Singles Training #3: How to View Yourself

103943824I am a child of the King.

Say it again.

I am a child of the King.

Keep saying it.

I am a child of the King.

Look up Zephaniah 3:17 while you do it.

I am a child of the King.

And Romans 8:31-39.

I am a child of the King.

And all of Luke 15.

I am a child of the King.

Dear longing single, you’ll need this knowledge. You’re going to need your identity in Christ embedded deep in your soul. The favor, the privilege, the delight you hold in God’s eyes. The bewilderingly good fortune that God chose to rescue us from the filth and consequence of sin. Learn it, marinate in it.

And you’ll need it for more than just finding the right mate. 

That’s the way singles’ advice usually employs your identity: to help you make a quality pick. You are God’s daughter (or son), you deserve the best, so don’t settle for anything less. All that. It’s certainly true (although I’d add that it’s only by God’s grace, not “deserving”, that we get anything).

But it’s not always mentioned how much marriage will require of you.

I’m quite conscious that I’m speaking better than I know. I’m single. Marriage is, for me, an abstract instead of an experience. I’m book-smart about it, not street-smart. I feel ridiculous talking about it.

But I feel trapped into doing it, because 1) we singles need to hear it and 2) we’re all more receptive to someone who shares and understands our own path. Married people don’t always get it. They don’t always understand, so they’re more easily ignored (though we’d be fools to do so, given the advice they can offer). But coming from another single, it’s richer, more immediate, more inescapable. At least, that’s my hope. Does that make any sense?

Anyway…

It seems to be assumed that finding the right person will let you sidestep most marriage problems. It will certainly let you sidestep many. The ardor of love can sweep away any worry for a while. “It’s like she was born to understand me. We can handle anything!”

But they don’t say “marriage is a mirror” for no reason.

Going from a relationship to a marriage is like going from West Point to Iraq. All of a sudden, every flaw, quirk, and nuance of your teammate explodes into a glaring thorn, frustrating, disappointing, demanding, exposing. Relationships are junior varsity compared to this. Like an FBI background check, the intimacy of baring body and soul to another human will reveal who we really are. And if that who-we-are isn’t hooked, integrated, made one with Christ…

…well, let’s just say a lot of singles these days are headed for a minefield.

The advantages of marrying with your identity in Christ established, can’t be overstated. When your security is Christ and his love, you won’t be enslaved to your partner’s opinion of you. You won’t need it to be a ten all the time. (It won’t be, by the way, and that’s normal and healthy.) You won’t be dragged around emotionally trying to please your mate, which might only frustrate them further.

In fact, someone who’s “fully rooted and grounded in Christ” is willing to let a mate peer into their raw, broken depths. God and his grace are what keep them full, so they have less fear of vulnerability. They’re not constantly shutting out their partner or scrambling to cover up mistakes. And by “raw” and “broken”, I mean the truly ugly stuff that only announces itself within marriage, the stuff that makes you panic because you had no idea it was even down there and oh shoot, now we’re stuck here for life, what are we going to do? Truly, singles, there are some marriages that never recover from the first year’s barrage of this.

People who rely on God’s love aren’t thrown by it. It may not be easy, but it isn’t a death sentence; marital comfort is important, but not everything, to them. So they’re free to make the tough calls. When confrontation is called for, or a request for space, or apology, there’s less pressure and more freedom to do what’s necessary.

Are you starting to see the transformative power of Christ’s love? It brings grace and forgiveness to a marriage, instead of anger and the demand to perform. It can give a partner space, won’t be threatened by them having a life (to a healthy degree). Yes, the other person matters. Tremendously. But if they become our entire life, weird things start happening. What looks like reaching for life becomes a chasing after the wind.

When things aren’t perfect in a relationship, many people just assume they haven’t found the right partner. The world has plied its lie well: “Love is the magic bullet. Everything else can be faced once you’ve got that. Secure it at all costs.” It will never deliver. Not once your partner reveals their humanity. Even compatible, caring partners get rocked by insecurity, blossoming and permuting into all kinds of strange trials. The sinking sand is revealed.

But when you know of God’s love for you…oh, the freedom that brings.

You have God’s sonship, steady if your wife criticizes.

You have God’s craftsmanship, constant if your husband forgets to notice.

You have God’s grace, forgiving when your spouse does not.

You have God’s nearness, unfailing when your partner withdraws.

You have God’s power, reliable when you must shake things up.

You have God’s spirit, finishing its work when you’ve failed yet again.

You have God’s destiny, irrevocable when you see no hope.

How could we have ever seen anything else as our treasure?

Learn this. Explore this. Find out his pet name for you. Ask him about his purpose for you. Practice it when others disappoint. Let the struggles of singleness drive you back to it. To him. Meditate, dwell, affix, obsess, persevorate on him until he’s so cemented in your soul that nothing can threaten it.

You are a child of the King.

 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 4

Part 5

6 thoughts on “Singles Training #3: How to View Yourself

  1. Pingback: Still Single and Waiting… – Sherline's Watchu Thinkin' Blog

  2. Yeah, we really must know who we are first before joining another person in our lives. We can’t make the other person be a jigsaw puzzle to make us feel “whole”. We need to be secure in who we are in God before embarking this trip called “Holy Matrimony” with another imperfect soul. Great Post Brandon. – Sherline. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Singles Training #2: How to View The Kingdom | Brandon J. Adams

  4. Pingback: Singles’ Training #1: How to View A Spouse | Brandon J. Adams

  5. Pingback: For Your Consideration: My Series | Brandon J. Adams

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