What's Better? Single or Married?
Can you know Jesus more when you are single or married?
I sat in silence for a long time over that question. However I answered would take the conversation into so many different areas. We could argue over Paul's writings and wether or not it was better to be single or married, we could dive into Jesus's set apart life, or maybe the examples of marriage and Christ's love of the church. None of these addressed the heart of the question though - knowing Jesus.
It was a rare night in the Discipleship House, all five of the girls were hanging out in the living room with me and none of the guys were around or home. Relationship questions abounded and stories were shared as the night grew late.
I was familiar with the question she posed to me: Can you know Jesus more when you are single or married? I'd wrestled over it for years myself. In my mind I always thought that knowing Jesus better single or married was an either/or thing. One of them must be a better way to know Jesus than the other.
Questions like those below dug deeply into my soul:
"If I never get married will Jesus be enough for me?"
"If I get married, I'll get to experience more of the Lord's love cause that's an example of how Christ loves the Church, right?"
"But then if I do get married won't that mean that I won't be able to serve the Lord as well?"
Perhaps it is not a matter of knowing the Lord better in "either/or" (either single or married) but instead a matter of greater importance to know Him in "both/and" (both single and married). Asking questions and wrestling in our souls is a beautiful thing, but we are asking the wrong kind of questions. The question isn't which season of life can I know the Lord better in, but how can I know Him in the season that I am in now?
Each story is a beautiful, individual, song. The Lord will call to each of us to walk different seasons at different times, but the resounding bass in each call will be the same - to know Him. The melody will look different, but there will be a steady beat that does not change in your song. Him. (See 1. Cor. 13)
A dear friend of mine married young and just celebrated her 10th anniversary. Her husband provided her with a safe home and a loving environment that freed her to begin to know the Lord's love in a deeper way through her marriage. For me, the past decade of mostly going it alone has drawn me to the Lord's love in a deeper way than anything I could have imagined.
Had I married young, I wonder if I would know the Lord in the way that I do now? Would I have been too tempted to put my husband in the place in my heart the Lord should be? Although I don’t fully know because its not my story, I believe I most likely would have.
Singleness has been one of the most refining fires in my life, but my married friends will say the same about their marriages. I've also tasted enough in a serious relationship or two to know that those relationships brought me to the throne just as much as my singleness did.
It's so easy to get caught up in comparing apples to oranges that we miss the bigger picture: its all fruit. And it's all about knowing Jesus. Whether you are single, married, divorced, widowed, engaged, a parent, or childless - through EVERY season, Jesus wants to be enough for you. Marriage and relationships have their struggles, their loneliness and their happiness too. And they are different, but Jesus isn't an either/or. He is in BOTH singleness AND marriage. I can't tell you what's better, but I can tell you that you are loved right where you are, and that He longs to know you and for you to know Him.