I have been thinking about singleness a little bit as it is Valentine’s Day. Someone on the Biblical Christian Egalitarians page, I think, recommended that Valentine’s Day should be a second Thanksgiving. Although no one I know cooked a turkey today, the concept of being thankful is solid and great for every day. Gladness is good for the heart (Proverbs 15:13). Thankfulness is always recommended in prayer and often leads to experiencing God’s peace (Philippians 4:6-7).
I listen to podcasts a lot and pick them with the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Since I really like Andrew Farley’s focus on Jesus + Nothing, a.k.a. New Covenant grace through Jesus is greater than the Old Covenant Law (see Hebrews), I’ve been listening to a lot of his podcasts and his live show where he answers callers’ questions about grace and applying it to daily life. He had one podcast featuring a man named Ryan who fought cancer at the young age of 35. Ryan began to worry that he would die and leave his wife and two kids behind and he mentally ruminated on his wife perhaps marrying a jerk in the future. He became so concerned that he told his wife about the fact that he was worrying yet knew it was an invitation to trust in God and surrender that worry. He, in a sense, had a “what’s the worst that could happen?” moment. So, he decided to trust God with that scenario, that he may die and his wife may remarry, but God is in charge. No matter what happens, God has got it. His wife even approaches him, crying, and tells him she’s okay with him dying. Of course, she does not want him to die, but they both realize that even if the worst happens, God has them. They will be all right.
It made me think of singleness. Would it really be so terrible to remain single? Christian dating sites have made me lean toward the answer “no”. Lots of Christians seem still hooked on a religious, legalistic, complementarian mindset that I really don’t care for anymore. It didn’t sit well with me when I was given the questionnaire from a potential suitor about how submissive I would be and how many kids I would be willing to have. I wanted to reply, “Wow! Umm, how about we not discuss these things until we meet in person for coffee? Actually, scratch that, I already know I don’t care to meet you no matter how cute you are in a photo.” I didn’t know such men still existed in the 21st century.
But, all that aside, what if the worst happens? What if I never get married? Would it be so bad? Would it mean God loved me less? No, of course not. God doesn’t love anyone less.
Emma from VineLife Manchester mentioned in her podcast episode (11/13/16) about how she and her husband John wanted children and she had a miscarriage very early on in her first pregnancy. She did not get pregnant for another year and it was the worst year of her life. She began to believe that if she and John did not have kids that there was nothing but a sad life for them. She said she realized that thought sounded ridiculous, but I thought it sounded honest and true and reflected back to me and I’m sure many others, too, where our thoughts can sometimes go. It is kind of natural to go to a hopeless place when things aren’t working out. She meditated on Philippians 4:11-13 and realized that her contentment comes from Christ. She does now have two lovely children with her husband John, but when we’re going through things, our vision is very limited. She wasn’t told that she and John would have Olivia and Asaph. They got to live into the process of having children.
Maybe to have a dream, the dream does have to die, at least at first or maybe for awhile. Is that so bad? Does it mean God is bad because He doesn’t tell us the future? No.
So I am content in the not knowing and the living with Jesus in the present, knowing that even if the supposed worst thing happened, whatever that is, whether it be death, no naturally born kids, singleness, bad leaders, taxes, etc., that it really wouldn’t be the end of the world.