I am a single woman in my thirties…. I have had some romantic relationships, but none leading to marriage. I would love to have a home and children, but I have not yet gotten the opportunity. I have been in love many times, but I always suffer because there is not a happy ending. I have wondered if there is something wrong with me. My friends think that I am an excellent person, but sometimes I don’t understand why I have not yet married. I don’t want to do it if it isn’t God’s will, because I don’t want to be unhappy; but at times I despair because I see my friends getting married and not me. What is your advice, Linda?

Dear Friend,

There are many women just like you who have similar feelings and situations, so I’m glad that you are consulting me on this subject.

If you regularly read our Cases of the Week, then you will have noticed how many women regret their decision to get married, or they regret choosing the person that they married. Unfortunately, many times they were so afraid of never getting married that they were willing to proceed with a wedding even though they had many doubts and misgivings about the man that they were marrying. They would be quick to tell you that being in a loveless or unhappy marriage is much worse than never having been married, and that having a cold or unfaithful husband can make you much more unhappy than you are now.

I am also glad that you understand that God’s will for your life is the most important goal. When you trust God, you have confidence that He will take care of your future. Worrying and being despondent about your situation may be a signal that you don’t really trust Him.

So what can you do? First, use your single time productively. If you haven’t studied or you don’t have a satisfying career, go back to school. Work toward a career that makes you happy. Second, invest your love in people who have very little. Volunteer in a home for orphaned children or in a shelter for abused women and children. Give your love every day to someone who needs it. Focus your efforts on the relationships that you do have, and not on those that you don’t have. And if you are financially able, you might even consider adoption of a child according to the laws of your country.

Going back to school and volunteering will give you an expanded social circle in which to meet single men. However, do not manipulate the situation, but rather let God be in control. He doesn’t need your help. If you know the story of Sarah and Abraham in the Bible, you will remember that Sarah’s manipulation of Abraham, in her effort to have a child, brought her nothing but heartache.(1) She would have avoided so much trouble if she had been patient and waited on God’s timing! Don’t make the mistake that Sarah made.

I wish you the best,

1 Ge 16-21