If you're one of those singles who finds comfort in Isaiah 54:5—"For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name . . . "—you should probably stop reading this column and go reread that passage instead. I'll catch you next time around.
But if you're one of those singles who reads that verse with equal parts confusion and consternation, read on, kindred. You're in good company.
Maybe part of what "bothers" me about this verse is the timing of when it's quoted to those of us without a spouse—usually right after we've expressed loneliness, a desire to be married someday (perhaps someday soon), or sadness over the end of a relationship.
The quoters mean to be encouraging, I know, and sometimes this verse does offer a needed reminder that God is always with us; he's a relationship constant in a world of frequent moves, shifting friendships, painful divorce. And he offers not just any relationship, mind you, but intimate relationship. God desires the kind of close interaction with us that sparks comparison to that of a husband and wife. He's not a distant, cold, ambivalent God; he's an up-close, hands-on, how-was-your-day, cares-about-the-details kind of God. At least when we let him be that kind of God. And yes, sometimes hearing this verse reminds me of all these wonderful truths.
But most days, when this verse is directed specifically at singles, it can be guilt inducing. You feel lonely? Just cling to Jesus. You want a husband? Jesus already is your husband. Isn't he enough for you?1