The Problem with Waiting to Get Married – By Jessica Bufkin (Single Roots)
I’m not sure when I decided that my singleness wasn’t such a bad thing.
Truth be told, I’ve never really given up wishing and hoping and thinking and praying that one day I’ll get married. I want to know what it’s like to share my life with someone. To gripe about whose turn it is to take out the trash or who lost the car keys…again. To buy two concert tickets instead of one or to book a King-sized hotel bed instead of doubles. To cook a dinner and have no leftovers or to have someone tell me that I don’t need to buy another handbag because I could spend my money more wisely…
All joking aside, I long to be a part of a God-glorifying union that points others to Christ. To have someone know me intimately and to know them in the same way. To be a part of the kind of love that can only develop over years of commitment and trial and error. I ache for that in the deep places of my soul, in ways that the English language is limited in expressing.
But somewhere along the way, my focus shifted. I stopped feeling incomplete or inadequate and no longer felt like the story of my life would reach its climax when I finally married.
I guess you could say that I started living.
While I’m not one to believe that there is a 4-step process to curing discontent, when I reflect on how I got to this place, I can pinpoint 4 things that I believe changed my discontent to acceptance—dare I say, contentment—in this lot of mine.
1. Friendships :: Friendships were a balm for my lonely soul, and they continue to be. I realized that the only way to have deep, abiding friendships—friendships that stood the test of time (and marriage and babies and mortgages and geography)—was to work hard at it. So that’s what I did. I set out to be the kind of friend that I wanted.
I bear witness to God’s faithfulness in the area of friendships. Many times when I would be dealing with the weight of loneliness, He would open my eyes to see that I was far from alone.
2. Ministry :: My discontentment with my single life also began to lessen when I started pouring myself into ministering to others at my local church. I worked with college students, and as I began to see girls follow the same thought patterns that I followed—thoughts like, “I’m not pretty enough” or “What is wrong with me?”—He enabled me to speak Truths into their lives that hopefully helped them fight the lies of the Enemy.
Seeing young girls going through foundational years and helping them to grasp that they are loved and adored by God—and that is more than enough—well, those same Truths couldn’t help but take root in my own heart.
It really is true that when your life is spent centered on others and not yourself, your “problems” fade considerably.
3. Adventure :: When I was in seminary, I had an opportunity to study at Oxford one summer. It was the first time I’d ever left North America, and leaving the country for an extended period of time stirred in me something that I had suppressed. I loved to travel, but I didn’t do a lot of it because deep down I thought I would wait and travel with a husband one day. As soon as I got home, I started planning my next trip, and I haven’t stopped since.
For me, travel was that “one thing” that I was putting off until marriage. It might be different for you. Maybe you’ve always wanted to take guitar lessons or go on a mission trip or buy a house. You have a gift of time right now that is unparalleled. Sure, life is busy, but it’s never going to slow down. And you’re never going to get wasted time back. Whatever it is that you are putting off until you have someone to share it with, it’s time to stop.
4. Trust :: A few years ago, the Lord led me back to Psalm 84:11, “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
I’ve read that psalm many times before, but in the midst of a period of loneliness, He spoke to me through this particular verse.
“…No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
If I don’t have a husband right now, it is not a good thing for me. A good God who loves me with a far greater love than I will ever understand will not withhold something from me that is good.
I spent a lot of time letting that sink in. I went back to it over and over again. I pondered it in my heart and allowed the Holy Spirit to minister to my pain through it.
He can be trusted to not withhold that which is good for me.
You know, it’s funny…when I embraced that Truth, I turned around one day and realized that I had stopped waiting and started living.
About Jessica Bufkin…..
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Jessica Bufkin recently left her glamorous career as a junior high English teacher for the greener pastures of the blogging world. She is a part of the team of writers at SingleRoots, a site that encourages singles to be intentional with their lives. And, since dating is important, too, they also offer some assistance with a review of the Best Christian Dating Sites. Jessica lives in Fort Worth, Texas where a lot of men really do wear cowboy hats and boots daily. Sadly, that does nothing for her.