HER ROYAL dopeness
Let me preface this by saying I don't write this to claim I am an expert as to what singleness God's way looks like. While I have technically been single for about seven or eight years, I have only been saved and celibate for about four of those. And I ain't gon' lie, I have found over the years many conversations about singleness as redundant and sprinkled with marriage idolatry, so I have at times steered away from engaging in some of the conversations in this area. So no, this is not my expertise. Therefore, you can trust anything I write in this blog has been given to me by God and it is not my own. I actually would have preferred not to address the topic of singleness at all. But I love God too much to be disobedient. With that, my prayer is that Holy Spirit speaks to every reader of this blog individually. I pray that every woman (or man) that reads these words will receive a personal word and revelation from God. Fresh manna. Fresh rhema.
So here goes.
When talking about singleness and marriage, we often refer to the scripture Genesis 2:18 which says, “The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
I've read the creation story many times as it is one of my favorite Bible stories and I believe houses the essence of God's heart. I remember years ago my pastor saying the first two chapters of the Bible, the time before there was any sin, represent the perfect will of God and the rest of the Bible is to get us back to that place. 1,187 chapters worth of writing to fix the sin introduced to the world in chapter three.
Recently when I reread this story, a question came to mind. If it's not good for man to be alone then why did God create man alone? I think if we seek to know the answer to that question we would see the peace that rested in Eden in not only our singleness but every area of our lives.
God is perfect, and He is flawless (2 Samuel 22:31). He does no wrong (Deuteronomy 32:4). Knowing this, we can conclude that God's decision to make man alone was a flawless decision. Even though, a few verses later, God would say it was not good for that very same man he created alone to be alone. God purposefully decided to create Eve at a different time than He created Adam. It was not that there was not enough dust in the ground and God ran out after Adam and had to wait on Eve. Nor did the thought of creating Eve just happen to slip His mind. The beauty of God's omnipotence is not only does He know all things, but He knows all things all at once. God has never had an epiphany or a lightbulb moment. He has never been looking at the world and thought, "Man, I never thought about that," or "Why didn't I think of that sooner? That's a good idea!" If that were the case, it would mean God would have to learn more to think greater thoughts than the ones He currently thinks. He would have to mature to reach a higher plane of thinking than the pane He presently occupies. He doesn't need to do either of these things.
Thus we can conclude that at the point God made Adam alone He knew it was not good for him to be alone. Or rather at least at some point, it wouldn't be good.
The dependable and unfailing word of God promises us that ALL things work together for the good of those that love HIm and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). I think we can all agree Adam loved God and certainly had a purpose. This means every pre-Eve moment, every second in singleness, was a manufacturer of good.
When Adam was created, it was cool for him to be riding solo, wifey-less, (Genesis 2:15-20) but there would be a time that would change (Genesis 2:21-22). Just an FYI, the Bible doesn’t tell us exactly how long Adam was in his season of singleness. It could’ve been short. It could’ve been long. I mean he did have a lot of animals to name. Nevertheless, short or long, that time was still good. But I digress. God in all is sovereignty did not substitute the good of “one day,” the good of “then,” for the good of “now.” He didn’t allow Eve to come until the time the criteria for good had changed.
Let me make this plan. What is good in one stage of your life is not necessarily considered good in the next. When I was 15, I had an internship with Sinai-Grace Hospital working in their marketing department. This job paid $10/hour. Now for a 15-year-old, I was balling. $10/hour was some GOOD money. But now a little over ten years later, that same $10 ain't good. I got real grown woman bills, debt, travel goals, and savings goals that I didn't have at 15. The good of "then" is not the good of "now." More importantly, the good of now, had I had it then, would be handled irresponsibly. At 15 I would not have had the basic common sense to handle what I have today. I would have taken a good thing and squandered it like the prodigal son did when he received his inheritance too soon.
When God created Adam, it was good for him to be alone until it wasn't, until the season had shifted and thus the criteria for good also shifted. At the same token, if Eve was good for him in Adam’s “then,” she would have been bad for him in Adam’s “now.” Sometimes, especially in dating and marriage, we try to substitute the good of “then” for the good of “now.” We have seen enough movies to know things never work out well when people from the future go to the past or people from the past go to the future. Proper things in the improper place can be destructive instead of constructive. Marriage may be in your future, but that doesn't mean it needs to be in your today.
“There is a right time for everything, and everything on earth will happen at the right time.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Take for example, Abraham and Sarah. God promised them they would have a child. This promise was good. God had a time in which he ordained for Abraham and Sarah to have the promised child in the "then" of their lives. But like us, they wanted the good of "then" to be the good of "now,." Sarah created the plan for Abraham to have sex with Hagar so Hagar could bear a son, Ishmael. Here's the thing, when the time of "then" had arrived and Isaac was born, the things created in the time of "now" still existed. Ishmael began to tease and taunt Isaac, so Sarah sent him and Hagar packing. Now thousands of years later we can trace back the fighting in the Middle East to this one decision to substitute the good of "then" for the good of "now."
I'm not saying if you rush through your season of singleness that a thousand years from now there will be a major war on the west coast and Cali better watch out. But what I am saying is we can’t rush God's promises. Just because our heart desires something it doesn't mean our heart needs it. I am saying we need not create situations that would result in us being Eves, not suitable helpers for our Adams, but bad for him because we were found too soon. We don't want to be Sarah's that cause hostility in our marriages because we went out ahead of God. Not to mention, issues created “now” will follow you “then” if you do not do repent of the wrongs and the work of healing from the mess you did or did not create.
The two is only better than one only when they can help each other succeed. If you rush to your "then" instead of resting in your "now" you will bring an Ishmael into your marriage, and that's not success, it's the antithesis of the promise.
I have made the statement before, "I'm single, not dating, and not pressed." This seems to be contrary to what many would think a 26-year-old woman should be. But I believe it is important that I allow God to do a work in me NOW. “Then” will come when it's time.
In my BC days, before Christ, I lived a life in bondage to sexual sin. I was in fornication and was openly bi-sexual. I started having sex at 16 and would continue to do so until I gave my life to Christ. I am thankful that God saw fit to welcome me back, clean me up, and use me for His glory despite my record of wrong. I am grateful that I have been forgiven and I have been set free.
When I came to the Father, He needed to sanctify my sin areas before I could be equipped to be anyone's wife. Beyond that soul-ties needed to be broken. I needed to be healed from rejection. I still need to work on my selfishness. There was a time I wanted a wedding and didn't really want marriage. Though that sounds crazy I know I'm not the only one. That was a clear sign; I wasn't ready.
For a long time marriage wasn't on my mind because I didn't believe that it was even a possibility. I didn't think anyone would want me. As early as my teen years, I had made it up in my mind that I would be alone forever. Later negative thought patterns would shift to, "Okay, I'll get married one day. But it won't be all this lovey stuff. I'll be old and settle with someone. I'll get married just to get married." I had to get to a place where I dealt with the feelings I had about myself. It was my own insecurities that had me believing no one would want to be with me. I didn't see good in myself, so I couldn't imagine anyone else would.
It wasn't until I saw the Image that I saw me, the image bearer. Here was this perfect, big God, who knew every single one of my flaws, who knew every one of my mistakes and not only did He love me, but He SO loved me. He loved me to the point of death! Me, messed up me, He thought I was to die for. Like WHAT?! How would I think myself not worthy of being loved by a man if GOD loves me?
Whether we marry or live a life of singleness, our objective in life should be to give God as much glory as possible. He deserves that. If God calls me to marriage, it will be because I can bring Him greater glory with this man than I can without. But, if God says He needs me to be like Paul and commit myself to singleness because that is how He will be glorified, then I am 100% joyfully submitted.
It's all about His glory. Marriage is not about your happiness. It's not about you feeling good. It's not about a wedding. It's not about you having sex you don't have to repent of. It's about Him.
“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her so that he shall have no need of spoil" Proverbs 31:11
One day I prayed and honestly asked God the hold my future husband back. I asked God to hide me. I told God I want it to be safe for my husband to trust me with his heart. I am not saying that I feel I need to be perfect going into marriage. That is not possible. In fact, marriage will expose sin in your life you didn't even know existed. But what I am saying, is I want to be the best version of myself I can be for my man of God when God is ready to present me to him. I want to be the best version I can be for the God I serve.
Salvation is not a get married quick scheme. Yes, I came to Christ, my spirit was made new, and I was saved. By my soul still needed some work. There were things in my mind, will, and emotions that were out of whack, and in some cases still are. It doesn’t matter how many revelations I have about marriage. It doesn’t even matter that I have committed to glorifying God with my marriage. I’m not yet ready because there is still some vital work to be done first.
"Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the view of God's mercy to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God- this is your proper worship." Romans 12:1
I want my marriage that looks like an Ephesians 5 marriage. I want my husband to love me as Christ loves the church and in return, I want to submit myself to my husband as unto Christ. Marriage points back to Christ. As I submit to my husband, I will be submitting to God. And God deserves submission that is pure and holy. He died for me. He died for us. Shouldn't we want to be holy and pleasing in our marriage if it is unto God? You can put on a white wedding dress and be messed up on the inside, and when you say I do, you not only commit to the man, but you give yourself to God even deeper. What kind of sacrifice are you giving Him?
I want my marriage to be the apologetic that it is designed to be. Throughout the Bible, not just in Ephesians 5, God speaks about His relationship with the Church using words like Bride and Bridegroom. People that don’t know God should be able to look at a marriage between Believers and say, “I need to know the God they serve. What must I do to be saved.” They should be able to look at that marriage and see a love that compels them to the love of Christ. I want to go into marriage with the holiness and purity, not perfection, that will represent God well and fulfill the Great Commission.
If marriage is a ministry, something that represents who God is, you don't want to take it lightly. You don't want to enter into something like that haphazardly. You don't want to go into it off pure emotion that isn't backed by purpose. Jesus Himself, who is fully God, did not even jump right into ministry. He didn't pop out the womb preaching. He was tested, trained, and built up first. If He didn't even go into ministry quickly why would we think it's ok to rush marriage? I don't know how long it will take for me to reach the point of "then" any more than I know how long it took Adam. But what I do know, is I won't rush it.
“Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up, until the time is ripe- and you are ready.” Song of Solomon 8:4
Another favorite Bible story of mine is that of the woman with the issue of blood. You can find the story in all three of the synoptic Gospels, Matthew 9:20–22, Mark 5:25–34, and Luke 8:43–48. But to summarize, there was a woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years. She had spent all her money one doctors trying to make the bleeding stop, but none was able to cure it. It wasn't until she reached through a crowd to touch the hem of Jesus's garment that she was healed. Not only was she healed physically, but the Bible says she was, "made whole."
By law, this woman was considered unclean because of the bleeding (Leviticus 15:19-33). This law forbid her from having any contact with people. If she did, they would be deemed unclean too. For 12 years she went without a hug. She went without any physical touch from another person. This probably left her with little or no friends and certainly no romantic partners. For 4,380 days of her life, she was essentially in solitary confinement. Research has shown that people who spend time in solitary often experience anxiety, depression, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm. If she didn't experience all of these things, after 4,380 days, she had to have experienced at least one. But God!
For Jesus, it was not enough to take care of her physical healing, the stuff people can see. He did what she probably needed more. He dealt with her brokenness; He made her whole.
It is important not to rush the "then" and neglect the "now" because we risk not being made whole; leaving us making those that are closest to us unclean. We may have a laundry list of natural things to do or take care of before marriage (ex. travel, finish school, etc.) but more importantly we need so go after wholeness and inner healing.
It is crucial that we wait for the bleeding to stop before we get married. The woman with the issue of blood was free to marry without the risk of making her husband unclean only after she had the encounter with Jesus. I don't know how Adam's marriage would have been different if he did not have those uninterrupted encounters with God before Eve. But I imagine it would have been altered. I believe the only reason Adam was able to look at Eve and instantly recognize her as bone of his bone and flesh or his flesh was because he knew God so well he was able to quickly recognize God's handiwork.
If we want our future marriage to be the apologetic they are called to be; we need to allow God to deal with our brokenness. God cannot be fully glorified in brokenness because brokenness is the antithesis of who He is. So much so, that despite all beating Jesus took when He was crucified, not one of His bones were broken. I'll do you one more, in the process of crucifixion the legs of the person were broken so they wouldn't be able to prop themselves up. This causes them to suffocate and die. Well, Jesus committed His spirit before they got a chance to break His legs. He was like, "Nope! Ain't nothing broken about me." Jesus was bruised, but not broken.
We may be a little bruised when we enter into marriage. But broken, we should not be.
If you genuinely want the heart of your husband to safely trust you, if you don't want to be a danger zone, you have to make sure the bleeding stops before you put on that white dress. If you don’t eventually you will bleed through that wedding gown, and it will show up in your marriage.
In my closing (in my best preacher voice #ChurchyForNoReason):
My desire is for God to be glorified in every area of my life. Both in my singleness, and in my marriage. So yes, right now, I am single, not dating, and not pressed. I am resting in the good of “now” and until I reach then. I want God to be pleased with all me. I pray this is your desire as well.
I love you. God loves you. He always will.