I Don't Wait Anymore.

When I was 16, I got a purity ring.

And when I was 25, I took it off.

I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it — it wasn’t a statement or an emotional thing. I just slipped it off my finger that day and, before tucking it away in a box, ran my finger around the words on the familiar gold band.

“True Love Waits.” Waits.

What’s it “waiting” for, anyway?

*****

I had my reasons for deciding not to wear it anymore. Other people might have other reasons. It’s a graveyard of hearts, this place where single church girls crash into their late 20s and early 30s. Churches see the symptoms. They scramble to reach out to the ever-growing young adult singles crowd who feels alienated by family-oriented services.

But there’s something bigger behind it than that.

Much bigger.

There are a lot of girls out there who don’t know who God is anymore – the God of their youth group years just isn’t working out. Back then, that God said to wait for sex until they are married, until He brings the right man along for a husband. They signed a card and put it on the altar and pledged to wait.

And wait they did.

*****

And waited and waited and waited.

Some of them have prayed their whole lives for a husband, and he hasn’t shown up. They’ve heard the advice to “be the woman God made you to be, focus on that, and then the husband will come.” They’ve read “Lady in Waiting,” gotten super involved in church and honed their domestic skills.

And still they wait.

More than a decade ago, a youth leader handed them a photocopied poem in Sunday School written to them from “God” that said, “The reason you don’t have anyone yet is because you’re not fully satisfied in Me. You have to be satisfied with Me and then when you least expect it, I’ll bring you the person I meant for you.”

And the girls see it posted on their bulletin boards from time to time.

“You’re right, God,” they say. “We’re not satisfied in you yet. We will put you first and then you can bring us a husband in your timing.”

But many of them – if they’re honest – will tell you that time has passed, and it’s wrecking their view of God.

If this is who God’s supposed to be, then He’s tragically late.

So some decide to chuck “Lady in Waiting” out the window … and possibly their virginity with it. Church goes next. God might go next, too. If He doesn’t answer these prayers after they’ve held up their end of the bargain, why would He answer any others?

Whether it was the fault of the leaders, the fault of us girls, or both, a tragedy happened back then.

A lot of girls were sold on a deal and not on a Savior.

*****

I had that poem on my bulletin board all through high school – the one where “God” was telling me to fall in love with Him first and then I would be able to fall in love with a husband later.

Who wrote that poem anyway?

Pretty sure it wasn’t God.

When Jesus was here on the earth, the crowds would follow Him because they saw He gave good things. But that’s not what He wanted. He wanted their hearts for Himself. So He would turn to them and say things like, “If you don’t love Me so much that every other relationship in your life looks like hate by comparison, you can’t follow Me.” (Matthew 10:34-39, paraphrase)

That sounds a lot different from the poem.

Christ is the source of everything we need and the giver of all good gifts … but in telling people about Him, it’s possible we’ve sold them on a solution for life’s problems and not life itself.

What if we as girls had learned early on that having Him was everything, not a means to the life we think He would want us to have.

If we had learned we don’t abstain from sex because we’re “waiting.” We abstain because we love Him.

If I’d had on my bulletin board, “Fall in love with Jesus.” That’s it. Bottom line. That’s everything you need to know, to work toward, to put your hope in.

If I’d learned who He is, what He wants, how to give Him everything, not “wait” so that one day I could give my everything to someone else.

If I’d learned that it’s not bad to pray for a husband, but that my greater prayer should be for Him to spend my life as He chooses for His glory.

If we as believers make that our message, things could be drastically different for a lot of girls wondering why the God they think they learned to follow doesn’t compute. It doesn’t necessarily stop the desire for a husband or end all feelings of loneliness, but it does show a God who provides, loves and gives infinite purpose even to our singleness rather than a God who categorically denies some who pray for husbands while seemingly giving freely to others.

It shows that while marriage is good, He is the greater goal.

*****

Don’t think I’ve done this perfectly.

I’d be deceiving you if you thought that. I’ve had relationships where I made major mistakes. I’ve gone through angst-ridden phases where I met with friends to plead together with God to bring us husbands. I’ve planned major life decisions around possibilities.

I lived like I was waiting for something.

And that’s why I slipped off my ring that day. It wasn’t that I wanted to sleep with people – I haven’t. It wasn’t a slap to True Love Waits, or to anyone who wears a purity ring – saving sex for marriage is good and is His design.

I just didn’t want to wait anymore – didn’t want to live like I was waiting on anyone to get here.

I already have Him … and He is everything.

“Follow Christ for His own sake, if you follow Him at all.” – J.C. Ryle

(I Don’t Wait Anymore (the book), now available.)

1,769 Responses

  1. This is beautifully written, and so very true. Thank you for sharring it with us, it was really encouraging. I didn’t grow up in church so I was already passed my teens when Jesus changed my life. As a result I didn’t hear the “Love Waits” speech until I was twenty-one. I don’t know if it was because I was older, or because I knew that the only thing “pure” in my life was Jesus, but this message touched a different part of me. I wear a ring, but not because I’m waiting for a husband, but because I am already committed to a heavenly groom.

  2. Brilliant. This is a good reflection of where I’m at at the moment. Thanks for writing this. Single girls shouldn’t be made to feel like Jesus is the consellation prize for those who don’t get given a husband. He’s the main thing. Everything.

  3. A womans heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek him in order to find her

    1. This is a wonderful post…awesome and real truth! However, as an older woman, mother and a Pastor’s wife I am also a bit perplexed. I am touched by this beautiful heart cry from a godly young woman (& godly girlfriends) who would love to be in a relationships with a godly men but are discouraged by endless waiting. On the other hand, I know of godly, great looking young men discouraged with waiting for a godly woman….feeling like there are no godly women out there. Why is it that godly young adults can’t seem to find each other today? I wish I could somehow help these young adults meet each other; if for no other reason than encouragement that there are godly individuals of the opposite sex out there feeling the same way they do…..

      1. My mother and I were discussing this exact issue just the other evening! *IF* there are good men out there (meaning the type who are Christians and will make faithful husbands, you hope), we’ve certainly never met any of them. We’ve been at churches where the attendance was well over one thousand people, but I’ve never ever run across the kind of man who is waiting for a godly girl – the type I’ve seen will settle for any girl who calls herself a Christian, no matter how little she wears on Sunday or how many bikini self-portraits she posts on her Facebook page (or how many men she’s been promiscuous with while claiming to be a Godly young lady).

        I would like to believe that this sort of man you’re describing even exists, but sometimes its kind of hard. Personally, I don’t think the devil minds the fact that fewer and fewer Christian offspring are being born as a result of the lack of young marriages taking place.

        Yes, God is sovereign and nothing can stop His will from going forward, but sometimes it seems like these nice young girls won’t meet the “good guys” who have been praying for the right person until they get to Heaven, and then it will be too late to get married. No, I don’t think that being married is the end goal in life or will automatically make you happy, but I will say that good marriages sure happened a whole lot more one hundred years ago (or even sixty years ago, for that matter!) than they are today. And since it was God’s idea for people to get married in the first place, you know He hasn’t suddenly decided that this generation of Christians shouldn’t marry after all. :)

        I don’t like the whole mentality of “Someday you’ll somehow meet somebody (even if it takes a miracle to be in the same building as a man) and then you will be out of your pitiful single state.” Personally, I think there should be lots of church activities and even city-wide Christian events that like-minded Christian families could go to so that at least a poor girl can be used to *talking* with men! This whole idea of “Well, until God brings the right one along we’re just going to sit here and wait” stuff is more hurtful to girls than their parents could ever imagine. No, of course girls shouldn’t go out LOOKING for a man, but does that mean you have to avoid talking to every male until you are in a courtship or engaged to him? No, absolutely not! Do you know how daunting it is to try to talk casually to a Christian young man when the last time you were officially introduced to a man was over two and a half years ago? It is indescribably hard! I’ve read these articles that say, “Christian guys don’t like girls who are uncomfortable talking to them.” But you know what? That’s not our choice! Believe me, we would change our circumstances if we could, but many of us are honestly at churches where there are no unmarried young men and we just never have the oppportunity to have conversations.

        Somehow, something needs to change. So help us God!

        1. :hug: first of all, I really hope this is encouraging!

          These great guys do exist; I only started noticing and getting to know them when I ended up in a country where there are fewer Christians (UK). Maybe because in the US being “a Christian” can be more of a cultural issue than a heart/life issue? Either way, I just wanted to say that I personally know double-digits’ worth of not just decent but God-devoted, faithful, good, and big-hearted guys. They DO exist! Although it may well be that lots of girls go to churches where for one reason or another there aren’t any. I don’t think it’s wrong to love life whether single or dating or married, and I also don’t think it’s wrong to have one goal in life be marriage. Just like having a goal of going to college, traveling to another country, having a certain career, etc. (you have the goal and go for it, and all the while trust God that the goal will only happen if He allows, and that if it doesn’t, that’s okay because they main thing in life is to be loved by God and let others know they are too), I think girls can say, I’d like to be married in this life. It’s not the main thing, and if it becomes more important than being loved by God then that’s a problem He can help you with, but if you have a goal of marrying a good and God-loving partner, then take some reasonable steps to meet that goal. The first would be that if you go to a church where there are no decent guys… maybe it’s time to go to a different church, or like you said, to an environment where there will be some good guys, like a mid-week get together or voluntary commitment. The good guys aren’t easy to find, but it’s so awesome when your stereotype is broken. :) Keep looking! And remember that whether single or dating or married, satisfaction will come only from our God. It may be easier for married people to come across as fulfilled to single people (they have all the things society says will make us happy) and it may be easier for single people to come across as fulfilled to married people (they have freedom to travel and and sleep and fewer night filled with screaming and diapers and vomit!) but in the end… no one is fulfilled unless we are found in Him, bottom line. Keep looking, but keep looking up too! <3

        2. JSK-thank you for caring!! One of the biggest drawbacks I have found in conservative/evangelical churches is No. 1-a lack o singles’ ministries and or a mixture of activities that include BOTH married & single/divorced/widowed where people could meet; and No. 2 a seeming lack of awareness of married or older adults even introducing someone to another single or group of singles(remember the days when blind dates were common? I’ve had good friends meet that way and get married) . And to katrinaariana–I wholeheartedly agree with you! I am a 51 year old divorced mother of 2 teens, am struggling frequently with loneliness, and am disappointed/discouraged that there seems to be no real way to meet a godly man except through internet dating which I am not a fan of, have not had positive results, and costs a lot of money. I work full time but there are NO Christian single or divorced men my age(I work with over 150 other adults).
          I think that Pastors/SS teachers in general may not be aware of how “left out” people who are single can feel and how this really can lead to discouragement. If someone, including Pastoral staff, elders, etc, even know/say my name it means a lot to me. I dropped out of 2 different Sunday School classes because there was no connection with any of the women, which was what I longed for first of all. Sitting in church really does not make opportunities like a smaller group does to meet friends of either gender. I have tried on several occasions to get a Singles’ group started but it did not seem to take off. For now, I just ask for God to give me people to minister to at church and He is doing that. But I hope, SOMEDAY to meet someone also who loves the Lord and needs a godly wife to accompany him.

  4. Great,

    Something I’ve been trying to get across to my students for years.

    “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”

  5. I waited, faithfully. Then God put a man in my life who was very charismatic and loved by my family and friends at church. I had huge doubts, but I had prayed and felt marrying him was really what He wanted for me. Almost immediately after our wedding, my husband started showing his cruel, manipulative, short tempered true self. So did God intend me to be abused? I wouldn’t put up with it, and was nearly killed. When I left him, my family thought that it must have been my fault, because this man was “the best thing that ever happened to me.” My father insinuated that I must be a whore.

    Moral of the story–don’t wait for God to put someone in your life, because there’s really no way to know what His plans are. Live your life faithfully, but trust your God-given instincts, get out there, and make your life what YOU want it to be. HE’s not going to do it for you.

    P.S. I am now happily remarried for the last 5 years to an amazing man, got my bachelors and masters degrees in engineering, and have a truly wonderful and blessed life. All because I stopped waiting, the same way the author implies.

  6. I LOVE what you wrote; insightful and moving.

    This is the same lie that we believed as all humans, and it started in the Garden; you’re not really ok just the way you are…you lack something. It is time we stopped believing this lie and challenge it wherever and whenever we hear or see it because it ALWAYS leads us to our own destruction! God Help Us!!

    I also think we who are married and older ones in the church are doing a crappy job at introducing singles to each other. Elisabeth Elliot shared on this responsibility of the church to create opportunities for single people to meet and gather so that they CAN meet each other…arranging opportunities and trusting that He will do the rest.

    You have inspired me to do better in this area! But, if I don’t do better, or I don’t know you, RISK asking others in the church to pray AND to introduce you to someone. I did this years ago and wound up with a blind phone date that turned into a fabulous 22 year marriage and life because I pestered my married friends to get with it!

    You are the winner, married or single because you have Him!

  7. This post never ceases to convict me and encourage me to draw near to God. Thank you for allowing His spirit work through you!

  8. This post is for ALL women…young, older, oldest. Single, married, divorced, remarried, widows. Thank you for the great reminder of Heb. 13:8. There is NOTHING else in this world that we NEED…He is all we need.

  9. Such an excellent article. I am now the “older woman” in my church and am sending this to every mother with young girls. We learned this the hard way and had purity ring ceremonies for our kids – not a bad thing – but just a reminder. Thank you for this wisdom!

  10. Great insight! I’m a youth pastor’s wife, and middle school girls Sunday School teacher. What girls and guys learn as children and teens about purpose and life is HUGE. What they learn about dating and marriage and what really matters in life at a younger age will affect their perspective on Christ, the church and Christianity for perhaps their entire lives. You are so right that we need to be teaching students that following Jesus is ALL that really matters. I appreciate the well-written wisdom. Its in the same vein as John Piper’s book This Momentary Marriage. If you haven’t read it yet, you would probably really enjoy it!

  11. Really appreciate your perspective on this. I heard much about TLW, sexual purity, etc as a teen (hello, Brio magazine), and like you, I didn’t have haven’t slept around, but now, in retrospect, I see like you that the emphasis was too much on sex/marriage/man/sexual purity instead of purity of all areas of life and Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! How sweet He is! Thanks for this.

  12. I’m 28 and still waiting. I’ve never worn a purity ring because I just wanted it to be between me and God. I haven’t been going to church very much because… well, to put it bluntly, Christians annoy me. I know it’s probably not nice to make a statement like that on a forum for Christians without explaining it more, but the truth is I’m tired and I don’t care to. I’ve been in church my whole life. Sometimes I’ve wondered about this waiting thing. But I love Jesus and I always will, regardless of the disappointments and the holier-than-thou, only-interested-in-image Christians I keep meeting. Though it would be really nice to meet a husband.

    Last thought: I’ve had so many wonderful non-Christian men express interest. More often than not they have been very attractive, both inside and out. Then – and again, I’m sorry to say this – but I go to church and meet (although this may sound shallow, it’s how I feel) men that are:
    a.) either not very attractive,
    b.) too attractive and think they’re (literally) God’s gift to women because just look at the male-to-female ratio and how many options they have!, or
    c.) apparently too “holy” – or whatever the $&% they wanna call it – to ask any girl out because they’re just “not ready yet” (which 9 times out of 10 is a load of hogwash), or sometimes even *so* holy that when they *do* date you (or your friend/s), they treat you like something the cat dragged in.

    Non-Christian men could teach the so-called Christian men out there a thing or three.

    – A disgruntled and tired-of-pretending but always-in-love-with-Jesus 28 year old

    1. Remember you are living as forgiven not condemned. You were set free from the law the moment you believed in Christ, so date who you feel is right for you; just remember, they may never change what they believe and you have to be OK with that. I learned after marrying someone who used to be very strict but kind of changed their course, it just doesn’t matter that much. I have found that in all circumstances when I am honoring Christ and loving others–allowing them the freedom to express themselves the way that God made them to–I can miraculously get along with people from all sorts of different backgrounds, religions, and beliefs and build great relationships with them. Even though my wife and I have very different belief backgrounds nowadays we still get along really well-TYJ. I can tell that you and I seem to have much in common when it comes to how you are feeling toward those who call themselves believers. Surprisingly, as you are, I was 28 when I went through an ordeal that rocked my view of the ‘church’. I could never understand why I felt some things were so wrong that were preached to be right and why other things felt so right that were preached as wrong. Long story short, when I questioned these things and did not agree with their –the churches leadership– answer, my wife and I were told we needed to leave their church because we were unrepentant to their teaching. Anyway, to sum this up. Through this time I was able to discover Christ in a whole new way and I feel finally come to understand the ‘freedom’ He was talking about when He said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”, or this little nugget, “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.” It is said that love fulfills all the law and it is amazing to me the liberties and freedoms this grants one in their dating, living, doing, etc. as apposed to the ‘church’s laws of do’s and don’t do’s’. Now that I think I feel some understanding of the grace and love found in Christ, when I hear a believer speak of what you ‘have to do’ or ‘can’t do’ I pity them; because, while set free by grace in Christ Jesus, they are still forcing themselves to live under the law. It took me spending some solid time with the Lord and Him showing me that what ‘they’ were trying to tell me wasn’t ‘the way’ and that all these heavy burdens–their rules and laws–where their chains, not mine. Once I knew this, their convictions and piousness no longer angered me and I could go in peace from the situation as Christ so commanded me long before.

    2. Haha this is gold. It’s sad that there aren’t that many Christian guys that I feel I could really trust in a relationship for one or more of the reasons you listed above. But I’m a lot younger and I’m happy being single. Although, I’m beginning to question more and more the whole waiting thing altogether. I mean, is it so bad to go out with single friends and actually TALK TO GUYS to increase our likelihood of meeting the kind of guys we might like to be with?? I’m thinking I have no problem with this. Whereas when I was a teen I used to think I’m gonna sit around and wait for him to come to me. What about free will? Do I have a right to choose a guy? Maybe God’s man for me will be in a bar somewhere and I just have to grow a pair and go talk to him instead of ‘waiting’ for love. These are the things I have been pondering.

      1. Sure you can! Sometimes God uses people as his instruments. Maybe He’s using your desire to go meet people as a way to introduce you to your guy.

    3. Hang in there! I agree with you and your outlook and I felt the same way about men in church. I met a Christian guy outside of church and I love it. He has a perfect balance of the world and Christ!! But dont give up on Jesus!

    4. Hello CityGirl :-) I can understand where you are coming from. I am 32 years old & have never been married either. I’ve dated both Christian & non-Christian men, but none were right. I knew better than to date non-Christians because their goals & life decisions aren’t based on the same foundation as mine… Jesus Christ. Yet, I still did because they liked me & paid attention to me. I once was dating a non-Christian fella who I thought was so good to me & he was. When I tried to validate my dating decision to my mentor she said, “He may be a good man, but he is not a godly man.” We are no longer together.

      That is what we need to be aware of when we start thinking on a person as a potential husband… a brother in Christ, a man that loves Jesus, one who will raise his children in the knowledge of God, one who will treat his wife with the love of Christ. We can trust that if it is God’s will for us to be married then He will provide that person (or the kind of person). Right now, our singleness is a gift from God & can be used in mighty ways for Him :-D We can do so much more for Christ as single women because we do not have the “distraction” of a husband & family. (1 Cor. 7:32-35).

      I apologize for coming across preachy, I just wanted to share with you my experience :-) I’m sorry that you don’t find the Christians around you authentic. I’m praying for you that you will experience God in the most amazing way & that you will be the authentic one that others will be drawn to so they may see Jesus as He truly is. You can be the example for other Christians to emulate. God bless you!

      Cortney

    5. As a 37 year old single Christian, I read this and was moved to tears. We didn’t do TLW in my youth group, but then my youth pastor was a joke and made us girls feel like we were second class citizens, just because we were girls. Thank you for this, even though it’s basically turned me upside down, because it slaps me in the face and reminds me that I’m still not anywhere close to who or what I should be.

      CityGirl…thanks for posting what I was too afraid to post. I see the same thing. I’ve also come to the conclusion that single Christian men don’t go to church, unless they’ve got a woman to go with. Otherwise, there would be way more of them lingering around at church.

  13. I still wear my purity ring and I have been married 6 years now. Purity is something we need to maintain, even when married. We should strive to be pure before sex and when in a sexual relationship with your spouse. The inside of my ring has the verse Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” — a verse to ponder before marriage and after marriage.

  14. There’s one thing missing here. Because churches tend to segregate by age and marital status, these young women probably don’t know many married women well, especially those who got married later. It would be interesting what these “later married” women would tell them about their journey. I think it would make a hue difference to the young womens’ faith.

  15. You are very authentic and I like you a lot. First of all, burn that poem. How I’m still walking with God and attending church after all of the similar, cruel garbage I’ve been told amazes me. I’m married, but that doesn’t mean I’m exempt from confusion, sad circumstances, and painful questioning of what God’s doing in my life. I have no doubt that your hard-won wisdom will encourage many others. Take care.

  16. I waited. I was 39 and settled into the idea that marriage was not in the picture for me. Sadly I came to this conclusion not for the noble and biblically centered reasons you compel us to have but more out of resignation – well maybe not altogether. Maybe part of me realized to that God was enough and that I needed to work harder in believing that. I was at peace for the most part. Then I meant the man I was to marry. He was a surprise and worth waiting for. We had twelve years together. He died. And now at 63 I know that God is enough, he has always be enough. He saw me through waiting, and gave me an extraordinary marriage and I expect what is left of my life to be focusing on dying well. I wait again. Oh, I’m not sick or anything it’s just that it’s taken me awhile to understand with my head and my heart that my purpose is to live as an expression of God’s grace and all the entails – and to speak of just how much he can love one person that has been me. I know and see how he loves others. And I hear and read their stories. I can relate to this one – deeply and profoundly. In fact your story made me cry but the truest story will always be our own. Like you we should tell that story more often to any child woman, young woman or older woman we can. And perhaps even young men and old men might like to hear it as well.

    To this end you have gifted many people today with your well written message here. Thank you. I pray young women find this and learn the lesson sooner than I did. And that they pass it along.

    1. EAJ, your story made me cry. What a beautiful reflection of God’s love you must be to those around you. At 36, I have so many times wondered why it’s taking so long for God to bring me a husband. Indeed, this post has done something to my heart, but reading your reply just adds to it. Thank you for sharing your testimony!

      1. So sad. I have to say something. I feel like we have been taught misleading things in modern-day church. I really don’t understand where people find in the Bible that God has picked out that one special person for us and we wait and He brings him, etc. (I met a young woman once who wore a ring on her wedding ring finger trusting that in spite of that, God would bring her a husband. I don’t think we should play games) He gives us sooo many godly principles in His word for us to follow then gives us free will to choose! And the Holy Spirit will guide us. Maybe God does bring someone around, maybe not. But I believe that kind of thinking can bring us to bad decisions. Like the person who wrote that she married the man that others thought must be the one God chose then he abused her. Sad. She knew in her inner being that something wasn’t right. In the old testament, if your husband died you were taken in by your brother-in-law and he married you. Was that “God’s will?” I don’t know, but I certainly don’t think christians today would be condoning this. Also, what about when one wants to divorce this “one that I believe God picked for me?” Does she say that she misunderstood God? I have heard that. I think we put words in God’s mouth when we say that He is going to bring us the one for us. (then is He to blame when we don’t marry?) I hurt for these young girls “waiting”….go look for a godly man. Don’t be afraid to speak or to let your feelings be known. That puts a lot of pressure on the man to make him responsible for all progress in a relationship. Pardon my rambling, but I just hurt for these girls who may be misled by teachings that aren’t particularly biblically sound. I was 30 when I married. The church I was in at the time was very controlling about who married who (they ended a few of my potential relationships before they started). I am grateful that I met a wonderful man and managed to marry him! He wasn’t a christian when I met him, but gave his life to Christ when we were dating. We have been married 20 years this summer :)

  17. “I just didn’t want to wait anymore – didn’t want to live like I was waiting on anyone to get here.

    I already have Him … and He is everything.”

    This is soooo beautiful and what many young christians need to hear. A man/relationship is not a cure for anything, neither is being single an illness that needs to be cured. We are perfectly ‘self’-sufficient in Christ.

    1. Well said. Marriage is not the end all and be all. It’s one of many options. No guarantee of happily ever after. Singleness has a wealth of open doors, opportunities to serve. Grab them while you can and if God directs you to marriage, then serve in that capacity.

  18. My situation is not ideal, many would say I’m in an abusive relationship (not physically) but I made a vow to God and my husband and have been married for 14 years. I know I could leave but I believe God wants me to stay, that he uses me and I don’t see divorce as God’s plan. I sometimes envy those who are single and it annoys me when some people basically imply that a husband would fix everything, that they’re waiting for a husband so their life can begin. Our hope is in the Lord, not our circumstances. Our joy is in the Lord, not your marital status.

    1. Jodie, I also have been in a difficult marriage for 31 years…not all bad, but being single would have been so much easier. God is not about putting us on the easy road, however, He is all about putting us on the High Road that changes us to become more like Jesus. I am not the same person I was when this all began. I now live a life of forgiveness…constantly forgiving my husband and constantly being forgiven by my Lord and Savior. I know I am to stay married and I believe God is working on my husband as well, which always gives me hope. And this all makes me look forward to heaven that much more because where my husband has failed me, God never fails me, and He has become my husband over these many years.

  19. Beautiful beautiful beautiful! So true! In highschool, I was part of an abstinence group. We wrote letters to our future husbands and carried around “ATM” cards – (Abstinence Til Marriage). I literally worshipped the fairytale idea of romance growing up- daydreamed, poemed, obsessed, worshipped, penned, pined, spiraled depressed- I didn’t see the Savior, even though I was “in church” and was part of that group. We talked about the dangers of having sex before marriage, such as STDs, teen pregnancy, etc.

    1. But God saved me after I wrecked my purity. I was not born again until 2011. All the abstinence groups in the world couldn’t have caused me to leave my life of sin – only God could do that. He gave me a new heart. Great great article. Thank you.

  20. Wow! This is brilliant, thank you for putting my thoughts into words! Thank you! I’ve been wearing this ring since I was 14. I feel suddenly freer. Brilliant. Hope. Dignity.

  21. So true! I’ve been writing this in my head for years and I couldn’t have said it better. I totally agree. I met my husband at 43 after 20 years in church singles groups, and here’s what I would add: first, Proverbs says ” he who finds a wife finds a good thing” not ” he upon whose head God drops a wife is really blessed.” I don’t believe God intends us to be passive. When I cried out to him he told me through people and circumstances and impressions on my heart that I needed to do a couple of things. First, I needed to develop a lot more friendships with a lot more guys, because if you don’t have any guy friends it’s kind of hard for anyone to fall in love with you. That gets harder as you get older and takes more work. Second, he told me that if I really wanted to find someone I needed to leave my home town and eventually home state for various demographic and sociological reasons. That was hard – I grew up in a town known for its beauty and perfect weather – but when I finally did it, I met my husband within three years. I could go on and on, but I just hate the emphasis on passivity in so much of this teaching.

    1. So true…I moved to get away from the wrong guy…I was single and wanting to get married…and he was a very tempting non Christian..

  22. I so appreciated your text from a guy’s perspective (my name doesn’t give that away).

    I have to remind my heart that I have everything and everyone I need in my life right now, and I always will by God’s providence.

    You reminded me of the quote:

    A gold medal is a nice thing – but if you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it. – Cool Runnings, the movie.

    It can be a gold medal, or replace the wording with “a spouse”, “a career”, a whatever. If you can’t find contentment without a wife, or a husband, odds are, you won’t find contentment with one. Sadness over our celibacy is usually a symptom of bigger problems deep within us where we resist God’s life-changing love and we try to circumvent the means he has to make us happy no matter our circumstances. I don’t pretend to understand all the potential problems in us but I know we can have a skewed sense of perspective with many unhealthy expectations as to what should make us happy. When we bring our unhealthy heart into a relationship, and the relationship is ruined, we often think its the other person’s fault because of the very same unhealthy heart. The heart is desperately wicked, who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9) I am encouraged by books such as Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg ( he’s on youtube as well). I do not agree with his elimination of the concept of “right” and “wrong”, because true love cannot exist without true judgement ( evaluation of right and wrong)). Replace this with something better: grace—to know someone’s faults but love them anyways. Only God has the right to enact judgment and punishment, which he is slow to do. So who am I to judge with my faulty eyes and my biased heart? From my perspective as a born-again Christian, the rest of his book is the most practical method I have seen for applying what Jesus taught on relationships and love. I see Jesus’s spirit in that book and I don’t even know if Marshall is a Christian! Even if you entered a relationship with unhealthy heart beliefs, he gives a means to better your relationship while you grow, or as the other person grows, on the inside. Sorry for the lengthy comment.

    1. I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to post part of your reply on my fb page. You have put it so well… I will credit it to ‘Alex’, of course…

    2. I agree with you Alex! You are *very* wise and what you share shows that wisdom. A person needs to sometimes “walk” through those tough times though before they can actually find that it’s only God who gives us contentment.

  23. Very true words, if only this message could make it to ears, minds and HEARTS of single women and men – really get to them – single Christianity would look totally different. Blessings from Poland:)

  24. Wow!!! I love this so much!! What a beautiful perspective change! So often we are so busy waiting ON God rather than IN Him. I can’t stand the whole “Keep seeking God and trust Him more for your husband to come”. As if I’m not seeking him enough and the husband is the goal. My goal is to have a heart dedicated to Jesus in undivided devotion. I choose to wait in Him and not on Him! Thank you for your beautiful heart displayed here!! Xo Beth Ann

  25. Well said! I was encouraged with what you wrote! I agree…it is funny how sometimes we major in the minors. I mean if all we here is “wait,” we could miss His grand plan. It would be great if you could stop over to my blog. I think we have a lot in common.

  26. These thoughts are so true and mirror what Kyle Idleman talks about in his book, Not a Fan. Jesus is looking for committed followers, not merely fans who just know a lot about Him.

  27. I’ve been “waiting” for the past 12 months.. This was just what I needed to empower myself to be the best me– not the best “lady-in-waiting.” Wow :)

Leave a Reply