“Don’t you want to get married?”
How often has someone asked you that question? It’s been presented to me more times than I can count. At first I found it offensive, but I understand now that it’s (usually) posed by kind, well-meaning people who are truly anxious to see me married.
After all, good Christian girls get married, right?
This question and others like it used to send me into a tailspin of depression. Now, however, my single friends and I laugh it off. The people that ask it always make it sound like I’m fighting men off, pushing them away and happily rejecting them all until I’ve found one that exactly resembles Mr. Darcy.
But that’s never been my experience. I’ve never fought guys off in my pursuit of Mr. Darcy.
The hard truth is- I’ve never even been on a date. I’m thirty-eight years old and I’ve never had a guy ask me out.
I don’t share that with you so you feel sorry for me. I share that to be real. This is me and where I’m at in life.
So when people ask, “Don’t you want to get married?” the answer is yes. If I am 100 percent honest, I do want to get married. I know exactly what kind of guy I would like to marry and I even have the names of my children picked out.
The desire of my heart is to get married.
However, that’s not the path my life has taken. And in order to have a fruitful, fulfilling life I have to deal with the fact that my desires don’t line up with the life I’m actually living.
Does God always give us the desires of our heart?
Last week I posted in a Christian singles Facebook group, stating that we can trust God even when our plans don’t line up with His plans. We trust Him to know best. Someone immediately responded with, “What about ‘He gives us the desires of our heart?’”
Trust in the Lord and do good. Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:3,4)
Verse four is one of the most misquoted verses! Single friends, how often do people quote this verse to you, promising that if you have the desire to get married God will make it happen?
That’s NOT how it works. God isn’t a vending machine, pumping out everything we want. But He does give us the perfect formula for planting His desires into our hearts.
Look at Psalm 37:1-7 as a whole and see what we should do:
Do not fret (v. 1) – Don’t worry or be anxious
Trust in the Lord and do good (v. 3) – Place your confidence in God and find ways to serve
Dwell in the land (v. 3) – live at peace right where you are
Take delight in the Lord (v. 4) – learn to find satisfaction in God first
Commit your way to the Lord (v.5) – give everything you do to God
Trust in Him (v. 6) – again, place your confidence in God
Be still before the Lord (v. 7) – you don’t have to frantically try to change your circumstances
Wait patiently for the Lord (v. 7) – let God work in His time
As we read through this list we see that our man-centered desires need to give way to God-centered ones. If I’m honest, my desires often run along the lines of an attractive husband, a super-fit body, cupcakes (yes, I know those two things don’t go together), and financial success. These are me-centered and revolve around wanting a happy, comfortable life.
If we follow Psalm 37 and start to trust, dwell, delight, commit, and wait patiently for God then our whole mindset is going to change. God is going to gently turn us away from our man-centered lives and toward Him. His desires will slowly start to become ours. They will become the true desires of our heart.
God doesn’t actually promise us happiness or comfort. He does promise us joy, peace, and contentment. He also promises that He’ll never leave. Parts of life are going to be hard. They’re going to look differently than we want them to; they’re going to hurt. God never says that He’ll take the hard parts away, but he does promise to walk through them with us.
Ultimately, I have to come to terms with that reality. My wishes are fleeting. My heart is deceitful. My plans are always going to be flawed. No guy, no matter how wonderful, will ever completely fulfill me or be everything I want him to be.
God is the only true source of our satisfaction, whether we are married or single. The desires for marriage and companionship actually come from Him, in order to draw us closer to Him.
Knowing God is the true desire of each of our hearts, even if we aren’t ready to acknowledge that yet.
Anything else is less than satisfactory.
May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. (Psalm 20:4)
This week I’m thankful for the blessing of a God who knows always knows what we need. Together, let’s celebrate every SINGLE blessing!