Apparently I came up with something profound last night, and didn't even know it. I didn't set out to say deep thoughts, I was just rambling the partial thoughts as they came through my mind. I shared the same thought with another friend tonight and she thought it was so good that I was asked to repeat myself over and over until she had copied it down. So I am sharing it here on the off chance you too might think it is profound.
As my girl friend sat on the couch sipping her tea and me my cocoa, she explained how she feels God has withheld a husband from her. She can point to His providential care and provision in various circumstances - except when it comes to a husband. She wandered down the road of "what if..." to the cross-section of "if only..." pausing to ask me if this was familiar territory to me. I admitted to wandering down that way occasionally, but explained I try to steer clear of that neighborhood; unless there are lessons to learn and areas of growth that can be identified, there isn't much point in revisiting the past - what's done, is done. I would drive myself crazy if I dwelt on those two questions. Thankfully my wretched memory doesn't provide much to fuel that kind of reminiscing and recrimination.
We started listing our friends who are also in the same situation, that is, someone in the 35+ age bracket, godly women, no baggage that is too detrimental, single, desire to be married, but single none the less. It was quite the lengthy list. But then I asked how many guys she knows that are in a similar status; is there anyone in your church that you'd want to date? A long pause. "Is that Tim guy still going to your church?" "Yeah, but he has been dating this cute gal for quite awhile now. Plus, if you knew his whole story, I don't think you'd be interested." Another pause. I shared what a friend said several weeks ago: "Men are like parking spots; they are either taken or handicapped." We laughed, and then sighed at the truth of the statement. I then started my soap box rambling of incomplete sentences trying to capture incomplete thoughts. Thoughts about how the modern American church is doing a disservice to men, there is an epidemic shortage of godly men.
But this is what all my ramblings boiled down to:
I don't think God is withholding a husband from my friend, myself, or from any of the names we mentioned. I don't think he is saying "No. Not now, you need to grow in this area first." Instead, I think He is right beside us, grieving with us. He is sad with us that our longings, our dreams and desires have gone unfulfilled. And He is sad for the men that could have been our husbands but have chosen to walk away from Him. He is sad for all his children. For the women who have been faithful and uncompromising, but at the sacrifice of their dreams for family; and for the men, who have given up on Christ himself. I think there is an epidemic of single women in the church, in part because the church has failed to raise up men of character.
Yes, this may seem awfully harsh on the church and on men. I'm open to counter arguments that can explain why I need two hands to count the single women I know at just one church that I attend, and why I can't even come up with one name of an eligible bachelor between the two churches I regularly attend. But for my gal pals, I would just hope that my perspective would help us to not question ourselves so much. Put away the "If only I was _____ [smarter, funnier, thinner, livelier, prettier, etc.]." and remember that you are a child of the King, you are Daddy's princess, you are enough, and He is enough.