The older I get the more entertaining the modern day mind is becoming to me, especially in my Christian circles. Today I want to tackle this, "content in my singleness" illusion that so many Christian's are adopting as doctrine. And yes, I read "I Kiss Dating Goodbye" by Joshua Harris, and I actually recommend it. So in saying that, I am in no way trying to bash a new approach to relationships, however, I am asking you to really think about some of things we tell ourselves in order to be "happy" with something God has cursed...I mean blessed us with.
As 2013 is nearing its end, I am sure that I will be labeling this year as the "Jealousy Year". In this year alone, I have had many good friends enter into new relationships or seal the deal with a nice wedding. And as I internally fold my arms and pout and say, "God, when will my turn be?" I continue to smile and say things like, "I'm happy for you guys".
And I genuinely am; I'm not that big of a hater. But if I really finished the sentence, it would really go something like, "I'm really happy for you guys, but I can't wait till it's my turn." And I have no one to blame but our culture. Social media has made it easier to be jealous of our friends. I think Facebook has mastered the news-feed setting "things to make you hate your life", because it just seems to know when the perfect time is to show someone's perfect life. Like every time a relationship status changes, you will know. Every time a new person is engaged, you will know. Every time a wedding is being done, you will know. It's the world we live in. I think we think, "Let me post it on Facebook" quicker than we think, "Let me tell my close friends", but that's not what this blog is about. This blog is for the people who have ever said something like, "I'm dating Jesus." I have a question, So, when you do get a boyfriend, you and Jesus breaking up? I don't think He'd be down for being the boyfriend on the side.
Stuff like that is what has encouraged me to write this blog, exposing the insufficiency of that kind of doctrine. Because you'd think after hearing it from so many different preachers and bible studies that we'd have it mastered by now. You'd think the Facebook posts wouldn't bother us at all as much as we have heard, "Let God write your love story" or, "in God's timing it will happen." Can I get an Amen from the Christians who know that "sometimes, that's just not enough." Let me hurt you a little.
I looked up the definition of content. It means to be satisfied, desiring no more than one has. So being content in our singleness would mean that you are fully satisfied with being single, and you don't desire anything else. And how many of us, "content in our singleness", can't even imagine being 40 years old and never having been married? You don't have to raise your hand, because I know that thought scares you, it scares me. Which is why I'm saying the we're trying to force ourselves to believe in an insufficient doctrine because the contentment we're speaking of is a temporary satisfaction. What we're really telling God, "Lord, I'm content in my singleness, for, maybe 3 more years, so hurry up." We desire more than our singleness, which means we are unsatisfied with being single. And I believe that's okay---only because---I think there's more to what God is wanting from us.
In this transitional time of my life, I have experienced the rollercoaster of insufficient doctrine. I have found myself finding hope in encouraging words that people have said like, "It'll happen Claude, just trust God." And they'd spit out the Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." And I have felt myself warm up inside because I trust that God is going to prosper me and provide this good job and wife one day just like everybody else---but then the next day happens---and there's no phone calls from a potential employer, and no texts from a pretty lady. And I'm bummed again. "Lord, I delighted in you yesterday, where's my desires!?"
I'll make this bold statement and say that God doesn't want you content in your singleness. I think He just wants you to be fully satisfied in Him. Not this, "Lord, I'll be happy in you even if I'm single for the rest of my life," please stop doing that. Nobody is making you think that, quit it. I think we sale ourselves short when we try these mind games to get ourselves to be happy about something in our lives. I remember being interested in a girl and we were having a discussion on how we could protect each other, and her way was, "I'm looking at you like this, you are somebody's future husband and I want to treat you like I'm hoping the girl is treating the guy I'll be marrying." And then suggested I do the same. I was thinking, "Naw, that won't work for me because I'm hoping you're the present wife."
But why not just revere God, and honor and love Him in all of our relationships by honoring and protecting this woman? We don't need that pyschobabble to be obedient to God. We forget that God is a relational God and He wants way more than just our begrudging obedience. So I shouldn't just honor a woman I'm seeing as a potential wife, no, all of them should be honored and valued. So you don't have to begrudgingly submit to God not blessing you with one of your greatest desires today, instead let's bite into the fullness of God---which I think we too often ignore the vastness of intimacy that's available for us.
Can you imagine the love that was present that day when Jesus took up the cross? Can you imagine the amount of love that was present when a holy and unimaginably valuable and honorable creator and King was beaten by His own creation and humiliated and mocked with such a shameful death? Such royalty should die on a golden bed while watching How I Met Your Mother with the taste of barbeque on his taste buds and sugar from the sweet tea lingering on his lips, not "murdered" by the same method they murder the average criminal. And yet, He did that so that I might bring Him the ultimate glory by being in relationship with Him---
My friends that is a big deal.
I'm always deeply moved by a certain line in the song "Here I Am To Worship". It goes like, "I'll never know, how much it costs. To see my sin upon that cross." And I never want to stop trying to know and understand the weight of my sin, the pressure of God's wrath being absorbed in my Savior's body, I'll never know how much it costs. And I'm even in tears right now writing this because I don't think God is wanting me to be content in anything other than Him because of His great love for me. And He wants that in my season of singleness, season of marriage, season as a widower, or whatever. It never changes, He is always, in every season, the ultimate gain, the ultimate source, the ultimate idea, the ultimate lover....but why do we never turn to Him? Instead we'll settle for these false realities of finding temporary satisfaction when Christ is offering me to be completely satisfied in Him. Which sounds a whole lot better than trying to force myself to enjoy being alone when I know I want a family one day.
So I'll say this, if preaching "being content in your singleness" helps you get through the hour, then I don't want to take that from you. However, I am offering that God is after more than just you being happy in a circumstance. He wants you fully satisfied in Him, not seasonally satisfied in someone else.
So let me be honest, I'll probably be hating on the next person that posts an engagement picture or a sonogram.. However, what I'm challenging you to consider I'm also challenging myself, and it's, "Am I not connected to the greatest lover of all?" And in my answer being yes, I will redirect my hope from that "some day I'll be married" to the truth that "today I am in love with Jesus" and I have all that I need in the Savior of the world because He owns my heart and has rescued me from an eternal death. And if the true definition of contentment means being fully satisfied and wanting nothing else, I will
always feel that way about the love of my life, Jesus. I desire no other
Savior but the one that died in my place for the glory of God, and I will fight and battle with my own heart to love Him and be content in Him alone---so---keep posting your exciting news you lucky lovers. We young singles will be alright.