GODLY COUNSEL with PASTOR KATAI
I am a 30-plus single lady and I have never been in a dating relationship. Iâ€™ve never had a boyfriend. Iâ€™ve never brought anyone home to meet my family. Iâ€™ve never been pursued or even sought after.
Iâ€™ve never been in a serious relationship despite my desire to one day marry. Is God teaching me to hold that desire loosely?
ANS: Sister, thanks for your text. Well, in yester years, I remember having penned my opinions about singleness.
Sometimes, it is spoken of as if it is a chronic condition in need of a cure or a gift that most Christians do not want. Often it is framed as suffering as others speak of it with contempt.
Shame is the deep sense that you are unacceptable because of something you did or done to you, or associated with you. You feel exposed and humiliated. No interest in you, no words spoken to you, no love.
If you are treated as if you do not exist, you will feel shame. This feeling may lead to interrogating lies. Worth? I have received nothing, therefore, I am nothing. Desirability? I am not pretty; thatâ€™s why guys donâ€™t pursue me. Adequacy? No matter what I do, itâ€™s never enough. I donâ€™t measure up. Shame!
To overcome this feeling of rejection and shame, it takes a time of prayer, meditation on Godâ€™s Word, discipleship, biblical counseling, and a deeper understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ to graciously lift the wickedly stubborn root of shame and rejection from your heart.
In those moments when shame again rears its head, consider Hagar, the Egyptian maidservant turned second wife of Abram whose story is recorded in Genesis 16:1â€“16.
Sarai and Abram, who grew impatient with Godâ€™s promise that they would have a child, used Hagar as pawn by having her marry Abram and conceive a child. The weight of Saraiâ€™s torment proved too much for Hagar, who was riddled with shame.
Reeling from the mistreatment she received from Sarai and Abram, Hagar fled the home into the wilderness where she was met by the angel of the Lord. The angel instructed her to return, but not before affirming Godâ€™s love for her. (Gen. 16:10).
After receiving this precious promise from the Lord, Hagar â€œgave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: â€˜You are the God who sees me,â€™ (Gen. 16:13).
Itâ€™s amazing to note that her cause was not disregarded nor forgotten by God. He took her shame and bestowed her with honour.Â By Godâ€™s grace, shame should no longer define this area of your life as it has in the past.
God has an immense calling on your life that reaches far beyond your marital status. Yet it doesnâ€™t necessarily preclude marriage.
I know that God promises to be â€œa sun and shield, the Lord bestows favour and honour. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightlyâ€ (Psalm 84:11, ESV). What God has not granted to us at this time is not necessary, but what he does grant is. Do not despair. Blessings!
How do we support our distinct gifts and purposes?
My husband and I had moved from the Copperbelt to Lusaka believing we were called to work on his startup. I left a job and friends I loved to support his dream of providing solar products around the country. I convinced myself that it was my dream, too.
But less than a year later, our attempts to forge a shared vocational path broke down. Without community, career, or the emotional health to pursue either, I no longer had a sense of purpose.
God has called us together in marriage, but what callings does he have for each of us? How do we balance and support our distinct gifts and purposes?
ANS: Dear madam, thanks for finding time to write to Godly Counsel. In marriage, husbands and wife offer themselves in mutual submission and sacrificial love. But one flesh doesnâ€™t necessarily mean one calling. Instead, â€œeach person is given something to do that shows who God isâ€ (1 Cor. 12:7, MSG).
How we live out our â€œsomething to doâ€ amid marriage and family can be trying when one spouseâ€™s calling – whether in the home, the office, or the church – is all-consuming and requires significant sacrifice from the other.
Too many marriages – to entrepreneurs, pastors, missionaries, executives, advocates, and other passionate professionals – buckle under this imbalance.
It can lead to dissatisfaction, resentment, and infidelity. And it has consequences for our faith.
Both men and women are unsettled when they lose sight of God-given purpose while watching another go after theirs.
There may be periods when couples prioritise one spouseâ€™s vocation over the otherâ€™s. In my own view, I believe that Godâ€™s purposes for you were not to be achieved in your husbandâ€™s calling, or separate from it, but through it.
Even when one spouse seems to have the â€œlustrousâ€ vocation, the other is never sidelined.
Each of us has a role in Godâ€™s story, and discovering that role can enrich our marriages as well. We can bring more vibrant versions of ourselves to the relationship – creating more chances to learn from our uniquely created spouses, and to praise the God in whose image they are wonderfully made. Blessings!
I am a lady aged 41 HIV negative and God fearing looking for a serious man aged 45-50, HIV negative and God-fearing. Call or text 0966-146124.
I am a man aged 25 looking for a mature lady to marry within Lusaka aged 18-20, God-fearing who is hard working, serious. Cell: 0975-580993/0950-119465.
I am a Zambian lady aged 26 looking for a serious life partner aged 32-35. Zambian with good morals, God-fearing, HIV negative. 0973-733124.
I am a man aged 32 looking for female friends, serious workers only no time wasters. 0979-307667.
I am a man aged 32 looking for lady to marry teacher or nurse. 0961-630389, Kafue.
Tip of the Week
Marriage: husband and wife offer themselves in mutual submission and sacrificial love.
More answers in the next edition and ensure you get a copy every Sunday. Meanwhile letâ€™s continue interacting via email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or sms 0967/0955-778068. Emailing is encouraged for quick response.