Thursday, February 14, 2013

settling for singleness


"Ladies, a real man does more than open a door for you, he opens his Bible.
A real man does more than pay for you, he prays for you.
A real man does more than hold your hand, he lifts his hands in worship.
A real man does more than love you, he loves God.
Don’t settle for anything less than a man after Gods own heart.
You are a princess, and deserve a prince." 
Jarrid Wilson


Let that quote settle in your heart before you go lamenting a season of singelness this Valentine's Day.  Amid the cards and candy and chaos, regardless of your relationship status, or lack thereof, you can rest in the assurance and the affection of a prince beyond any earthly companion: the Prince of Peace.  

I had the unfortunate experience of having to go the grocery store late yesterday afternoon.  In the middle of rush hour, howling wind, freezing temperatures and pouring down rain.  I sloshed across the parking lot in my rainboots, clutching my umbrella.  The automatic doors slid open and I faced another atmospheric assault: a visual smorgasborg of Valentine's merchandise, an assortment of red balloons and flowers and candies and cards all morphing together to form one superfluous red flag, waving singleness in my face. 

Admittedly, this isn't my first Valentine's Day spent single.  In fact, at this point, I think the overwhelming majority of my Valentine's Days have been single.  Even though I'm well into my thirties, as I grow in Christ, I become less and less enthralled with the kind of romance and love that our culture is selling.  In fact, I'm feeling more than a little shortchanged on the lie the prince of this world has marketed and sold to us from our earliest years, from that moment we become enchanted with all things fairytale.  I'm disheartened that even grown women, myself included, are sometimes more interested in a man's chivalry over his Christ-likeness.  Jarrid Wilson's words ring truth to our modern day society: we desire a man who opens our doors while often overlooking whether or not he really opens his bible; we are swept off our feet by a man who pays for us and showers us with gifts, without even knowing the landscape of his prayer life.  We want love, often overlooking whether or not the true love of his life is the Lord.  We can have that which looks good, feels good, and yet, is a settling for less than what God has intended for us.   

And looking back on Genesis, wasn't that the cunning brilliance behind the scenes of his first scheme?  To bring Eve to a moment of questioning...  Thousands of years later, we are still seeking answers to our questioning through through anyone other than the one who made us who we are.

Whether we are six or thirty-six, we find ourselves asking the same question...
“Little girls want to know, Am I lovely? The twirling skirts, the dress up, the longing to be pretty and to be seen–that is what that’s all about. We are seeking an answer to our Question… Nearly all a woman does in her adult life is fueled by her longing to be delighted in, her longing to be beautiful, to be irreplaceable, to have her Question answered, “Yes!”  ~ Staci Eldridge, Captivating
So often, through our own wisdom, we go out and try to seek the answer to this question on our own, refusing to see ourselves the way that our Father does.  Refusing to see our lives through the lens of His word.  Eldridge continues, "Having forfeited our confidence in God, we believe that in order to have the life we want, we must take matters into our own hands. And we ache with an emptiness nothing seems able to fill.”

Sometimes, He allows us to walk through seasons of singleness so that we can experience the ache from the emptiness that only He can fill.

And sometimes, these seasons come after a season after which we have foolishly taken matters into our own hands.  He redeems our past, yes even [if not especially] our disobedience by teaching us the beauty of His faithfulness all over again.  Sometimes, it is again and again...  Until we experience the truth of Augustine's words: "Our hearts are restless until they rest in you." 

The truth is, we all desire to be loved - and to be lovely.  We desire to be a part of a love story, and a passionate pursuit.  The bigger truth that we so desperately need to grasp is that we. already. are. 
"The story of your life is also the story of the long and passionate pursuit of your heart by the One who knows you best and loves you most." ~ Staci Elridge 
This Valentine's Day, I've settled in my heart that I am content, in this season, settling for singleness.  Because the truth - my truth - is:  I've settled for far less in my past.

According to His word, I have a Heavenly Father who "redeemed my life from the pit" of disobedience.  He rescued me from a past that was less than His best for me.  And here, yes even here in the midst of my singleness, He "satifies my desires with good things..."  

God may be calling you, for this season, to settle for singleness.  But He will never call you to settle for less than His best. 

Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103

2 comments:

  1. This is so timely for me. If you feel led, please email me at betsystamant@yahoo.com I'd love to share what just happened last week to me. Looking for support and I feel drawn to this post and the one I saw of yours at ibelieve. I'm also an ibelieve contributor :)

    Hope to hear from you.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Betsy, thanks so much! :) I sent you an email.

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