Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Source of Joy

"One of the secrets to a happy marriage is remembering the source of our joy, which is not one another. The source of our joy is the Lord. Yes, we share tons of joyous moments, but we don't expect, let alone demand, endless joy-filled moments from each other. "~ Liz Curtis Higgs ~from the devotional: Rise and Shine

When I first saw this quote over the weekend, over at CWO (click the pic above), I thought "Great, it's dealting with marriage. I can't take part in IOW this week, wonderful." And yes, at the time there was lots of eye rolling and such associated with my thoughts. That is because I wasn't in the right frame of mind when I read the quote.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I'm not married (and I have no kids). Sometimes I struggle and/or have problems with this issue. I also find that there are so many resources available for married women, and even mothers, but, try to find something for single women and you won't find much...or at least I don't see much in the Christian bookstores in my area. Oh sure, there might be the odd devotional or something, but a lot of the books/articles are geared towards single teens or women in their twenties - or they aren't Christian books and give worldly advice. That really needs to change. Anyway, enough rambling and onto my thoughts on this quote:

Yes, Jesus is the source of joy in a marriage, but He is also the source of joy in the life of a single woman (and men also). Do I always find joy as a single person? No. Plain and simple, I turn my eyes inward - to myself - and focus on me. I want to be married. I want to have children. And when I focus on this, I can become depressed and angry because at my age I have neither of these.

See, I don't feel called to be a single person forever. I do have the strongest desire for being married and having children (as I said above), but I don't want just "any" husband. I want the husband that God has picked out for me - my "perfect" mate; the one He wants me to be with. I know my husband wouldn't be perfect, for none of us is. What I mean by perfect, is simply the man that God wants me to marry, the one He has matched up for me. I don't want to rush into a marriage (or even relationship) with someone just because I am lonely, or just because I want to be married. But in all honesty, there are days when I just don't want to be single anymore and am somewhat willing to settle for someone just because I want to be married.

Every day isn't like that, though. Most days I am "sane" enough to know that things could be much worse than being single - like being in an abusive relationship. I don't want that. And, in all honesty, it isn't that I can't be alone or that I'm afraid to be alone. No, I have been single all my life and know that I can be alone. In fact, there are times when I want to be alone! I also know that I don't need a man to be happy or complete.

But, as a single woman, Jesus is the only one we need to be complete. Face it, without Him (whether we are single, married, widowed, or divorced), Jesus is the only one we need, the only piece of the puzzle that completes us. Jesus is the one true source of joy in the lives of mankind, and we won't find that joy anywhere else - not in a relationship, not in a bottle, not in a job, and not in any possession we could ever (or hope to ever) own.

So, I suppose, the secret to the single woman's life is, as Liz Curtis Higgs says about marriage, is also in remembering our source of joy - Jesus.


MiPa said...

You are so right. Jesus is the source of joy. We can be single or married, with kids, without kids, kids all grown up. Whatever state we are in, if we are depending on another person to keep us joyful we will fail. Only Jesus can do that. Great reminder.

Darlene said...

Shelly, I love the way that you turned the quote around to apply to your life. In hindsight I see that I should have posted a note saying that this could relate to anyone or anything that we hold as our source of joy.

Jennifer said...

Hi Shelley-

Thank you for taking the time to post and for being honest about your feelings. I think we do need to be more sensitive to make sure all women feel included. Of ocurse the only way we will learn is if someone speaks up and reminds us. That being said, my take on the quote was that looking to a mate as a way to find joy is not the answer. A human could never fulfill you and be the source of your joy. Only God can do that.


The Preacher's Wife said...

What a blessed man will find you spiritually whole and waiting for him. But also, what a blessed God who will have your undivided devotion. Paul preferred this and I believe God ordains singleness for those He can trust with huge displays of His splendor. Either way dear, you win.

Crystal said...

This is an awesome post because it is so real.....I agree with you...single or married Jesus does need to be our joy.
Thanks for sharing

Denise said...

May God always be close to you, bless you.

Bonnie W said...

Well said, Shelley! No matter what state we are in, we can learn to be content as long as Jesus is at the core of our lives and we take the time to keep our vertical relationship intact!

Jayleigh said...


Shelley, this was such a moving post. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

I'm in the middle of "Bad Girls of the Bible" by Liz Curtis Higgs, and it's one of my favorite studies, ever.

I dearly love my husband, but I try to teach all girls that I know this which you said, "I also know that I don't need a man to be happy or complete." You're wise, my friend.


And I'm still praying for you.

Delia said...

I wish that more women knew what you do, single and married women. There are so many women out there who look to a man to complete them and then are disappointed when he doesn't. The same goes for many men. Women and men both would be so much happier if they looked to Jesus for their completion and happiness first before jumping into a relationship.

And as The Preacher's Wife said...looking to Jesus the way you do, you're a winner either way.

susan said...

Oh Shelley, so beautiful.

Yolanda said...

Hi Shelley,
Thank you for your post! I soooo totally agree with you, especially being that I am also a single woman!!!! When you wrote about waiting for the man God has chosen for you, it reminded me of what I have been praying recently. I thought of how God custom made Eve from Adam's rib...a perfect fit for him. So I have been asking God, "from whose rib am I?" (figuratively of course :-)).
Keep posting!!! Blessings to you!

Debrand said...

Shelley - WRITE THAT BOOK!!!!

byhisgracealone said...

I haven't commented here in forever. Too bad I wasn't able to see this before I married and/or enter into unhealthy relationships. I have a great support group that is showing me the truths to being a more Godly woman....I have too many mistakes and regrets to do it on my own....excellent post. God Bless.


Anonymous said...

Hello fellow believers!
I am trying to help my friends, Kim and Susan, get the word out about her modern day fairy tale,Princess Bubble. It is controversial to some because she does not find a prince. She learns true happily ever after comes from loving God,helping others and liking who you already are.

If you agree with this message,as I do, tell some people. My friends have gone broke promoting this book because they believe God has called them to do this. But they need some help since they published the book themselves.

Their site is www.PrincessBubble.com