A Single Woman’s Plea To Married Men

Recently, a girlfriend of mine posted the following status on Facebook:

It’s a sad day when your wedding ring no longer fits. It becomes a better day when your husband proposes again with a cheapo ring from Target.

She and her husband are expecting their first child soon and, due to the lovely woes of pregnancy, her ring no longer fits. Her husband’s sweet gesture earned him many accolades and “likes” on Facebook that day. His natural expression of love for his wife got me thinking about just how important that tiny symbol of love really is.

While reading at a local coffee shop, I overheard a conversation between two overtly expressive men. The conversation went something like this:

Single Guy #1: “Wedding rings are stupid. I don’t understand why girls expect you to spend so much money on some stupid symbol of love. Why should I have to fork out all the cash?”

Married Guy #2: “I know! My wife doesn’t even wear her ring. She always complains about her finger being swollen. I told her, “If you don’t wear yours, then I’m not going to wear mine!”

At first, their conversation entertained me. I laughed a little, wondering about the other topics men vent to each other about. But the laughter quickly faded as I soaked in what Married Guy #2 said. Both he and his wife had made the choice to forgo wearing a simple piece of jewelry that acknowledges to the rest of the population that they are spoken for.

This piece of jewelry, while modest in size, represents something so grand in significance. To continue reading this article, follow this link – A Single Woman’s Plea To Married Men

Is Masturbation A Sin?

I remember the first time I heard the “M” word spoken in church. I think it took a whole two seconds before my jaw hit the floor. I was so surprised. I never, EVER, expected to hear the pastor talk about pornography and masturbation. He didn’t even do the church whisper. You know, the thing we do when we are talking about something but we don’t want other people to judge us, so we lower our voice. Nope, he just flat out said the words PORN and MASTURBATION.

Looking back, I am so glad he didn’t do the church whisper. I am so glad he didn’t give a disclaimer to what was to come. I’m so glad he was real and honest and open. The truth is, we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about these things. They need to be discussed.  It’s time for the church to open the closet door and turn the light on, so the body of believers can stop being fearful to openly discuss their struggles.

This is an article I wrote for Single Matter’s Magazine. To read the entire article, follow this link – Is Masturbation A Sin?

Beware Of Heart Devils!

While in Korea, I’ve had many random people approach me on the street. Women who touch my face and tell me “Oh, very beautiful,” men who are in awe of the foreigner standing in front of them and repeat the only English word they know over and over again, “Hello, hello, hello, hello,” as they laugh with the biggest smile on their face, and Korean men who approach me to practice their English. You never know what you are getting until you spend a couple minutes talking to them. 

This past Sunday, a Korean man approached me (a man I know, not a random person on the street) and said “Hello, I can have your number please, I like to be your better friend.” Not really knowing if he was genuinely interested in practicing his English or if he was the kind of  man who would follow me out of the bookstore in Seoul to tell me he wanted to take me to the movies so he could kiss me (True story), I wasn’t sure what to do. I talked to one of my Korean friends and asked her what it meant if a man asked for your number so he could “Be your better friend.” In her oh so cute, broken English, she explained there are two kinds of men. The kind who want to communicate with you and practice their English and the heart devils. She enthusiastically warned me to beware of heart devils. It may very well have been the cutest thing I’ve heard since I arrived.
There is great freedom in being single right now. There are definitely moments when I desire deeply to meet the man of my dreams. I would love to be serving in Korea or around the world with him by my side, but that’s not the stage of life I am in right now and I am okay with that. Reminders of my singleness such as Valentines Day don’t affect me like they used to because the Lord has reminded me that in my singleness, I am more free than I will ever be to serve him and bring people to his kingdom. But that’s not true for everyone. For many singles, Valentines Day is a day they dread. In fact, I know women who deactivated their FB profile on Valentine’s Day because they didn’t want to be reminded of their singleness. To those women, I’m really glad you don’t live in Korea. 

No one gave me the warning that I would have to participate in a day reminding me of my singleness 3 months in a row. In Korea, everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day on February 14th, then White Day on March 14th and Black Day on April 14th. As I’ve roamed the streets of Korea this March, I’ve seen countless stands full of chocolates, flowers and teddy bears. It’s like having Deja vu except it really is happening all over again! In many Asian cultures, Valentines Day is not celebrated as we do in America. Valentines Day is a day when the women and girls buy gifts for the men and boys. Then on March 14th (White Day) the men pay the women back. Tradition holds they are supposed to pay it back 3 fold. The women and girls eagerly wait to see if they will get a gift on White Day and if by April 14th, they are still single and have not found a partner, all the single people get together and sulk in their depression and sadness while eating a traditional Korean dish called jajangmyeon, a noodle dish with black bean sauce. 

I’m pretty sure I will be as single on April 14th as I am today and I will be participating in the eating of the jajangmyeon but not because I am sad and depressed about being single. Instead, I will be doing my best to show all the singles around me they don’t have to be sad because there is someone who loves them so much and is waiting with arms wide open to embrace them. And second, I will celebrate that I am free from all the heart devils!! 

Is It Sinful To Be Unhappy And Single?

A couple of days ago I was listening to a sermon my friend Jackie sent me. When I visited her and my sister in Kentucky, I went to church with her and the pastor had just started a message about the Christian Family. That particular day, he was speaking to the husbands in the room but I was still very moved by the things he said so I was very excited when she sent me a message specifically for singles.

One of the first things the pastor said in his message was “It is sinful to be unhappy and single.” Don’t get too upset when you read that, he was speaking about us being unhappy at our status of singleness. He spoke from 1 Corinthians chapter 7 and spent a lot of time talking about waiting on the Lord. He talked about how our singleness should be maximized to serve the Lord and not seeking out a spouse. He talked about Adam and Eve and how when God realized Adam needed a partner, God moved on Adam’s behalf and created Eve. He explained that when the time is right, God will bring you your mate. He gave the example of Isaiah and Rebecca and reminded us that on the same day of meeting Rebecca, Isaiah married her. 

Coming to Korea was an uphill battle for, mostly because of my desire to be married, and if I’m honest with you, being around children every day has been intensifying that desire. When I left, I thought I was leaving the chance to be moving toward going from single to married. My focus was all about my status and my mind was consumed with this pseudo relationship I was in. 

At church yesterday, we sang a song that moved me. I’m not sure what the name of the song is, but part of the lyrics say “I bring an offering of worship to my King, no one on earth deserves the praises that I sing.” In that moment, God broke me. He helped me to realize I have made singleness an idol in my life. 

In the message the pastor says, “First, find your fulfillment in Him, so when God does find your mate, your mate will find a whole person.” In my head I know no man will ever fully satisfy me the way the Lord can but my wicked heart keeps thinking I need a husband.

I’m glad the Lord is changing my heart in that area. I’m reminding myself of what God says to the Israelite’s in Hosea 2:19-20

“And I will betroth you to me forever.

I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.

I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.”

God tells us in Isaiah 54:5

 “For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name;

and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.”

I will take comfort in remaining in this place, knowing God will continue growing me closer to Him. The intimacy I can feel with the Lord continues to far exceed my expectations and I look forward to more of that.

If you want to watch the sermon series I spoke of about the Christian Family, click here.