When you talk to Christians about being single, there are a few different responses. At this point, I’ve had them all: 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. But some – these are my favourites – will invite themselves over, bring you chocolate ice cream, and talk into the night about dream guys and hypothetical situations.
A (single) friend of mine was once talking to another long-term singleton, who looked at her, gave her the gentle smile, and asked: “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; 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 spending her days 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, and 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 rocking 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 would love to be married. I’d love to change the world with my partner – but there is also so much more. I want to be a Mum. I want to inspire and encourage people; I want to see people come out of darkness, and fall in love with Jesus. I want to travel, to learn, and to know more about this beautiful world. I want to learn languages and experience cultures that are different than mine. And more than anything else, I want to love God with all my heart, all of my soul, all of my mind and all of my strength. And while I can’t wait to be married, I want all of that to be a part of our life together – and that is worth holding on for.
Here are Some 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 going to heaven, but God is interested in the process – of you being everything that you need to be. God is not preoccupied with whether you are going to find a boyfriend or girlfriend; what He cares about is you, and whether you are living in everything that He has 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 encourage people, and you will achieve more than you could possibly imagine. Living in everything that you have been called to be makes you so beautiful.
God Has a Purpose For Your Life
Do not underestimate the potential of your life, by simply living to be the other half of somebody else: you were put here on purpose, for a purpose, and you are needed here. The people that look at you and talk about how much time you have to do 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 those decisions.
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 solely 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 that choice.
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 something that 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 into this site…”
But God doesn’t need our help. When we trust Him, we can give up the need to try and sort it all out ourselves. We don’t need to take the wheel, and 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.
(I’m not saying that online dating for wrong: you know what is right and wrong for you. But for me, this is the place that I go out of boredom and frustration, and this is the thing that is wrong. This will look different for everyone!)