Here’s a fun fact about little Miss Angel; I have very opposing personality traits all in one person which makes life kind of interesting. I don’t mean this is in a crazy bipolar type tendencies way, but more so for instance I’m a very structured organized person that wants things to go exactly as to plan but I’m also a huge procrastinator, pretty messy, and I like things pretty informal and not structured. Like I said, it makes for an interesting life. I say all that to say that one of my “fun” opposing personality traits that I have is that I’m really open because I think it’s important to be transparent…yet I’m also very guarded and it’s a lot that I don’t share for various reasons. With that being said, if you watched the video on The Self Sufficient Christian towards the end you noticed I was talking about an issue but not really talking about it and that was because I wasn’t really ready to share it because I didn’t want it to be taken out of context. In case it’s not painfully obvious, I always feel like I have to overly explain myself so that the things I say are not taken out of context which is why my videos/blogs are always so long. However, I talked to my pastor and his wife about this topic yesterday and it made me realize that it’s not abnormal for me to feel this way and that maybe other people have these thoughts/concerns as well so I decided to share and here it goes…
Believe it or not, I have a huge complex with the thought of marriage. On one hand I have a strong desire to be married but on the other hand I have quite a few reservations regarding it. Just hear me out; will I get married? Yes I will, but I have some fears associated with it that has definitely pumped the brakes on me wanting to pursue marriage. One of those fears is that I don’t want to end up divorced. You hear Christians say that divorce is not an option but the reality is that is not true. Divorce is very much so an option but it’s up to the two people involved to choose otherwise. There are Christians who get divorced all the time and it’s not because they’re not really saved or that they didn’t really have a relationship with God but simply put marriage is hard work and a daily choice to choose your spouse over divorce. I want to make sure that what I am saying isn’t taken out of context at all; I am not condoning divorce none whatsoever! The bible does not condone divorce and I’m not telling people that it’s okay for them to take the option to divorce at all. The reality however, is that there are saved people who get divorced even in spite of the bible telling husband and wife to stay together. Marriage is so much more than a wedding or a ring. It is work, like a lot of work, and it requires you to selflessly love another person. It’s supposed to be a lifetime commitment not just an update to your facebook relationship status. The other side to it is the idea of FOREVER. That’s a long time….like a REALLY LONG time. In contrast to my thoughts on divorce, I have a fear of feeling like I have to stay in a marriage where in the best way to put it we just end up not liking each other anymore so instead of being husband and wife it’s like we’re just roommates.
The way I view marriage is that it’s the closest thing to really having to understand Jesus’ love for us; well that and having a child. (I’m definitely not saying that you cannot experience or understand this love if you never get married or never have a child). It’s the unconditional love of loving a person in spite of any and everything; having to forgive the unforgivable, having to look beyond all their flaws, having to love the unlovable in them, sticking it out when you don’t feel like it. That’s kind of a scary thought…the thought of having to make the choice to continue to love that person and stay when situations arise that if it was a boyfriend or girlfriend you would end it. I wonder would I have the strength to stay through adultery, addictions, and other things that could happen after we say I do. I’m definitely not trying to act as though there are no deal breakers in marriage so don’t think that I’m saying to stick it out when someone is beating you or something drastic. The reality is however, in your marriage you and your spouse will face some difficult times no matter how saved you both are and you will have a choice to make to forgive them which may not always be an easy decision.
Now to the other side which is just dealing with my mess…I don’t want to get married to this amazing man of God and end up making him an idol because I discover while married that I never allowed myself to completely fall in love with Jesus as a single and allow Him to be completely everything to me as an individual first. I’m just going to go ahead and throw this out there; I am very protective of my purpose (some like to call it guarded with an electric fence and rabid Rottweiler’s) so whoever I choose to yoke myself up with it has to be right no if, ands, or buts about it. Whoever I marry affects me spiritually and that in return will have an influence on God’s ministry that He has given me. I also struggle with the realization that I won’t be perfect going into my marriage and that there will be things that God will have to develop in me as a wife versus a single but also wanting to “get myself together” before becoming a wife. My pastor nicely checked me on that yesterday by saying I can spend so much time trying to get myself together for marriage that I miss the man that God has for me. Insert big eyed emoji! Something that God has had to show me is to not focus on being a better woman to be a wife but to desire to be a better woman to be a better person and that will encompass all aspects of being a woman.
I shared a ton of negative but now I want to share what I was encouraged with in talks that I’ve had with great men and women of God. First John 4:18 tells us that “there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (KJV). This is the verse that popped up in my phone just after I had this conversation with my best friend a few weeks back. She reminded me that God has not given us a spirit of fear so anytime we have fear or anxiety over a situation it’s pretty safe to say that it is not of God. God created marriage to be a great thing; there is no reason to fear it when you allow God to be the center and foundation of your marriage. Will it be easy? No, but God will help you through it and give you both the strength to keep pressing through those hard times and to fight for your marriage. The biggest reality was that I had to trust that God is not going to present me to a jacked up wimpy man with no vision, no leadership skills, or who doesn’t have a heart for Him. He’s protective of my purpose even more than I am so I don’t have to worry about that if I allow Him to do the choosing. Lastly, it’s normal to have the concerns and reservations BUT don’t over think it! Stop worrying! (Matthew 6:25-34). It’s good to take these things into consideration as a single but you don’t have to worry about every single detail of how it all is going to come together. Trust God with it.
So they’re a Christian, a really nice person, they dress nice, smell good, they show interest in you but one problem…you’re just not interested. So what do you do? Let me tell you what you don’t do and that is settle! We have a tendency as Christians to believe that there is a shortage of good Christian men/women and if we find just one that shows us interest then we should probably go with it because it’s “hard” to find people really on fire for God like you, right? WRONG! God knows exactly who He has pre-ordained you to be with and you don’t have to go finding them okay. Psalm 37:4 tells us to delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our heart, therefore our focus should be on God and not our desires. But furthermore, we must trust God to get it right! He knows what’s best and He definitely does not need our help in picking the one that we want. We’ll mess around and try and “help” God to find our future boo and end up with booboo the fool. I digress, back to the topic at hand.
God ordained relationships/friendships they just work if that makes sense. You don’t have to make yourself like the person simply because they are a Christian and you will have peace about it. There was a point where any man that was a Christian I wondered hmh could that be my husband? I really wasn’t interested in any of them but I figured they’re a Christian so if he pursues me that must make him “the one” right? Feel free to high five me…in my face…with a chair. I believe the reason people settle for the they’re a “good Christian,” comes from the fear of possibly not finding “the one” so now when any “one” gives you play, you think hey might as well go for it. I know this may sound crazy, but stop settling for what appears to be a “good man or woman” when you know they are not who God called you to be with. Just because they are a great person that does not mean they are God’s best for YOU. So yes, it is settling when you choose that "good Christian" when God gave you the no go on that person. No matter how good they are, simply put they still are not the one for you and guess what? That's okay.
So now you've decided you're not going to settle but how do you decline a good Christian man/woman that you are not interested in? Be respectful. It takes a lot of courage to tell someone that you’re interested in them and it can also be really embarrassing when declined. You can say you know I appreciate the interest or the compliment but I’m really focused on my relationship with God right now and I don’t want anything to distract me from that. I have told people that I am on a self love journey and nothing personal, but I’m taking the time to learn who I am in Christ and as an individual before adding anyone else into the mix. Be honest and up front with people and make it clear from the get go that you are not interested in pursuing anything beyond a brother/sister in Christ type of relationship. You can say this without saying “uhm God did not tell me that you are my husband or my wife so deuces be easy!” Don’t be rude; it doesn’t reflect Christ likeness and it's unattractive…just saying.
Now some people are quite persistent and can’t take a hint or you being up front…Before I go into this I want to be clear; you have to make sure that you are not leading people on that you are not interested in! So many of us avoid conflict and uncomfortable conversations so instead of saying thanks but no thanks we say let me pray about it or let me think about it. No! Shut it down from the beginning and don’t dangle people along simply because you like the attention. We are not thirsty for the attention of people but we’re thirsty for God. Now on to the persistent man or woman that thinks you’re playing hard to get for some reason, you have to lay it on the table and make it plain. Still, you DO NOT have to be rude or disrespectful in doing this.
I’ll be honest, there have been people that I have wanted to tell to go back into their prayer closet because God has made it very clear to me that they are not my Adam and I know He did not tell them that I was their Eve but they don’t quite seem to get that memo. Sometimes you have to plainly put it, I’m not sure what impression you’re getting but I’m not interested and I want to make that clear so that you’re not led on to believe that I am. I don't play games, it's real...just as real as a restraining order...okay maybe you can leave that part out. Also be mindful of a person’s motives because some people will try to “getcha” when you decline their advances by trying to spend time with you or talk to you more by asking for your phone number to get “spiritual guidance” or advice or inviting you to “church” things to spend time with you and not to grow in God. Pray for them because they are clearly not being led by the Holy Spirit but also shut it down. One of the best ways to shut this down is directing them to a person of the same sex for guidance/advice. Allow the Holy Spirit to show you their motives and whether or not they’re intentions are genuine or not and how to proceed with them.
We have to remember that our spouse is created to be our help meet so not just any person can step into that role. Just because a person is a Christian that does not mean they have to be your Christian! Don’t let people give you the line of “well I’m saved and you’re saved and we both love Jesus.” And? That makes us brother and sister in Christ, the end. Last but not least, don’t allow other people to tell you that the Lord “told” them that you are going to be their son or daughter in law. If the Lord did not tell you that it’s pretty safe to say that’s not confirmed and that's a prophelie and not a prophecy. Sometimes you have to sing a little hymn to yourself entitled “The devil is a lie, all the lies you tell.” Guard your hearts folks and keep your eyes focused on God and He will make it clear to you when you need to look over to acknowledge your spouse.
“Why are you single? When are you going to get married? Everybody else is getting married or got a gut full of human when is that going to be you?” It appears that you hit a certain age where people feel the need to ask you these questions or maybe you even start to ask yourself these questions. I believe that every season that you go through develops you for the next. The single season prepares you for the married season and most importantly it gives you the time to learn yourself as an individual and who God created you to be before adding someone else into the mix. Let’s be clear first and foremost that the single season is not equivalent to being lonely! Embrace singleness; it is one of the few times where you have all the time to focus on you, learn you, and learn God. Develop an intimate and personal relationship with Him during this time so that you don’t have to struggle even more trying to figure out how to balance God with work, a mate, and kids.
I’ll be the first to say I did not wake up one day and decide that I was content in being single and was okay in trusting in God’s timing to send me my spouse. I had made plans for my life that by the age of 25 I was going to already be married and have at least one child. On May 3, 2013 I turned 25, single and childless and completely okay with that! For the longest I was on this kick of I wants (yes wants) me a man! I want a husband. Every relationship I would get into I would start planning my (not our but my) wedding in my head and even going as far to think of what our kids would look like. Yes I was that girl smh. The thing was I was saved, loving God, serving Him and in relationships with men who I knew were not God’s best for my life. I was constantly wondering, God when is it going to be my turn? When am I going to get married??? I want to get married too don’t You know that?? I was reminded one day when God asked me, Angel why do you want a husband? Your spouse is your help meet. What do you need help with you aren’t doing anything girl! I could not help but laugh because it was true! I wanted a husband because everyone else was doing it and that was the only reason. Oh that’s not true…I also wanted to show off having a flashy ring, a wedding dress, and update my facebook status. My priorities were more jacked up than a bad pedicure.
The bottom line is we have to want God more than we want the things He can give us. I had made an idol out of wanting a husband and a family because I wanted it more than I wanted Him. If I would’ve gotten it I still wouldn't have been content because all I would be doing is filling a void that only He could fill. Or once I got what I wanted I would’ve convinced myself that I no longer needed God (lies). This single time is one of the few times that I will be able to just sit at Jesus’ feet for hours if I want to. This is the time to experience life, get up and go when I want to, discover more about me, and just live. I had to learn to not hate the process! I can never say that enough. Don’t fight the process but instead go along with it and allow God to develop you in each season. He wants to have a close and personal relationship with each of us and let’s be real we make that difficult when we are constantly trying to fill His spot with people and things.
So these are just a few reasons why I’ve learned to embrace my singleness:
1. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22, KJV). I want to submit to my one day husband as he submits to Christ. I cannot submit to a man that is not submitted to Christ point, blank, and the period. This man will be responsible for me, my household, and for leading our children to God. I can’t afford to have just any old Joe Schmo to take on that title. I no longer want to settle just to be married but instead I want to do marriage God’s way. Furthermore, how do I expect to submit to my husband if I’m not first submitted to Christ??? My single years are the time to practice submission by submitting to Christ and to learn Him so that He can develop me and guide me in submitting to my one day husband.
2. Courting vs. dating: I don’t need to date a million and one jokers to find “the one.” He’s already been hand picked by God and I don’t have to date around and test drive potential spouses. I know what God’s standard is for my life and I don’t need to go through a bunch of random men to try and find the one when God will identify me to him. The world says you have to date around to determine what type of person you like. Not so; the more you seek God the more your desires will be for the things that please Him. For the longest time I was attracted to men who were the complete opposite of me, had no vision, and no relationship with God. Even when I first became saved I remember thinking I want a man who goes to church (not knows God but simply goes to church) but one who isn’t too “churchy.” Needless to say the Lord has really changed my heart to desire character traits of a man that honors Him and not my flesh.
3. I have a purpose: Just because a person is a Christian that does not automatically mean it is a match made in heaven. Being unequally yoked does not simply just apply to a non-believer and a believer being together. Both people can be Christians and not be equally yoked. Well how is that possible? So God’s called you to be a pastor and establish a church and He’s called the good looking Christian brother to evangelize and travel the world. The purposes don’t match. Yes they’re both good Christian people and doing God’s work but their purposes conflict. God is revealing to me what He created me for and I need to be able to know that my purpose and my spouse’s purpose line up with one another. Does this mean that we should have the exact same purpose? Absolutely not, but they should be compatible to the extent that we can help one another to grow and develop the vision that God has given to the both of us.
4. I trust God’s timing: As I was questioning God about my purpose not too long ago I got this overwhelming peace. This peace came from the simple reminder of Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (NIV). I was reminded that I don’t have to know every detail of my life, what’s going to happen next, or when it’s going to happen. I remember telling God, " I trust the plan You have for my life because I know that it is great and I know that Your plan is only what is good for me and not to hurt me. It doesn’t matter when You reveal it to me because I know that You have a plan and a purpose for my life and that it is great." It goes the same for being single. I trust that God will bring me my spouse in His timing, not in my deadline. I’m okay in trusting in that timing because I know that what God brings me will be good for me. I want to have only one marriage and I’d rather wait for God to send me His best for my life instead of settling for the worst just so I can show off that I got a ring.
This is not everything but just a few reasons of what led me to this point. God has not forgotten about you. He knows what your desires are and He desires to fulfill them. Instead of seeking after a mate, seek after Him and allow Him to present you with His best. When I was struggling with wanting to be married, everywhere I looked somebody was changing their status to engaged or posting wedding pictures and I felt like God didn’t realize or didn’t care that I wanted that too. I still see it all the time but I know that I can’t compare what God is doing in me with other people’s lives. Guard your heart. Don’t allow your emotions to convince you that God has forgotten about you. Be content with your portion and where God has you in this moment. Embrace your single season! Hope this encourages someone.