Quiet Anthem

Honest Faith :: Bold Vulnerability

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Good Christian Girls

I got married relatively late in life—if we’re looking at statistics from the 1950s. But in the subculture to which I belong—albeit only on its fringes—at 29, I was an old maid compared to most contemporary Christian women.

This may be why Christian women who are over thirty but who are still not married like to talk to me about my journey. I sense they are actually willing to listen to me since the idea of marrying a high school, or even grad school, sweetheart seems beyond them. To this, I remind them that love can come from any place, in any form, but getting married should not be their goal.

But it is the goal—or at least a substantial aspect of their big picture. My former pastor said that a woman’s deepest need is to be loved, to feel wanted, to know she is cherished. This love, I believe, can only in part be filled by God. The Lord created most women with an inherent desire for marriage (those who don’t have this desire are excluded from this essay), and this specific need can only be fulfilled by the right mate—not just anyone.

The problem is, for too many women, it seems that the pursuit of a husband comes at the forefront of the pursuit of a fulfilled life. This blog entry is dedicated to the good Christian girls out there who are over 29 and still single. Many of you have asked me what you should do now; where are the good Christian single men?

In celebration of these women—many of them have graduate degrees, tours of/inhabitations in exotic countries, impressive careers, solid friendships, maturity in the Lord—I should say that being single is their gift; if they find the person with whom they’d like to live their lives, they can move forward in whatever direction a shared life leads without regret. For this, I am finding considerable peace in my much quieter life now as a wife and mother. Having earned my degrees, practiced a rewarding career, and traveled the world gives me freedom now to not have to look over my shoulder and wonder why I gave up my life for my husband or my children. I have a tranquility that I haven’t seen in some women who get married really young. Although they love their families, some of them express jealously of my experiences. I remind them that through these experiences, I sacrificed love—and experienced the hollow ache of a solitary life—to achieve something I found to be greater: the Lord’s will for my life.  I will add that, for many women who marry young, because they're with the right person, their lives with their spouses has resulted in an adventurous life without any regrets. 

When the Lord showed me His will for me to marry Greg, the man I know is the best person for me, it felt like an easy decision. I had gotten to know who I was, and I had observed admirable qualities in Greg that I could not have discerned had I been younger (I was a late bloomer, mind you). When three years into our marriage we were struck by a usurping demonic attack that nearly destroyed us individually and as a family, we rested in the knowledge—albeit many times with great discomfort—that God had brought us together, and that neither of us could be the person we were created to be without the other’s sharpening in our lives.

It is with this knowledge, this assurance, that I come to my thesis: good Christian girls can wait to have their list of desirable qualities met by a specific man, but if the man she has chosen does not have the fear of the Lord, the future of the relationship could be as good as dead.

Some may argue that anyone—male or female—who claims to be Christian should fear the Lord. I know. This should be true, but it isn’t. How do I know this? I’ve spent the last ten years crying and praying with girlfriends whose Christian husbands left them when it was revealed that these Christian men were porking other women—in some cases, a lot of other women. None of these men has returned to the Lord or to his wife. All of these men, however, were virgins when they got married, most had been and even graduated from Bible school, and some even spent time as ministers. They genuinely showed affection for their wives during courtship and early married lives, but then life grew murky; the men brooded, acted out by excessively drinking or getting random tattoos that represented aspects of what seemed to be a secret character. What it whittled down to in the end was that these men had never really committed to follow or serve Jesus; they didn’t fear Him, and I still don’t know what made them masquerade as Christians to begin with. In any case, by rejecting the Lord, they rejected their wives.

On the flip side, there are men who have been tempted—and maybe they actually partook in the temptation—to have an affair. Some of them stayed stuck in their delusion for a while. But when their sin was called out—when they had their secret character revealed—they repented and turned back to the Lord first, and then to their families.

This is the fear of the Lord, not that a man—or a woman—would be perfect, but that in his imperfections, he would be willing to 1. Be called out in his rebellion, and 2. Be humble enough to turn away from the sin and return to what he knows to be truly his: the life God provided, ordained, and blessed.

Good Christian Girls, the way to discern this characteristic in a man is to become a complete and spirit-filled and mature Christian woman. You need to fear the Lord. You need to understand that a man will not be your source of spiritual fulfillment. You need to learn how to seek the Lord, how to hear His voice, and how to follow Him through every triumph and trial.

When you have done this, you may not be ready to get married (this is not a color-by-number essay), but you will feel confident in these two facts: 1. By walking authentically with the Lord, you’ll be in His will and therefore have the assurance that, so long as you’re walking in His will, He will orchestrate your life so, when the time is right, you’ll meet your mate; 2. When you meet your mate, after having gotten to know him (please take time to get to know him and his family—and vice versa), you’ll have the spiritual wisdom to be able to tell if you’d be compatible, and if he’s got the spiritual wherewithal to lead you—you strong, sexy, smart woman of God. If he doesn’t, say good-bye. And don’t look back—no matter how old you’re getting. 


What's your heart on the matter of singleness over 30 and finding God's will? 

10 comments:

taoissilent said...

The worming snake in my belly confirms the thesis of this piece: 'The happiest and most settled people I know found love young, and married such.'

On a cold mountain, I would ask the folllowing: 'What if I met the love my live-- my preordained soulmate-- and she was already taken, having married young?' Where does the sin lie, there?

Is sin, in terms of the greek meaning 'inaccuracy' relevant?

Can we be considered to be accurate with our desires in our early adulthood?

Great piece.

B

Anonymous said...

"Porking..."

Well said.

ALrog

Renee Ronika Klug said...

B,

Thank you for your feedback on FB; I appreciate your Greek definition of "sin" and find the idea of inaccuracy intriguing. But doesn't the nature of something having been preordained preclude the idea of "sin" getting in the way of said thing happening? I think if she was supposed to be your girl, then she would be with you now. And if she's not, and she is yours, wait for her. But let her go and live your life--live your life!--now.

Renee Ronika Klug said...

ALrog,

I worried over that wording, so thanks for affirming its power.

Renee Ronika Klug said...

ALrog,

I worried over that wording, so thanks for affirming its power.

Anonymous said...

"Porking..."

Well said.

ALrog

reneeronika said...

B, Thank you for your feedback on FB; I appreciate your Greek definition of "sin" and find the idea of inaccuracy intriguing. But doesn't the nature of something having been preordained preclude the idea of "sin" getting in the way of said thing happening? I think if she was supposed to be your girl, then she would be with you now. And if she's not, and she is yours, wait for her. But let her go and live your life--live your life!--now.

reneeronika said...

ALrog, I worried over that wording, so thanks for affirming its power.

Michelle said...

I love this.  Every single, Christian gal should read this.  I got married two weeks before my 31st birthday and can attest to every word!  Amen, sister!  Preach it! :)

reneeronika said...

Michelle! Remember reading KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR in London? We had such high hopes back when we were girls, but I suppose the reality we experienced as women was so much better. 

Thank you for your encouragement on this one. It's a subject I feel particularly strongly about.

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