Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Of Singleness and Marriage

If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place for correction and it's not so bad. Imagine a set of people all living in the same building. Half of them think it is a hotel, the other half think it is a prison. Those who think it a hotel might regard it as quite intolerable, and those who thought it was a prison might decide that it was really surprisingly comfortable. So that what seems the ugly doctrine is one that comforts and strengthens you in the end. The people who try to hold an optimistic view of this world would become pessimists: the people who hold a pretty stern view of it become optimistic. –C. S. Lewis

When I read the above quote from C. S. Lewis, it particularly struck me how that analogy relates to my life, and my desire to be married. If I start thinking of this life as meant for my enjoyment, I feel dissatisfied with my current single state, and at the least, a little sad -- at the worst, frustrated with God for not having granted my desire yet. If I remember that this world is not for my pleasure - it's a world full of sinners, and God's purpose isn't to give me a sunny, happy life, but to save the lost - then I know that my purpose is to let God shine through me and use me however He sees fit for His glory. It doesn't matter how He chooses to use me; I am His servant, and if His will for my earthly life doesn't include a husband, would I dare to complain? 

It's tempting to think that if I could only be married to a wonderful Godly man, have my own little home and nothing to do but be his helpmeet, raise children and homemaking duties that I would instantly become a gentle, submissive woman. That's my picturesque dream of a Christian family who is ready to minister and serve others wherever God has them. But I know that there would still be troubles and things to frustrate me, and if I am not prepared to be joyful and content in every circumstance, marriage would not be a magic cure for my flaws.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28
  
All things work together for our good, even if we can't see or understand it. It may not seem like good from a worldly perspective, but isn't it wonderful to know that He is working all things together for our good, even the failures and painful moments? Sometimes I find myself worrying that I might miss getting married because I don't pray diligently enough, or because I haven't already become the person I know I should be. How silly am I? If God intends for me to get married, it will happen, and He already knows if or when that will be, just the same as every other circumstance of my life. Whether single or married, He will continue to use every part of my life to make me more like Christ.

"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." - Philippians 1:6

So then, as it seems I must continually remind myself, since my life here is for Him, and His glory alone, I must simply follow Him and obey Him and submit and surrender myself to Him every day. If He has chosen singleness for me, I know that is best, and if He has chosen marriage for me, then I know that's best. Either way, I will be content. He alone is the only other Someone I need. 

"The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
   Do not forsake the work of your hands."
-Psalm 138:8

3 comments:

  1. This post is really sweet! I am really encouraged to see that there are young women out there taking Titus 2 (and the true faith) so seriously!!

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  2. Very true, Lizzie! Thanks for sharing. I love that quote by the way--never read it before I saw it here, but it made me laugh. :)

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  3. This is very true: I find myself fitting in with this very well.

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