This morning I couldn’t shake the memory of a recent, stinging, experience.
Two dear friends were talking excitedly in hushed tones. I attempted to enter the conversation, and was told, “We can’t tell you. You’re one of the ‘married ones’ now.”
Decisions to follow God’s leading seemingly had barred me from the hearts of those I loved. Later in life, perhaps, God’s hand would alienate me from other hearts I love: those who want children and have not been able to conceive, those who do not want children and have “too many”, those who want to live a comfortable life in the suburbs of our great Nation.
These divisions are not of God.
There is no marriage or giving in marriage in heaven. In fact, neither nationality or gender exist in the Kingdom: we are all one in Christ. We have more in common with our most “different” brother or sister than those in nearly identical life circumstances apart from Christ. The Kingdom is not a matter of eating or drinking, or any fleshly thing.
How often we forget.
Fear builds walls. We want to be around others who are “like” us, so that we can feel comfortable with our myopic perceptions. But God knew better. ”Married” people, if I can use such a useless (non-eternal) term, need “single” people (again, a useless term) to maintain spiritual convictions in often-overlooked areas. We need each other.
Fear builds walls, but love bridges. God, convict me of the walls I have built between my brothers and sisters. If I have become at all irrelevant in their lives, teach me to find my center in You — and to draw others to that center.
There is a passage in Numbers 30 that addresses the feminine tendency to promise more than is reasonable to deliver. Interestingly, God’s provision for single women living at home and married women allows for their vows (commitments) to be released by their fathers or husbands.
Widows and divorced women have no such provision. In this day, however, there are many women who live neither in father’s nor husband’s household (I am one of them).
God never said it is not good for woman to be alone, but He never had to say so; it is implied by the order of creation. And as a woman who has vowed countless times things impossible to deliver (classic case of mouth bigger than brawn), I have to wonder: who stands in the gap for us, the women without anyone to undo our hasty and burdensome commitments?
Is this the price we pay for our so fiercefully defended independence?