God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him – John Piper
What if I never get married?
If you are a single person this question has probably crossed your mind. In fact, it is a fair assumption to state that this question has probably crossed everyone’s mind at some point in their life.
The single folks will agree with me, there is something deeply unsettling about this question. Isn’t this the reason why we run our lives literally avoiding single-hood? Three years ago this kind of thought would have completely thrown me off balance. As a matter of fact, if such thoughts dared to cross through my mind I would have rebuked them in the name of Jesus because we Africans do not allow such vain thoughts to have a home in our minds. I mean, why would I want to jinx myself by entertaining such thoughts?
There was something about marriage in my younger years that left the impression that it was the ultimate. Maybe it is the way society raises us, I don’t know, or maybe it was this unrealistic romantic expectation from Telenovelas that one day a knight in shining armour will come and love me in all the perfect ways that could only happen on a script. Or even that your spouse was supposed to be a perfect person and you somehow will always be in your best behavior in your marriage and the end result would be happily ever after. As young children, we were cajoled by our aunties to do house chores with statements such as, “Is that how you will look after your home,” and even more common, “I hope your husband will not return you to us.” Although it was all said in jest it made a not so subtle implication that marriage is the ultimate purpose of this life.
I recall going through a list of things with a friend on the things we didn’t want to miss out on before we died, and top of the list for the both of us was “getting married” as if it was something you could just put in your bucket list. In essence, we were acknowledging what society had been teaching us; marriage is a rite of passage.
I am not trying to denigrate marriage. Marriage is great and it is godly. It was instituted by God Himself. What I am saying is that marriage cannot cure the loneliness in our souls. It cannot make us whole. It is not the ultimate goal and it is definitely not the ultimate relationship of our lives. What I now know is that the desire we often feel as human beings, that deep longing, inexplicable yearning inside of us that in our minds manifest as the desire for a spouse is really the desire for God. No spouse can quench that desire.
I have experienced this deep longing as a believer. I say as a believer because while I knew that every single person is born with a longing and desire for God, I erroneously thought that this desire is fulfilled once and for all once you become a believer. But God has graciously shown me that the ache that I have often felt deep inside my heart was not for a spouse, and not for anything else that I thought, “If only I had this.” It was for my Creator. Child of God, I’d like you to consider today that perhaps that ache you feel in your heart is not really for a spouse but for something more, someone supreme, the one who is actually THE ONE. For me, this realization has not taken away the desire to get married but it has pruned all the idolizing reasons I wanted to get married and put this desire into perspective.
So I pose to myself the question I asked at the beginning. What if I never get married?
I am content. I am content because I know I am loved more than I could ever ask, more than I could ever comprehend and this Love can never be separated from me even by death. I know I am loved in all the perfect ways I have wished to be loved and certainly no human could achieve those impossible standards. I have already been found by THE ONE who is the perfect knight in shining amour who rescued me when I was dead in sin. He has paid a price for me not with cows and goats, not with coins and notes but by His precious blood. I find REST in knowing I have One who relentlessly pursues me. I have a groom who beholds my inner beauty and is taken by His bride, ME. I am not looking to be completed by another because I have been redeemed from the need to have someone complete me, I know that I have been made whole.
BUT even when I do get married, I know it will be to the Right One. It shall be godly and glorious and yet bound for our time here on earth, and he shall sanctify me and I will sanctify him for our ultimate groom, JESUS CHRIST.
Finally brethren, you may think, “This single life must really be taking a toll on her.” Before my parents who avidly read my blog panic into thinking I am making a public declaration of devoting myself to a lifetime of singlehood, I want you to know two things. First, I am not writing this because I am oh so painstakingly single. I may be single, but not painfully so. To the latter, (mum, dad, relatives, friends, all protocols observed) no, I have not given up on marriage. I have found contentment with who I am in Him. I don’t know God’s plan, but I know whether in this reality or the next, everything is working out for my good.
Philippians 4:12 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.