you can read all of the posts here.
as i was analyzing my thoughts, i started thinking if there was anything else i would add, anything else i had learned in the last 2 years that i could share. and immediately, something came to mind. i listened to a sermon this summer by beau hughes, one of the pastors at the village church, called nurturing contentment.
one of the major take-aways has continued to stick with me. we all know that marriage was created to be a picture of god's covenant love. how a man leads his wife and how a woman submits and serves all show us different aspects of our god. the promise to love one another represents god's promise to never leave us. so what does singleness show? am i just waiting until i am married to show christ? hughes said something in his sermon that has empowered the way i live my single life. "if marriage is to show god's covenant love, then singleness is to show his all sufficiency."
most times, i do not live my single life as if god is all sufficient. my life would be better, more complete, etc. if i was married. my discontentment often says, that god is not sufficient. he is not enough. this goes back to the heart idols (which i address in one of my previous posts on singleness). the older i get, the harder it is to be single for so many reasons, but i know that marriage is just as hard in different ways. no matter what picture of christ i am called to display at this point, it is going to be challenging. and my flesh and the enemy are going to always tell me that other one is better and i will always be prone to want what i do not have, rather than living out the calling that god has given me. for now, my life is to show that christ is sufficient. he takes care of all my needs. i can be single and be taken care of by jesus. i can (only with his help of course) show others that above all else, all i need in this life is jesus.
of course i do not mean that if you are married you can't show that christ is sufficient or that if you are single you do not have opportunities to show god's covenant love to others, i am just saying that each of these stages are obvious and clear demonstrations to the world of who our god is. it is no longer the norm to stay married regardless of your happiness. and it is for sure not natural to stay a virgin as a single person. but these very acts are pictures of who our god is.
by the way, beau's sermon is geared toward single people, but his teaching points on contentment are good for anyone. we all need to fight the lie that god is somehow holding out on us - its been a struggle in our family since the garden.