Written By Chia Poh Fang
Poh Fang never dreamed of being in a language-related profession; chemistry was her first love. The turning point came when she received Jesus as her Savior as a 15-year-old and expressed to Him that she would like to create books that touch lives. She serves with Our Daily Bread Ministries in the Singapore office as Managing Editor.
Yes, you can congratulate me. I am finally getting married.
The wedding will be held in a church, and will be followed by a fabulous lunch reception. And nope, we won’t be having a wedding banquet. My parents are so happy that I am finally settling down that they will concede to any arrangement I want. My father even said, “I’m okay even if you just publish the wedding announcement in the papers!” I am tempted to do just that, but for the sake of my non-Christians relatives and friends, as well as others who are looking for a reason to purchase nice, new clothing—you know who you are—I will hold a church wedding and pray that God will touch their hearts as they witness my holy matrimony.
And of course, I would be too busy, and probably too emotional and nervous, to hold a decent conversation with you on the wedding day. So I would be arranging small group gatherings with close friends following that so that we can laugh, talk, and simply, have a great time together . . .
I have dreamed about my perfect wedding numerous times, and this is just one of the many musings. They occur more during the seasons of Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. Sometimes, when watching a nice rom-com, I’ll start fantasizing too.
Now you’re probably wondering if I have a boyfriend. Nope. Though I have received a few love letters in the past, I’ve never dated anyone. And I probably missed some opportunities too—because I was too dense to recognize the guy’s interest or because I was too preoccupied with my pursuit then to make time for the relationship to blossom.
But anything can happen. You’d never know what tomorrow may bring, right?
Whoa, such optimism, you may say. Aren’t all the good guys attached or happily married once you’ve passed a certain age? And yes, I’ve passed that age. Well, the Bible contains numerous examples of how some people’s lives took extraordinary turns as they were doing ordinary things.
Isaac was having his devotional time in the fields, when he looked up and saw his future wife (Genesis 24:63). Ruth was looking for a place where she could work in order to bring bread to the table, when she walked into Boaz’ field (Ruth 2:3-11). Subsequently, Boaz her boss becomes Boaz her man.
So, even though you can’t envisage any change to your current status now, don’t despair. Today does not mean forever. Anything can happen.
Meanwhile, as you wait, there’s plenty you can do. Here’s a list of what I’m personally doing. You may want to try them too.
1. Keep growing in grace as God adds days to your years.
The book of Proverbs contains several wise sayings about how insufferable it would be to live with a quarrelsome wife—and I believe it applies to a grumpy husband too (Proverbs 21:19, 25:24). Will you be “worth more than rubies” (Proverbs 31:10) or will you be like “the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm” (27:15)? It has been said: Who you will be is who you are becoming. So measure your character growth every once in a while. Are you more gracious or critical than last year?
2. Live healthily.
If you want to enjoy life—married or single—you need to be healthy. So eat well and exercise regularly. Many chronic illnesses such as diabetes are due to poor diet and lack of exercise. And if you wish to start a family in future, you would definitely need the health and energy to run after your children and to manage a household! Live a healthy lifestyle, so that you won’t become a burden to your future spouse (if you get married) or to your family and friends (if you remain single).
3. Learn to relate with people of all ages—the young and the old.
It has often been said that marriage is not just between two people—you marry into each other’s family too. So learn to relate to children, teenagers and seniors. You don’t have to learn how to be a parent only after you have kids of your own. The church presents many opportunities for us to learn these precious lessons. For example, you can offer to help a young mother babysit her toddler for a few hours, or volunteer your time in the youth or elderly ministry. The Bible exhorts, “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:10, emphasis mine)
4. Live each day with purpose.
Be the best you can be in your studies or at work. Sometimes, I wonder how my life would pan out had I been married. Knowing my nature and inclination, I would probably become a housewife and do part-time work. But now as a single, I can travel overseas whenever my job requires—without feeling guilty for neglecting some important duties at home—and use my after office hours for self-improvement activities.
5. Get to know people.
If a friend wants to introduce you to someone, gamely take up the offer. Similarly, there’s nothing wrong with exploring Christian dating sites. You are not signing your life away. Just remember to exercise wisdom. Invite your friends and family into the process. Get their opinions; consider their cautions, and receive their blessings—and even critiques. It doesn’t mean that you must marry whomever you meet. It’s okay to part amicably if things don’t work out. In the meantime, continue to build strong relationships with friends and family. There may come a day when you can’t spend as much time with them anymore.
Sounds pretty busy, doesn’t it? After all, it takes effort to become the most eligible bachelorette (haven’t we heard much about not simply waiting for the right one, but being the right one?) And regardless of the outcome, whether you remain single or get married, you can say: I have lived a fantastic life!