On Mondays we fast and pray for 1) women to see where they need to change and to change, 2) men to be Spirit-led leaders, and 3) marriages for those who desire to be married.
If there were an Amy-version of the 7 deadly sins, I’m pretty sure procrastination would be on the list. Example: I have a midterm this week. Things I have done this weekend? Hosted an impromptu movie night, made chicken pot pie from scratch, did multiple loads of laundry, got my car inspected and had a 3-hour conversation with a friend. Oh, and sort of studied. Basically, I would much rather do things that make me feel like I got something done…which usually does not mean studying.
And I’ve been doing something similar about being single. Instead of doing the hard work of living right now in grateful obedience…I just want to fast forward to the part where I feel successful. And for me, that part is called being married. I tell myself that I would be so good at being married and taking care of a house and cooking food and building a relationship with my husband. And of course, when I imagine myself married, I wouldn’t still have a sense of failure or a sense of having hard work to do. (Rachel put a dent in that silly notion!)
But the lies run deeper than that: I had to admit to myself that one of the reasons I wanted to get married was that I thought I wouldn’t need God so much if there were a ring on my finger. That if I were married, I would be good at it and I wouldn’t have to be so dependent on God for every thing that came my way. I would finally just do life with my obviously flawless spouse. (Crazy, I know.)
And then it got worse…what if the reason that I wanted marriage so badly was because it was, perhaps, the pathway to something I idolized even more? Something named me. My success. My identity. My purpose. My pleasure. My evidence of being loved.
So essentially, I wanted to be married because I thought I would be good at it and because I thought it was about me and because I thought I wouldn’t need God so much that way? Well now, that ain’t pretty. I’m going to have to agree with Paul: “Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”
(Side note: can we take a moment to celebrate the fact that Jesus already died for this ugly prideful mess and that His love isn’t dependent on me (I John 4:10)?!)
The truth is that I will always need God because of who I am and who He is. Sheep always need a shepherd. Sinners always need a Savior. I need Him because my heart is hard and proud and looks for ways to run from Him (Isaiah 53:6). I need Him because my salvation depends on His character, His finished work, His plan (Hebrews 11:23). I need Him because He loves me.
So, paradoxically, I want to thank God for this season of singleness, however long it lasts. (Talk about words I never thought would come out of my mouth.) Somehow He is using my singleness to show me my heart and then show me His grace. He is teaching me dependence, even against my will. Protracted, unexpected singleness is not an easy road, but He is good. And that is more important. Now I’m going to go study for that exam.
In His Grace,