we want? What about becoming the woman God wants us to be? Fulfillment doesn’t come when we simply dress our idol in different clothes than does the culture which surrounds us. It comes when we abolish our idol. I love how my pastor advises singles to pour out their lives for Christ and then notice if God brings someone alongside of them with whom they could serve Him better.

  2. “Your season of singleness is a very special time in your life. This is a time when you can focus solely on serving God, so make the most of it because it may not last forever!” Right. Exactly right, yet so WRONG! The purpose of our entire existence from the moment we were born to the infinity of eternity is to focus solely on serving God! Aka worship. Worshipping God is the purpose of our lives not just of our singleness. Yes, the Apostle Paul said that thing in 1 Corinthians 7 about marriage being a distraction; but based on all his other writings, I can assure you that he didn’t mean that when someone gets married they should look to their spouse for fulfillment or purpose instead of their future Husband. The purpose of our lives does not change when we get married. Our roles, schedules and sex lives will change, but not our purpose. It stays exactly the same.

  3. “I want to get married because I am lonely, so I want to be in a relationship where I know someone will love me for the rest of my life.” Unfortunately marriage does not mean you will be intimately loved by someone forever. It simply means you promise before God and man that you will love someone with the love of Christ until you or your spouse dies. There is absolutely no guarantee your future spouse will love you for more than a week. Perhaps a really high probability, but no guarantee. (Have you seen the divorce rate recently?) Our relationship with Christ is the only relationship where we are guaranteed to not be separated from someone else’s love.

My dear sisters, God dreams so much bigger than we dream. His plans for us are so much better than our own plans! He is transforming us into the glorious image of His Son. This is our ultimate destiny determined by our Creator. While this destiny does mean our ability to be in healthy relationships while on earth will improve, it does not mean our destiny is to be prepared for a temporal groom. It is all about where we look for our source of life. Is God our source, or do we think we can only be happy if we are married to a man while on this earth?

Do I hope someday I will be married to a temporal groom? Yes. Yes, I very much do, but only under one condition. He is going to have to be someone with whom I know I will be able to serve God better if I am married to him than if I remain single. I know there are no guarantees when it comes to predicting people’s future actions, but my temporal groom is going to have to be a follower of Christ who is passionate about continuing to be transformed into the image of Christ together until death do us part. And he’s going to need to have a track record of what this transformation has already looked like in his life.

My sisters, let’s not pine for a marriage Jesus never promised us. Let’s place our hope in Him who is the Promise Keeper, and He has promised we have a Groom. One who is so worthy of our love and adoration that we will spend the rest of our lives preparing to be His eternal wife. It’s not a religious fairy tale. It’s our reality.

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