Thanks to Wendy Widder and Kregel Publications for including me in the blog tour for Wendy’s newly re-released book—Living Whole without a Better Half.
I will be giving away several FREE books (ebooks and hard copy). To enter your name in the drawing (to keep or give to a friend),comment or ‘like’ this post on Facebook, or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). SHARE on facebook, or let me know that you sent a friend a link, and your name will be entered 3x!
Interview with Wendy Widder, Part 2
(read part 1 here)
(read part 1 here)
How do I know if it’s God’s desire for me to remain single for the rest of my life? Is there ever a point that I need to let go of my desire for marriage?
How do you know? You don’t. I think some people perhaps want to be single, or don’t mind it, and that would be a different scenario. For most people who are single, you’re that way because you just haven’t found somebody to marry.
And letting go of the desire? I’m not sure that’s even possible. You can’t just turn off a desire. You might have to let go of a dream, but you’ll still have the desire. We have to keep our desires from growing into demands—or idols, meaning something we place above God.
A friend pointed out that I’m around other women all of the time, and yet would like to get married. How do I reconcile the command to ‘be content in whatever state I am In’ (singleness) with ‘applying for the job’ (of marriage)?
Yes, I taught in a Christian school, surrounded by all women, so I know what you’re asking here.
I don’t think being content means you can’t look for opportunities, or even create them—even just telling your friends that you’re open to being set up on a blind date.
I think the trick is to not become so consumed with ‘applying for the job’, so that you actually become more discontent with where you are.
I don’t know that there’s a one-size-fits-all for this. I remember, when I was in a singles’ group at my church, that it was sort of the thing to do (if you weren’t dating someone) to go visit other singles’ groups at other churches that were bigger—where you could meet people. And a lot of people did meet someone there. And they’re married today. And that’s fine.
For me, that wasn’t fine. I decided that I was part of this church, and this was where I was going to invest my time and energy. And if God had someone for me, He was big enough to make it happen. I wasn’t going to allow myself to be distracted from the singles ministry that I knew God wanted me to be a part of. I wasn’t going to divide my interests that way.
I’m not saying that’s the answer for everyone. For me, at that time, that was the right thing to do.
Again, it’s not wrong to create opportunities, but there’s always that struggle of trying to keep the balance, so that your ‘application for the job’ doesn’t become the focus.
I do maintain that God is big enough to make it happen. I don’t want that to be misinterpreted as, ‘Go live in a hole and wait for God to put someone in the hole with you.’ JBut when I look back at my life… I have given God ample opportunity to get me married! I went to a Christian college, I was active in a singles ministry, I went to a seminary where there were single guys… and yet God didn’t give me a husband!
My job is another example of this same phenomenon. I’ve looked hard for other jobs, and somehow, in spite of my best efforts, I always end up in the job I wasn’t looking for.
God does that.
So I’m not saying I should just wait for my future husband to parachute into my living room. But I have pursued an awful lot of my own plans which haven’t worked! God just manages to do something else. So, I’m settled with knowing that God is more than qualified to make his plans for me happen.
Wendy Widder has a PhD in Near Eastern Studies from the University of the Free State (South Africa) and currently works for Logos Bible Software. In her spare time, she is writing two commentaries on Daniel, sort of blogging, and keeping up with friends & family.