|As wonderful as marriage is, it is not the key to lasting joy and happiness: God is!|
(Credit goes to Lauren Laplante for the photo)
And so, on that subject, I just finished reading an excellent book with an odd title. It's called, "Why Isn't a Pretty Girl Like You Married (and other helpful comments)" by Nancy Wilson. I'll admit I've felt a little goofy carrying it around (let's just say the title can spark some unique conversations with complete strangers...) but as the old saying goes, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.
This book has proven to hold Biblical thoughts on living contentedly and joyfully in the Christian community while unmarried. Wilson emphasizes the fact that it is not wrong to desire marriage--in fact that desire is a God-given one. However, taking any desire and turning it into an idol, including a wish to be married, will only result in a discontented empty Christian who is ill-equipped to serve or glorify God.
The book was a quick read, but each chapter was well organized and packed with Scripture and practical examples. Some of the chapter titles give a glimpse of the content:
"Unmarried Women in the Covenant Community,"
"Is this really God's best?"
"Don't pretend to be Happy,"
"Dressing with a Worldview,"
"Guard your Heart,"
and "Setting Standards of Personal Holiness," name a few.
One of my favorite chapters, though, was "Cheerfulness is Good Medicine," and one of my favorite sections was this:
"If an unmarried woman is glum, she will certainly take that glumness with her into marriage. Even if she thinks the reason for her sadness is the fact of her unmarried state, after she is married she will find new reasons to be unhappy. We are to rejoice in the Lord, not in our circumstances. Our reason for cheerfulness is found in Him, not in any situation or creature.
In other words, for every Christian, the source of our happiness is God, and the direction of our happiness is toward Him as well. He bestows a spirit of joy upon us, and we return it to Him in our praise and thanksgiving. The unmarried woman must make use of God's grace to walk in a spirit of joy and cheerfulness, paying attention to her demeanor and conduct, striving to please God and to be a source of comfort and blessing to those around her. This is a duty for all Christians of course, but I am making particular application here for those women without the joys of a husband and children. It would be easy to slip into a negative mindset, and this is unhealthy, unbiblical, undisciplined, and unattractive. A cheerful attitude is a grace that bestows loveliness."
~Nancy Wilson, "Why isn't a Pretty Girl Like You Married?" pg.60.
Whether it is God's will for me to be married or not, I thought those words were helpful! And now my brain is melting down, so I will go to bed. If you don't "see" me again before then, a very Merry and Blessed Christmas to you all!