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    Quotables: Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?

    April 21, 2011 by Brandy Vencel
     Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?: Trusting God with a Hope Deferred
    Did I Kiss Marraige Goodbye?

    I’ve often heard married people say to singles that we won’t get married until we’re content in our singleness, but I humbly submit this is error. I’m sure that it is offered by well-meaning couples who want to see their single friends happy and content in God’s provision, but it creates a works-based mentality to receiving gifts, which can lead to condemnation. The Lord doesn’t require that we attain a particular state before He grants a gift. We can’t earn any particular spiritual gift any more than we can earn our own salvation. It’s all of grace. {p. 30}

    I wonder if we can assume that being single requires us to live different from other Christian women who are married. I’ve thought this, too, in the past–and even wondered when I might need to make some sort of shift to living permanently as a single woman. I suspect that this concept has worldly roots–roots planted during the late nineteenth century when many women were shaking off both the institution of marriage and the authority of God to carve out a lifestyle independent of men and religion. While I am grateful that these women demanded changes in the law that benefit me today–such as a woman’s right to vote–I see where they also introduced the model of lifelong singleness that spurned any aspect of traditional femininity.

    We want to emulate a biblical model. We need to think of ourselves not as single women, but as women who are single. The emphasis in Scripture is first on our femininity. {p. 34}

    Naomi had surveyed her circumstances and concluded that the Lord had no further blessings for her. But God was not finished. For standing next to Naomi was the Lord’s provision for material and relational blessing–Ruth. And just beyond Ruth, the barley harvest was ripening in the fields of her kinsman-redeemer, Boaz. God’s quiet providence was already at hand, but Naomi couldn’t perceive it.

    [snip] Here we have two single women, one of whom has evaluated her present unhappy condition and decided that God was always going to be dealing bitterly with her…

    [snip]

    Naomi’s experience reveals God’s faithful provision for one individual. But this biblical account highlights another aspect of God’s loving and wise sovereignty. He works on a scale much larger than our individual lives. {pp. 39-41}

    I didn’t know I needed a Savior, but that wasn’t a mystery to God. I didn’t know then that my heart needed to be changed, but that wasn’t a mystery to God–nor was it impossible for Him to do. What we can’t control, what we don’t even understand, is clear to Him. As hard as it can be at times to be single, doesn’t that put it all in perspective? {p. 20}

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