Thanks for all the comments regarding the last post!!! I love to see it. :-) I am working on an indepth post, but I wanted to clear up some things first. (Thanks, Scott, for your insight and encouragement. Your wife will be blessed!)
1- I pray for all of the single men in my life on a regular basis. I have a great burden for all of you and desire to see each one of my male friends (just like my girl friends) pursuing Christ to the fullest. I also pray for the future spouses of my dearest guy friends- whoever those girls are! The times you live in are hard and I believe single men face struggles unlike any generation in the past.
2- My comments were not direct criticism to any of you Godly, elligible and single men. Each of you have circumstances and situations that are unique. God will direct you as He pleases. Several of you, like Anderw and Scott, have made great sacrifices to their own desire to be married in obedience to what God has called you to do. I understand and respect that VERY much! My statements were also not a command that you should marry tomorrow. Marriage, as high of a calling as it is, it not the end goal nor purpose of life.
3- What I said comes from several "frustrations":
A- My own singleness. I want to be married! I could be a girl that dates for fun. I don't. I could have a suiter if I was flirtatious. I'm not. I could waste time and emotions dating guys to "see" if they are the one. I'm not going to do that. AND I could be married, but it was not God's will. I am thankful, so thankful for that! It is hard to be a girl that desires marriage in an age when marriage is not taken seriously. It is hard to be a girl that is not going to take the relationship in her own hands, like so many do, and find a guy. It is hard to be a girl that is not wanting to settle for the average man. It is hard, from a human perspective, and it is an ongoing area where I must trust God and believe Him. The fact that I am still single does not shock God and He will (and IS) using it for His glory.
B- Many men are still boys. (Remember I am talking in generalities now... but I have known many guys like this!) There are girls that want to be married, have children and build a home. A majority of the men that are saying they desire marriage seem to be doing nothing to pursue it. Instead, they are buying toys, going on trips and telling the girls they "love" that they are not ready to be "tied down." (Which is sad for us girls to be viewed that way!) When us girls see that happening so much we begin to feel like a product or an accessory to have and be discarded. The guy wants somone cute, thin and loyal, but he avoids commitment. The girls get tired of being used and are willing to give him more than what should be given in hopes to keep him.
C- Cultural shift and sin. Sin causes losts of problems and a low/distorted view of marriage is just another one. As cultures move farther and farther away from God, we will continue to see marriage degrated. More people, including Christians, will lower their standards and accept what should not be. We must continue to fight against worldly thinking in order to be a people that treasures marriage the way Christ does. How rare and beautiful strong, Christ-centered marriages are! We do not marry for the sake of marriage- but to display a mystery that is to mirror Christ and His Bride, the Church. Sin will always decieve and the enemy will always hate marriage because God loves it!
4- I want to be a girl that, by my integrity, purity and Godliness, encourages the single men in my life TO marry. Many guys I know look around and are very discouraged by what they see in women- including Christian single women. There ARE many dominating, immodest, controlling, manipulating, career-minded and vain Christian women. Most of my dear guy friends want a girl that is exactly the opposite of that! Even though I will only marry one, I can be an encouragement to other single men that Godly single women DO exist! I am not perfect by any means, but I want to be a woman that will bring delight, honor and joy to one man. One of the ways I can honor my future husband is by encouraging single men to marry- to be like Christ and take a bride (isn't it amazing that although Christ did not have an earthly bride, He still purchased one, the Church, and calls us His Bride!) I pray there are people encouraging my husband in the same way!!!
5- Masculinity and femininity are under attack in many ways. I believe that God gave the man a different level of responsibility than He gave the woman. It was to Adam that God gave the headship of Eve. She was to follow him. Now, this does not mean that all problems (like feminism) are the man's fault. Women are just as sinful, corrupt and depraved. We girls cause a lot of problems, trust me. I long to see more men taking leadership like we see in the lives of men like Jonathan Edwards or Hudson Taylor. I also desire to see women joyfully following like Sarah Edwards and Mary Taylor! The weight for the different roles must fall on the respective genders. The discouraging thing for me and a dozen of my Godly female friends is that in order to be a Sarah Edwards, we must have a Jonathan Edwards... and there does not appear to be enough to go around. :-) And God did away with multiple wives a few thousand years ago!
6- God's design. God created marriage. He loves it. He wants us to love the things He loves. Our Christian culture sees it more like a duty or a stage of life. God delights in marriage because it is a picture of the gospel to the unbelieving world. Also, since marriage is under attack in so many ways, what a joy to be a person that would display the original picture!
I hope that this explains a little of what I was thinking in my last post. Do not take what I said as an insult, but an encouragement. I am sorry if I came across crtical or harsh.
Galant asked that we girls pray for single men. Like I said, I do. I ask, as well, that you pray for the Godly single girls in your life. Many of them, if they are like the 100+ I know, are discouraged AND starting to take things into their own hands. It is causing them a lot of heart ache. Pray that we girls would learn to trust God as we continue to prepare for the one who will win our heart. Pray that we would be women of virtue in a perverted world. Pray that we would delight in who God has made us- keepers of the home, child bearers, followers, etc. Pray for us by praying for our husbands! You will know better than we the struggles our yet-to-be-husbands are facing!
Blessings to all!