Isaiah 30:18 (ESV) 18Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you,and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
You are a Christian single woman. You value marriage and children and long to be a godly wife and mother. However, God has not yet fulfilled these desires in your life. Married or single, unfulfilled desire is a lifelong problem. Sometimes we desire things in opposition to God. Dealing with those types of sinful desires is hard, but it pales in comparison to the struggle of dealing with God-given desires that remain unfulfilled. Why would God impress on our hearts the value and worth of a God-centered marriage without also fulfilling that desire by giving us a God-honoring spouse? What should Christian singles do with this unfulfilled desire? What do you do in the waiting?
We are given MANY examples in Scripture of believers on whom God called to wait--Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Joseph, and Hannah to name a few. Their time of waiting on God’s hand was an integral part of their walk with God. The Bible exhorts us repeatedly to wait patiently for the hand of the Lord to work in our lives. It is human nature to think of periods of waiting as holding patterns with no discernable value. Instead, Scripture teaches that there are great blessings to be had in the actual waiting period.
Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
Psalm 37:7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
Waiting is not easy. Our nature is to fret and worry. Instead, God calls us to confidence and peace. Exactly how do we move from anxiety to peace during singleness? First, when you are tormented by loneliness, you need to review what you know to be true about God and then take your thoughts captive and make them submit to the truth.
2 Corinthians 10:5 (ESV) We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
What do you know of the character of God? In a nutshell, God is sovereign, wise, and compassionate.
Isaiah 46:9-11 (ESV) 9remember the former things of old;for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,' 11calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.
Romans 16:27 (ESV) to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.
Psalm 103:13 (ESV) As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
God is in charge, He knows what He’s doing in your life, and you can trust that He has not lost control of your circumstances. Not only does God know what He’s doing, His plan for your life reflects both His all-surpassing wisdom and His fathomless love for you. His plan is good and right, and you can TRUST Him with the details of your life.
Secondly, you must avoid the pitfall of comparing yourself with your sisters in Christ who are dating, engaged, or happily married. They didn't get married because they have it all together, and God does not ask you to wait because you are unworthy to get married. The Bible says simply that such comparisons are NOT WISE. If you must compare yourself to someone, compare yourself to Christ. There is NO other standard of righteousness in our Christian lives. Of course, we thank God for women who are examples of godliness to us, but we do NOT use them as our standard of righteousness. They are not the standard to which we must measure. We measure ourselves by Christ’s standard of righteousness, to which we all fall short.
2 Corinthians 10:12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
1 Timothy 6:6-8 6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
Philippians 4:11-13 11Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Paul is a funny one to talk on contentment because his life was a mess. Not only did Paul have no spouse, no children, no steady income, and no home, he was often imprisoned, beaten, and even shipwrecked. But, somehow, he had learned to overcome in "all circumstances." He was lonely, distressed, and oppressed, but never crushed or in despair. Paul always had hope, and that hope was NOT that God was going to change his circumstances on earth. Paul’s hope was that his relationship with Christ was secure, his inheritance in heaven was certain, and that, in between, God was trustworthy with the details of his life. Paul was able to be content in the hard circumstances as well as the times of plenty because he had great confidence in the power of Christ. Paul was consistent this way. In virtually every instruction Paul gives in his epistles—to husbands, to wives, to slaves, to the church in general—the backdrop is the gospel and our sufficiency in Christ. Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches (John 17). He is the Head and we are His Body (Ephesians 5, Colossians 2). He is the Bridegroom and we are His Bride (Ephesians 5). Your only hope for overcoming with joy in the circumstances surrounding singleness is finding your hope, your worth, and your identity in Jesus Christ. The good news is that this will also be your only hope for overcoming with joy in marriage, child rearing, times of plenty, times of want, and any future circumstance as well.
The mental battles we face when single are not specific to just single life. Many of your Christian sisters face similar emotional struggles with spouses, children, jobs, homes, cars, family relationships, and so forth. Even the struggle with loneliness will not be alleviated simply by a change in circumstances. Have you ever been in a relationship and still felt lonely? The godliest of spouses will not be able to satisfy the deep longing in your soul for relationship.
Psalms 73 25Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.God is the only hope you have for satisfaction. Does your hope for contentment rest on any other desire than the desire to know God? What circumstance do you need God to change in order for you to be content? However you answer that question, you must examine that desire because it can quickly become or may already be an idol. God is quite jealous for His own glory and does not tolerate idolatry at any level. Thankfully, His jealousy is for our good as well as His glory, for when our affections are set first upon and satisfied fully in the Name of God, only then will we know true contentment, peace, and satisfaction.
If you are in this stage of life, I am so sorry for the loneliness you likely deal with most days of your life. Going to bed each evening and waking up each morning alone is a very hard thing. If you would like to leave your name and a bit of your story on the comment board, I will pray for you specifically as you wait on God with the Psalmist.