When we were little girls, my parents used to tell my sisters and me that there are no greater vocations than that of being a Lutheran wife and mother. And they were right. Diplomas and jobs, titles and degrees are impressive, but their worth can feed off the praise of men.
The estate of marriage and the joy of children, however, find their basis and their worth in Christ. The joy they bring is lasting, enduring.
Both worlds are good, but they are both very, very different.
So it’s no surprise that as I watch my parents’ marriage continue to grow and change in the best of ways as well as those of my sisters and their husbands, I realize more and more how true my parents’ words actually are.
My bro-in-law Jason, being the awesomest of the awesome Lutheran pastors, has listened to me talk (ok, agonize) over the difficulty of finding a Lutheran guy who isn’t afraid of his own shadow. Or is too busy parsing Greek verbs to notice that girls exist. Or is so snobby he thinks his own company is the best. You know the ones.
Jason gets it. And because he’s a pastor, he’s able to put it all in perspective, reminding those who are waiting on the Lord that He is enough, that He is sufficient for the day.
“Often forgotten in the Church are the unmarried, the single. We spend a great deal of time and energy, spill much ink, mining the depths of the image of marriage as the image of our lives in the Church. And we tend to look to the married, to husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, for insights into this reality gained by personal experience. But forgotten are the singles.
And this, I think, is to our great detriment because the single are icons, images of the reality of what all our lives shall be in the renewed and restored creation, in the resurrection of the dead and the life everlasting. For in the resurrection we will neither marry nor be given in marriage. Rather, we will all live by the sustenance of our Bridegroom only. This is why Isaiah and St. Paul can say:
‘Rejoice, o barren, on who does not bear: Break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than those of the one who has a husband’ (Is. 54:1; Gal. 4:27).
Therefore, ‘Return, o faithful child,’ says the Lord, ‘for I have married you!’ (Jer. 3:14). He has married those who are single. Let this be sufficient for the day.”