Singleness and Vocation and Comfort

By Keri Wolfmueller

Dear Sisters,

I have a question that I hope you can help me with. I know that marriage is a good gift from God, and so are children. But what does that mean for those of us who haven’t gotten married yet and might not?

Hi Sister!

Thanks for trusting us with your question, that’s a special place to be.  First, know you will be in our prayers.  We will pray that God will grant you His comfort, peace, joy, wisdom, and contentment with whatever your future may hold. I feel like everything I’m going to say you know. You are a student of the Scriptures.
So, not sure how helpful this might be, but perhaps a good reminder none-the-less.
Truthfully, you are not alone in this struggle. We hear from people all the time about loneliness and the desire for a Christian marriage.  I think this might be one of the devil’s new tactics … to make it extra difficult for Christian marriages to form. That’s the last thing he wants: Christian homes, baptized babies. We must fight against this. Many in the church have become attentive to the struggle to find a spouse who shares the same confession and are trying to find ways to be helpful in “connecting the dots.” I am sorry to hear that didn’t work out for you.
Most importantly, with any conflict we face in life, the devil will always come along to whisper in our ear and try to convince us that our struggle is evidence of the lack of God’s love. This we fight with faith, trusting in the promises we have in God’s Word. So, be confident and take heart. Your finding or not finding a spouse in this life has nothing to do with God’s great love for you! You are not alone; He is with you. He knows, more than anything else that you hope for in this life, your salvation holds the highest value- the salvation which Christ has already won and that you already have through faith!  Joshua 1:5 and Hebrews 13:5-6, Isaiah 41:10, Romans 8:31-39, Psalm 100:5,  1 John 4:9-10 are good verses to read about this.
Second, and I am 100% confident you are doing this, but pray and pray a lot.  Ask God for those things for which you desire. Then ask God to change your heart if those things are not part of His will. And, ask God to grant you contentment in all things. God hears your prayers and loves you and will provide for your needs. This is something else you can be confident in. And don’t be afraid to really pray, on your knees, heart poured out. For more on this, read Luke 11:5-13, Romans 8:26, Philippians 4:6-7.
Third, wait on the Lord. We all know God’s timing is not usually our timing… but usually later in life we can look back and understand why. “Hind sight is 20/20.” My best friend growing up, Lesley, really wanted to be married and time just kept marching on. She was the maid of honor in my wedding, when we were 22. Over time, she too saw more friends wed and start families. We would talk and cry together and wonder what her future held. Then, one day, when she was 31 she met a young man who was 24… and they fell in love and got married. If she had met him at 22, when he was only 15… it would have been weird, illegal, and their relationship would have never worked. Of course, this is not how stories always work, but it is an example of how God had a plan, and my friend just had to wait to discover it. Psalm 27:14, Psalm 130:5-6.
Last, do not give up hope. If the Lord has not chosen to change your heart in this matter, then continue to trust, pray, wait, and hope. And, put yourself in places to meet people. Not in a frantic way… but prince charming may not know where you live. ;) Continue to go places you love that are God-pleasing and according to your interests. Church, of course. But if you like to exercise, the gym. If you like to read, the library or a book club. If you like the Rockies, or another team, then their games.  And so on. Romans 5:3-5.
And, if you find days when you become discouraged and sad and frustrated… find a good friend and cry and pray together. And when the devil’s attack is pulling you down, call your pastor.
It’s not a magical formula, but hopefully helpful. Trust the Lord’s promises, pray, wait, hope, and find comfort and love from those around you.
I wish I could wrap my arms around you and give you a big hug!
With our love and prayers,
Keri
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Comments

Singleness and Vocation and Comfort — 8 Comments

  1. Like this woman, I often ask, “Why not me?”

    God pulled me out of two engagements that would not have ended well.

    I isolated myself from dating for over 30 years. My choices were not good choices.

    It’s not that I have to be married. I am okay with being single. I enjoy my alone time.

    At 63, there isn’t much reason to think I will ever be blessed with a Christian marriage. But with God, all things are possible.

    I must say though, through my church, I see examples of what a good marriage SHOULD look like. Instead of beating myself up over every gray hair or wrinkle, I now see that real love is blessed by God. I always thought I should look for the right TYPE of man. Now I understand that waiting for God’s choice is best. Not that it makes the waiting any easier.

    I know for certain His ways are the best ways. His plans, the best plans. Praise Him in all situations.

  2. There are a couple of Lutheran Singles Groups on Facebook where like minded singles of ALL ages can ‘gather’. I would also say attend Lutheran events like Issues, Etc conferences and the like. Make sure your Pastor knows to be on the look out.

    Molly Hemmingway also has a heart for helping confessional Lutheran singles. You can email her assistant Lucy at KatysBlackBook@gmail.com

  3. I’ll try to make this short and to the point without getting emotional. I struggle BIG TIME with being single, but it’s a battle that I fight inside on my own. I am a confessional Lutheran woman, I am 58 yrs old. I never married, and cannot have children because that and because of health reasons. My thoughts go something like this… Am I too ugly for someone to marry me?? Is it a punishment from God, that I never married and cannot have children?? I have a degree in Early Education, so I have taught pre-school, I have been a baby sitter since age 6. I have been a mother to many, many children, and I have a cat that I love and nurture, and care for. Please do not remind me that I have touched and loved many children, because I know that. I also cannot foster, or volunteer, I could do what I love, but the grief and hurt is so strong, not only because I cannot be a mother to my own children, but also because, I am still single. I have never been the type to go out looking for someone, that’s just not me. I also went through some pretty traumatic child abuse when I was growing up, so I have a lot of ptsd issues with men. I am so sorry for writing so much, but this article brought this issue to a head. I am also sorry for dumping my grief onto all of you. But thank you for listening. God’s blessings, Catherine A. Stange. (My profile name on Face Book is Annabelle Lee my kitty’s name.)

  4. “Prayer was only one activity in which people could be allowed more freedom while learning to be mindful of what they did. Another instance was marriage – both clerical marriage and marriage in general. In both cases Luther relaxed the rules about who could marry, while attempting to instill new respect for marriage as a divine institution. He encouraged not only parish priests but also monks, nuns, and bishops to renounce their vows of celibacy and marry. […] although Luther called marriage a worldly thing, he was not divorcing it from God or religion. It was no longer a sacrament, but it was a divine ordinance based on Genesis 1:26-28, which declared that God created human beings male and female and bid them be fruitful and multiply. The institution of marriage applied to everyone except three categories exempted by God: the sexually impotent, men who were castrated, and men and women who were able to resist sexual urges and abstain from sexual intercourse. Members of the last group were “rare, not one in a thousand, for they are a special miracle of God.” (Martin Luther, Visionary Reformer. Hendrix Scott H., 2015, p.139-140)

  5. @Nancy S #-48

    Here’s the thing: many of us single gals have already taken these steps. We’ve joined the groups, we’ve asked to be paired, and many people at church know the struggle we face — to the point that some even make it a butt of jokes. But we’re still single.

    We feel like failures, because married friends and older people say “I wish I could help you” and “I don’t understand how you’re still single” and “Enjoy being single! Being married is not all it’s cracked up to be!” It’s patronizing and it hurts.

  6. Thank you for your comments on this topic! I have struggled recently with single-ness as a young woman in a college congregation where many couples (and many of my good friends) have been coupled together, gotten married, and started families. While I of course rejoice and thank God for the blessings that friends and other parishioners have received, it’s easy to get caught up in longing for a spouse and family for myself. Though most of these steps are things we single ladies have all heard before and probably strive to do, it is always helpful to hear and to read them again and again, and it brings me great comfort to have this to remind myself to pray and trust the Lord. Also had a great chuckle at Molly Hemingway’s matchmaking skills being mentioned above, having seen her success firsthand. Thank you again! SKL is truly a precious resource for confessional Lutheran gals.

  7. Two bits of advice:

    1) seconding those who suggest going to conferences: Peace Sussex, Redeemer’s Family Conference, Issues Etc, BJS, etc. And be fine with going on dates with a lot of people (Lutheran ones, of course), even if it ends up being one date. Don’t dismiss people upon your first meeting

    2) Read He Remembers the Barren by Katie Schuermann. I have had a much larger family than the average, but that book is a wonderful comfort for those who suffer trying to be content, and who have been dealt hard blows, or life has taken turns they did not plan.

    Godspeed!

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