By Ashlyn Jackson, Crosswalk.com
Let’s just face it, being single is a struggle. One that unfortunately many Christians face year after year. We’ve all been there. Where new couples seem to be everywhere and the married couples with decades of time in seem to always be giving you the “Don’t worry you’ll find someone” look.
Not so long ago I had been dating a young man from my church and just knew he was “the one”. Seriously, I had a whole Pinterest wedding board full of dresses, flowers, and invitations to back up my hallucination. We dated for a little over a year and then he dropped the biggest bomb on all of my plans:
He wasn’t ready to get married! Worse than that, he was not even sure that I was the one he wanted to marry.
Talk about putting a damper on my wedding plans. But, I do have to give him credit for his honesty and not stringing me along for another few months. I was ready to serve as a wife, but God had different plans for me.
Although I was heartbroken, I learned a lot about myself and my relationship with God during this time. After moving through the heartbreak, I started to dive a bit deeper into what the Bible really says about being single, and here’s what I found.
1. Being Single Is a Gift
It’s easy to say “I trust God with my life” when everything is going your way. It is completely different to be a joyful servant when your plans have stumbled off track. We have to remember that regardless of what society says, singleness is a gift. One that is spoken of several times in the bible.
We are all familiar with Paul’s reference of singleness being a gift. 1 Corinthians 7:7. Paul, who was one of the most important people in the bible after Christ’s death was on fire for God’s purpose, possessed wisdom beyond comprehension and was a fully satisfied SINGLE man.
He spoke of singleness as a simpler life, one that isn’t for everyone. Just as marriage is not for everyone.
God, apart from being the Creator of Everything, is also our loving Father. It’s worth remembering all of those times that our earthly parents gifted us with presents that, at the time, didn’t make much sense. However, after time had passed, turned into the best presents you ever received.
Singleness can be like this in some seasons of life.
2. God Created Us as Standalone Entities
This fictitious story that is being passed around needs to come to an end. The one about not being “complete” without your “other half”. God is our other half. He created us with one main purpose in life. To love him and make him known.
He is the groom and we are his stunning bride. Revelation 19:7
3. Singleness Allows You Time to Grow Spiritually and Emotionally
From your teenage years and well into your 30’s changes are going to happen. You will like and dislike the same types of music. Your style choices will evolve and your mindset will shift dramatically.
Things that used to consume all of your time and energy will cease to cross your mind. This is life. It is going to take time to settle into your own skin and understand how best you operate. This is much more easily done as a single.
Being in a relationship can create unconscious bias and decision making that are influenced by your partner being in your life. That job God is urging you to take or that mission work you are called to perform overseas.
Not saying that your partner can’t be included in those wonderful events, but you may hesitate on making your decision because of them.
As for your growth, the bible sheds light on this in 1 Corinthians 3:2 when it speaks on the subject of our growth as Christians. There are seasons where we can only consume milk, our systems won’t be ready for the symbolic meat that represents maturation.
Proving that we will not only grow physically, but spiritually and mentally as well. This season of maturation is necessary.
4. Your Season of Singleness Has a Divine Purpose
What’s the point of being single? Quick answer: To grow closer to God.
All of the extra time, energy and resources that it takes to pour into a dating relationship is meant for a relationship with God. It’s there on purpose to build the foundation. Use this time.
- Be an active Church member
- Pray without stopping and ask for guidance
- Cultivate your life around God’s will
- Dive into a deep, intimate relationship with your Heavenly Father.
No matter how well you think you’re living life, the enemy is always looking to find a weak point. Hard days will come and it’s on those days that your faith will be all you have to lean on.
Make sure your leaning on a rock with a strong foundation laid out.
5. God's Timing Is Perfect--Do Not Rush It
Take advantage of this time to cultivate your faith, trust God’s timing and don’t be too quick to try and answer your own prayer. We have seen an example of this in the Bible with Abraham and Sarah. Instead of trusting God’s promise of blessing them with a son, they tried to answer their own prayer.
The result was discourse and drama (Genesis 16).
Even though we saw God make use of a not so great situation, imagine if Sarah and Abraham had held on and waited on the Lord to bless them the way he had originally intended. How much pain, stress and problems could have been avoided.
We can certainly learn from their mistakes and fight to trust all of God’s goodness, including his timing.
6. Love the Season You're in While You Are in It
While some may not ever marry, a large majority of the Christian population will. For some it will be sooner rather than later. Studies show that the average couple marries now in their late 20’s or early 30’s.
The average life expectancy is 79 and rising. This is with the skew of deaths in their younger years, so the real-life expectancy is more in the 90’s. That’s a potential 60 plus years of marriage!
There will come a time in your life where you only remember being married. This season, however long it may seem, could be shorter than you think.
As Christians, we know that marriage is a bond before God. One that should not be easily rushed into or torn apart. Once you say “I Do” you're DONE being single. You have now bound yourself to your spouse.
The bottom line is, don’t rush this season. Take every day as a blessing and an opportunity to praise God for all he has given you already.
A story that paints this picture perfectly is one of two farmers. They were both in desperate need of rain. One, being discouraged, didn’t plant any crops. Fearing that the rain wouldn’t come, and he would have wasted his time and resources.
The other farmer, however, went out and tended to his crops as if he already knew that rain was coming. Which do you think trusted God to send the rain? Most certainly the one who prepared his crops.
So, go out and prepare yourself, get your crops ready. God will send the rain when he’s ready. Trust the process.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez