“Is God Punishing Me With Singleness?”

At times I feel tormented regarding sexual issues. I was 21 when I got saved and still a virgin. I committed at that time to be obedient to God’s sexual standards. For 27 years I have prayed for marriage and family. I am now 48 and still a virgin. There have been times over the years that the God-given(?) sexual feelings were just tortuous. However, God has not answered my prayers for marriage.

Even though I know that I am within God’s will, I feel tremendous shame because I feel like I’m just not good/attractive enough to attract a husband. I look at other women who have husbands and/or children and I just feel like I am defective compared to them.

Also, it seems that plenty of people have premarital sex with impunity and that the way to get a husband is to fornicate (This is what I see demonstrated). Also, a church in my area is going to great lengths this Mother’s Day to celebrate and honor single mothers. Those of us who waited and those of us who did it right and married before having children are expected to serve and bless the single mothers, most of whom are single mothers by choice. This just kind of makes me feel like my choice is silly.

I even kind of blame God for making me unattractive so that men won’t want me. I just feel so much shame, torment, and low self-esteem. I feel like God might be punishing me or playing games with me.

I am so sorry. That is a very difficult burden to bear. And you are not alone! Proverbs says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (13:12), and there are a lot of heartsick people who would so love a spouse and children, but it hasnt happened.

It sounds like you may have been listening to the enemy’s slanderings about God—that He is not good, and He does not really love you, and He is withholding goodies from you because He is capricious. In order to live in peace with your life as it is, may I respectfully suggest that it starts with learning to “live loved,” as the author of The Shack puts it? I suggest that you pray every day, “Lord, show me how You love me.” And be looking for the various ways in which He shows His love to you. It is essential to seek God’s help in being content; otherwise, we can turn into grumpy, critical, self-pitying people that others dont want to be around. An “attitude of gratitude” goes a long way in embracing life as it is instead of focusing on what we DONT have. Thats why I strongly encourage people to keep a gratitude journal, recording three things every day for which we can thank the Lord.

I do understand shame, and lived with a “shame disability” for many years before God set me free from it when I accepted His gift of His acceptance, as well as the gift of self-acceptance. I pray you will receive this gift as well, learning to embrace His love for you and see the many ways in which He communicates His love and delight in you, every day.

Sue Bohlin

© 2008 Probe Ministries