Dear Single Girl:
You are not lacking. Did you know that? Has anyone told you that?
All those youth group sermons where you made lists of the qualities of the man you would marry – did anyone tell you that you can have a full, abundant life following the path God has laid out for you without waiting?
Did people give you advice like:
“God has the perfect man in mind for you” or
“Keep waiting and God will honor that” or
“Don’t worry someone better will come along” or
(Fill in the blank.)
Did you know that those things are not Gospel? Did you know that Jesus said that He came so that you could have life, and an abundant life at that! Jesus didn’t put a relationship qualifier on your abundant life or when it will start or whether you must be married for life to be abundant.
Marriage is not promised to you. Marriage is not something you can earn by not kissing any boys or not dating or praying for your future husband each night. Marriage is not the goal.
Please hear that. Marriage. Is not. The goal. Marriage is not a prerequisite for living out your calling.
You have a calling. YOU. Do not hold out to be a pastor’s wife. Be a pastor. Don’t hold out to be a cross-cultural worker’s wife. Be a cross-cultural worker. The dream of your heart is to be a mother? Be a spiritual mother who will have children in the faith. Did you know that Paul called Titus and Timothy his sons? It’s not a small thing. It’s not a lesser-than thing. I have daughters in the faith that I love differently than I love other people. They are my spiritual daughters. I am a mother to them.
This Kingdom, this Christ Kingdom that we are in, does not place qualifiers on you before you can participate. This Christ Kingdom does not say to you that your work is okay but marriage is the most celebrated. This Kingdom that we are in does not segregate you to a table in the back or an odd-man-out awkwardness. This Kingdom work says to you, please join us. Please use the gifts and passions God has given you – and use them now. Do not wait. Do not hide.
This Christ Kingdom does not say to you “when you grow up and get married” because getting married isn’t the requirement for growing up. Maybe you won’t get married. And that is the truth – maybe you won’t ever get married. But that is not the end. (Do you hear me?! If you do not get married, you are not pathetic or sad or un-loveable or un-lovely!) What is sad (hear this) is waiting and wasting years of influence and adventure because you are waiting to get married.
I sat across from one of my spiritual daughters at dinner one day and asked her what she wanted to do. Without blinking, she said, “When I get married I want to move somewhere cool and teach.” I gently corrected her and said, “Please don’t wait to get married to move somewhere cool. Move somewhere cool. What if you never get married and you spend your life waiting to move somewhere cool?” Those simple words changed her perspective and she ended up spending two years in Paris working with our team.
Single girl, release yourself from the wait. You may well meet someone wonderful and marry him – and that is to be celebrated. That is a gift. But do not wait to have this adventure called life – this adventure called ministry. Fill your life with friendship and love and don’t buy into the lie that you must be something else to be happy or used of God.