Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Musings on Valentine's Day

Valentines Day puts people in two camps: the single and the non-single. The single is forced to swarm through the Hallmark propaganda and deal with bitter emotions at all the "happy couples," and the non-single spends the work day dreaming about his or her significant other.

As a single, I have a choice. I can either wallow in my singleness and join the cynical banter of the many other people in my situation, or I can see the beauty of God's sovereignty in in my singleness. Because either way, God is on the throne whether my sinful heart can see it or not. So, here are some truths that have made me marvel at our great God today.

Matthew 19:6 says "What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." Though this is often read at weddings, we don't think about what it implies even when we aren't the ones walking down the isle. God is the one who joins. Marriage is far more than people just deciding to love each other and be together forever. It is a holy union, predestined before our births, ordained and created by God. Therefore any attitude of frustration against our marital status (or lack thereof) is actually an offense against God, because it is fundamentally saying "You can't really be trusted in my love life, maybe everything else, but not that."

As painful as being alone can be sometimes, it ultimately is an instrument that is ordained by God to make us rest in Him. To see Him as all. Elisabeth Elliot knew what it meant to be alone, and had to learn, through very hard circumstances, what it meant to trust in the sovereignty of God over all things. In her book Quest for Love, she says "The surrender of the hearts deepest longing is perhaps as close as we come to an understanding of the cross . . . In every form of our own sufferings, He calls us to that fellowship [the fellowship of His own suffering]. Ought we not to be thankful, then, for that?"

So this Valentines Day, I am learning that although I desire to be married someday, I have great fellowship with my Savior because He knows my longings. He knows because He longed for fellowship with His Father on the road to the Cross, yet He had to wait until His will was finished. I can rest in His power because I know that He holds every detail of my life in His hands, and He does all things for our good and His glory.

3 comments:

stellerblue32 said...

thank you courtney :) this is a great post. the part that really stood out to me was when you said:

"Therefore any attitude of frustration against our marital status (or lack thereof) is actually an offense against God, because it is fundamentally saying "You can't really be trusted in my love life, maybe everything else, but not that.'"

that just shows how self-absorbed we are! it is so true! its like we enjoy having a pity-party for ourselves, instead of seeing how God is using our current status to His glory. this has just really humbled me, because it has made me think of all the times i dont (consciously or subconsciously)trust that God has a perfect plan for me, who am i to question God's wisdom??

Steven said...

Your Valentine's blog brings up a few things I have strong feelings about. I'll avoid the more contentious of these, since the day seems elegiac enough without wallowing in contrariness. Being intentionally single myself, I didn't really take either route that you described. I didn't feel lonely or bitter, but neither did I really reflect on God's role in my relationship status. I felt thankful for those couples in my life whose union was God-glorifying, and I was sobered by those that did not have that quality. I recalled that it's better to be single than in a bad relationship.
I disagree with your claim that marriages are predestined, at least as an extrapolation from Matthew 19:6. I won't digress into a discussion of determinism, though.

cdt said...

Steven,

Yes, lets not get into a discussion on determinism, though I do appreciate your comment.

If we believe that God knows the amount of hairs on our head (Matt. 10:30), that He holds our very lives in His sovereign hand (James 4:13-17), and that God made Eve for Adam (Gen. 2:18-24), then we must believe that God predestines our marriage covenants.

I recongize that this can become a discussion on predestinatation and the like (which was not the original intent of this post,I do not feel though that we can separate the sovereign working of God from our marriages when we rest on His sovereignty in every other aspect of our existence.

Thank you for your comments. I appreciate your willingness to be engaged in these discussions. It is an encouragement.