-by getting in his bed, by rushing to get wed, or by coexisting ’til you’re dead-
Settling is okay when it’s something minor like a lesser cup of coffee or a minor change in schedule. But if we begin to settle for less than God’s best in the realm of sexuality or marriage partners, we are headed to a life of frustration and limitation. You can read more about that first area of settling in the first part of the blog which you can go back and read via this link. “Girl, Don’t Settle”- Part One
But for those who have already made a strong commitment to purity, I want to encourage you to live God’s best for you with this second excerpt:
2. Don’t settle by rushing to get wed.
Sounds like I’m contradicting myself here, but let’s just say that point two is written to the God-girl who has made the commitment to wait until marriage to be with a man. Some of you out there have even made strong dating standards, which is wonderful; and others of you, my sisters, have always just desired above all else to be a wife and mother. That God given desire is beautiful and nothing to be ashamed of.
And to all of you, I say, wait. Wait for the right one. Don’t settle for just any Christian guy to make things fit your timetable. (Or perhaps the eager timetable of your church family or the anxious one held by your family.)
I’ve watched as young women, sometimes pushed hastily by well-meaning family, rush into a relationship and run toward the altar because of a misplaced understanding of God’s purpose and plan for her as a woman. Whether it is her own frustration or the false idea that she is just in a kind of spiritual service limbo until she can be partnered up with a man, controlled panic can set in. I really don’t mean to be harsh here, so let me say it this way because I really and truly do care. I love marriage and am always ready to help potential couples meet each other. I know it’s hard being single. While the rest of the world quickly moves in together and pushes the average age of marriage back to the forties, as Christian girls, we are often in a world where hitting twenty seems like a desperate place to “still be single.” We have that idea that college will come and so will matrimony. And for some of us, it will. And for those of us who find that in God’s timing, run towards it! Please understand, the crucial factor here is not the “right” timing but rather the right man. Our focus should be on the purpose of marriage not the perception of singleness.
Let’s break it down. What is the purpose of your existence? To glorify God, that is why we live. That is what brings meaning to life.
“Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created her for my glory….” Isaiah 43:7
So, why yoke up with anyone in a life-long commitment if doing so does not allow you to fulfill this life purpose in a greater way than you could on your own.
And by the way, yeah, having kids and raising them to love God is one of those ways to glorify Him. You can procreate with just about anyone- thems the facts of life. But can you truly unite yourself with this person and parent those babies together with a single purpose? Is his heart more passionate for God than for you? (And by the way, if his heart is right that will ironically leave loads more passion for you than if not.) Is he all keyed up on religion and zealous highs or is his heart one that is so tender that he follows God just as strongly in the quiet places as he does in the revival meetings? Is he angry and prone to a critical spirit? Does he mock others’ walk with God? Does he put down his roommates, his parents, his siblings, or you? Does he seem to crave excessive attention or power? The small things that we see when dating are snapshots into the bigger things that await us beyond the wedding ceremony.
You may be tempted to think that he is “the one” because no one else is in sight. Or perhaps you brush off warning signs telling yourself, “We all have flaws.” Maybe you just know God put this desire in your heart and so you’re trusting the rest to work out. Girl, don’t settle! Don’t rush God’s timetable.
The biggest question is: will joining hands with him ‘til death allow you to make God bigger in the eyes of others than if you stayed the course on your own? If not, don’t you dare settle by putting a ring on. Instead, live in the truth that you are His chosen servant, that God has work for you to do at this moment, a place for you to live for Him that only you can, and allow it to bring you joy for this season.
Oddly enough one of the best books I’ve read on singleness is a book called. “The Meaning of Marriage” by Timothy and Kathy Keller.
“We should be neither overly elated by getting married nor overly disappointed by not being so—because Christ is the only spouse that can truly fulfill us and God’s family the only family that will truly embrace and satisfy us.
One…clear difference between Christianity and Judaism [and all other traditional religions] is the former’s entertainment of the idea of singleness as the paradigm of the way of life for its followers. Nearly all ancient religions and cultures made an absolute value of the family and of the bearing of children. There was no honor without family honor. And there was no real lasting significance or legacy without leaving heirs. Without children, you essentially vanished- you had no future. The main hope for the future, was to have children. In ancient cultures, long-term single adults were considered to be living a human life that was less than fully realized.
But Christianity’s founder, Jesus Chris[t], and leading theologian, St. Paul were both single their entire lives. Single adults cannot be seen as somehow less fully formed or realized human beings than married persons because Jesus Chris[t], a single man, was the perfect man (Heb. 4:15; I Pet. 2:22). Paul’s assessment in I Corinthians 7 is that singleness is a good condition blessed by God, and in many circumstances, it is actually better than marriage.”2
The most important concept that I learned from Keller’s book is that we often view “the gift of singleness” in I Corinthians 7:7 as a lifestyle, when in reality this gift of singleness is more often a temporary season in life. The gift of singleness is not necessarily expressing no desire for marriage, but rather it is an opportunity during a time of life to have more relationships with members of the opposite sex and to pursue God in some ways that we would not be able to if we were married. It is a time to live joyfully and fully for Him; it is a time to be thankful for.
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thess. 5:18
If you are “still single,” girlfriend, then it doesn’t mean you have to stop looking for a guy with dreamy eyes or a strong leadership nature, but rather that you don’t get frustrated and begin accepting things in a potential spouse that are a red flag just to “fix” your situation. Realize that your situation is not broken to begin with. It is a special gift. God has chosen you for this time to serve in a different way. Get creative, get excited, discover all the joys and blessings of this season, and don’t settle for a lesser one.
What Scriptures or resources would you add to encourage ladies to wait for God’s best? Please share in the comments. I’d love to see them!
Music: “Daughter of the King” and “White Boots” by Jamie Grace and Morgan Harper Nichols
Books: “Stay in the Castle” Booklet by Jerry Ross
“Sassy, Single, and Satisfied: Secrets to Loving the Life You’re Living.” by Michelle
“Singled out by God for Good.” Paige Benton Brown
2 Keller, Timothy and Kathy. “The Meaning of Marriage.” Riverhead Books. New York; 2011. Pg. 222-223