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Luke 2: 36-38
And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at the very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
I see women all the time who seem desperate to get married and my heart goes out to them, I have been there, I have a word for you. I have been married (twice now) and I have been single and I would just like to share some observations with you that I didn’t consider when I was single. If you aren’t single and you are reading this, don’t stop here because there’s more here for all of us to consider:
Anna, the prophetess here in these verses doesn’t appear to have had any children or she would have been at home taking care of them, she wouldn’t have spent all of her time in the temple, no matter how much she may have wanted to! Trust me, when I was a single Mom after my first marriage, no matter how much I would have loved to have devoted all of my time to focusing on God and being in the church, I only had time to make it to the weekly services and Wednesday evenings for youth group and my small group and an occasional ladies Bible study. She devoted her life to God, God had chosen her for more than just the norm! If you are not married, you are not somehow less than other women! Somehow we have developed a “need” to be married if for no other reason than people expecting it. It’s hard because we all want to be loved, but the other side of that coin comes with it and with great love there is also a tremendous amount of pain and heartache that often comes with it. Marriage is not the fairy tale that we read about as little girls, it can be wonderful, but it is a lot of work and it can also at times be devastating. All of your answers to life are not found in getting married, they will only be truly found in Him.
If you are truly, deep down in your heart desiring to be married, there is nothing wrong with that at all, it is a God ordained part of life, but I would seriously advise you to figure out who you are in Christ before you plunge into that relationship! Knowing who you are to God will allow you to not choose a spouse out of desperation and it will also help your marriage. You cannot rely on your spouse for your self esteem! When we don’t have a grasp on who God says we are we become needy sponges looking for someone else to fill us up with confidence! Once again, you cannot allow what someone else says or does define who you are, only God should define you! You are special to Him, He sees where you are and He has a plan! You are certainly not “less than” to Him! He wants you to be all He created you to be, so allow Him to lead you there. It is often when you stop looking for a spouse that they show up and when you truly get to the point where you aren’t looking any more, you find contentment and a relationship with God that can be deeper and more focused than it would be if you were married, if you truly seek Him with your whole heart! (There isn’t a relationship on earth that can match that!)
Now, if you are married I would like to encourage you to start “checking” your attitude about single women. Now, don’t get irritated with me! Often we don’t even realize when we are sub consciously looking “down” on someone else and it seems to be something built in when it comes to single women. I think maybe it stems from way back when it was considered such a shame if a woman couldn’t have children, but wherever it came from we need to stop! When we look at other women and even subconsciously think that they are less than because they aren’t married we are feeding in to the world’s view that as a woman we are only as valuable as we are desirable and that is a lie from Hell! I am married and have even felt that feeling that I am lacking somehow when my husband isn’t present by the way others who don’t know me behave. God made each and every one of us for a purpose and some He has chosen for Himself because He wants their full attention, oh ladies…… single women are not “less than” they have the opportunity to focus all of the attention you have to give your spouse on God and her relationship with Him and Him alone! Being single isn’t a curse, let’s be careful not to judge. Let’s also remember that marriage can be a calling in itself because it gives us the opportunity to help our spouses become all that God has created them to be as well.
Whether you are married today or single, I would like to encourage you to give God all you’ve got! Find contentment in what God has called you to for today whether that is being single or you are married. Develop that close walk with Him that He wants to have with each and every one of you! Don’t waste precious moments, focus on Him and be intentional in getting to know Him better and developing a deep personal relationship with Him today! Truly Girl, the best is yet to come!
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent!” Eleanor Roosevelt