I was recently watching a high school basketball game that was held between two local private school rivals. The game was going nowhere fast, as every time we scored a basket, the opposing team scored one in return. I kept watching as some young ladies whom I know well kept playing hard, but nothing they did seemed to trump the 5-point lead the opposing team held against them. As I watched the coaches closer as they told the girls which plays to attempt and which positions to take, I noticed that some of the girls did not take the coach’s words as instruction, but suggestions instead. Close to the end of the third quarter, I heard the head coach yell something along the lines of, “your way isn’t working, why don’t you try it my way!” These loud, yet profound, words resonated with me beyond that basketball game.
Last year, I attended 8 weddings…none of which were my own. According to the successful “5-year plan” I formulated in my mind when I graduated high school, I should be graduated from college, have a productive career set in stone, and be happily married to my very own Boaz. Fortunately, my will for myself and the plan I had anticipated has yet to pan out the way I expected. I am still enrolled into undergrad after taking a couple years off from college, working a part-time job to do until I graduate, and still as “single as a pringle.” Yes, you read me right, I said fortunately. I believe that I am fortunate that my own plan for my life did not unfold the way that I had once hoped, but I will not deny the fact that I am eagerly, but patiently, waiting to meet the man the Lord has set aside for me – just as Ruth awaited Boaz to become her kinsman redeemer.
I think I can speak for all young Christian women when I say WE WANT TO MEET A MAN WHO WILL SWEEP US OFF OUR FEET AND GET MARRIED. ASAP. Like…YESTERDAY! Amirite? I can’t remember a time when I didn’t desire to be in a relationship. I also can’t remember a time of actually being in a dedicated relationship with an honorable, God-fearing gentleman. All the men I have welcomed into my life to this point have left emotional scars, mounds of disappointment, and negotiation of my standards. None took into consideration the examples of God-fearing men in the Bible. I would love for a man to care for my heart as Boaz did Ruth’s in his respectful pursuit of her. I’m sure we all would.
So frequently we single Christian women hear peers and elders alike say “you are so much better off,” “God has a man waiting just for you,” and the list goes on. My favorite is when they claim “you are too good for him; he didn’t deserve you anyways.” What they say may hold true, but we bank on these statements of truth and hold onto them with unwavering thoughts; not allowing the real truth to set in, or even come to thought most of the time. The truth of the matter is that Christ is sufficient. No relationship will ever satisfy us. No man will ever fulfill us. No ring will ever fully accommodate our insecurities. No love will ever render us whole. Only Christ.
His is the only relationship that will ever account for anything beyond our time on this earth. He is the only love that we will ever need to know in order to be whole. He is enough. Why do we so often let our Facebook relationship status dictate our attitudes? The way we look at other people? The way that we proceed in our daily routines? How we attempt conversations of the opposite sex, and so much more?! Ultimately, why do we allow any sort of relationship status to influence the way we walk as Christ followers? The truth is sad. The truth at hand is that we too often trust what the world says about finding satisfaction in a relationship when we should be finding our total satisfaction in Christ alone.
Whether we are destined for marriage or not, what do we do with our lives until we meet the man of our dreams or feel that Christ may have us set aside for singleness? In either state, we should be able to humbly find peace and utter satisfaction. In either state, our goal should be to be open and willing to be used – willing to be used in any way that Christ leads us. Regardless of our relationship status, there is Kingdom work to be done! Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians chapter 7 that singleness is a gift – a gift that allows us singles the opportunity to pursue Christ with our undivided attention. Not only does he tell us that our time of singleness is a gift, but offers himself as the perfect example. I do not believe that Paul deemed singleness a gift to allow us the opportunity to justify living a life just doing anything that we please. I believe that Paul is taking time to defend singleness as a time for singles to actively and devotedly pursue Christ without distraction. The majority of us will one day be married and meet the man the Lord has intended for us, and our time of singleness will be gone before we know it. In the time that we have left of being single, let us not take advantage of this opportunity to run toward Christ with fewer worldly distractions.
Whether we are called to a limited season of singleness, marriage, or lifelong singleness, we have to be willing to live as Christ has commanded us and not how we are influenced by fleshly ways and sinful desires. Though this world tells us that we are not fulfilled until we are happily gazing teary-eyed at a rock on our left hand, this is not the way Christ intended for us to live our lives. He calls us to try things His way and follow him regardless. Just as the coach at the basketball game yelled “your way isn’t working, why don’t you try it my way,” we are to listen and obey Christ’s ways and not our own. With reckless abandonment, we are to follow His example and not find completion in anything that this world has to offer. We are to find peace, refuge, and satisfaction in Christ! Christ is sufficient, and that is enough.