I really enjoyed this article on Precious Adornment website.
The author (who is now married) shares an article about singleness and Corrie ten Boom. I won't repeat all she says because both the author and Corrie do an excellent job already...but I will summarize: some people are called to lifelong singleness and many of those people (although I am certain not all) are content. Thats how Corrie was. But some are called to it temporarilly, in preparation for the future when they are married.
The in between years are used to prepare for marriage and teach the single woman (or man) that happiness can only be found in Jesus. This echoes the recent feelings in my own heart. A friend and I were discussing our unwanted singleness the other day and though I still don't like it, I have recently been more content with it (I hesitate to write that here because as soon as I say it, I am sure I will feel discontent!) It's not so much that I feel happy, but I have felt more content longing for something.... more able to live a happy life even if the thing I want the most is not there.
I told that same friend that the one huge blessing of singleness (that we don't realize is happening while it is) is that we learn to be okay with unmet longings. I think I have now come to the conclusion that I will always be longing for something - a spouse, children, a job, friends, owning a home, etc. And that longing drives me to my Savior, because the truth of the matter is, what I am ultimately longing for is heaven. So give me a husband and I wont be happy. Give me children or the perfect job or perfect home and I will still have some part of me that wants more. Why? because this world is fallen and imperfect and I was not made for this world.
Some of my married peers still seem to think life is supposed to be free of unmet longings. I think it is because their longings were always met quickly: they got married so early and had children when they wanted, moved into a home, etc etc. And they may learn the same lesson I do, but just at a different time than I do. So, as much as I don't want to be at the stage of life I am at right now, I find it a blessing that I am learning to live with longings because I will be living that way (in some form or fashion) until my Savior comes back. I am now more aware than ever of my longing for heaven!
When a lady told Corrie that living the single life longer than she wanted was too hard, Corrie replied that "The cross is always difficult" That hit home with me. In our Christian culture, we glorify all of our blessings as gifts from God (which they are) but with Christianity comes difficulty as well.
We should be more sensitive of the struggles and waiting of others, encouraging them to use it as preparation for the future -- both practically and in their relationship with Christ. Don't have a job? How can you prepare for one and how can you find your identity in your Savior? Longing for children? Prepare. Trust. We should gently point eachother to the cross, both acknowldging the difficulty but reminding eachother that following the way of the cross is difficult. We should not be surprised, scriptures states that we will have many troubles in this world (John 16:33) but that He will overcome the world!
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