I’ve been told I would make a good wife; usually by other women. I take this as a compliment because I view them as what I would consider to be good wives so I feel that they have the authority to know what they are talking about.
I was recently told this as I began to excitedly talk about the ministry opportunities I get to be involved with this fall. My first reaction was naturally flattery followed by a quick check of sadness that I am not married. Then, immediately following this split second processing came the thought: but I love where I am and what I get to do because I’m not married.
What if my life can be bigger without the commitment to one person? What if my commitment to the church leads to a filling – and pouring out – in such a way that a marriage could not meet and would not inspire?
I struggle with these questions because it is the expectation of society and culture, and especially the church, to be married. The messages about singleness seem to fall on such a wide spectrum from the justification of being single that lends itself to selfishness and self-centeredness (i.e. “I don’t want to be married because I’m too busy having fun.”) to defensiveness of being single that comes across as self-sufficiency (i.e. “I don’t need a man to be happy”, etc).
And let’s not forget that we are also not “meant” to be “comfortable.”
But I don’t know if this is comfort or just a sweet spot I can rest in; because that’s what I find in this kind of life – rest and recharge and challenge in the ministry to others and to the church.
And, even though I feel older than I am and more seasoned than expected, I do not see this as a resolve.
Is it possible to be genuinely happy and be single?
What I hear from others and their wish for me to be married is a statement of character that I would make a good wife that comes from a place of hope that I will have the goodness of marriage; but I instinctively calculate how much less I would get to be a part of because of that singular relationship.
I am a funny creature. I am quirky in some really great ways and not so great ways. I am passionate – to a fault at times – and it can be a lot to take in. I internalize most every reaction and hypothesize and hypocritize as I make my way through this life trying to learn what pleases the Lord and then participating in that as if it were a dance; one step towards him, one step to the side, one step back but always with him and always trying to let the Lord lead because that is what makes the movements beautiful.
I’m typically pretty good about dissecting topics into men-and-women and married-and-single. I think there’s a lot to say about each part.
But at the end of it all, or at least to the end of this point, I have no plans to get married.
And I have no plans to stay single.
I am learning and relearning how to let the Lord lead whatever the next step is hoping to follow as gracefully as possible.