Singleness can be a lot of adventure, independence, excitement and freedom. But in a lot of ways, prolonged singleness can be tough and loneliness can make its appearance in many ways.
We may begin to yearn to replace our time alone for an intimate partner to share experiences, conversation, ideas, thoughts, burdens, dreams and simply to share ourselves with. We may desire to share ourselves in a depth that our good friends just can’t satisfy, no matter how much we try.
I was reading about Sarai (Sarah) and Hannah recently. Although these two women were married I couldn’t help but apply Hannah’s faith and Sarai’s lack of faith for their desire to have a child to the desire that I witness some singles have for marriage.
In Genesis, Sarai was barren and yearned for a child to give to her husband. After aging past her barren years, she took the issue into her own hands. She did this in a way that I see as crazy but she made it possible for her husband to have a child.
A lot of history developed from Sarai’s actions but I want to stay focused on her desperate behavior due to her lack of faith. Sarai took her natural desire to have a child into her own hands to satisfy, playing God of her own life. Instead of acting as if God had forgotten or didn’t care about her and Abram, she could have accepted God’s plan of being barren and sought Him to help her rejoice in it or she could have kept looking for a miracle and exercising her faith in Him. Instead she responded to the situation in desperation and allowed it to get the best of her by asking her husband to sleep with her maidservant. There is that crazy behavior I was referring to.
According to worldly standards, Sarai was too old to have children but God didn’t see her the same way and still had a plan to use her for His glory. After the brilliant plan that she came up with on her own without taking her desires to the Lord, God still worked in her life and she became pregnant with Isaac at the age of 99.
God has a plan and we can’t see the details!
If we react desperately, to our deep yearning to marry on our own as Sarai reacted to her yearning to give her husband a child and we get busy searching without God, what kind of marriage are we going to end up with?
Sarai’s behavior appears to say that she wasn’t willing to accept the possibility that God may not have had a child planned for Abram to have. Can you accept the possibility that God may have a plan for you to live for Him as a single?
In 1 Samuel we read about another barren woman named Hannah. The fact that Hannah was barren caused great emotional grief and she spent much time weeping over the disappointment. In her bitterness, she prayed to the Lord in tears, pouring out her soul. In order to pray this way, we have to be totally honest with ourselves and have faith in our God, acknowledging that we need Him. In 1 Sam 1: 11 Hannah took her heart to God in great detail. She was specific that she not only wanted a child but she wanted a male child and she wanted God glorified through this child. She not only prayed to Him but she included Him in her request. This is a beautiful picture of unselfishness?
In verse 18, after Hannah prayed with all her heart and put her concerns and request on the Lord, her grief was relieved and she did not appear sad any longer. This exhibits how Hannah was willing to take whatever answer God had for her.
Hannah later gave birth to Samuel and acknowledging he was a gift from God she gave him back to God. He also blessed her with more children.
If we go to the Lord the way Hannah did, being totally transparent with our hearts desires and putting our request at the altar, we will be freeing ourselves from the responsibility and allowing God to work in our lives the way He chooses.
Are you willing to free yourself from the responsibility to find your future spouse and allow God’s will to be your future?
Are you willing to accept the answer, if He doesn’t have marriage in your future?
Are you willing to give the gift of singleness or marriage back to Him for His glory?