When you talk to Christians about being single, there are various different responses. Some will tilt their head to the side, give you a gentle smile, and say something like “it’s OK, he’s out there somewhere”. Some of those who are married will nod knowingly and talk about how much they admire you, and how much time you have to do the things that they can’t. And some will invite themselves over, bring you chocolate ice cream, and talk into the night about dream guys and hypothetical situations. They’re my favourite, and not just because of the chocolate ice cream.
A (single) friend of mine was once talking to a long-term singleton, who looked at her, gave her the gentle smile, and said “so how do you do it? How do you have the strength to do this on your own every day, without drowning in loneliness?” Now this friend is one of the most beautiful, strong, wonderful people I know, and she’s rocking life, on her own. So she looked at her friend, smiled and said “I get up. I live a day. And then I go to bed. There’s no secret”. She’s not living life as a single person – she’s just living life. And she’s not waiting for something to happen to her.
It’s not that she doesn’t want to get married. It’s not that she doesn’t want to be with someone, to love someone. But she isn’t shaping her life around waiting to get married. Instead, she’s getting on with everything that she can do on her own – and she’s owning it. She’s out there changing lives, changing the world… without a husband. Instead of putting her purpose on hold, she’s getting on with it, and she inspires me every day. I love you, D.
One phrase us Christians throw around a lot is “our hearts’ desires”. Those things that we want with all our heart, that shape the way that we spend our days. And for us singletons, it’s kind of assumed that marriage is top of that list. And it might be – but there are so many hopes and dreams in there.
I would love to be married. I’d love to change the world with my partner. But there’s so much more. I want to be a Mum. I want to inspire people, to encourage others. I want to see people come out of the darkness and in to the light. I want to travel, to learn, to know more and more about this beautiful world. I want to learn languages and experience cultures that are different to mine. I want to love God with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind and all my strength.
And that stuff is so much more important to me than being a wife.
Things to Remember:
You Are a Work in Progress.
The way that you live your life is so important – it’s all about the here and now. As Christians, we look forward to heaven, but God is interested in the process – of you being everything that He made you to be. God is not preoccupied in whether you are going to find a boyfriend or a girlfriend. What he cares about is you – whether you are living in everything that he created for you. Salvation is just as much about what God is doing in your life today, as where we go when we die.
So focus on being the best version of you that you can be. When you do that, you will inspire people, you will encourage people, and you will achieve more than you can possibly imagine. And guess what – that is so attractive. Living in everything that you have called to be makes you so beautiful.
God has a Purpose for Your Life.
Do not underestimate the reason that you are here, by living to simply be the other half of somebody else. You were put here on purpose, for a purpose, and you are needed here. Those people that look at you and talk about how much time you have to do all the things that they can’t because they’re married – they’re right. You can commit your life to loving God and loving people – and there’s no-one else that you need to consider in that decision.
There has been so much that I’ve been able to be a part of in this life, that I would not have been involved in if I was focused on spending time with my other half every night. I’ve been able to say “yes” to the late nights, the long days, and the trips all over the place, because I’m the only person involved in those decisions.
I think the best relationships are not where one person leans on the other and takes on their purpose, but where both are absolutely, 100% going for it – together. And that’s worth waiting for. Don’t throw that away for what looks attractive right now.
God is Able.
Of all the areas of my life, this is the one that I am most likely to try and take into my own hands. “This just doesn’t seem to be happening. But if I just log on to this site…”
But God doesn’t need our help. When we trust in God, we can give up the need to try and sort it all out ourselves. We don’t need to take the wheel, we can find joy, peace and contentment, just where we are. We can trust that God sees our hearts’ desires, that He knows us, and loves us, and wants the best for us. And we can believe that He’s got it handled, and enjoy the journey.
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life.”