Marriage or singleness? Children or not? Growing up, it’s been a question I’ve gotten a lot as I step out into the world to create a path of my own. I recently turned 18 and got a job. As such, this question is something that’s been on my mind more seriously than usual, as well as something I’ve been asked by more people than I’d expected.
It really starts with my worldview. God is the center of mine. It’s Him I live for, Him who controls everything, and Him I trust above all else. Everything starts with the Lord. My goal in this life is to glorify Him. How that plays out from person to person, though, varies. For me, it’s loving with my life—being there for other people, showing compassion and forgiveness, being a light in the darkness. Of course, this mindset doesn’t dictate any particular lifestyle.
This life is temporary. Compared to the next—eternity—it’s but the blink of an eye. Soon, all of this will be gone. Jobs, money, fame—none of it will matter in the end. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to waste away my life on every whim and fancy that comes my way.
Jesus paid for my life with His. What He did is something I can never repay. It’s something I can’t even try to. However, out of the gratefulness in my heart, I live my life for Him, giving everything I have to follow the path He’s laid out for me—no matter how daunting it looks. The path isn’t clear. It’s blurry and hard and sometimes tedious. Every day comes with new choices of its own. In the moment, things may seem like a jumbled mess that I’m trapped in, but I do my best to live for the Lord. He’s planned everything out already; all I have to do is keep following.
So—marriage or singleness? My answer: I think the Lord will guide me. Things will happen in His timing. He’s got everything planned out, and I think He’ll show me what He wants me to do based on the open doors He gives me.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a preference as to how I spend my earthly life. If you’d asked me a few years ago, I would have easily said marriage. I wanted the traditional American life. A house. A husband with a good job. Kids I could stay at home with and homeschool. However, as I’ve grown up and begun to interact with the world outside of my home, that preference has wavered. I’ve seen all kinds of lifestyles, met so many different people, and lived in one of the most unconventional ways. I’ve seen how God can work through all kinds of circumstances. Every lifestyle has its own difficulties and joys. Each person fits differently into different situations.
And thus, things weren’t so black and white anymore.
Pros and Cons
Being the practical thinker I am, I first like to weigh the pros and cons of my options.
Marriage is difficult. Relationships are challenging. Children are a huge commitment. Out of the two options (marriage and singleness), marriage is the most difficult and probably most stressful option. It requires a ton of growth and sacrifice, and it isn’t a comfortable or easy path of life. However, there are many joys and rewards that do come along with it. It’s a life of extreme highs and lows.
Singleness is “easier” in a sense. There’s a lot more flexibility and freedom in it. If you don’t want to change or grow, there (usually) isn’t someone to push you to do so. There’s more control involved, and you can pretty much do what you want to do, when you want to do it. Your time and energy is yours to decide how you want to spend it.
Getting a job has made me realize just how much of a blessing singleness can be. I’ve also seen how the Lord can use it for His glory. I have ultimate flexibility and freedom—at least something pretty close. I can work almost any hours, get almost any job in my area, and choose how I spend my free time however I want. I have the ability to make choices almost unhindered by anything in my personal life, and I’m able to choose who and what I prioritize.
However, marriage is still something I hope for. I’d like to have a husband. I’d like to raise my own kids. I’d like to be a stay-at-home mom who homeschools, and I’d love to be a homemaker. And while marriage is on the plate of things I’d like to do with my life (along with having children), I’m fully trusting the Lord to guide me where He can best use me. My preference on how I live out this earthly life is with a family of my own. However, if the Lord has other plans, I’m up for that. Ultimately, I want what he wants, but I’m leaning slightly more toward marriage than anything else.
Living It Out
I’m not going to search out marriage; I’m not going to try to look for a partner. I’m trusting the Lord with His plan, and I think He’ll show me what He wants me to do in His timing. If He wants me to love with my life through work or friends, I’ll gladly do that. If He wants me to do the same through a family of my own, I’ll be more than happy to.
So I guess what I’m saying is that it’s not my decision. Yes, I have choices in my day-to-day life, but I’m not actively pursuing one or the other. I’m living by faith and trusting God with the rest. I’m trusting Him to draw out the path. No, it’s not very clear at times. No, it’s not always easy. But because of the love He’s shown me, I’ll follow Him to the ends of the world.