Are you a product for sale? No, of course not! Each of us is a treasure with a soul and heart.
So then why do we act like we are?
In modern dating (which has only been around for about 100 years) we have been taught to see other people commercially. What I mean by this is—we have been fed the idea that we should procure relationships in the same way we purchase products—you’ve got to try on the shoe before you buy it. True, but you are not a shoe. You are a woman, a rare treasure.
We’ve been told that the key to a successful relationship is finding the ONE. You know, that special person, your “soul mate” who will fulfill your every desire. The person that was crafted from the beginning of time specifically for you. And if you find that one person, you’ll find true love. You’ll know it’s true love because it’s just so easy. So we buy into mantras like, “You need to date lots of people so you know what you want in the ONE.”
But in actuality, this is not how love works at all.
“Before a girl’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months in oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics. And this is how she would go to the king…” —Esther 2:12-13
The preparation of these women reminds me of that precious time between our awakening desire to share our life with someone and the moment we walk down the aisle. For you, that desire may have emerged at a young age—like my husband at 5 years old—but for me, that desire didn’t bloom until about age 21.
For many, this precious time is seen as nothing more than a season of waiting. Single women often see themselves as sitting on the shelf while life passes them by. Or they are jumping on every opportunity to date, not having the patience to wait for someone amazing. The best results come to those who wait because waiting requires patience; and sometimes practicing patience is the most loving thing we can do—for others, but especially for ourselves.
What we do not realize is that when we do not embrace the time of “preparation” (singleness), we are wasting an important time of our lives. As Esther had to be prepared before she could be a queen of an entire realm, we ladies must be prepared before we can embark on one of the most important and difficult callings in life—becoming a wife and later, a mother.
When you avoid purpose in this season of your life of singleness, you are robbing yourself of 3 amazing things:
1. You are robbing yourself of great joy and reward.
It can be incredibly difficult to allow singleness to be a time of seeking God and being faithful to him and his purpose. The easy, most popular route is to avoid this state at all costs and take matters into our own hands. But what joy it will be to know that you did not for one moment wish to flee that season, but desired only to trust in God and wait upon his gracious sovereignty.
A match literally “made in heaven” is the reward for a loyal time of singleness. God has the best partner in mind for you, he knows you best, and he knows who will compliment you the most. It is worth it to be patient and allow God’s timing to come forth in your life.
2. You are robbing your future husband of a more virtuous woman.
Remember in your singleness that you are not the only one single, but your future husband is passing through the same stage as you.
Imagine finally meeting the man who is to become your husband and found out that he had used his singleness to serve God and to prepare himself to be a better husband for you. What if you had not used the freedom of your singleness to serve the Lord, nor take advantage of the training that God offered you? Wouldn’t that feel terrible?
What if you realized that your husband spent his days as a single man praying daily for your needs and the work of God in your life, while you neither prayed for him nor responded to the grace of God that was given you as a result of his prayers?
I was 14 when I was going through the worst season of my life. My parents were separated, which eventually led to divorce, and I dove into a deep depression. I hated God because of it. But at the same time, Gordon was praying for his future wife every day. He wrote in what we call “the wife journals” prayers to his future wife—10 years prior to giving them to me! We didn’t even know each other at the time. But he had been praying for me when I needed it most.
Charo Washer, author of The Godly Woman – Becoming Esther, says it so beautifully:
“It is a wonderful thing when God blesses a woman with a husband. That special someone who is “just perfect” for her in that he has been carefully and thoughtfully designed by God to be united as one with her. It is such a joy for the woman to look back and remember how God enabled her to wait on Him and that He was faithful to bless.”
A couple of years ago I went away on a 6-month trip that God led me on. There I was challenged, broken, lifted up, healed, and so many other things, all through the obedience to my Father’s high call for my life. It was a time in my singleness for God to cultivate beauty, strengthen virtue, and build character in me. It was a time of preparation. Preparation for so much more than I could have ever hoped for!
3. And you are robbing God of a daughter through whom he desires to do great things.
Can you imagine what God has planned for your life? He could possibly have something in mind that you can only accomplish in your singleness. Marriage is beautiful and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I also wouldn’t have traded my years of singleness either.
According to Charo, “Singleness is not a waste of time or a sitting on the sidelines, but a time that God has set aside especially for the woman, to make her into what He wants her to be, and to use her in ways that just might be impossible after marriage. Singleness is a time in which a woman is to cultivate the virtues that pertain to being a woman of God so that she can offer to her future husband and the world something more than just a pretty face.”
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Take the time to allow God to mold you into who he needs you to be for your husband. Don’t latch onto guys just because you need them to “satisfy” and “fulfill” you (which they cannot). Embrace your singleness, not only to accomplish what God has set for you but also to make it a time to prepare yourself to be all you can be for “the one” God has created for you.
Just think. Who have you given your heart to? Any little piece. Those are pieces that you will no longer be able to retrieve or be able to give to your husband. So take the time now to become pure in mind, body, and soul for that one. The more we give the less we are able to give to our husbands.
And since only God knows who that is, why not be safe and realize as much as we think we know about ourselves and our future, we don’t know everything, but we trust that God does.
I wouldn’t be the woman I am today, or the wife, without that precious time of being single. God led me on great adventures during my single years. I got to travel the world and work with impoverished people, make incredible lifelong friendships, and – most importantly – discover who I was.
Ladies, we are not simply a piece of merchandise to be slipped on and tried out. We are not a manufactured good to be thrown back on the shelf if we don’t fit just right. So do not allow yourself to be treated as one. You are, in fact, the most unique treasure on earth.
Ask Him to show you what you need to accomplish, alone, by yourself, and do it. Be brave and courageous, my friend. Shake off that doubt, embrace obedience, and give Him all you have.
I am now past those single days. I get the joy and reward of walking hand in hand with an amazing man. One who God has molded for me, one who in his singleness served God, and allowed himself to be broken down and prepared to be an incredible husband.
I don’t know what the journey from here looks like, but I can say that has God’s fingerprints all over it! I am still on my way to becoming the woman God created me to be. I cannot wait to see what he does through me, and more importantly, what he is going to do through each one of you.
Trust him. Be patient. Embrace your season.
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I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below,