I remember the exact corner in my city where a friend and I were driving when she told me that God couldn’t fulfill my desire for marriage until I became contented as a single. I was in my late 30s, and she was in her early 20s – already married to a doting husband. I internalized that comment and struggled for a very long time with “what’s wrong with me?” “How in the world can I be contented when it seems God is ignoring the deepest desires of my heart?” “Surely I could find contentment faster if I had a loving husband.” Today, I wish I had thought to ask her if she had achieved contentment as a single before she married. Oh well.
Then a comment started coming which I really did not know what to do with.
Don’t you know that Jesus is your husband?
Hmmmmm. I had to really think about that one. I knew He was my Savior and Lord, but my husband? I’ve enjoyed Bible study since college years, but have never run across that one. There is a statement in Isaiah 54:5 which says, “for your Maker is your husband–the LORD Almighty is his name. . .” But, if this verse is read in context, it has nothing to do with individuals, and everything to do with His chosen people – the ones He took on a 40-year walk through the wilderness. The ones who lived through generations of judges and kings. The ones who were taken into exile to Babylon. The ones who returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the broken down walls. The ones who made promises to God of obedience and faithfulness. And, the ones who fell over and over into idolatry and unfaithfulness. The relationship between them and God is described over and over in marriage and adulterous terms. This is the context of that Isaiah verse.
So, what about Jesus being my husband? Where can I find that in Scripture? Once again, context tells me that any hint of Jesus in the role of husband has to do with Him and the Church. Paul writes how husbands are to love their wives just as Jesus loved the church and gave His life for her. (Ephesians 5:21-33) The next time we read of Jesus in connection with a wedding is in Revelation 15:6-9 when the wedding of the Lamb [Jesus] has come. Once again, this wedding is somehow between Jesus and the church – not between Him and individual women – and men.
There is little description of what this heavenly wedding and marriage is to be like. Whatever it is, it must be so far beyond anything we can imagine that God knows we couldn’t handle the explanation now. I do believe, though, the best is yet to come, folks!
Now, I do know there are many who have been blessed by the thought that Jesus is their husband here and now and takes care of them as a husband might, and I do not want to diminish that for them. In my discussions, however, I have discovered that the ones who are really blessed by that thought are those who have been married at some time. Personally, I cannot relate because I do not have a concept of what a husband is or isn’t since I have never been married. I can relate to God as a loving Father, however. More and more I have seen Him as my Provision, and especially, my Provider! But, my husband? Not so much.
The perspective of hindsight is mine in abundance now. I’ve lost track of the friend who gave me that piece of advice in the first paragraph about contentment. I wish I could tell her now that I really am contented with my life – most days – and it has not resulted in marriage – at least yet. 🙂 I’ve discovered that many of those dear married folks who talk about those “singleness contentment rules” were married young, and at the time probably were not thinking so much about contentment as they were the prospects of loving and being loved in a covenant spousal relationship.
As for me, I’ve found quite a passion for encouraging fellow “onesomes” AND sharing the depths of singleness with my married friends. So, I guess I’ve found my present mission in life. I’m lovin’ this blog in an attempt to come alongside others who are walking this singleness journey.