Ya’ll, I want to get married. A lot. But not to the point that my longing for it slays the appetite for the living of what I do have. (To paraphrase Jim Elliot). The full quote says:
There is a somewhat philosophical realization that actually I have lost nothing. We may imagine what it would be like to share a given event and feel loss at having to experience it alone. But let us not forget – that loss is imagined, not real. I imagine peaks of enjoyment when I think of doing things together, but let not the hoping for it dull the doing of it alone. What is, is actual – what might be is simply not, and I must not therefore query God as though He robbed me – of things that are not. Further the things that belong to us, they are good, God given, and enriched. Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living.” Jim Elliot
The things that are given to me are good, God given, and enriched. Sometimes I’m tempted to believe the lie that if I enjoy singleness, what God has given me, than He won’t ever give me marriage. Friends, whatever the Lord has for us IS GOOD. Singleness is not a punishment, and my enjoyment or misery in it, will not manipulate my Father to give or withhold good things from me. If I’m single, than this is a good thing and I can celebrate what I have!
I’m also not going to compare and contrast the joys of singleness with the responsibilities or joys in marriage. I know that there are things that are easier for singleness to do, and there are things that can be enjoyed only in marriage. To compare the two is futile. To each is a season, and we are called to live fully in the joy that each season provides, knowing that both are good gifts from the Father.
A lot of married folks have told me “you should enjoy singleness because once you are married……(fill in the blank happens)…..”. I want to reply, well yes, I do enjoy…blank…. but I would also enjoy this …blank… about marriage. But the truth is –Joy isn’t a comparison or a guilt trip, it’s a choice to be thankful for the good that we do have.
In my life right now? I enjoy
The time to read
Decorating my house
Exploring fashion styles, and not settling on any one style
The ability to deeply pour into others lives with my time and energy
Intimacy with Jesus
Finding Beauty in all things
You see friends joy doesn’t limit itself to a relational status. Give yourself permission to enjoy where the Lord has you now. Fear is a great enemy of joy. And the Lord reminded me of what John says
Perfect love cast out fear. For fear has to do with punishment.
Singleness is not punishment. So we don’t need to fear enjoying it.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matt 7:9-11
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
His heart is for us. And He has good things for us. This is why we can enjoy both singleness and marriage. Neither is an exclusive destination for joy.
“What I Love About Being Single“ 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.