So, Why Are You Still Single?

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Dear Sister-friends,

It happened again. While engaged in a great conversation about life and the future, one of my peers asked, “So, why are you still single?”

I suppose that question is a compliment. It seems that what the asker is really saying is, “Based on what I’ve seen and heard from you, I believe you’d make a good spouse, and I’m sure people are interested in you, so what’s the hold up?” And it seems the further we progress through our twenties, thirties, and beyond, the more curious people become about what’s “holding us up” from getting married.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, I believe that He is in complete control of my life. I believe He orders my steps and brings things to pass in my life in His perfect timing. (I do have to remind myself of these truths on occasion, though.) Thus, as I tried to conjure up a grand answer to why I’m still single, I reached this simple reality: I’m single because God has not led me to marry anyone yet.

I know, I know, that sounds so spiritual. But as Christians, life works best for us when we allow God to take the lead, especially regarding marriage. In fact, after the decision to accept Christ as our Savior, I believe the marriage decision is the most important one. Trust me, my friend, we should let God lead us into our marriages, not those other leaders. What other leaders? I’m so glad you asked!

THE TICKING-CLOCK LEADER

I know that some people think they should be married by a certain age. I never thought I was one of those people, though, until two weeks before my 25th birthday. I took a mental inventory of all the single guys who had expressed an interest in me, and I realized something: I wasn’t willing to marry any of them! So, not only would I not be married by age 25, I wouldn’t even know anyone I would marry. Oh. My. Goodness. I felt the panic rising within me, right up until God reminded me that our numerical ages mean very little to him.

The Bible tells us that our measure of time is not the same as God’s measure (2 Pet. 3:8). We are constricted by time and space, but He is not. He sees the end from the beginning and can easily move in, out, and beyond our time. Therefore, if He has spouses for us, He will bring them at His appointed time. Yes, we can rush ahead of God and get married on our time, but we will also face the consequences. For instance, I could’ve rushed and gotten married at 25, but then I could’ve also been perpetually miserable and possibly divorced by 28. My encouragement to you and myself is this: Let’s allow God to be our leader, not our perception of time.

THE LONELINESS LEADER

Some people let loneliness lead them into relationships and marriage. But marriage is not a cure for loneliness. In fact, there are a number of married and lonely people. If we allow loneliness to be the impetus for entering a relationship, how will we know that we truly desire to be with that person? We won’t. I’m sure we all experience lonely moments, and I’m confident many of us desire companionship. It’s okay to acknowledge those feelings, but it’s not okay to follow them.

Although easier said than done, we singles must learn to practice the presence of God and allow Him to satisfy our hearts. His Word promises that He will always be with us, and that He is enough for us to be content (Heb. 13:5). Also, even if we do marry the people God ordained for us to be with, they will not be able to satisfy all our needs all the time. After all, they will be flawed, limited people, just like us. And even the best people make terrible gods. So finding satisfaction in God alone will not only benefit our singleness, but it will also benefit our marriages (if marriage is in God’s will for our lives).

THE LUST LEADER

Most of us have sexual desires, and those desires aren’t inherently sinful. Sexual lust, on the other hand, is a problem. The Apostle Paul actually does advise singles that it’s better to marry than burn with lust (1 Cor. 7:9). However, if you read that entire Scripture, you’ll quickly discern that Paul did not think that marrying due to lust was the best option. As usual, I agree with Paul for many reasons, but I’ll briefly share two.

First, marriage will not cure an overall issue with lust. If we frequently lust after people while we’re single, we’ll continue to lust after others when we’re married. That’s a heart issue, not a marital status issue. I strongly encourage that sexual strongholds—lust, porn addictions, etc.—get rectified during one’s singleness.

Second, sex alone is a terrible reason to get married. Two of my dear friends recently got married, and they both told me they’re glad they didn’t expect sex to be like it’s portrayed in the movies. (Just so you know, it’s not like it is in the movies.) Yet, sex within a marriage is beautiful, because that’s the context for which God designed it. But sex should not be what leads us into a marriage. God should lead.

GOD CAN HANDLE YOUR LOVE LIFE

If you and I are Christians, that means we believe God can handle our eternal souls. If we believe His Word, that means we believe He can handle creating the universe and us, parting seas, slaying giants, healing the blind, and resurrecting the dead. If we believe He can handle all that, does it really make sense to believe He can’t handle our love lives? I don’t think so. So, in this dance of love and marriage, let’s allow God to take the lead, and let’s kiss those other leaders goodbye.

Trusting God with our love lives is His way, and God’s way is the best way.

 

Sincerely,

Leah

This blog is an excerpt from Leah’s book, No Trespassing: I’m God’s Property. You can order your copy on this site or preorder it on Amazon.com.

Why I Keep Saying No To Sex

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Dear Sister-friends,

When I was 17 years old, I liked to hang out with the other teenagers in my neighborhood. We would talk for hours, and I enjoyed our conversations. Yet one day, my conversation with one of the guys made me feel uncomfortable. He kept making comments about us having sex in the near future. I finally stopped him and said, “No, I’m not having sex with you.”

“What’s wrong with me?” he responded.

I gave it to him straight saying, “I’m not having sex with anyone before marriage. I want to be sexually pure.”

This guy looked at me as though I was an alien from outer space, and then he asked me a short but loaded question: “Why?”

Now, as a young adult, I keep saying “no” to this culture’s rules for sex, and people keep asking me “why?”

SEXUAL IMPURITY HAS A HIGH COST

Well, for starters, playing by this culture’s rules for sex has a high cost. Many people, including some Christians, experience the devastating effects of sexual activity outside of marriage. These can include guilt, depression, unwanted pregnancies, family problems, and even legal and medical issues.

I once heard Andy Stanley explain that failing to live sexually pure can be more costly than failing in other areas of our lives, because we can fully recover from those other kinds of failures. For example, financially, you and I could lose all of our money at one point, and later on become millionaires. Educationally, you and I could drop out of school at one time, and then later earn GEDs, Masters degrees, and Doctorate degrees. Professionally, you and I could get fired at one point, and later on become presidents or CEOs. However, sexual purity failures pack more devastating blows to our lives. Sexual purity failures can cause wounds that no amount of money, no degree, and no accomplishment can heal.

GOD’S WAY IS THE BEST WAY

God created sex, and He actually does want us to enjoy it. But He wants us to enjoy it within His boundaries. His boundary for sex is marriage, period. Is that because God wants to ruin our fun? Not at all!

God wants us to stay within His boundaries for the same reason my grandma wanted my dad and his brothers to stay inside the fence around their house. “Don’t y’all go out there!” she would warn them. My dad grew up in a gang-infested area on the south side of Chicago. The other side of the fence seemed fun to him and his brothers, but my grandma could see things they couldn’t. She could see the harm and danger that awaited them on the other side of that fence, and she wanted to protect her children.

This world makes sex outside of marriage look so glamorous in all the movies and shows and music videos. So like my dad and uncles, many of us think the world’s side of the fence looks fun. But like my grandma, God can see things we can’t. He knows the harm and danger that await us if we have sex the world’s way, and He wants to protect us, His children.

Many people associate God’s boundaries with bondage. The reality is that the complete opposite is true: God’s will is actually the most liberating and satisfying place to be. It wasn’t until I truly pursued purity—in mind, body, and heart—that I experienced a new level of intimacy and peace with God. After this experience, I never wanted to go back to the way I used to live! I learned that living sexually pure isn’t about exercising our willpower, feeling better about ourselves, or any other self-centered reason. It’s about honoring God with holy lives. It’s about giving all of ourselves to the One who gave us all of Himself.

SAY “YES” TO GOD’S WAY

I encourage you to begin or continue living sexually pure. If you’ve failed in this area of sexual purity, please know that God still loves you, and you can decide to submit this area of your life to Him today. I have wrestled with sexual purity too, but I find victory through Christ Jesus. By His grace, I am a virgin and have not even kissed a guy. It has not been easy. In fact, it has been downright difficult at times. And I’m quite aware that my greatest temptations to give in may be ahead of me. Even so, I’m fully convinced that God’s way for sex is the best way, and my heart longs to say “yes” to His way. That’s precisely why I keep saying “no” to our culture’s way.

After all, to say “no” to the culture’s way is to say “yes” to God’s way. And God’s way is the best way.

 

Sincerely,

Leah

This blog is an excerpt from Leah’s book regarding sexual purity, No Trespassing: I’m God’s Property. You can purchase your copy on this site or on Amazon.com.