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

Sacred Singleness | Part Five | Contentment in Christ

February 1, 2015

If you have not done it yet, I encourage you to back track and read Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four before going any further. This is a series companion which I have personally wrote to accompany Leslie Ludy's "Sacred Singleness". I promise, there's nothing better than reading the word and growing in His likeness. So, if you're desperately single and want a man or woman to cling to, might I suggest reading and developing a relationship with Christ? Instead of being ashamed of your singleness and desperate to leave that season in your life, I challenge you to take a leap of faith and change that mindset. Become desperately in love with Jesus. That type of desperation, that overwhelming desire to love Him, is far more rewarding that sitting around the house waiting for Prince Charming to actually exist. 
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Wow. This week has been wild, in that it has contained a significant turn of events-at work, in my spiritual walk, and in my life in general. There has been a lot going on at work that has had me stressed to the max. It's not that things are going to pots where I work, but some things (i.e. people's work ethic and moral) really start effecting those who try to maintain a healthy and positive attitude. This has not only effected my work life, but my spiritual walk and overall life as well. 

It's been a process this week to get back on track, as well as step back to examine my needs, spiritual-wise and health-wise. And in this process I realized that working ten hour days (which I really have no problem doing if people do their part) is just too much when you are taking three classes, trying to graduate this year (Lord willing!), and trying to have your own life outside of the normal 8 to closing working hours. I am not complaining my any means! I love my job and the kids I teach. But, I would never do it for free. And because I wouldn't do my job for free, and because I am such a"yes" person, I have had to really get my priorities straight. School vs. work vs. health vs. life. Which comes out on top? Health. Then school. Then life. Then work. I have health issues. I am Bipolar and have severe General Anxiety. I take medication for both, which have their own side-effects that I have to deal with on top of everything else. 



Anyhow, let me tell you what I learned from this week: 

(1): That I think way too much. I am a thinker. Worrier. I am often my own worst enemy when it comes to dealing with panic attacks. I often provoke them. I learned that in this area, I need to really rely on Jesus and trust that He will do all things for my good. 

(2): I am a "yes" person, as I have already established. And because of this general tendency to say "yes" to EVERYTHING and EVERYONE I often get myself into sticky situations that sometimes I can barely handle, much less get out of. I get taken advantage of easily because of this. Yet, this week, I learned the power of the word "NO". My boss wanted to permanently put me on the 8-close shift at work. I told her "No, that won't work. I can work 8-close only two days a week, the other three days, I am leaving early." 

(3): that being single still stinks regardless of the thickness of your rose colored glasses. But-in the same breath, I learned another lesson in having contentment in Christ on a daily basis. 
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And with that, I want to take that cue and transition right into what my primary purpose is for this post, which is learning to be content in Christ. However, often times I have wondered if this were even a possibility? How can one be content in Christ when there is so much discontentment in the world?! How does one even start? 
As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. {Psalm 42:1}
I would like to think my faith is as deep as the roots of an old Oak tree, and my contentment in Christ as fragrant as the most expensive perfume. I would even like to think that with both of those combined I would be able to survive a year of solitary confinement and come out on the other side more radiant than ever before. Don't get me wrong: I don't ever want to be put in that position. But, the gist is this: I want my faith and contentment in Christ to be so strong and so real that even if I was to be confined for a year, I would never loose sight of the most important thing in life: that Jesus is all I need. 

Doesn't quite fit in with the whole dating scheme; but then again, it kind of does. I mean, singleness, much like being confined can either make or break us. In both situations, the option is either to give up and sulk, or continue to press on and find fulfillment in Christ, in which you come out on the other side more alive and glowing than ever imagined! 

There is an error in our 21 century thinking, ladies and gents. It is a lie that has penetrated modern teachings, and it simply states this: "Jesus Christ is no longer enough to fulfill the longings of [our] hearts", and according to Ludy, these lies also state that when you are looking to "Him alone for satisfaction and contentment, you are fighting against the way God made you and merely trying to 'over-spiritualize your singleness'"(Ludy 66; emphasis added).

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As the deer pants for the water brook, So pants my soul for You, O God {Psalm 42:1}

Marriage is a blessed institution, it is evident throughout scripture. It was created by God for two people—woman and man—as a symbol of God’s love and unyielding devotion to His earthly brides. In my humble opinion, Jesus is enough. Even marriage cannot replace the need for our Heavenly Father. He fills our all in all—not a man or a woman. Those special people in our lives are miniscule in comparison to the significance of our Creator.

While there is an importance regarding marriage in a Biblical context, many have succumb to this idea that the reason why God created Eve for Adam was because (A) is was not good for Adam to be alone, and (B) because God Himself was not enough to fulfill Adam’s needs. How can it be that the Creator of the universe (who created all things in a matter of seven days!) not be enough to fulfill the desires and needs of the human He created out of nothing? Something seems off to me about this ideology. A human body can fulfill all human desires while a supernatural being (who created EVERYTHING) cannot?!

Where have we gone wrong?! This thought process surely sounds appealing, but it is pure fiction compared to the factual evidence provided by the B.I.B.L.E. Marriage was created by God because, yes, it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone (Genesis 2:18). However, this by no means provides evidence for this conceptual idea that God is not enough. Adam was created from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7) by his creator. He was designed with a purpose—to glorify the Heavenly Father. Not the other way around. In addition to this, I feel strongly that God created Eve because Adam needed a “helper, a companion to do the work on earth God had called him to do” (Ludy 67). Yes, marriage was created to have many blessings and benefits for both Adam and Eve during their relationship with each other, but their marriage was never meant to take the place of God.

Read:

Psalm 73:25
Psalm 16:11
Psalm 107:9

Ludy mentions in her book that “marriage was not designed to make up for what God lacked”, in fact Ludy mentions that God “created marriage to be a reflection of the perfect union and fellowship that we have in Him” (Ludy 67). God alone is the one who fills all in all—not man or woman. Marriage between a man and woman was created to be a platform for the ultimate romance between the Bridegroom and His bride. If you don’t believe me, check out the book Songs of Solomon. I am sure then, you’ll get the big picture.

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So-like I said, I struggle daily with accepting singleness and finding contentment in Christ during this season in my life. Such a process! I have a love-hate relationship with being single. I don't often get asked if I am single, but when I do, it feels as though someone is burning another hole into my already hamburger heart. I mean, what am I supposed to say?! If I say "no" I get looks of scrutiny and pity. If I say "yes" (which would be a lie), I get bombarded by celebratory and some inappropriate questions that only serve to hammer another bruise in my heart. Either way, I am faced with having to confront inner demons on the subject of singleness. I long for it to end, but in the same breath I enjoy it. 

There are ups and downs. And during this season I have grown so much. And in many of the cases in which people question me about whether I am called to singleness, I answer "today I am". Today I am consumed by the love of my Lord. Consumed with loving Him. Knowing Him. Serving Him. And worshiping Him. I am certain my husband is around the corner waiting for me just like I am for Him. But until that day comes, today I am single. Loving it. Living it. And surrendering daily to my King. 

I am not worried about what other people think of me. In fact, I kind of enjoy seeing their disgruntled reactions when I tell them that I am twenty-two and single. (Apparently you're supposed to be at least engaged by my age?!). I am not an arrogant feminist with a dogmatic "anti-man" attitude; I simply don't see the point in putting my life on hold until I meet "the one". If I do that I might miss out on some of the most epic moments life has to offer. Thus, I am going to go against the grain-the advice of modern Christian culture to "hurry up and get married" and discover the beauty behind why I have been called to be single during this season in my life (1 Corinthians 7). 

Remember: God is enough. Do not pine your life away waiting for something when God is telling you to take your singleness and run with it. Embrace it. Thrive during this time. Discover singleness and the beauty of building a concrete foundation in Christ. I promise, it's gonna prepare you for the road ahead. You'll be a better person because of it. Trust me: I have been single for a year. I have my pity-parties, for sure. But I rest in the fact that my relationship in Christ is preparing me for my future husband. That's what singleness is all about. It's the calm before the storm. 

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