Why is it that some women enjoy living single Christian lives, while others battle internally with loneliness and the phantom ticking of the clock that only they can hear? A 1986 Newsweek article predicted that, after age thirty, women only had a 20 percent chance of getting married. As Christians, however, we understand that we are not driven by fear. Instead, we operate in faith.
During our thirties and forties we begin to respond to the increasingly persistent voices – sometimes unspoken, other times quite audible – telling us that we ladies are running out of time. As a result, our faith walk turns into our “Sarah Walk.” Sarah knew that God had promised her a child, yet she took matters in to her own hands and caused God’s promise to be delayed (see Genesis 16).
Thirteen years ago I made the decision to be happy living single until (i.e. if and when) God sends me a mate. The decision to be happy with or without a mate was very liberating. I finally knew what Paul was referring to in Philippians 4:11 (New International Version): “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”When I proclaimed my dependence on God publicly, it was met with mixed responses. “Well you have a child already so it is easier for you to wait on God,” were the words of reasoning offered to me as an explanation for why a single friend approaching forty would not be following my lead.
In the bible, Ruth was content to relinquish an offer to position herself in a place where she would be more likely to find a husband and remained with and cared for her mother-in-law. She was working in the fields when Boaz found her. Proverbs 18:22: “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.”
The fear of not being found provokes some women to ignore the most conspicuous signs and continue down a road marked “Wrong Way.”
“He is a Christian… but he just doesn’t go to church.” “I can not leave him because God might have put him in my path so that I can help him get saved.” “I can not judge him because the bible says do not judge.” I have heard these statements before when single women refuse to purge themselves of unhealthy relationships. Yet, 2 Corinthians 6:14 tells us: “[ Do Not Be Yoked With Unbelievers ] Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
I enjoy living a Christian single life, taking the opportunity to spend time raising my daughter, increasing in character, and discovering God’s purpose for my life. If we want God to send us a Boaz we have to mirror Ruth. Boaz was drawn to Ruth because of her kindness, self respect, and her character. Ruth 3:10-11: “The LORD bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character.”
For some the tick tock of the phantom biological clock makes living single until “Boaz” comes almost unbearable. While others have the revelation that waiting on God will be worth the wait. Psalm 5:3: “In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”
I believe that God has plans for me, and thirteen years ago I decided to stop getting in the way. Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version): “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
We must remember that God already knew whether you were going to live marriage happily ever after, get divorced, or have your heart broken. Since God knows the end, is it not best we trust him. I have decided that I only want what God has for me.
For women living single as they wait for their Boaz, I pray that your wait is filled with self discovery, increased character, and thirst after God’s purpose for your life.