Taking a quick break from my Incredible Journey posts, I'd like to highlight a meditation that has recurred often for me recently...
Is marriage a distraction from whole-hearted devotion?
When I was single, I often struggled with a disturbing fear: that my future marriage would distract me from true, single-minded devotion to God. That was always very concerning to me, even though I vaguely understood that having a husband would likely consume much of my time and--let's face it--my affection.
My Bargain With God
When I realized that my singleness was going to last years longer than I anticipated, I made a bargain with God.
“For as long as I am single, I desire only this: Let my singleness be more productive and glorifying to You than if I were married. Only let me marry when my marriage will serve You better.”
It sounded spiritual, but it was really a cry of desperation. If I can’t be married and fulfill my greatest desire, I want to know that my singleness is worth something. I’m so terrified of wasting my life.
Single women and married women tend to move in different circles. The married women want to chat about their husbands and their babies with each other, and the single women form their own cliques around hobbies, school, ministries, or the single lifestyle itself.
I think that’s wrong.
Just. Plain. Wrong.
In a previous post, I discussed the single young woman with too little to do. In this post, I discuss the opposite: the single young woman who does everything.
This is the woman who copes with multiple jobs, various responsibilities, ministry or community work, her own business, church duties, leadership roles, and more. She is the one who to whom everyone runs when something needs to be done and whom everyone considers Superwoman.
When it comes to single women living at home with their parents, I generally see two types: the young women who do very little, and the young women who do everything. Unfortunately, both of these groups injure themselves with their imbalanced lifestyle.
In this post, I will discuss the women of the first group: the ladies who do very little. I speak frankly and openly, but please do not confuse my honesty with snootiness. I have genuine love and compassion for women in both groups, and I don't wish to degrade anyone, but rather to point out the (very real) dangers and to offer solutions.
Ladies who do little often start a job or a college program, only to drop out or quit a short time later. They struggle to follow through on projects, they seem chronically bored, they lack a lot of important home-making skills, and they are dependent on others for basic needs (food preparation, transportation, etc.).
Today I want to speak to the single Christian women about something that you have perhaps questioned at times: your value.
If asked, every single young woman would confirm vehemently that she knows that she is valuable before God. But in her heart of hearts, as all her friends marry and begin families, she struggles to feel that this is true.
This article first appeared in the Winter 2011 issue of the quarterly newsletter for Christian young women, Incorruptible Beauty.
What if true service is not about doing something big or joining a recognized ministry? What if it's just about serving where you are, with a cheerful attitude and a desire to glorify God?
Question: What are some practical ways in which you can serve today? Feel free to comment and continue the discussion.
None of my life has gone the way it was "supposed to go," but I don't love my life any less because of the hardships and new directions. I see so much unexpected good in it, and I want others to see the good in theirs.