How to overcome the heat of waiting or marital delay without harm
If you are single and relatively far from considering marriage, don’t ignore this subject. It may not feel like a relevant issue to you right now, but perhaps, it will become progressively so as some of you advance in years.
However, there are some of you, I believe, who are right in the middle of that “HEAT” even at this very minute. Every birthday is a reminder of what you are hoping for that is yet to happen. Parents are longing to carry your children. You feel a mixture of disappointment and hope when _revivalists_ ask people who are trusting God for a spouse to come forward to be prayed for. You are afraid of going to family functions or even certain social events because you feel like you will certainly meet someone who will bring up the question, _”When are you getting married?”_
People tell you _”We are praying for you…”_ and you don’t know whether to be happy about it or sad. You wonder, _”So my case has now become a prayer point?”
In fact, for some of someone reading this article, the issue at hand— *DELAYS* — will be a reminder for the delay you are experiencing in other areas of life. For example, there may be people here who are actually married but are still waiting on God for the fruit of the womb.
All of these are *VERY SENSITIVE PAINS* which must be legitimately addressed. So while I focus on *THE HEAT OF WAITING OR MARITAL DELAY*, I’m hopeful that the thoughts shared will be a blessing to someone somewhere.
Let me begin by sharing a message a sister sent to me a couple of days ago which seems to put what I am talking about in perspective.
“Sir, I’m in my “early thirties” and, as much as I can tell, I love the Lord and trust that He’s good. However, every now and again, I wonder how long more I have to wait before God’s chosen man for me emerges . . . The pressure from my parents (who are always asking when I’ll be introducing ‘my man’ to them) is not helping either. Would you be willing to share any thoughts with me on this?”
I could imagine the feeling she was having as she typed those words.
In my little experience in life, I know a few other godly women who are in a similar situation (Some are even much more older than that). I like that she mentioned that she *“trust that [God is] good.”* I think that is where to anchor one’s soul, whether as a single person already feeling this heat of prolonged singleness or just as a single person who is still looking at marriage in a distance.
We must all anchor our soul in the overwhelming assurance that the God we are serving is a GOOD God. Of course, His goodness is vastly deeper and broader than the scope of the meanings we apply to ‘goodness’ as humans, but we must not lose sight of that fundamental reality:…..*GOD IS GOOD.*
IN HIS GOODNESS, He has left us with many promises, affirmations, prayers and reassurances in His word (the bible) for such seasons as this one that this sister is going through and He has left us lots of models—Godly examples—both in His Word and in our contemporary times, whose stories can inspire us through times like this.
While, personally, I didn’t have to go through such an experience (I was 27 when I got married and my wife was 22), we have experienced what seemed like long delays in other areas of our lives, which, if we are comparing, may still feel pale in contrast to the pangs of this waiting season some of you are in.
KEYS TO OVERCOME THE HEAT OF WAITING OR MARITAL DELAY WITHOUT HARM.
1. Know that God has an AGENDA for this season of your life.
By that, I mean there is an ultimate agenda that God has drafted for our lives—yours, mine, and everybody’s. It is a constant agenda, irrespective of the season you are in, but if you are feeling the heat of marital delay, you need a reminder of this reality.
Here is the agenda of God for your life: He wants to be glorified in and through you. It’s a simple agenda, but very important to God. To achieve this agenda, God will use anything and everything about our life’s story: our pains, our joys, our delays, our breakthroughs, our (prolonged) singleness, our marriage—anything at all! We have to come to a point where we embrace that; everything about us is actually not about us; it’s all about Him.
This God, mind you, is infinitely wiser and infinitely loving and infinitely good and infinitely more—all at the same time.
What Jesus said about Lazarus’ sickness, He’s saying about your prolonged waiting season:
_”This sickness (or this waiting) . . . is for the glory of God, to bring glory to the Son of God.” (John 11:4 NCV).
And how did that Lazarus-episode end?
_”Didn’t I tell you that if you believe you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40 NCV).
It ended in God being glorified. So shall your waiting season.
READ ALSO: TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR SINGLE LADIES
2. Know That God Works According to His Time, Not Yours: By this point, I’m simply saying that, there is a divine timing dimension to all of this. I love the deep-seated conviction behind the words of the psalmist in Psalm 31: “My life, my every moment, my destiny—it’s all in your hands . . .” (Psalm 31:15 TPT)_
In the KJV, it says “My times are in your hands.” There is a deep conviction behind those words that *God is the One unfolding the circumstances of our lives according to the timing that gives Him the most glory.*
*”God makes everything happen at the right time. We can never completely understand everything He does… yet, He does everything at just the right time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 CEV & ERV)*
In other words, at the right time, *“He who is coming will come and will not tarry.”* (Hebrews 10:37 NKJV)
3. God is in Your Trust: This is where it gets deep. If I may ask, are you truly trusting God and His goodness in this waiting season? It’s the only way to go through this phase and keep your sanity while doing your part.
The unfortunate thing is that many of us don’t even understand what ‘TRUSTING GOD’ actually means.
Trusting God is not Begging God to answer that singular prayer point you’ve been praying for the past x years.
Trusting God is not making a vow — “If God does XYZ, I will do ABC.”
In simple terms, *Trusting God is not the assurance that God will do what you WANT; it’s the assurance that even if He doesn’t do what you want, He is still God—and He will ALWAYS do what is RIGHT (and BEST)!*
The story of the three Hebrew boys emphasises this point clearly. *The boys were confident that God can save them from Nebuchadnezzar fire.*
-“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “Your threat means nothing to us. If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king.”” — Daniel 3:17 MSG.
But they expressed their *trust* in God when they said what they said next: “But EVEN IF HE DOESN’T”, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, O king. We still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.” — Daniel 3:18 MSG.
Those who trust God _like that_ find a supreme joy that others don’t. For them, it is enough that God is _their_ God. May that be enough for you, too.
READ ALSO: Advice: I’m a Christian But My Husband-To-Be Doesn’t Believe In Christianity
4. Know that God Delights in Our Persistence: In other words, don’t stop praying. Don’t stop fellowshipping. Don’t stop coming to church because you are tired of coming as a single person. Don’t stop holding on to the standards of righteousness which you have embraced as the yardstick by which you are living your life. Don’t lower your standard to settle for an unbeliever because you can’t find (or be found by) a believing spouse. Don’t stop submitting yourself to the leadership of God’s Spirit. As the writer of Hebrews said,
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” — Hebrews 10:36 NIV.
5. Be Contented in Your Current Status as a Single Brother or Sister: Here is the crux of the whole matter. Wherein is your ultimate satisfaction?
See, marriage is a temporary joy — so is having children, or having a good job. Our ultimate joy is in God Himself. He is powerful like no other. A Saviour like no other. A Provider like no other. A Promoter like no other. An ever-present Help like no other. A Father like no other. And a Friend like no other. What a privilege it is to be identified with Him—to be called His child!
But will that give you the satisfaction a husband gives a wife (or that a wife gives her husband)?_
No, it may not. But *it will give you something INCOMPARABLY more.* May our hearts remain anchored in the unwavering and liberating reality that *God does not guarantee temporary joys for his children.* (By ‘temporary joys, I’m talking of things like physical health, marriage, success at work, children and many other things by which people are wrongly defining a successful or fulfilled life these days). And that’s because *God is utterly, relentlessly committed to giving his precious sons and daughters What’s best for us, When it’s best for us, and only IF it’s best for us.*
In conclusion, If you are single today, it is because that is the portion God has assigned to you *as of this very moment, today.* It is God’s gift. Singleness is not a problem we need to solve just as marriage is not a right for anybody. God in his wisdom and love grants either as a gift.
So if you are still single, whether you are 27 or 37 or 47, it’s God’s gift to you as of today. If you choose to delight yourself in the Lord believing that He knows better than you and has, in His wisdom and love, permitted that status for you as of this moment, that is what is best for you for now. *IT IS HIS GIFT TO YOU.* Accept it. Embrace it. But don’t stop making your request known to Him.
ALSO READ: Go For A Good Partner, Not A Perfect Person.
He could tell you to wait. He could lead you in specific ways. Be open to whatever He is saying. Don’t just start jumping from pastor to pastor or pillar to post….seeking what only God Himself can give.
And if you are waiting for a guy or lady to make you happy, you are highly mistaken. God is the only one who could ever truly make you happy. No spouse, no friend, no job, no amount of money could ever fill the space inside of you which was made for God. He is more than enough for you.
My prayer is that this God will order our desires and loves according to His surpassing worth and beauty, and guard our eyes and mind from being preoccupied with anyone or anything besides Him. May He capture our hearts, and secure it against all of Satan’s lies!
God has been known to come through and provide husband to the most unlikely among women in the bible *(ask Ruth, a widowed Moabitess in Bethlehem — Ruth 1-4),* and He has been known to honour a woman who only tasted the joy of marriage for seven years but chose to remain a widow for the rest of her very long life, fully devoted to God *(Anna — Luke 2:36-37).* He is the God of Ruth and the God of Anna. And your God, too. Now, and forevermore. Amen.
*QUESTIONS & ANSWERS*
Question1: How do we handle the heat or pressure from the parent or some ministers which can make you feel as if all hope is lost, because they may not agree with you that you totally rely on God?
It’s embarrassing when you see people calling you here and there as if you have missed your target. How do we handle this?
This is actually the major fuel for the challenge this article is discussing. There are many people that are rushing into marriages today of which they are not even sure that God is leading them into it, but simply because they want to please people or make it look like the prayers of their pastors or parents have been answered. That is a very wrong motivation to get married. How do you handle this kind of pressure? It is by *BUILDING YOUR INTERNAL STAMINA.*
There is a level of faithfulness and maturity for which we can aspire in our Christian walk where we become lesser and lesser susceptible to the opinions of people (especially when those opinions are merely carnally minded).
Am I saying we should disregard our pastors’ or parents’ counsel? God forbid! What I am saying is that, at the end of the day, they are humans. Many times, out of their love for us, they wish things for us according to the dictates of the culture around us and what culture has defined as success . . . but may not necessarily be what’s best for us.
Question 2: If God’s promise to us is not ‘all those temporary things’… what then is the promise or what does the promise hold?
Before You Sacrifice Your Future For Your Partner
You see, part of the errors we have grown up with culturally is a warped ideology of what success looks like. And it keeps putting us (especially we the young adults and teenagers of this generation) under a lot of UNNECESSARY pressure.
What is the *PROMISE* (or the true blessing/good success) that God offers His children?
We find it all through the Bible but especially in Ephesians 1.
Verse 3 says _*”Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm has already been lavished upon us as a love gift from our wonderful heavenly Father,* the Father of our Lord Jesus—all because he sees us wrapped into Christ. This is why we celebrate him with all our hearts!”
I hope I have helped someone with this article today.
Kindly read and share.