Steadfastness & Security

Are Christian women just as interested in marrying for money as women who are not Christians? This topic came up among a group of us in my workplace, yesterday. It was great food for thought. Being the opinionated and outspoken single woman that I am, I immediately made my sentiments known: a woman who is placing that priority on money is not really following Christ. I backed up my opinion with Jesus’ statement from Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. . .You cannot serve God and money.” One of the beauties of our Christian community is diversity; a co-worker restated the issue for me to show that it wasn’t so black-and-white. She pointed out that it wasn’t the money, per se, but security that women desire. That resonated with me more. I thank God that I didn’t marry in my twenties, or I, too, may have looked to find my security in a husband rather than from God!

If I have any singular goal for my writing, it is to keep single Christian women from marrying the wrong man for the wrong reasons.

This conversation inspired another realization of the positive differences in my life that come from still being single at thirty-nine. Last week, in writing about some of my struggles with faith, I mentioned that there were facets of my life where my faith was more solid. One such area is employment and money. Financial security was something that I didn’t have in my twenties, but I found God to be infinitely faithful. He did not make me rich and give me everything I wanted, but He was faithful to provide for my needs. As I look around myself, now, I see that He has been generous and abundant in His blessings.

I know that there are married couples who go through what I did, and learn to trust God for their peace of mind and security. I have friends coming through a period like that right now. But I know there are some women whose reliance on their husband will keep them from knowing the joy of depending on God for their security. My intention is not to lecture wives, though. If I have any singular goal for my writing, it is to keep single Christian women from marrying the wrong man for the wrong reasons. Perhaps God blessed me in that, while I was in my twenties, struggling to find good work and pay my bills, I did not receive any attention from men, so I couldn’t have chosen to find security in a man. It was me and God – and my family, who I know would never let me end up homeless.

In all of my desire for a husband, money and security aren’t at the top of my must-have list. If you’ve read Passion & Purity or Shadow Of The Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot (which I highly recommend – #Leahsreadinglist), you know that she and her husband Jim Elliot were a terrific example of a relationship in which financial security was never a consideration. They each relied on God before they were married, and together they relied on Him afterward.

I can hear all of the follow up questions. Would I want to marry someone who was around my age and still worked an entry-level job? No. But that is not about money, it is about maturity and stability. A man who has not grown and developed in job role and responsibility, to an appropriate degree for his stage of life, holds no interest for me. It is likely that has not grown outside of work, either. It is a matter of suitability as a partner, not financial security. A missionary who has little in the world, but has devoted his life to serving God would be of more interest to me than a wealthy man who has found great success in the world.

What am I looking for, you ask? Friendship, intimacy, accountability, and godly character; a man who leads me toward God and pushes me to be a more godly woman. Of course, I acknowledge that I would also like to have someone to help with financial decisions, to coordinate car maintenance, and to share the burdens of life in this world. But my perspective is much different than it was ten to fifteen years ago, when I was underemployed and my credit card was maxed out. I’ve learned so much about God’s faithfulness, since then. Truly, God can confound any economist or financial planner with His principles of provision and blessing.

“Count it all joy, my brothers [and sisters], when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”

James 1:2-3

I love the book of James and this passage, but I don’t often reflect on my growth in steadfastness.  I can see that extended singleness has produced steadfastness and stronger faith in me, even though at times I find myself acting “double-minded.” This conversation at work was a great reminder and opportunity to reflect that it is better to be single and steadfast in faith, than to be married and resting in the false security that a man can give.

Our Lord Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

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