Written by Afi (pronounced Ah-fee) Pittman
Around late October last year I had an exchange with God. If it had been an actual conversation, it would have gone like this.
God: “Beloved, you’ve made marriage an idol”
Me: (Pointing at myself looking around) “What do you mean I’ve…No, because I know better. Your Word says ‘Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me’. I KNOW not to worship idols!”
God: (sighs, drops His head, then shakes it) “Then why do you keep reminding me that you’re still single and pointing out who’s already married? Like I can’t or won’t bless you…”
Me: (trying to think of an answer, but finding none and completely ashamed…) “Touche”
This realization came one night I while was reading Isaiah 30. While I was reading about how God’s chosen people had put their complete faith and confidence in Pharaoh and idol gods, and completely abandoned the True and Living God, I felt God gently telling me that I’d made marriage an idol. I knew this was what He was telling me because I’d just had a particularly difficult patch of wondering why certain women – who didn’t even care anything about being married – had what I wanted. A godly husband.
And to make matters worse, I’d internalized other people’s questions and comments about my marital status. Those comments and questions that let me know I’m “too old” to “still” be single (And I’m not even old!). As a result, I started asking God why He was holding out on me. Pointing out how I was suffering because I was “still” single.
But as soon as I read this passage, I realized what I was really doing was discounting God’s love and power in my life. I was internalizing the message that something must be wrong with me since I’m “still” single. I was secretly doubting that God would bless me with a desire of my heart. By pointing out to Him how I didn’t have a husband to help me with this, that or whatever like “So-and-so” did, I was telling Him that His provision alone wasn’t enough. Instead of asking God if I was standing in my own way, I chose to blame him for my status – after all, He blessed other people who weren’t even thinking about doing things His way.
But God definitely had a message for me. Because when I read this passage I realized that even if I was married, there was no way my husband – as great as he may be – would ever be able to love me and keep me like God has and does. I also realized that if I’d met my husband while I was in this idol-chaser phase, I might have run him off. Or if he did stick around, I would have made him my god. I quickly realized the error of my ways and thoughts and asked God to forgive me for allowing an idol to form in my heart.
Today, I’m single and content. Not because I’m resigned to being single for the rest of my life or because I think I have no choice but to be happy with being single. But because God showed me how to tear down the marriage idol. Through the passage of Isaiah 30, He showed me how to put marriage, my husband (we’re speaking in faith, right?) and Him all in proper order and context.
I haven’t forgotten that I want to be married. God reminded me that He hadn’t forgotten either. He told me that the moment I could let go of the marriage idol, was the moment I would be ready to meet my husband. The funniest thing happened, though. I fell even more in love with God.
Still single. Still preparing. Trusting and only believing for God’s best for me.
About Afi Pittman:
After a series of baffling life challenges, narrowly missing the tragic tsunami of 2011 in Japan, and a near-death experience, Afi (pronounced Ah-fee) had a wake-up call. Since then she’s been chasing after God and His purpose for her life. Now she loves to make God’s Word “come to life” by blogging and combining her artwork with scriptures. If you’re a single, Christian woman who needs encouragement on your journey to God’s best, you can keep in contact with Afi by visiting http://authoroffaithmin.com and subscribing to the Author of Faith e-Newsletter.