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Pride is one of the strongest qualities that makes us human. It is essentially what ripped us from the arms of God in the first place. Isaiah describes pride as trying to raise ourselves above God or make ourselves like God and in Genesis 3:2-6 we see Eve being deceived by the enemy and falling victim to pride.
The woman [Eve] said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Eve desired to gain the wisdom of God. In that moment she thought that she wanted to be like God and the enemy had led her to believe that God was holding out on her. Her pride told her that she was worthy of having the wisdom of God (despite not being God). The enemy may have fed her the lie, but her pride held on to the belief that not only was she worthy of God’s wisdom, but that her loving Father was selfishly holding out on her. When we let our pride and our selfish desires take over, we begin to believe the lies that the world feeds us. As a result we can end up in a whole host of trouble, as you can see by Adam and Eve’s fall from grace and being cast away from God.
When you’re stuck in singleness with seemingly no way out, it can feel like God isn’t doing enough in the situation. We think “umm, okay God, I know what I need, why don’t you get it already?” I think that I know better than God. I think that I could do a better job than God has been doing up to this point. I think that I need a husband, a bigger house, a better job, or ___ (fill in the blank) in order to be happy, only to find out that 9 times out of 10, I’m totally wrong.
It’s my own pride that holds me back from experiencing all of God’s wonderful blessings because I think I know better than God in regard to what I need in life. I may try to raise myself above God because I “know what I need” and He just isn’t delivering when I want Him to. I start to believe the lie that He’s holding out on me. It is only when I can humble myself that I am able to thrive and live the life that God has called me to lead by aligning my desires with His plan. I need to put my own wants and needs under those of the Father of the universe. He has the great plan already figured out, so there is no way that my menial suggestions would ever be useful above His plan.
Now, I don’t have kids of my own, but I work with kids every day and have several in my family, so I know that kids often think that they know what is best for their given situation. “What do you want for dinner?” you may ask. They may respond with something appropriate, if they have learned from you (the adult who knows and wants what is best for them) and respect your guidance. Or they may ask for ice cream and cookies, because they “know” that those foods will make them happy. Now, cookies and ice cream may very well make them happy in that moment, but if we just left them to their own devices without any guidance at all, we know that most kids would likely end up with not only a major stomach ache, but eventual malnutrition and a host of health problems down the road.
This is also true for us as God’s children. He gives us His guidance through the study of His word and prayer (which tells us that we need some spiritual vegetables, not just ice cream and what makes us “feel good”). The sad truth is that if we leave ourselves to our own devices we will end up with a major headache and serious spiritual malnutrition. Is it fun to not do what you think will make you happy in the moment because you’re listening to God? No, not always, but you will thank Him down the road for truly looking out for your best interests. And when you humble yourself, setting aside the pride that tells you you’re right and God is wrong, you really start to see the truth. God’s truth.
God is our loving and all-knowing Father. While we may think that we know what is best for our given situation, if we aren’t consulting with Him in all things, especially major life decisions (like who could be right for us as a partner and future spouse or if marriage is right for us at all), we may end up over consuming what is bad for us and miss out on all of the good nutrition and blessing that our loving and caring Father has provided for us.
We need to root ourselves in Christ and His promises and not be consumed by the lies and expectations of what doesn’t really matter here on earth. James 4:10 states “Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up.” When we humble our pride, we look to God for guidance and try to align our desires with His. Through practice, discipline and prayer, God will eventually change you from the inside out to desire what He desires and that truly helps to make His plan a bit clearer.
While I can’t say what God’s plan is for you, I know that He only wants good things for you, His dear, beloved child. We think that we know what we “need” in order to make us happy, but the truth is that the only thing that can ever truly make us happy is the love of God and I pray that we will all learn to humble our desires to God’s all-knowing and all loving will. So, whether you ever get married or remain single for the rest of your days, I pray, dear friend, that you will experience the overwhelming, unending love that can only come from a deep relationship with the Father of the universe who has desperately sought a relationship with you, every day of your life.