December 16, 2015

Why I'm Not Waiting for Mr. Right

If you were raised like me, you were raised to believe that women are created to be helpers... helpers to God, their husband, children, orphans, widows. Helpers. But ultimately helpers to their husbands. Husbands. We learn to cook, clean, raise children, housekeep, shop, do laundry, etc. etc. etc. with the expectation that one day will be able to fulfill these duties for our husbands.

But then I look around and I see a lot of single girls in their early/late twenties who are still waiting for their man to show up. "Houston, we have a problem..." The problem is not the lack of older guys, or the lack of "mature" guys, or the lack of financially stable guys, or the lack of tall guys (*hint hint*), or even just the lack of guys in general. Let me explain.

Many young Christian women are raised from the beginning to belive that their ultimate purpose in life is to serve a husband. While this is a righteous calling, it is not who we are called to be as Christian women. Being a wife is not our end goal. Or, rather, it shouldn't be.
Hold on, don't freak out. Let me explain by asking you a question.

Who are we called to be? As single Christian women, who are we called to be biblically?

We are called to be noble in character, worthy of the confidence others have in us, always doing good, productive with our time, cooks, frugal with money, willing to do (and capable of doing) hard work, generous to the poor, putting thought into and planning for the future. Striving to bring honor to our families, strong and dignified, optimistic, wise and willing to give faithful instruction to others, not remiss or idle, cherished by children, and fearing the LORD not putting stock in external beauty or vanity. (Pr. 31:10-31)

I was raised to believe that it is important for a me to be these things so that I can be a helper to my future husband... noble, so he is not scorned. Productive, so he is not required to do housework. Cook so he has something to eat... etc. However, I contend that while these teachings are not unfounded biblically, women should not strive to be these things solely for the purpose of preparing for marriage. While the Proverbs 31 woman is married, she was these things before she was married. For God is calling men to seek such women for their wives.

Let me say it again. She had these qualities before marriage. Every one of those things listed are characteristics which God outlines for a righteous woman. These things are worthy of recognition. Girls, not so we can catch a husband. So we can further the Kingdom of God.

Let me explain further.

I am currently reading a book that redefines our approach to romantic relationships, and it brought up a very poignant question (which spawned the conception of this paper). If we are seeking a spouse to complete us, to be our "better half," to be the "yin to our yang," aren't we basically telling God that He is not enough for us?  We are still yearning for something more, that thing that is missing... this emptiness we expect to be filled by a flawed and sinful man ("...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God").

Let's think about this for a minute. It's good to have a life dream, a goal, something to set your sights on. I know for me, it's motherhood. Nothing beats the feeling of a baby falling asleep in my arms. Nothing makes me happier than that baby smiling at me, or hearing that girgly little laugh... chasing down the fleet-footed one year old who is headed for the stairs and hearing the first perfectly read sentence ever to pass that child's lips. That is what I want. That is what I believe God is calling me to do. Goals are good, but goals talk about the what, not the who.

Who do I want to be? I want to be a woman who is noble, righteous, strong, frugal, kind, generous, cherished by children... I want to be God's servant, the hand that reaches out to the poor, the orphans, the needy. I want to be WHO I am, and WHO I strive to be every day, whether I am married or not. Getting married will not complete me anymore than buying a 2015 electric blue Corvette Stingray will make me a better driver. I have to work hard to become who I desire to be, who God calls me to be. Then, if at some point, a man enters the picture, I hope to be who God calls him to search for in a wife.

My point in all this? I believe many of us were raised with a flawed mindset. I am hundreds of different things – I am a homeschooler, I am an artist, a singer, dancer, sister, daughter, friend, reader, writer, cook, dishwasher, an archer, movie watcher, and a hopelessly curious soul. I am made up of bad memories, reoccurring nightmares, countless bad decisions, and the source of many peoples' pain. I am all these things and so much more... because WHO we are cannot truly be defined. Who we are can never be wrapped up neatly into a list that can be handed to someone. And who we are definitely does not hinge on future aspirations. Who we are is defined every day by the decisions we make, the words we speak, the things we laugh at, and the way we approach life.

Not being married does not make you any less powerful in the hands of God. Not having children does not make your years of child-rearing training a waste. Because whether you're chasing a one-year-old that you brought into this world, or the one year old of the exhausted mother next door who just needed one hour to take a shower and do her hair before her husband comes home, you are being who you were made to be.

Don't squander this time of singleness. It's precious. Learn to drive your 1990s Toyota pickup, so that when the keys of that electric blue Corvette are handed to you, you're not afraid to drive it because you're confident that you've done everything you can to become the best driver possible.

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