Successfully single. I never thought that was a possibility. And more importantly I would never describe myself as that. Why? Well because most days I would use at least 80% of my thinking daydreaming of what it would be like to have a husband, seeing those cute couples around me made me sad, I struggled big time with bad habits and frankly being single and successful didn’t sound like a possibility or like fun.
Happily married yes. Successfully single no.
I didn’t want to be good at being single because that meant I would stay single. Or did it?
That was until I decided to change my perspective.
God has really been speaking to me through the story of Ruth. There’s so much about loyalty, God’s provision and yes romance found in that book.
This story is set in Judah. A man and his wife are living in a time where God has withheld food and water from the people. The man Elimelech and his wife Naomi move with their sons to Moab to try and escape the famine. Before you start reading the first chapter you should know that the Moabites were people that God’s people were not really supposed to associate themselves with. The history of how the Moabites came to into existence is found in Genesis 19. Here you will see that Lot, Abraham’s brother and his daughter had a child and that is where the Moabite people came from.
Because of how the Moabites came into existence and the way they chose to live they earned a reputation of being people that were sexually perverted. So to say the least Moab was not a place God’s holy people should have been. But they went and they married their two sons to two Moabite women. Before chapter 1 is half way over Elimelech
And his two sons die and Naomi is left with two widowed daughter-in-laws.
But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. And they said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.” Then they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. (Ruth 1:8-14 ESV)
Through out my life several people have told me things like, your husband comes when you’re not looking, he comes when you’re serving God whole heartily, it’s ok to go to a conference, school, program because you want to find your mate. So what have these things caused me to do? I’ve served and gone to community out reaches, conferences, and through my day to day life encountering people but not looking, just hoping that I just so happen to serve enough for a guy to notice, but those things didn’t work.
I’m not saying that the things people have said are not true but I am saying that we must be careful to produce Ruths not Orpahs.
And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more. (Ruth 1:15-18 ESV)
It’s all in the mindset.
Orpah was released as soon as Naomi said that there are no more prospects for her to marry. She left Naomi because Naomi could no longer give her what she desired, a husband. If we are not careful we will walk into volunteer positions, serving opportunities and every day life with the expectancy that God will bring us our spouses because you are doing A B and C. But what happens when He no longer chooses to give us what we desire? If you’ve produced an Orpah mindset you will go back to the perversion of the world.
why are you serving God?
Ruth on the other hand wanted a long list of things. Yes having a husband was on her list but having a better life was her priority and she saw that serving Naomi’s God and being a part of a community that worshiped the creator was a higher priority than anything else. So she followed so that she could gain that better life. She knew what the Moabite life would produce, and God’s way was a lot more hopeful.
So how does one learn to be successfully single? I’ve learned to walk with God. To choose to have no hidden motives when I serve Him daily. I choose to love my Heavenly Daddy because of who He is not because of the gifts He gives. I go where He goes simply because He knows how to get to my destination and I need Him every step of the way; married or single, working or unemployed, volunteering or attending. I need Him in every aspect of my life now are forever.
For the next few weeks I will be going through the book of Ruth and how it applies to our world today. I would encourage you to read the book of Ruth Follow me as I go