I just want to say I thoroughly enjoy your blogs and have been following you for some time now. I was raised Catholic but now am nondenominational but it doesn’t mean that the message does not apply to everyone of us. 🙂
My question is what kind of advice would you give someone in their mid 30’s who feel that their time might be up? For someone who blew it? I feel like it might be too late for me. Specifically, I am 32 years old and have recently committed to chastity after making many relationship mistakes. It seems that the guys show interest in me but they are not interested in marriage. It is hard for me to believe that I will meet a man who will desire to marry me.
What is your advice for someone in their 30’s like me? How can I stay firm and not succumb to temptation? Did you go through the same feelings? I want to fully trust God.
Thank you for your ministry,
Discouraged and Tempted
Dear Discouraged and Tempted,
I am so pleased to receive your feedback about the blog and that its relevance is not limited to Catholics. I am sorry that you have suffered in this culture and that it has deceived you. Your story is a common one, so please do not feel alone.
Your main question is: for someone in their 30’s…..how can I stay firm and not succumb to temptation?
My answer is *not* dependent upon your age. Even though the answer is the same for everyone at every age, I do know that the longer you are single, the easier it is to feel discouraged. You can feel as if the Lord has forgotten you. As you stated, you feel that maybe you somehow blew it or that it is too late for you.
There are two things you are fighting against: Discouragement and Temptation
My suggestions for fighting against these are very Catholic, so please keep reading as I think an understanding of the Sacramental life will be helpful for you. When I returned to the Catholic Church after being away for about 4 years, it was the discovery of the Sacramental aspect of our life in Christ that was so profound to me. My body, my fertility, my struggles and my desire for marriage finally made sense in light of the Sacraments. It was the beginning of the healing process for me.
As you read the rest of my note, please focus on these beautiful words from Sacred Scripture and what it says about the body:
“…And do not present the parts of your bodies to sin as weapons for wickedness, but present yourselves to God as raised from the dead to life and the parts of your bodies to God as weapons for righteousness.” Romans 6:12
As a baptized Catholic yourself, you have access to these weapons that are designed to fight off discouragement and temptation.
Scripture is clear that in order to fight against temptation, we are to put on the Armor of God. As Catholics, our armor is not limited to scripture. We have a whole cache of weapons, namely the Sacraments, that strengthen us and infuse Grace into our souls. Through the Sacraments, our relationship with Jesus is expressed and experienced with our whole body in communion with the Church.
In order to fight discouragement, you need the Armor of Grace. You need an intimate bond with Jesus; one that involves your whole body. This bond, and the gift of Hope (the antidote against despair and discouragement), which only Jesus can give, will protect you from getting overcome with discouragement and regret.
You asked if it was too late for you. Goodness, no, it is never too late. With God, all things are possible. And, with humans things are possible too. There are good men out there that are interested in a good, holy wife. Remain asleep in God’s will and He will be faithful.
You asked if I went through the same feelings. Yes, I did experience discouragement, particularly when I was not living a Sacramental life in Christ. Those four years away from the Sacraments was the worst time because I was without the weapons I needed to fight the enemy.
I actually had an easier time with temptation because of my personality. You see, once I realized that a holy, chaste, loving marriage was possible, I felt annoyed at any guy who would try to take from me what belonged only to my husband. The gift of stubbornness was my strength in that area. I was blessed to witness these holy, chaste, loving, fruitful and sacramental marriages in the young people around me and it gave me hope that maybe I could have that too.
So in order to fight off discouragement and temptation, there really is no answer other than a Sacramental life in Christ. Therefore, I have 10 recommendations for you…………..
I have already responded to this Reader with my 10 recommendations and I will include them in a post I have been meaning to create for some time. The post is called “What Is A Sacramental Life In Christ?” and because it is quite lengthy, I will post it next week!
God love and bless you!
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