Do Not Merely Exist BLESSED SINGLENESS + FORSAKING IT ALL SAIL THE HIGH SEAS + BIBLE MAN ARMOR

Sacred Singleness | Part One | Forsaking All

January 18, 2015

This post goes out to all my lovelies. Those single women-and men-that struggle with wanting things to go your way vs. God's way. The struggle with this is real. It's more than real, it's a war that Satin wages on our hearts with a second-by-second replay of the reasons why we're single, and the misguided and misrepresented truths about God's essential role for the seasons of singleness. 


Being single has its ups and downs. Incredibly so! Much more than I have ever encountered before, to be frank. Life itself has its ups and downs, but when you are single and trying to ultimately focus on the Lord, one experiences a few more technical difficulties than expected. These technical difficulties do not always come in large doses, nor are they potent. In some cases, as I have had the pleasure of experiencing, they can be small and unassuming. Carefree, but intense. One does not always have parents, friends, or complete strangers asking the dreaded question "why are you still single?" 

Satin do not always use the obvious to send us into a downward spiraling pity-party. As in most things that are from the Father of Lies, he goes undetected and is very inconspicuous in his efforts to derail our focus and faith in the Heavenly Father. Thus, instead of making a big-to-do, Satin uses other techniques merely to distract us from our primary focus-Christ. 

How does Satin do this, you might ask? I have experienced this time and time again. In little unassuming ways, Satin penetrates my shield-maiden-like armor with the most effective ways of leading me astray. No, he doesn't shove my singleness down my throat with blatant questions that sting. In fact, he does something a bit more sneaky. Most of the time it's not the question that gets to me, but the visual imagery of watching a couple walking hand-in-hand in the park, or even sitting together in Church. That's what gets me. That's what hurts the most. And in one foul swoop, Satin has often drawn my heart astray and led me off course. Again. 

The most dangerous assailants that Satin uses is not where you would typically think to find fault. In fact, it is beyond the opposite of what one would expect. Even I didn't see it coming until I was face-to-face with these dangers. And believe it or not, which you probably won't, a lot of the lies that Satin feeds us come from the Church's perspective of singleness vs. marriage, Biblically speaking. Also beware modern Christian dating books. Both, I have found are dangerous breeding grounds for discontentment.

FORSAKING ALL

God has made us for Himself, and our heart can never know rest and perfect satisfaction until they find it in Him. {Hannah Hurnard}
I love this quote, because it speaks volumes to what we as a body of Christ need to understand. (Especially as a group of singles). Because, how can we expect to be satisfied with our spouse if we are not content in our current position in life at the present, in Christ? 
______

I remember, it was about six months after my very first breakup, that I found myself lonely and invisible. Until, of course, a prospective young gentleman joined my small group at church. It was apparent he took notice of me instantly. 

Cool, I thought, obviously flattered that anyone would notice me after having gone through a tragic breakup only months before. He was cute. Sure. Calm, collect, soft-spoken, and tenderhearted. Awe, just what I've always wanted! I began to tell myself as we began "dating". He was definitely not swift in his actions, nor in his intent to pursue me. Meh, he's just shy, I assured myself as I made the first move. I was lonely. I wanted to feel "in love" again. And he fit the bill. I was attracted to him, yes. But not nearly enough to cause me-if I were in a more focused state of mind-to pursue. I was out of my mind! I never pursue! At least, that's what I told myself as I posted another inconspicuous offer to anyone-mainly him-who waned to see a movie or go for a walk in the park. 

During that time, I was basically doing whatever I could to endure my season of singleness. Even if it meant dating the wrong guy. I mean, he seemed like the total package, really. Well, mostly. He was a Christlike man. He seemed passionate for God. But aside from his seemingly Christian attitude and well-being, he was not setting well with my woman's intuition.On the outside he was Godly. But inside, he was passive and submissive. And I cannot tolerate passive or submissive men. 

But-when it came to the second month of our official "boyfriend/girlfriend" status, something in my gut told me that I was settling for less than God's best. Yes, I was. But I didn't want to be lonely! And, in my mind, being single meant you were just leftovers after the cream of the crop had been chosen. Here is where my conscious and I struggled. While I was wanting what I wanted, God was tugging at my heart strings, saying "let go. It will be alright. Trust me. Are you willing to forsake it all for an abundant life? Or are you satisfied with being empty and alone?". 

Whoa.
_____

According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary to forsake means to "to renounce or turn away from entirely". In other words, to forsake means to abandon

Christian women and, yes, even men, have a longing-if not a strong desire- to have a Christlike person in their life who is passionate for God. Women long for this in a guy, and I am positive that guys long for this in a woman. Not one wants a lazy, passive, and submissive flop. Which one sounds more appealing-a real man who is gallant and ambitious and ready for battle (as is in his nature?); a woman who is captivating, modest, compassionate and dedicate- or someone who has little self-esteem, no goals, a lazy attitude, and no reverence for the Lord? 

However, it is my experience that many young singles are willing to risk it all and settle for less-than-desired because they're tired of the wait. Tired of having to be patient. Tired of "relying" on God's perfect timing. Sometimes, God gives us this "gut-wrenching" feeling when we're about to do something against His will. And in many cases-like mine-God urges us to make the BEST choices for our lives! He doesn't want us to settle for less. And sometimes the BEST choice means ditching lover-boy and listening intently to God's guiding voice when He prods us to allow Him to become our obsession, instead of trying to cure loneliness with some less-than-perfect guy/gal God never intended for us to date.

It's scary. To follow Christ is one thing, but to recklessly abandon all to Him-and being willing to do it with a prudent heart-is another. God doesn't want us to look at being single as a "curse". Leslie Ludy, author of "Sacred Singleness" mentions that often times we tend to look to earthly guys/gals to meet the needs of our hearts, when in reality-by allowing Christ to be our first love-we're essentially giving Him grounds to not only bring glory to Himself, but also script a beautiful lifelong romance that reflects the sacredness between the Heavenly Bridegroom and His pure bride (Ludy 14). 

Leslie also notes that so many singles miss out on this one crucial truth:
Even a beautiful God-scripted love story can never satisfy the way Jesus does. Even the most heroic and Christlike man on earth can never fulfill the longings of our hearts like the true Prince and Lover of our soul (Ludy 14).
God's plans for this season(s) of singleness don't necessarily mean that you're going to be single for the rest of your lives. Don't fret! In my case, this season of singleness is due to God wanting me to lay down my "rights" to be married (and all that come with that life) because He wants me to allow Him to be my everything. He doesn't want to be that soft pillow to land on in times of need, but to be that someone I walk with daily and look to for the satisfaction of my needs, longings, and desires. 

To lay down that so-called "right" has been the greatest challenge I've faced yet. It's frightful, because after giving all those hopes, dreams, and desires to God, I found myself worried about whether He would ever give them back. What if I was stuck as a single woman permanently? Was God really, truly enough to fulfill my wildest desires, even if I never got married? 

If you haven't noticed by now, I love Leslie Ludy. She is a personal role model for me in regards to the topic of being single. In her book, Leslie quotes preacher, Paris Reidhead, who asks a very serious question: 
Is not the Lamb who was slain worthy of the reward of His sufferings? (Leslie 15). 
In other words: is not the One who laid down His life for us entitled to everything we can offer? 

He is asking a scary question here! Would we rather always try to cure our loneliness with a male/female companion, or are we "willing to let [God] become [our] all in all...?" (Ludy 13; emphasis added). And if I may, I would like to add something that I think is pretty spot on, as well as a spectacular visual of the reckless abandonment we are called to have. According to John 12:1-3 a woman named Mary of Bethany breaks open her Alabaster Box (which is a priceless part of her dowry) and pours her most precious ointment upon the feet of Jesus. 
"Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with Him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: and the house was filled with odor of the ointment." 
Like Mary-it's time to let go of what we hold "dear" and give it ALL to God. Place all your worries, fears, and unsatisfactory relationships at the feet of Jesus as an offering "eager and delighted sacrifice [our] all for the One who have everything for [us]" (Ludy 17). He's not only asking for eagerness and delight, but for us to be "completely willing to be single [...]" in the process (Ludy 17). 

I am a lover of all things based in the book of Philippians. I can thank my mom for that! I love what Philippians 3:8 says about forsaking it all:
 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ [...].
And while we're on this topic, I would also like you to consider Matthew 16:24: 
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
By taking up our cross, we're "deliberately choosing to give up [our] "rights" [...] in order to make Jesus Christ [our] first love-not just in theory, but in real life" (Ludy 19; emphasis added). 

So, here it is ladies and gents, one of the hardest, most potent questions you'll ever have to answer: Is not the One who gave His all for us worthy of everything we could offer Him? Now is your time to decide what you are going to do with the time, the life, that is given to you. Waste it on earthly pursuits? Or on pursuits of a higher calling? Living recklessly abandoned for One who have it all? 

In my experience love--an earthly love-will NEVER satisfy, not the way Jesus does! He may be the most heroic and Christlike man on the planet, but he will never be able to fulfill the deepest longings of the heart the way the Prince and Lover of our soul does (Leslie 14). We must be willing to wholly surrender ourselves to God in order to make Him our first love. However, until we realize that, we will never know the wonders of the One who is our all in all.

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Please keep your comments clean. So, please no foul language.