Ruth Anne Crews holds a Masters of Divinity in Youth Ministry from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Bachelor’s in Journalism from Samford University. When she isn’t chasing around little kids as a nanny, she’s hanging out with middle and high school girls teaching about God’s love for them. She loves writing, reading, and all things pop culture. Follow along with her adventures on Instagram (@ruthannecrews) and her blog, Walking in My Shoes (ruthannecrews.com).
There is a part of my life that I don’t really ever talk about online because it’s never changed: My dating life. I’m 26 and I’ve never been on a date or had my first kiss. I like to say that I’m throwing off some statistic somewhere because, in this day and age, that is highly uncommon.
I want to be clear here: I was never that girl who said I wasn’t going to date—it just simply didn’t happen. I graduated high school without a boyfriend and I assumed that my husband was waiting on me at Samford University—which, really and truly, was not an unrealistic expectation for the ring by spring school that Samford is. So many of my college friends are married to awesome, godly Samford guys. But that wasn’t my story.
This is mine: freshmen year creeped by and there was no boy. Then all of a sudden I was a senior with my whole life laid out before me, and I didn’t have a prospect for a boyfriend. In my 21-year-old mind, the one that been surrounded by college students and white candles for four years, I just decided that I was never getting married.
Oh, senior year of college Ruth Anne, I know it feels like your life has to be defined when you walk off Samford’s campus in May. But you could not be more wrong. You, little girl, are but an infant in this thing called life. So…take a deep breath and keep walking in Christ.
Anyway, things changed and I realized I was being dumb. I remembered that the world is so much larger than the Samford bubble. Then I went to seminary. So, here I was a 20-something single female in a Southern Baptist Seminary with a unique calling on my life and the desire to get married in my heart. I didn’t understand what the problem was.
I grew up in the church. I was there every time the doors were open and my youth minister said that if there was microphone you could find me behind it. I learned so many great truths. But I also feel like I was taught that if I was a good girl, if I did all the right things, if I followed Jesus, and if I lived my life for Him, then I would be rewarded with my husband because being a wife and mom is most godly thing a female can be, right?
But here I am, 26 years old, and I’ve been a good girl. I’ve never done anything crazy or even wanted to. In the story of the prodigal son, I’m definitely the older brother. This might sound a little crazy, but I’ve had to grapple with the fact that my sin problems are just as bad as someone who has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. I am a good girl. I don’t drink, smoke, or go with boys who do. I have spent the majority of my life following Christ. That’s not to say that I haven’t had my struggles because, believe you me, I have. But they are just more internal than others.
Because I’m a good girl, my reward is supposed to be the world’s greatest husband who loves me like Christ loves the church 24/7, and who I never fight with. We also should have the most well-behaved children on the planet. Is that unrealistic? Okay, so maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I think I made my point.
So, if I’ve done all the right things, then where is my husband? Does not being married make me any less godly that my married friends? NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT! In fact, in 2 Corinthians 7, Paul says that unmarried people only have to worry about pleasing the Lord, not their spouse and the Lord, so it’s probably better. Does that make singleness any easier? No, but I can do so many things my married friends can’t, and that’s important to keep in perspective.
My relationship with the Lord should not be determined by my relationship status. And because I’ve never been in a relationship, it’s not. My relationship status with the Lord is based on how much time and effort I put into it—just like every other relationship in my life.
So even though I’m a good girl, I haven’t gotten married yet. But I’ve learned that being married isn’t the end all, be all to life. In fact, marriage is hard…ask anyone who’s married. We are all selfish people and being in a relationship like marriage with another selfish person isn’t easy. I’ve been single my whole life, so I know being single isn’t easy, either. I think we can tend to put marriage up on this pedestal that says, in order to be the best Christian possible you have to be married and that’s simply not true. You become more like Christ when you live according to His Word and serve Him on a daily basis. Guess what? Neither of those things require having a ring on your left hand.
Take up your cross and follow Him. Don’t wait until everything is perfect because it will never be. You can do just as much for the kingdom as your married friends can. Go on that mission trip, disciple those girls, spend money on the things you need for the work the Lord has called you to do. Spend time with Lord and let Him show you how He loves you.
(P.S. to read previous posts in this series, click here)