I was listening to the audiobook version of Kingdom Woman (by Tony Evans and Chrystal Evans Hurst). I'm only in the introduction so far, but it was talking about how we assume a kingdom woman is someone over there who has it altogether. Someone who has been married for 57 years, or someone who is 57 years old and "has walked in remarkable purity."
I know the author wasn't talking about marriage or singleness or even what our ideal should be. But it got me thinking.
Would God be glorified if I got to be 57 years old and was still a virgin?
See, I look at our divorce culture and God's design of marriage and I think, "If I could be married and do marriage well, I could be a light to show that what God designed is good!" With all the conflict inherent in our relationships, a marriage that stands the test of time seems to me to be a testimony to the goodness of God's design! Amen?
What I haven't considered recently til I heard the line from the book is that, just as I look at a long lasting happy marriage as glorifying God, maybe, too, a long lasting purity glorifies Him equally.
Not only do we live in a divorce culture where you go to a wedding and wonder if it will last in the face of 50/50 statistics, we also live during a time when fornication is culturally accepted. As a 31 year old wanting to be married, I know the likelihood of finding a guy who has not slept with a girl at some point in his life is ridiculously slim. And I'm not downplaying God's redemptive power. The Lord is glorified when we cast our trust for redemption from our sinful selves on Him. He is glorified when He gives new life. Purity cannot be worn as a badge of boasting, just like a happy marriage cannot be taken for granted.
But. For those who are progressing through the decades in singleness, in virginity, as living within a culture of immorality and yet not part of it, don'tcha know that God's righteousness is lifted up through your life? You may not be a testimony of God's design of marriage, but you are a testimony of God's character, to His own purity.
There is purpose. How I live out my relationship status can glorify God. And that encourages me.