Photo Credit: Julie Pi (Cherry Pi) ~ Creative Commons
In Jeremiah 16:1-9 God told Jeremiah not to marry and have children and that he could not participate in any wedding celebrations or funerals. How lonely Jeremiah must have been -- to be the bearer of a message no one wanted to hear and then to be forbidden from socializing and from having a family of his own.
After a recent visit to the community where I grew up I read this passage, and it struck a chord with me because I can in a way relate to Jeremiah's pain because at almost 43 years old, I've never been married.
During my hometown visit, I heard the same question that I have heard now for 20+ years..."You're not married yet". This particular remark over the years has been posed as both a question and a statement, and it is usually followed by either "Well, I don't understand why not" or "You are smart not to have married".
These conversations are awkward and sometimes very painful for me as I try to be nice and polite. What I really want to say is, but never do is:
"I didn't choose this. This wasn't my plan. I'm not smart because if it was up to me I would be married by now and have children, but that wasn't God's plan."
As I gotten older and possibly wiser, I realize that by preventing me from having been married that God has protected me from things that could have caused me much pain and put me in situations I wasn't prepared for and never meant to handle.
Even though I accept that singleness is the best thing for me (at least for right now) because God wouldn't give me anything less than His best, some days are a real struggle for me. I don't always like my marital status nor am I always comfortable with it, but I'm learning to accept God's provision and trying to be content.
I don't know what God's answer is to my being married -- if it's a flat out "No" or if it's a "Wait" until the time is right. But in the meantime, I still hope, and I trust the Lord to direct my life in the way He wants it to go.