Although I'm thankful I have a sweetheat with whom I can share the day, I want to be mindful of those who don't have someone special - either because they have yet to find that person or because their spouse has passed away. I've heard people express hatred for Valentine's Day because they have to celebrate it alone. And though some people chose singleness (like one of my sisters), some people have singleness thrust upon them through death or simply never meeting him or her. We have met people who have spent all of their time wondering when God is going to bring Mr. or Miss Right along and they end up missing the opportunities of life that He is giving them as a single person. Prior to getting married - and yes, I know I was married very young - I had this verse taped to my bathroom mirror as a reminder to be content in the season I was in:
I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord. -- 1 Corinthians 7:32-35Is it always easy? No way. Does it mean you will have the desire to marry taken away? Not necessarily. But what it does mean is that God expects you to live the life He has given you in a way that honors Him - married or not. Prior to my brother-in-law finding his wife, he once said something along the lines of: "If one more happily married person tells me I need to be content in my singleness, I'm going to scream." And he's now married with one child and another on the way. But maybe that's part of the reason I'm thinking about those who are without a sweetheart today. It is easy to say, "learn contentment" when you already have someone to cuddle up with at night and the person you're talking to is feeling alone and unhappy.
And yet...there are all sorts of things in our lives that each one of us must learn to be content about. Maybe, like me, you have applied for job after job and nothing has worked out. I wasn't expecting to get the job I currently hold, but first I had to work on my contentment in my current situation as a housewife. I had to learn how to respond with grace when people said to me, "What do you do all day?"
Or maybe you want children, but for whatever reason you don't have any. But rather than give in to envy when a friend tells you she's expecting, why not "rejoice with those who rejoice" and use this childless time in your life to get involved in children's ministries? I know our church is always looking for Sunday school teachers and nursery workers. If you love kids, why not give a tired mom a break for a few hours by watching her kids so she can get out of the house?
Perhaps you've been living in an apartment for years and you're driving an old car - meanwhile your friends are buying houses and upgrading their transportation every two years. You could either be jealous of what they have and discontent could set in, or you could be thankful for a roof over your head and wheels to get you around town. And here's something else - you could be living debt-free while your friends could be in debt up to their eyeballs.
I want to be there but I'm here. I want to drive that car but I have this old clunker. I wish I had kids and those people have 12. I wish I'd gone to school instead of starting a family. I thought I'd be working my dream job, but instead I'm just paying the bills. I think you get the idea. We all must learn contentment in our current season of life. It has practically nothing to do with our married status and almost everything to do with our Christian walk and Spiritual growth. If we haven't learned to be content in our current situation, what makes us think that we will suddenly be happy if...I find Mr/Miss Right...I have a baby...I get the job...I buy the car...I move to XYZ? Contentment is a choice. Chose wisely.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV)
And now I'm getting off my soapbox to wish you a very...
Happy Valentine's Day!
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)