By Jessalyn Hutto
Hang around enough married gals with kids and you are bound to hear (on more than one occasion), “Oh, nothing will sanctify you like children will!” or “I didn’t know how sinful I was until I got married!” After hearing this over and over again, one might come to the conclusion that God has indeed made some higher plan of edification available to those who have received the blessing of a husband or children. One might be tempted to conclude that until you find yourself in such a situation you are destined to remain in your selfish, self-absorbed ways. One might even assume that until the Lord chooses to use these super tools on you, your sisters in the faith will consistently walk ahead of you on the road to sanctification.
Are they being conformed into the image of Christ faster than you? Do they experience greater fellowship with the Lord because of their station in life? Have they not only been blessed with a husband and children, but with a higher level of spirituality?
Of course the answer to all of these questions is a resounding “no.” Yet when the married women and mothers in your life share the incredible ways the Lord is using their circumstances to shape their walk with the Lord, they may unintentionally leave you wondering if he can do the same for you even without a husband or children. It can be easy to forget that God promises to us all things for the good of those who love him (Rom. 8:28). And for what good does he use all things (including singleness, marriage, children, and family) in your life? He wants us to receive the ultimate good through this—being conformed into the image of his son, Jesus (Rom. 8:29).
God Has a Variety of Tools
Every act of God’s providence is meant to refine his children. Certainly married women are continually being sanctified by their relationships with their husbands. Of course mothers have to rely heavily, every day on their Savior in order to care for the little ones he has entrusted to them. These are real and powerful tools in our heavenly Father’s hands as he seeks to conform women to the image of Christ, but they are not his only tools. He uses all things.
He uses jobs, classes, mid-term papers, family, boyfriends, fiancés, roommates, the church body, illnesses, persecution, longings and so much more to bring about change in his daughters. Above all he uses his holy word to pierce our hearts and teach us his ways.
God’s Work in All of Our Lives
If our God is infinitely wise and perfectly good, then we must embrace the circumstances we find ourselves in and trust that he will use them for his glory and our sanctification. He is intimately involved in each of our lives and in everything works to conform us to the image of his Son. He isn’t just working in the lives of wives and mothers, he is working in your life as well. Just as he uses husbands and children to sanctify them, he uses other means to sanctify you. You are not a second class Christian, the fruit of the gospel does not rely on your getting married or having children.
The perfect life that Jesus lived, the atoning death that he died, and his powerful resurrection from the dead, are all the basis for our sanctification. These truths are all that is necessary for us to draw near to our God every single day. This gospel is the foundation for our growth in holiness and what each of us–married, mothers, and singles–must learn to live in if we ever hope to put off the old self and to put on Christ. He may use different means to impart his sanctifying grace to each of us, but it all flows from the same life-giving work of or Savior.
So the next time you hear someone say, “Nothing will sanctify you like…” and you are tempted to think the Father has forgotten about you, speak truth into your own heart. Remind yourself that there is nothing that sanctifies like the blood of Christ. And that is all you need. He will be faithful to present you pure and blameless through the perfectly wise and good means he has appointed for you (Col. 1:21-22).
Jessalyn Hutto blogs regularly at Desiring Virtue (www.desiringvirtue.com) where she passionately encourages women to dig into the Word of God and apply it to their lives. Jessalyn lives in Texas with her husband, Richard, and three precious little boys: Elliot, Hudson, and Owen. You can connect with her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/
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