Okay a little levity to start this post. The meme is kind of funny right?
A Change of Plans
Usually this sort of thing is not typical of what I post, but right here, right now, I need to express my present reality. The point of The Chronology of Chris is to write about real life, as it happens to me and those around me, so sometimes, like right now, real life is not a glorious, clear cut, problem and solution blog post. Right now real life is a minor emotional defeat tearing me between my flesh and my position in Christ.
Not Another Bridal College Joke Please
As I have said in other posts it is hard to be twenty seven (soon to be twenty eight) and still single. This is only made more difficult by the numerous married friends I have, with the single ones becoming fewer and fewer. To make matters worse I go to a Bible college where I am constantly reminded of my singleness by the frequent conversations about marriage and every other chapel speaker saying “I found my wife at Emmaus.” Yeah that helps. Good for you. By the way have you ever noticed that in many Bible college students seem to have the joke of replacing “Bible” with “Bridal” in the name of the university? Some examples, Emmaus Bridal College, New Tribes Bridal Institute, Moody Bridal Institute, and so on and so forth. It is hard to be content with singleness when non singleness and the message of marriage is constantly thrown at and surrounding you. How is a young Christian supposed to function like this? You try to be content about being single until your relationship status changes, if it ever does, but until then marriage and relationships are constantly rubbed in your face. Sure marriage is a good thing, and something God designed, but change the record people, I am sick of hearing about marriage as if it is the pinnacle to all life and living!
The Lost Art of Singleness
I have never had the passion for singleness. I figure if singleness is ones lot in life, one would be wired for it. Who knows, maybe I am wrong. Ever since I was a child I knew I wanted to be married. Not having a father or proper family growing up, I wanted to one day have that, I wanted to be the father and husband that I never had to people I loved. This notion was only made that much sweeter when I became a believer and was given a Biblical basis for love and the implications of a marriage relationship. I have read all the articles, talked to all my married friends, I know all the good things about marriage and I know all the hard things about it. I am not one who is an idealist or romanticist about marriage, I know marriage does not solve any problems, and that relationships have to be Christ centered not self centered. The reality of marriage is something I know all about. I know all these things….yet it seems these things I cannot have.
Flavor of the Week
(The following statements and question are more rhetoric and thinking aloud, than they are actual belief. These are thoughts I have had in the midst of this problem, as well as thoughts I know others have experienced in the thick of it also.)
What is wrong with me? A long time ago, when I was extremely bitter towards the female gender, I coined the quote, “Christian women are more concerned with a solid body than they are a solid walk with the Lord” and sometimes I wonder if I was right. If you were to talk to me I am fairly confident, and I am not particularly hideous looking, so my question comes back to, what is wrong with me? Does the Earth have to align with Saturn and Jupiter, for a brief moment allowing relationships to take full bloom? Okay, maybe I do not believer that, actually maybe I do! Over and over I see young believers, many barely hitting their twenties, having relationships, getting married, and so I wonder , what are they doing that I am not? Then again maybe there is a reason why the divorce rate amongst Christians is rising so high. Like any believer I walk with the Lord, sure I have my failures, but my goal is always continued growth and to continue striving to be a man of the Lord, yet it does not seem to mean much in the world of relationships. Maybe it does not even mean that much to me? Are we ever as spiritual as we think we are? Is that really the state of things? Maybe a person’s spiritual life really does not matter to people any more? I just cannot figure out where I have gone wrong. Am I not the right body type? Too chubby? Maybe wearing bowties and sport coats every day puts people off? Is it my glasses? Maybe I am not interested in the right things? There has to be something I am missing? On and on the questions and dissection go. I have dated people, had people interested in me and whatnot, but even with those, it always seems as if the whole Christian life is not important to them. How important was it to me? When I first accepted the Lord I made a pact with myself to pursue truth even if it kills me, to bring truth even if it outcasts me, and the older I get, the more and more it seems like women who are as serious about their faith are increasingly nonexistent. I mean I am not even always serious about my faith. Find me a person who constantly and consistently is? It all becomes about other things doesn’t it? People place common interests in media and activities, finances, social status, momentary feelings and physical appearance over position in Christ, when it comes to starting a relationship with someone. Not all people I am sure, but still many. Do I lower myself to such meaningless standards, to the physical and worldly? Is this what it takes to be appealing to someone, or is it a faulty message given by these barely out of high school, hormone driven, kids I frequently find myself surrounded by?
And Now for Something Completely Different
Now for the truth. The above is how I feel right now. Have you ever felt these things? I am sure you have at some point. We must remember, and this is important, how we feel is not always synonymous with what is true. The truth is that no matter how bad my flesh wants to convince me I am inadequate, my Lord is there to say otherwise. What I know in this moment, truth, has to negate what I presently feel from those lies that are presently wearing me down. Our faith is not worth compromising over relationships or lack of. When we have Christ we have everything. I always thought a devout heart and life for Christ was not much to want in someone, but it would seem such qualities are becoming rarer and because of the rarity, that much more admirable. That being said, I have had to trust the Lord’s provision in so many ways, for so many things over the course of my Christian life. I have seen the Lord provide so many times, materially and immaterially, so if He could make provision in those areas, why can He not in this? Whether His provision is for the contentment I need or for a spouse itself, time has told me He never ceases to provide. Sure, He may not always give us what we want, but He will always provide us with what we need. There is nothing wrong with me, apart from still having to deal with my flesh, I am in Christ, I have a beautiful life and position in Him, and if that is not enough for a person I could potentially spend the rest of my life with, I do not need them. The same goes opposite, if I am not leading the person I am with in the Lord, they do not need me either. I would rather be alone with Christ than with someone without Him. The point is whether in our singleness or in dating, our contentment and fulfillment has to be found, not in our relationship status, but in Him.
All the Single Christians
Thanks for listening to my lament. I know this is a common struggle for single Christians and for those of you struggling with any or all of this, I wanted you to know you are not alone. We are in this fight together, so lets keep pressing on, trusting Him and finding our contentment, single or not, in Christ. In light of the upcoming commercial monstrosity known as Valentine’s Day, keep the faith, find contentment when you can, and never compromise, because the smallest compromises now can lead to even bigger regrets later.