We hear about the saying ‘age ain’t nothing but a number’, but that only seems to apply to some situations. When you’re a single woman past the age of twenty-five, your age becomes a topic of discussion, especially if you do not have wedding bells on the horizon or even the perfect job. Before you know it, ‘age ain’t nothing but a number’ transitions to ‘you’re getting on in years’ in a blink of an eye.
I’ll be attending the wedding of a relative in just under two weeks. As many women would agree, finding the right outfit to suit the colour scheme of the wedding, settling on the perfect hairstyle to compliment your outfit, and whether or not it is wise to wear heels are the topics of discussion right up until the day of the wedding. The day after and the following few weeks are usually reserved for those who believe themselves to be the fashion police, commenting on the myriad of outfits worn at the wedding. Of course, the anticipation of what the bride will wear and look like is the main reason for our attendance (well, it is for my large family), followed by other reasons such as showing support, joining in the couple’s happiness, and hopefully catching the bouquet to stand a chance of being the next bride. Now, you will likely not find me anywhere near the bride when it is time to catch the bouquet. I will either excuse myself and rush to the restroom until the commotion is over or busy myself with a task that requires me to stay put, such as quickly picking up a relative’s fussing baby to calm them down. You see, when you’re single and nearing thirty, people cannot help but turn to look at you when all the single ladies are called up for the bouquet-tossing, because when you get to my age, it appears to be a downright shame to not even have the sound of wedding bells in your near future.
The thing is, I don’t live my life according to the rules or recommendations of the world. In fact, I’m considered to be a strange woman by many for the beliefs I have concerning dating and marriage. As a Christian woman, whether single or married, you are always aware of Who you serve and your commitment to Him. His ways are not the worlds’ ways, so must be our ways as well. However, seeing as I know nothing about being married and everything about being single, I’m sticking to what I know!
Whenever I meet an old friend or family member (usually in passing), the topic of marriage and children will be brought up 90% of the time. I try my best to steer clear of the topic, but when you’re a certain age, it becomes near impossible to avoid the discussion. Whenever I reveal my single status, they usually look at me with sympathetic eyes and tell me ‘don’t worry, you’ll meet someone soon’. It then becomes challenging for me to either not laugh or become annoyed by the insinuation that I need a husband to complete my life. If I tell them that I’m not concerned about marriage or having children, they look at me as though I have taken leave of my senses!
Marriage is a beautiful covenant between a man and a woman, and having children is a blessing- there is no doubt about that. However, to imply that the primary existence for all women is to get married and have children by the age of thirty at best, or pushing it at thirty-five is ridiculous to me. As Christian women, our first reason for existence is Jesus Himself. We are to put Him first in all that we do, that includes whether or not we get married. I have met far too many distraught single Christian women because they cannot seem to find the right man to marry. That’s our first mistake- worrying about who we are going to marry.
When I turned twenty-five, I still had no urge to find a man and settle down. Of course, I received a few side looks and whispered words about my single status, but that didn’t affect me. I suppose back then people believed that there was still hope for me yet. Nearly five years later, and those same people think my case to be hopeless. Even some Christian women have something to say, which I find odd considering the fact that we know Who the Author of our lives is. I have no doubt in my mind that if I am meant to get married, then I will, and if I am not, then I won’t- I’m not about to force the situation and end up unhappy. GOD has the perfect plan for our lives, and that includes a life-changing event such as marriage. I believe that many Christian women forget this and try to go at it alone, and when they realise that they have made a mistake, they either try to blame GOD for not improving their situation or take the divorce route.
Getting married is a serious matter, and who you get married to is incredibly important. I believe that GOD has this matter in your life sorted before you’re even born! It is essential to marry the man that GOD has set aside for you, whether that man comes into your life at the age of twenty or fifty. It’s no use going hunting for a husband at a church or anywhere else that you believe you’ll find him because you’re going about it the wrong way. When the right time comes according to GOD’S plan for your life, your intended will enter your life. We waste a lot of our time worrying about this aspect of our lives when we should be devoting our time to GOD. In 1 Corinthians 7:25-40, the Apostle Paul gives advice to the unmarried as a man whom the LORD in His mercy has made trustworthy (vs 25). The particular verse that struck a chord in me was verse 34: There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the LORD that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world- how she may please her husband. As single Christian women, our attention is on the LORD (or should be), we don’t have to worry about pleasing a spouse, making a home for a family, or doing other wifely duties. While there is no wrong in any of this (a shout out to all the wives and all that they do for their families), we should appreciate our single status more rather than fret about it. You can serve the LORD without distraction, give Him more of your time, and in return experience the sweetest joy of communion with our Heavenly Father. Instead of wasting your single state on worrying about getting married, rather use it to further your relationship with the LORD.
Stop looking at your age as an indication for where you believe you should be in life. GOD does not work according to man’s time, but His own. Most importantly, stop comparing yourself to the Christian sister who just got married, or the one who is about to get married or you may fall into the sin of coveting. The devil has the ability to strike you where it hurts the most, and if you’re stressing about your single status, he will most definitely use that to his advantage. Your stress indicates that you do not trust GOD’S plan for your life, that He does not have your best interests at heart when in actual fact He knows you better than you know yourself. Some of us are just not ready to get married yet, and forcing marriage will undoubtedly prove disastrous. Also, marriage is not for everyone. There are people that GOD has set apart, those that will not get married. It is not to say that they never wanted to get married, but they would rather obey the Almighty than their own wants and needs. I would rather remain in GOD’S will for my life than take a route that He never intended for me.
Be happy in your position. It is not people that you should listen to, but GOD. Place your focus on Him, get busy with the work of the LORD. You never know, you might look up one day and see your intended standing before you with no help from you. I would take GOD’S best over my own choice any day, how about you?