Twice now I have heard this.
Once from a male pastor. Once from a fellow single woman.
“You’ll know it’s right when you meet someone worth giving it all up for.”
Excuse me dear reader, while I censor myself. There’s a word I would like to use here, you can probably imagine what it is, but since my blog is G (fine, PG. Is it?) rated I will not use it here.
But you know what it is.
“You’ll know it’s right when you meet someone worth giving up your calling for.”
I heard it first from the fellow single woman. It took me months to figure out why this enraged me. By the time my well-meaning male colleague said it, I had pretty well figured it out. (Spare a thought for him.)
“Really,” I answered. (Poor guy.) “Have you ever said that to a single man? That he’ll know she’s the one when he’s willing to give up his calling?”
Are we really telling this to single young women in the ministry? That he will be THE ONE when she is willing to lay down her calling, lay down the work she is sowing into the Kingdom and give it all up? That the marriage will be God-ordained when she will be happier stepping out of ministry for the sake of marriage?
I dated a guy once who let me know pretty early on that a condition of us working out was me ‘giving it all up.’ I’m not talking about France. I’m talking about ministry. I let him know that I would never be happy being the pastor’s wife who comes in ten minutes late hauling four children in and sitting on the back row with them. (If that’s your jam, own it, girl. It ain’t mine.) “Well what did you think you were going to do?” He asked me incredulously. “Pastor my church?” That was that. Bye, Felicia.
How about this. This is where I’m at.
I’ll know he’s right when he doesn’t ask me to give it up. How about that.
I’m not talking about France. I’m not talking about geography. The reality is marriage is figuring out how to combine your lives and that could look like relocation for me. And I’m okay with that because I can do what I’m called to do a lot of places (more on the theology of missions later, dear reader).
The ‘right guy’ is not the one I’ll give everything up for. The ‘right guy’ is the one who sees where I shine and polishes me up in those areas. Maybe the ‘right guy’ is the one sitting on the front row when I preach who isn’t threatened by my presence there, but super proud to be with that woman who is preaching. Maybe the ‘right guy’ is the one who is excited to talk to me about ministry and wants to see me shine in everything I do. The ‘right guy’ is certainly the one who isn’t threatened by me or feeling smaller when I shine.
The ‘right guy’ for me may be the one worth giving it up for, but the right guy is certainly the one who would not allow me to do so.
Single girl, don’t you for a SECOND believe this thing that people say. You don’t have to give up your calling. Ever. God did not put a call on your life for the meantime, for the waiting period. That call is yours, it’s on your life, not just on your single life. Nobody will expect a man to give up his calling for his wife. They will tell him she is right when she supports him in his call, when she champions him. You can have that, too. Don’t you give your calling up. Yes, combining lives with someone might look like one of you changing geographical locations or day-to-day what you’re doing, but it shouldn’t look like someone asking you to give up the call God has placed on your life.
You can have both. You don’t have to choose between ministry and marriage. You can have calling and ministry and be wildly in love. Maybe you will meet someone who will serve alongside you in ministry or maybe it will be someone who isn’t in ministry at all and either of those things is amazing.
Do not look for the guy who will ask you to give everything up. Look for the one who is dazzled by you and wants to see you shine in what you do best.