“Sarah will get married before you”.
What? I looked my grandfather in confusion. Sarah was 4.5-5 years my Jr. Surely, as the older sister I would get married first!
If I could call up Heaven and talked to Grandpa, I would love to ask him what he saw, or knew, that caused him to make that statement ten years ago. He was right you know although He didn’t live to see it. My younger sister Sarah gets married next week and I’ll be standing up with her as her maid of honor. Sarah is number four in the line of my twelve siblings. Six weeks after Sarah’s wedding, my brother Joel gets married. He’s number six in the line up, and goodness – I even changed his diapers!
As I contemplate how I pictured life being, it’s easy to start questioning a lot of things. As friend after friend, and sibling after sibling gets married, it’s hard not to wonder – why not me?
What’s wrong with me?
Is there something they have that I don’t?
Am I not good enough?
Am I too picky? Not picky enough?
Not thin enough?
Is it the way I look or dress?
I’m terrible at flirting, is that it?
I’m too much……
Maybe I smell!?
Friends, I can’t tell you whether or not something is wrong with you, but I can identify with the questions, fears and insecurities that singleness can bring. You are not alone in asking them. Two observations I’ve noticed reguarding this genre of questioning in our singleness:
- The questions denote a subtle worldview/perspective that marriage is something that is earned, or that we can be worthy of.
- There is an underlying fear that we have been or will be found lacking in someway.
Marriage is a gift from the Lord – like His other blessings. It’s not something we earn. Because of the way Christian culture promotes marriage it’s easy to buy into the idea that God owes us marriage. (I’m a huge fan of marriage don’t get me wrong.) But we just need to understand that He doesn’t owe us anything. He gives us His love – FREELY. We don’t deserve His love and yet He gives it to us, that’s the blessing and gift of grace. Undeserving people get married everyday. Deserving or worthiness has nothing to do with whether or not a ring marks our finger.
We will never be ready for marriage or worthy of it, but we can be more prepared*. And that leads us to the second observation – fear that we are lacking. If I told you that you were not lacking, would you believe me? Most likely not.
Why? Because in one way or another most of us are lacking in some areas, and we know it.We are redeemed saints learning to walk in Christ, but learning to walk means we stumble and fall at times and struggle until our muscles strengthen.The best way to deal with the fear of that we are lacking is to simply face it head on. Fear looses its power over us when we bring it into the light and pick it apart with truth. Force your fear to be specific so it’s small enough for you to address it. Addressing it with the Lord is the only way to go through it. We need His healing balm to heal the wound fear leaves.
For example I can fear that I am too much. Making it more specific, I often struggle with fearing that I am too intense, too passionate and too opinionated.These fears were addressed by asking a close friend to speak into my life and give me feedback on them and how I interacted with people. I also brought them before the Lord.
The Lord moves by either removing the fear and confirming to you have nothing to fear, or He will agree with you that there is a problem and address the heart issue behind it. In my experience the Lord usually does both. In the example above He confirmed to me that He made me passionate and to feel deeply the fiercely about things the way He does. In some areas, He asked me to be even more bold! (Imagine that – well really, if He hadn’t you wouldn’t be reading this series. I can assure you of that!) On the other hand, the Lord refines what He creates. He molds the created clay. With that my passion should never be used by sinful or judgmental motivation.
*Wrapping it up with a note of caution: In facing areas we do need to change in, desire to change and grow for the Lord’s glory, not just so that you have a better shot at getting married. He is worthy – let us worship Him and not His gifts.
Friend, the Lord is Sovereign and people choose. I do not know wherein the two entwine, but I do know this: the Lord loves you and is writing your unique story. I can’t compare my story to my sister’s for the Lord is writing two different scripts. We are both equally loved by Him.
“What’s Wrong with Me?” is a part of the “Today’s The Day: Being Single and Fully Alive” a 31 Days Series. To read more from this series please click here.