Sunday, May 13, 2007

Marriage, Singleness… and the beauty of being exactly where you’re meant to be (original post date 8/7/06)

This weekend I went to the wedding of two very dear friends. Though wedding parties are often a blast (Jon and Mary’s definitely was!), it’s always the ceremonies that I enjoy the most. I love to hear how God took two individuals and knit them together. I love to hear about how from nothing, God maneuvered two people, to be in the same place at the same time, and through a myriad of circumstances, made their love so deep and His plan so clear, that its impossible to miss it. I love hearing of their love and dedication not only to each other, but to God… because it’s that commitment that will get them through. I love to contemplate the greatness of God, in often overcoming huge obstacles to get two people to a point that they can give their love freely, really trusting in the commitment they’re entering into with one another, with no fear. I love to see the look on my friends’ faces when the speak their vows, so very blessed that in all of creation, God loved them enough, to craft a person so perfectly for them... a person to laugh with, live life with, take care of and be cherished by.

The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Genesis 2:18

I truly believe that most of us were not designed to be alone. It’s not God’s plan. We need people. We need to be deeply known and accepted. There’s something about most of us, even those that find it harder to open up, that keeps us from being wholly satisfied unless at least one person knows us fully and completely… and loves us immeasurably none the less. This is the model of God in our lives. God loves us, knowing all our stuff, more than we can ever imagine. He sees the real us, and still smiles. We long for this in people. We long to give this to people. God created man, but knew he needed woman. And a woman’s heart was designed to long for the one God created her to share a dream with. We see God’s love, through the heart and tenderness of another… the one God has chosen for us.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1John 4: 7-8

I think most of us singles crave to be married. Even knowing that love and marriage is not always as beautiful and perfect as on one’s wedding day (relationships can be darn hard!), we still want it, because we know that such a union, such intimacy, such a profound relationship, is a gift from God. But it’s all about timing… God’s timing (not ours!). Ok, so maybe for our tastes, God’s a bit slow. I look though at a couple like Jon and Mary, and knowing their story, am remembered how perfect His timing is. We all have things God wants to work in us. We have things God knows he needs to do with our lives… either to prepare us for success in marriage… or simply to fulfill another part of his plan right now, that’s more important than us being married.

So here’s my question… Are you married? Never forget the love on your wedding day… and remember, the more each of you focus on God first, the better you’ll be for each other. Are you single? Think about how God might want you to spend your time. One of my pet peeves is singles who spend a crazy proportion of their time trying not to be single. They spend hours on e-harmony or can’t seem to have a conversation in coed company w/o discussing what the other sex is really looking for. If you’re single right now it’s for a greater purpose! Don’t try so hard to change your situation. Believe me, singleness has its perks (ask any married person). Relationships can be really, really hard. They’re worth it, but they’re hard. So if you’re single, go to God and simply ask him: “How do you want me spending this time?” Maybe it’s purely to spend this time deepening in your relationship with him. Maybe it’s to enjoy the gift of your same sex friends and to really invest in those relationships. Those relationships are VERY important. Practice opening up, giving and receiving love and acceptance, with your Christian brothers and sisters. Or maybe you’re being called to spend your time serving right now… in ministry, in missions, in soup kitchens, whatever! Maybe your family really needs your energy and love right now. You won’t always have this time to spend doing all these things. Maybe there are some things about your character you need to figure out, some pains in your past you need to work through, some skills you need to develop in how to give and receive love, communicate, process through difficult things. Do this before you get married (and don’t think you can do it over night as soon as you meet someone!). God’s plan AND timing is perfect. Have no doubts.

As for me… I don’t know what God has planned. I don’t known if God will grow while apart, and then knit back together, two broken hearts, or if there is someone entirely new who will some day enter my life. I trust Him with this part of my life; its too big not to. But in the meantime, I’m so thankful, especially in the last few weeks, for wonderful, fun distractions… the introduction of some new friends (Chris! Julia!) and returning of some old. I’m enjoying singleness while I have it.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12


Though not from scripture, here are some wise words to live by…
Maybe God wanted us to meet the wrong person before meeting the right one so that when we finally do meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for the gift.

Maybe when the door of happiness closes, another opens, but often times we look so long at the closed door that we don't see the one that has been opened for us.

Maybe the best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you have ever had.

Maybe it is true that we don't know what we have until we lose it, but it is also true that we don't know what we've been missing until it arrives.

Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they will love you back. Don't expect love in return, just wait for it to grow in their heart; but if it doesn't, be content it grew in yours.

It takes only one minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, a day to love someone, but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.

Don't go for looks they can deceive.

Don't go for wealth, even that fades away.

Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright.

Find the one that makes your heart smile : )

There are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real.

Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to be, because you only have one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to make you happy.

Always put yourself in others shoes.

If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the other person too.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything, they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

Happiness lies for those who cry, those who hurt, those who have searched, and those who have tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their lives.

Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss and ends with a tear.

The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past, you can't go well in life until you let go of past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live life so that when you die, you are the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.


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