Saturday, December 30, 2006

Satisfaction even in Singleness (and beyond!)

I recently stumbled across the book, Getting Serious About Getting Married. I was able to read the first few pages of it on Amazon, as well as a review of it on Boundless. But I have mixed thoughts concerning the author's points. Granted, I have not actually read the book, only the snippets I could find on Amazon, and the review, but while I was agreeing with the points I found that she made in the Table of Contents and throughout what I was able to read online, part of me also was rejecting them...

One argument she makes is against the oft-repeated phrase about "Jesus is enough for you, single friend"... but should it be challenged? Isn't it in Christ alone that we can ever find true satisfaction and contentment? Isn't it Christ who will not only give us the desire for marriage, but also cause us to be content when we need to be (since He commands us to be content in all places, times, and situations); and in His perfect time and way, according to His perfect will, provide just the perfect, sin-stained spouse we need? And isn't in Him that we will also always need to find our satisfaction after He grants us our desire for marriage?

We too easily set ourselves up for failure when we start thinking that if I only was married, then I'd be content. Then I'd never worry about anything. Then it would be easy to trust the Lord!But when we do so, we have wrongly shifted our view of the source of satisfaction from our Perfect, Eternal, Heavenly Bridegroom, to a fallen, temporary, earthly one.

I agree that God loves marriage, that God intends it for most of His people, that it is a good thing; but I also know (whether I remember to practice it is another story!) that I am to be content where God has me now, that He knows every dream of mine, and that He has all goodness and power to give me exactly what is good for me. I don't always, no, I never! know what is good for me. But He does. And He is controlling everything in my life. I can trust Him with every single one of my hopes and dreams, and know assuredly that He will fulfill every one that is good and pleasing to Him, and will even bless me more abundantly than what I know to ask for.

So I recognize that I have a longing for something that is good and godly; it is something that God is in the habit of giving to His people; and I even believe it to be His will for me at some point in my life. I have my hopes and plans and dreams- and timetable!- but God has His, and it's infinitely better than mine! He is the One "calling the shots" and I know He hears my prayers and will answer them in THE VERY BEST way.

Jesus really is enough. He will provide everything I need. Whether what I really need is what I think I need is up for debate-- but I know for certain that He will never fail me. Jesus is enough for me to find satisfaction in as a single lady, a married woman, and even a widow, as He wills. My contentment can't be in anyone else, not even the best man God has picked out for me.
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This post is inspired by a lengthy comment I left on Keziah's blog regarding a post on the book I referenced.

These hymns are coming to mind:
Satisfied
None But Christ Can Satisfy

satis= "enough," "sufficient"
My grace will satisfy thee.

4 Comments:

Blogger Lydia said...

This was a very edifying post for me. I agree with you that ultimately Christ must be our source of satisfaction and contentment. We cannot for a second think that once we are married then we will be perfectly happy, content, blessed, loved, all our needs met, etc. Our rest can only be in the Lord. God tells us that His grace is sufficient for us even in times of difficulty and sorrow. He wants us to trust him in all things just as a little child looks to parents for provision and comfort. Praise Him that He is our source of strength and contentment all the days long of our lives!

The question I often find myself asking at times of longing, disappointment, uncertainty, and fear is: "Will you trust Him?" That is what each of us must ask ourselves at all times.

12/30/2006 7:07 AM  
Blogger Maria Pauline said...

Thank you Jessica! You make sense and I agree with you. You have made some good points and shown me some more errors in my thinking.

I will come back for more of your writing. :D

12/30/2006 6:59 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Ooh, ooh! Very good, m'dear! I had seen a summary of that book some months back, and it just didn't "ring true" for me. Yes, it is not wrong to desire marriage, but we are called to be content now, and fulfilled in Christ. Excellent, excellent, excellent post :).

12/31/2006 3:09 PM  
Blogger Sherrin said...

I have read the book, and I find myself agreeing with both the book and with you :). I do think that she over exaggerates some points. However, I also think that she makes a very good point that God will not take away a desire for something that he has created us with a desire for! I also agree with many of her points about the way our social structures in the church justify prolonged singleness rather than facilitate and encourage marriage. The book could be used as an excuse for discontentment, but on the other hand it is very worthwhile because it presents the problems/issues in a very real way. When I read it, I found myself agreeing much more than disagreeing. I felt like someone was finally stating things as they were.

2/12/2007 9:30 PM  

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