All My Single Ladies
By: Abbey V. McMillan
Long ago, on Facebook, as a single woman, I posted a comment about how I looked forward to the day I’d have my husband to love and lean on. At the time, my heart felt like it would burst because of how much I longed for the companionship of my husband. I was in my late 20’s at the time and I had never really dated. (There was this guy in my youth group that held my hand for three weeks…but he would have dated a gnat…so it’s not worth counting.) One acquaintance, we will call her Rae, made a comment that I will never forget. She stated I “shouldn’t have rose colored glasses when it came to marriage” and “it was no walk in the park.” If I were to be completely honest with you, I would admit I almost lost my Jesus for a second and really wanted to punch her square in the throat. Instead, I just pointed out that she wouldn’t give it up if she had a choice so it couldn’t be all bad. She agreed…and I felt vindicated!
The truth is I didn’t think I had any rose colored glasses regarding marriage. My parents divorced my freshman year of college after being married for 20 years. I saw the ugliness of marriage. I thought that most of it was because Jesus wasn’t at the center of my parent’s relationship, but I knew it was difficult regardless.
Another truth: Rae wasn’t wrong. Her approach and her wording were wrong. Fast forward to almost a decade later when I was walking in her shoes as a wife, I realized her heart was in the right place; I couldn’t see it before. Her words just hurt and seemed unnecessary. I learned later though that the message she was trying to impart to me was absolute truth. I pray that as you read the remainder of the post that you know my heart is for you- in every season.
I have two disclaimers before I begin. The first, you read above that I am married and some of you may be closing out your browsers because of it. Remember when I said I never really dated? My first real boyfriend didn’t come along until I was 31 years old. I met my husband when I was 33 years old and I became his bride just before my 36th birthday. This coming February we will have been married for three years. I share this to say, I was single for much longer than I have been un-single! Sometimes, although brief, I have to remind myself that I am not still one of you. When I say my heart is for you…trust me…my heart is for you.
The second, I realize there are those of you that are absolutely ROCKING singleness; you totally have it all together, your eyes are on the Lord and you are SOLID! I prayed often to be you and, at times, I was you, though not for very long. Truthfully, my contentment and focus on the Lord waxed and waned. May this post, if nothing else, encourage and spur you onward!
Here are two things I’ve learned while being on the “other side” of singleness.
If I’d known then what I know now, I’d spend ZERO time pining and longing for my husband and would’ve set my sights on Him alone! As a single woman, I would cling to Psalm 37:4 (NIV) “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I spent so much time focusing on the “desires of my heart” without realizing it, tried to figure out how to manipulate the “delighting in Him” so that I could get my desires fulfilled. Maybe He wasn’t giving me my desires because I didn’t delight in Him in some particular way. Ladies, there is so much goodness, SO MUCH GOODNESS in just delighting in Him! Take some time to write that part of the verse down somewhere and keep it where you can see it. Write Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord” and stop right there. For most of us, I’m willing to bet, that is enough to keep us busy for eternity! (Lord, may we delight in You for no other reason than the fact that You are delightful!) He is prize enough. The sooner we see that, the sooner we stop striving, the quicker contentment will find us. If music speaks to your heart as it does mine, look up Natalie Grant, “More Than Anything.”
As a single woman I often felt that being married and having a loving, Godly husband would solve so many problems! Car troubles? Husbands can deal with that so you don’t have to. Stinky trash? Husbands can take it out so you don’t have to. Feeling lonely? Husbands can cuddle, hug, and spend time with you so you don’t have to be alone. Truth is, as a single woman I had 99 problems but as a married woman I have 99 different problems. There are two of us now…and we are both imperfect humans. I used to get so irritated at Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:1 when he says it is good for man not to marry. Now I understand what he is saying. Marriage is good and holy, but it does bring huge distractions. The enemy has been most successful in getting me spiritually off track since getting married. It is so easy to be hyper-focused on my husband and his happiness instead of on the Lord. Also, those 99 single lady problems that I thought would be solved, there have been times in my marriage where I have never felt more alone. Marriage was supposed to solve my loneliness. I also had so many insecurities as a single woman. I expected that when I got married those would all go away. After all, this man chose me. He must love me and think I’m the most beautiful woman on the planet! I was so wrong I’ve never been so insecure in my life. It is not because of my husband. These insecurities are my own. I thought marriage would cure them but my husband is not the cure that I need. It’s Jesus. If you are looking for a husband to solve your problems, chances are you aren’t focused on the Lord. He is truly sufficient to meet your needs and your desires. A husband is not God’s design to do that for you; he could never be your Savior. That is too much pressure and your marriage will suffer if you look to your husband to save you from your problems.
There is much I have learned that I wish I knew as a single woman. I wasted so much of the Lord’s time! Who knows what He would have had for me if I directed all that longing to Him! What an adventure we would have had. I’ll never get that time back, but you still have it. You are not a lady in waiting. You have purpose right now that can only be accomplished during this season in your life. Embrace it; embrace Him! Ladies, delight in Him and then HE will be the desire of your heart; just as it should be.
Soli Deo Gloria
(Only for His glory)