17 November 2008

A Note to My Single Friends

Marriage, like any vocation, should be approached with much discernment and prayer. It is important, however, not to become obsessed with the idea of marriage to the point that it consumes you. That would turn this Sacrament into an idol. All vocations take preparation and should be entered into with care.

The best thing to do is hang out in groups with other Christian singles who can encourage you in your Faith. This is a safe way to find the person God has for you and to learn what qualities you desire in a future spouse. Be careful, however, not to build up such an ideal that no mortal can ever live up to it. The “right” person may not be the “perfect” person. It is easy to overlook reality while holding out for a fairy tale—the one God has for you may be someone you would never expect.

The right person will be someone who has the same intense desire to serve God that you do. You will encourage each other in the Faith and strengthen each other. That doesn't mean that you won't have disagreements and differences of opinion about minor things, but your respect for each other should overcome them.

Stop praying that you'll find your future spouse—pray for your future spouse. Maybe you haven't met them because God is still preparing them for you. Ask the Lord to keep them safe and make them ready to spend their life with you.

Don't get distracted by your desire. Sometimes we can want something so bad that it dominates our prayers and thoughts. Even if it is a good thing, it can prevent us from praying about other issues. God's will for us is our sanctification. If we are becoming more like Christ, then we are in His will. Some of that work can only be accomplished while we are single and have the freedom to go wherever the Spirit leads.

God knows your desires and will lead you. Don't worry about tomorrow—be the best servant of God you can be today. There may be things you need to accomplish now while you are single. Once you are married your life is not your own, and when you have children your time is even more limited. Pray that you will recognize opportunities to serve the Lord while in your current state.

Seek advice from married people you respect. Heed the warnings given by those with experience. Many advisors make victory sure. Also, talk with people in the consecrated life who have chosen the single life for the service of God. Learn from them how to use your time for God while you are single.

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