Written By Joanne S. Dionela, Philippines
I am 33 years old, unmarried, with no kids. I used to think that singleness is the stage of life that one should get past as quickly as possible, because it is the “most miserable” period of a person’s existence on earth. Societal pressure is real and the question singles (past a certain age) frequently get asked is, “When are you getting married?”, as though it is a universal, mandatory law that every person should get married, and you are not normal if you are still single at a certain age. It presumes that the only happiness and fulfilment on earth can be attained only if you’re married. So hurry up and “tie the knot” or you might just “miss the boat.” I used to have that same belief too, until God showed me that it was wrong.
When people ask me when I am getting married (sometimes to poke fun at me), I don’t think they are aware of their underlying assumptions. The environment we live in tends to amplify the merits of getting married. Some people said I should consider the “opportunity loss” if I’m not married. But I think I will lose more opportunities if I get married now.
No, I am not against getting married but it is important that we see things in proper perspective so that singles will receive the appropriate counsel to guide them towards making the best decision—whether to get married or stay single. And it will help singles to stay strong, happy, and fulfilled, instead of feeling discouraged or offended by the labels society throw at us.
Currently, I am at my prime and having the best time of my life. No one but God knows if I will be happier if I am married. Being single has allowed me to focus on achieving my professional goals, fulfilling my dreams, discovering and learning to love myself more, but most of all, helping me grow in my personal relationship with God. I’ve realized that there is more to my life than being a wife or a mother. That realization did not happen overnight, it took years of pursuing what God really wants for me to do here on earth. Years were spent asking God, “Lord, what is your purpose for my life?”, “God, what do you really want me to do?”, “Is life just about being born, going to school, finding a job, getting married, having kids, then dying?” I also asked, “God, what is wrong with me? Why am I not yet married?” While God did not give me a direct answer as to why I am still unmarried, I’ve grown to understand His answer through all that has been happening around me, through things I know I will not be able to do if I am married.
From the biblical point of view, singles are already married to Christ—the church is the bride of Christ. Even the apostle Paul said that it is better for one to remain unmarried if he or she is able to (1 Corinthians 7:8-9). Also, if we consider how Jesus himself remained unmarried as a human being, why then do we place so much importance on marriage in our earthly lives?
Therefore, let us remain single for as long as God wants while continuing to pursue and fulfill His purpose and plans for our lives. Let us enjoy this stage of our lives where He gives us the strength and youth to accomplish the dreams He has placed in our hearts. Only God can give us that sense of purpose.
So back to the original question: when am I getting married? I can only say, in God’s time, if He wills.