I met a young lady at a conference recently and as we talked throughout the day, I realized our meeting was no accident, but divinely orchestrated by God. As she talked about her deep desire to grow in faith, yet also plagued by her constant struggle with singleness, her young life seemed to parallel mine in so many ways. She mentioned she had been praying for a mentor and asked me for some advice. She reminded me so much of myself at that age so I prayed and asked, “What advice would have been most helpful to me at that time in my life?“
After careful consideration, I realized the one lesson I wish I had learned much earlier in my single life is that purpose, not marriage, is the goal.
Marriage is good, and it is most certainly a ministry, but marriage does not negate the fact that God has a purpose for my whole life, not just my married life. Although singles are often treated as an afterthought in many regards, God’s plan for our lives is much bigger than just marriage. Marriage is great thing, but it’s not the only thing. I look forward to joining my husband in ministry and sharing intimacy with him, but marriage is in the future and I am called to live in the present.
After years of resisting singleness I have learned not to worry; marriage will come if that’s God’s will for my life.
However, the incessant focus on trying to achieve marriage above all else constrains my time and talent. It not only robs me, but all those whose lives could be impacted for the Kingdom if I weren’t so focused on me, myself and I. I am resolved to this simple truth—marriage is coming, but ministry is calling.
There is a hurting world all around us and the Body of Christ desperately needs what we have to offer. The gifts deposited in us are valuable and they are not only useful, but needed right here, right now. So our clarion call is clear: Find that thing you love and determine how you can do it to the glory of God. Sing, dance, write, design, teach—use your gifts to enlighten the world for the cause of Christ.
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” (Colossians 3:23)
For far too long too many of us have made marriage the goal and neglected our calling.
God bestows upon each of us time, talent and treasure. When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, what will we have to show for our time here on earth? Will the story of our lives be replete with examples of wholehearted worship towards God and deeds of generous outreach to those near and far?
Or will all we have to offer are excuses of why we couldn’t get around to anything God wanted us to do because we so desperately wanted to be married first? Let’s not spend all our time trying to find a mate without prioritizing Christ. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
Every aspect and every day of your life is purposeful.
You were created with purpose and on purpose. Pray for marriage, prepare for marriage but be intentional about fulfilling your purpose every day of your life both before and after marriage.
Lisa Powell is the creator of www.the-christian-single-woman.com, a website dedicated to helping Christian single women discover wholeness in single life while preparing to be a wife.
*Photo credit: F.C. Photography