The Purpose in Waiting on God (For Marriage) by guest blogger Nicole Miller.
I would like to be 100% honest and share that I never wanted to be single. Growing up I saw how hard it was for my mom being a single parent and I made up in my mind that, “yea, marriage is definitely better!”
So I set out to “find love” as a teen and that misguided notion led me to a world of heartbreak (I have a blog post to prove it “How to Overcome Heartbreak: Recovering from Misguided Love). But thankfully Love found me anyway and set me on a better path (Love’s name is Jesus by the way).
Even as I journeyed on this better path which up until this point has included 9 years of singleness, I still nursed my best kept secret that “marriage is better”. So when friends married off and had children and bought houses while I sat and twiddled my thumbs anxiously, I envied and coveted the seemingly better life. My desire for love and marriage relentlessly burned within me and the daily denial of self was an inward battle.
This unmet desire, coupled with the reoccurring waiting periods God kept implementing in various areas of my life, created a serious challenge to be content in the season I was in. It wasn’t until recently that I finally saw the other side of the coin: marriage is HARD.
Now, people kept telling me it was hard, but no one ever told me why. It wasn’t until I read “Boundaries in Dating” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend that I learned why (this book is recommended on Candra’s “Resources for Christian Singles” list).
God also threw in a few real life events to further hammer home the lessons on marriage He was teaching me.
Upon reading “Boundaries in Dating” I learned marriage is hard because it is a set up for two people’s characters to rub up against each other for years and years. I learned that it is the character of a person that you are stuck with for life (this includes their level of maturity and any unhealed wounds they are carrying around).
You see, my past experiences in relationships consisted of romance, feelings, emotions and passion. I was confusing my emotional connection with a person as love. I was overvaluing looks, personality and gifts/talents and undervaluing character and maturity.
Even after my first bout of heartache, I had still not matured in my understanding of the purpose of marriage. I had heard others say that marriage depended on selflessness, but I had no concept of the depth of selflessness that was required. I only knew that I had this desire and it was not being fulfilled. I only knew that I kept being obedient on the path that God called me to walk, and He was not rewarding my obedience (of course it was His obedience through me but “Self” has a tendency to forget that).
My culture, (both American and the Church) kept telling me that I was not ok being single. I was told that I needed someone to complete me. I was also told that by a certain age I should have met this person and started a family. And even though these were lies given to me by my culture, I really did want this family. I really did want to have someone to share the holidays with and celebrate with. I really did want to be a part of a pair.
The deception lies in the fact that if a relationship does not have a solid foundation, then it will easily dissipate and my culture does not like to wait for anything, let alone a good foundation to be laid. Furthermore, all things this side of heaven are temporary and cannot satisfy. My culture sends the exact opposite message, leading many into unrealistic expectations and hope deferred.
So in my 9 years of walking this thing out God’s way, in His mercy and grace, He was laying a solid foundation in me. He saw that my desire for marriage was skewed but He still honored the desire He put within me and set out to make sure that it would be fulfilled in such a way that it would last.
There is always purpose in waiting on God and that has been His purpose with me: to lay a sure foundation.
I finally understand that the purpose of marriage is to give of yourself and not receive (although that is always great when that happens). This purpose can only be fulfilled if there are 2 healthy people (healed and continuing on paths of healing), operating in systems of growth and who understand the need for putting each other first.
So even though I still struggle in this single state (especially being over the 30 mark with no children) I can honestly say I’m thankful for the wait. I am thankful that God has given me TIME to mature and learn His ways which includes His purpose both for marriage and singleness.
~ Author and Blogger, Nicole Miller
Visit Nicole’s blog here… His Love is Better Than Wine