I began dating in my late teens or early twenties. As is common for many people, I first dated for the fun of having someone to go out with. Though I was not ready to marry, the question of who I would marry was in the back of my mind. I wondered who the man would be, what he would look like and what our lives together would be like. God was a part of my life and I knew I wanted to marry a man who would go to church with me.
Time continued on its merry journey and soon I was in my late twenties, still wondering who I would marry. Friday nights often proved to be most difficult. To me they seemed like date nights – nights I was supposed to be out having fun. Instead, many of them were spent at home feeling very lonely. I discovered there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. I enjoyed being alone, but did not like being lonely.
The other thing happening at this time was my growing relationship with Christ. I had discovered the joy and peace of a personal relationship with the Lord and had begun growing in greater intimacy with a Father who loved me more than I could imagine. As my relation deepened, I began to realize that the man I would someday marry had to do more than go to church on Sundays. He had to have a personal relationship with the Lord as well.
By the time I reached my mid thirties, the Lord was speaking to me about being content. Paul’s words in Philippians 4.11 were challenging, “… I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” When it came to the marriage question, I had ached for a husband, prayed, hoped and dreamed. Now the Lord was asking, if I never married, could I be content? The process of being able to respond with a heartfelt and definite yes was a slow, arduous and sometimes painful journey. I wanted someone to go home to at night, someone to love me and share my life with. As I looked around though, I discovered being lonely was not limited to singles. There were plenty of spouses who were lonely in their marriages as well. I came to understand that marriage had to be for the right reasons and to the man God had chosen for me. Marriage would not solve problems I could not solve in Christ as a single woman. I had to be the right person, not just look for the right person. I also realized God’s desire for me was not a man who went to church on Sundays, nor a man who had a personal relationship with Christ, but rather a man who was sold out for Christ; a man who put Christ before all things and allowed Christ to be the prevalent factor in every part of his life. The final leg of this journey was realizing that God might well be calling me to a life as a content single woman. I had to settle for the Lord’s best even if that meant never getting married.
Then one day, out of the blue, a man asked me out for a cup of coffee. It was so out of the blue that I stammered a weak, “Can I take a rain check?” and went on my way. Fortunately, he was persistent and asked again. Over the next eleven months I became convinced God had brought me a husband of his choosing, a man after his own heart.
I was 40 when we married and now, after ten years of marriage, I know what it is like to be deeply cherished and loved. I’ve learned to laugh more easily and heartily than I ever have before. I’ve enjoyed counting down the hours until we both get home from work and can spend time together again. Most importantly, I’ve learned that God’s best for me is far beyond anyone I could have ever imagined. Being “content whatever the circumstances” allowed me to become the right person for the right person.
God’s plan is so much more than we can appreciate or understand. We may suffer pain, trials and difficulty, yet can we take comfort that none of that is wasted? He uses all for our good and His glory. Are we willing to trust Him for a future we may not be able to imagine and be content with what he has given us in the meantime?
Trina Bresser Matous is a passionate Bible teacher and writer. For over 20 years, she has shared Biblical truths in compelling and memorable ways. She is involved in her church as a Bible study leader and a member of the Restorative Prayer Team, which strives to bring healing dialogue with the Holy Spirit to the hurting parts of people’s lives. She lives in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan with her husband.
Trina is the author of the Christian Living Bible Study Series. Its first book, Paul’s Letters to the Early Church, will be released September 9, 2014 and its second, The Epistles of James, Peter and Jude, will be released in October 2014.
Studying the Bible can be a daunting task. Paul’s Letters to the Early Church is designed to assist readers in their relationship with God, help them understand difficult passages, shed new light on familiar verses, and gain an appreciation for statements made within the confines of ancient cultural practices. Readers will learn about Paul and his intense desire to see both Jews and Gentiles not only know about the work of his Savior, Jesus Christ, but also personally experience the love, grace, mercy, and redemption offered by the Father through the sacrifice of His Son. Learning more about the history and purpose of each verse will enable readers to grow in wisdom and knowledge. Paul’s Letters to the Early Church, the first in the Christian Living Bible Study Series, will be released September 9, 2014. More information at Paul's Letters to the Early Church.
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