“Do you want to be married?”
If you have been single long enough, you have heard this question many times. Whether you are at a family reunion, meeting a new neighbor, sitting beside someone at church, changing jobs or attending any singles function, the question comes up.
Before I can give them one of my much-thought-out sarcastic answers, they follow it up with, “I can’t believe some guy hasn’t snatched you up. I mean, you have such a pretty face.”
Hmm, so a pretty face is all it takes to be snatched up? (I guess those days I dragged myself to the grocery store early in the morning with no make-up, hair sticking up on one side, in my “As Seen on TV” pajama jeans, pretty much shot my chances at marriage.)
Of course, when I do get to respond, I usually say, “Well, have you ever wanted to be divorced?”
They think I’m teasing, but I’m being serious. Why do married people ask that question? I have even found some singles ask it too. Why is my marital status so important to everyone? Are they thinking it’s my fault that I’m single? Are they just busting at the seams to tell me what’s wrong with me? Are they wanting to fix me? Do I need to be fixed?
Recently I started a new ministry in the U.S. called Pray for a Mate, a once-a-month prayer group for those who are serious about getting married. Groups can be led by anyone, whether single, married (interceding for singles), young adults, older adults, etc.
After starting the group here in America, I was asked that same question: “Kris, why aren’t you married?”
Being a bit more serious, I said, “Well, God hasn’t brought me a man.”
Then they (the U.K. founders of Pray for a Mate) encouraged me to take some time to think about my answer again. To pray about it.
I would spend the next few weeks talking to the Lord.
I would even be challenged by a lady I met while on tour in Florida with a different question: “Why are you still single?”
Well, that question has some easy answers. I can spend more time with God. I can go wherever the Lord wants, whenever He wants. I have more flexibility with my time and resources. I don’t have to ask anyone about anything. I can talk to the opposite sex and even get a hug without concern over a boyfriend or husband. I can eat the last cookie! Well, the list went on.
But why was I not married?
As I started to write down some answers, the list got longer and longer and longer. It was like a V-8 moment: It’s not God’s fault, it’s my fault. I am the reason I’m not married. And now, what am I going to do about it?
I decided it was time I had my own Pray for a Mate group. I needed to pray longer for a mate, longer than the time it took to eat a bowl of corn flakes while surfing the internet with my smart phone.
I gathered some friends, and we started to pray. I shared some of the things on my list and vice-versa. One by one we prayed through them. As time went on, God revealed that some of the things were silly while others were very serious. God also spoke through my friends to tell me something huge.
“Kris,” they said, “so many of your fears and concerns are about a man you have never met. While some of your fears do need to be worked through, even to the point of getting some counseling, others are simply the enemy trying to distract and discourage you.”
There were lies from the enemy. So now I knew the truth. Now I had a choice, to make some changes or stay where I am. I want to make some changes. And the only way to do that is to draw closer to God. If God knows where my mate is (and He does), then through prayer, through support of my friends who also love the Lord, through my church and family, through studying God’s Word, it will be revealed.
Revealed that I will be married or I will stay single. And either way, it is good. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
So next time someone asks, “Hey, why aren’t you married?” we can say, “Hey, I am picky. I see what you married!”
Or we can say, “God’s timing is perfect, and I am in His time.”