What advice would you give me in terms of reconnecting to the Father, redeveloping that intimate relationship with Him, and remaining in faith and love as I wait for the promises of God to become real for me?
Many single women are deciding not to wait. When we are speaking to teenagers, we can passionately advocate abstinence. Young people need to focus their energy and efforts discovering who they are. They need to secure an education and establish themselves in careers. For young people, the decision to become sexually involved is fraught with all sorts of risks. Sexual involvement can derail their lives with unplanned pregnancies, result in STDs, and exact an emotional toll for which they are unprepared. But what do we say to mature adult women who say that they understand the risks of entering into a sexual relationship and are fully prepared to handle the consequences physically and emotionally? Some have told me that they would welcome a pregnancy and have ample financial resources to care for a child should a pregnancy occur.
There no longer seems to be any social stigma associated with a mature single woman who chooses to be sexually active. In fact, it is probably safe to say that most of the eligible men in the dating pool expect that, sometime before the first date and marriage, the relationship will evolve into a sexual one. And it’s not just the men. Can we please admit that women have emotional and physical needs as well? Why can’t two consenting adults decide if they want to engage in safe, responsible sex with one another? What business is it of mine or anyone else? Truthfully, I tend to be a live-and-let-live type of person. I have no personal interest in giving unsolicited advice or minding other people’s business, especially as it relates to such a private and sensitive matter.
This issue, however, goes beyond my personal preferences. God set the rules for how human beings should interact sexually. In His infinite wisdom, He chose marriage to mirror the intimate relationship between Himself and His church. Human sexuality is the means by which heaven itself will be populated. Marriage is two people becoming one. “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” Ephesians 5:31. There is no other way to honestly look at scripture but to conclude that God’s highest and best is for sex to take place within the context of marriage. So where does that leave my single friends?
Let’s not pretend that living this out in today’s culture is easy. If my friend and I could sit together in her living room, we would share tears of anger and frustration at the vicissitudes of life. I would acknowledge the dull ache in the soul caused by “dreams deferred.” I was married late enough to watch others walk down the aisle and wonder if it would ever be me. I know what it’s like to watch others start families and wonder if I would ever have children of my own. I know what it’s like to meet a man who I was sure was “The One,” but he wasn’t. I know exactly what happens to a dream deferred.
“What advice would you give me in terms of reconnecting to the Father?” I think this question gets to the heart of the matter no matter the source of the suffering, whether it is the painful loss of a loved one, a terminal illness, the loss of a marriage or an earthquake in Haiti. The questions that we have all asked are, “Why God? How could you let this happen to me? Why do I have to experience this pain, disappointment, unfulfillment?”
My answer is: Can you trust God when He doesn’t give the answer you desperately want, or when He gives no answer? When life is confusing? When it seems that God is requiring too much? When hope disintegrates into despair? I know that we have been taught that our next blessing is just one praise, offering, or prayer away, but that is not my experience, nor do I believe it is scriptural. My Bible tells me “that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22. The scripture states, “Take up your cross and follow Me” (Mark 8:34), and the truth is that sometimes the cross is heavy and the road is lonely and difficult. I know that we don’t always hear these in our feel-good services, but it is true nonetheless. Serving Christ means dying to ourselves, and, if you have ever witnessed someone die, death can be agony. The question is: Can you – will you – believe that God is working out the events in your life for good?
How do you reconnect to God? Hebrews 11:6 states, “He that cometh to God must believe that He is.” Do you believe that God is who He says He is? Is He good? Is He faithful? Is He loving? Can you stare the realities of your life in the face and whisper to God, “I don’t understand this, I don’t like this, this is really hard, this seems very unfair, but I believe, God, that you are God.” The next part of the verse says, “And that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Do you believe that God is a rewarder? Do you believe that on the other side of this pain is a reward for you? I can’t tell you how God will reward you, but I do know when God rewards you, you are rewarded.
Did I mention that this is a process? I assure you that this process is not easy, but it is 100% guaranteed. God is faithful. I know because I’ve wrestled enough nights with my own angels and demons and lived to see morning. I can assure you that God is longing to walk through every issue, doubt, longing, and question with you. The fact that you want to reconnect with Him is only because He wants to reconnect with you. Next week we’ll get down to the practicalities of making single life work for you.