Thursday, June 9, 2011
How long must I wait, Lord?
Cache' Connections has a number of 40- and 50-something members who have yet to experience marriage. We've had opportunity to speak with some of them recently, and their journeys in life have some similarities. Many of them have been focusing on their education and careers for many years - some even aspiring to pay off all of their debt before settling down with a mate. Many of them were told as young men by well-meaning pastors, mentors and friends to simply concentrate on their walk with and ministry to the Lord, and don't worry about the rest. They assumed everything would fall into place: the wife, the kids, and all the trimmings. But now they find themselves still alone after all these years, while their peers are welcoming a new generation of grandchildren to their families.
Take "Fred," for instance. He has given us permission to share a glimpse of his struggles:
The Apostle Paul had what he described as a "thorn in the flesh". My area of most difficulty has been romantic relationships. I didn't date in high school because I planned to go to college and didn't date in college because the ratio of males to females at the university where I graduated was about 4 to 1 at that time and also I had to study hard to be successful in engineering. I decided I would start trying to date when I graduated at age twenty two. After five years in college I had gained a lot of weight which did not help my dating efforts. When I was growing up I worked at ______ (a physical job) and I could eat all I wanted. But when I went to college and then got my desk job, I kept eating and gained weight.
Fred has also shared with us that some of his well-meaning advisers even tried to stifle him as if it were a sin when he asked for help in finding a mate. Now in his mid 40's, Fred is focused on seeking God's will for finding a mate, taking much better care of himself physically, and being much more proactive in his search. I love what he wrote recently: Whatever plan God has for me I'm resolved to joyfully embrace it rather than waste my life following my own ambitions.
We're not saying that waiting is a bad idea, nor is paying off debt and all that other honorable stuff. It's just ... can I say, kinda sad? These are good guys who do not appear to be called to be single. They would have or will make great husbands and fathers some day. But golly gee, don't most of us agree it's more desirable to enjoy life with a wife and family before arthritis and stiffness settle in?
Is there EVER a perfect time?