I used to think marriage and motherhood were easy. It seemed like a popular path for the majority of women, and I figured, If everyone is doing it, how hard can it be?
Then I got married and had a child of my own.
Marriage is not easy, a fact I learned within the first year (and wrote about on my blog in a series called “Confessions of a Newlywed”). When Adeline was born, I came to a whole new understanding of motherhood: the challenges, the learning curve and the time it takes to care for someone so small and dependent.
Marriage and motherhood are things many of us take for granted. But what if you aren’t called to that life and those roles? What then?
Is It Good to Remain Single?
Though some women will marry and have children, others will not, whether by choice or by the path that their life takes. Some choose to go into missions, remaining single in order to focus on that calling. And others choose not to marry for personal reasons. The Bible does speak about remaining single, and the passage was written by an expert on the topic: the Apostle Paul.
In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul is writing to the church at Corinth. In verses 5 through 8, he states that while he does not command the believers in Corinth to remain single, he thinks it is the best course to do so because it allows him to serve the Lord without the weighty responsibility of a wife and family. However, he concludes: “But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (verse 9), indicating that purity is essential to ministerial work, and those who are not called to singleness may marry, where their sexuality can be expressed in a God-honoring way.
Singleness in our culture (and even in the church) is often viewed as a problem to be fixed. But singleness is a stage of life, not an identity. For some, that stage may last longer than for others, even becoming a lifelong calling. God has a purpose for each individual life and will make the most of whatever calling He has given, regardless of relationship status.
How Do I Know If I’m Called to Singleness?
This is where faith becomes an integral part of your daily walk with God. Whether you long to be married and raise a family someday or you believe singleness is your calling, only time will tell what path God intends for your life. The only way to know His will is to walk in step with His spirit, not “conforming to the world, but being transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
God doesn’t give us a blueprint of our entire lives, though that would be nice, wouldn’t it? Instead, He gives us enough light to take the next step on the path ahead, trusting His wisdom and guidance for whatever He has in store. Whether your calling is to motherhood or to singleness, He will make that clear. But it takes time, and time takes trust. The question we must ask is: Are we willing to trust God with whatever course the future takes?
God is worthy to be trusted because He is all good. He testifies to His dependability throughout Scripture:
- And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
- So do NOT worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)
- Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
No matter what the future holds, you only need to trust Him for the next step. He will make everything clear as you depend on His wisdom and seek His guidance—whether your path leads to full-time missions or full-time motherhood.