There are tons of blog posts, articles, editorials, sermons, and whatever else is out there on this subject. I have read or listened to many of these, and was reluctant to jump on the bandwagon and give my opinions on the subject, but I’ve had this on my mind quite a bit lately. I think it’s time to share what the Lord has been teaching me on the subject of singleness.
As I read through articles or listen to messages, I see some trends in the ideas presented, and I just don’t think that some of these are right. These writers and preachers mean well, and perhaps are not even trying to communicate what they have communicated, but the way they’ve presented things makes me question their thought processes.
My “pet peeve” in this area is the idea that God will not bring that special person into your life until you’ve learned to rely completely on Him.
I’m sorry. What?!
This idea goes against my grain in many ways because of what happens when I try to reason it out.
1) Shouldn’t we be completely relying on God anyway?
Psalm 62:7-8– In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.
“Trust in him at all times…”
So we should already be relying on God. We have to be. Being completely reliant on God is one of the, if not THE, main focus(es) of the Christian life. You’re not going to be able to suddenly start relying on God when you want a boyfriend or girlfriend, and I think that whether we realize it or not, we get into a certain mentality when we see this statement. We end up thinking, “If I just learn to rely solely on God, He’ll bring that person into my life.” The end goal is the same– that of finding a special someone. And guess what that means? It means you’re still not relying on God.
2) Pardon me, but where is this found in Scripture?
God wants us to rely completely on Him. That is in Scripture. We need to be complete in Him before we find a mate, or there will be serious problems. I’ll give that to you. That, in my mind, logically follows. But when I hear such a statement and I can’t keep the idea that my reliance on God will finally get Him to let me have a boyfriend, my mind is turning the statement into a promise, and it’s not one that can be found in the Word. God never said, “Trust me with thy life and thy heart, and then will I hear your prayers, and then will I show you the one whom your soul loves.” He never said anything like that. If you ever find a passage that logically leads to that conclusion, please let me know.
That brings me to problem #3 (or is this agreement #1?), and this is where I want to transition into the idea of what I have found contented singleness to be. I alluded to this in my previous argument. If you are not complete in Christ before you find a mate, there are going to be serious problems. Your mate will not complete you.
Let me say that again so that it sinks in. Your mate will NOT complete you.
I may not know this from experience, but it is, again, the logical conclusion based on one fact. And my parents have done a good job of modeling this as well. Your mate is as much of a sinner as you are. You’re both struggling along in your Christian lives, desperately trying to show Christ-like love to one another, and yet miserably failing multiple times each day because you’re both sinners. Any success you have is through God’s strength, and that’s why it’s so important to have a solid relationship with God on your own before you date, become engaged, or marry. Your relationship with God is never going to be perfect, but you must be striving to find your completeness in Christ, because you cannot rely on another sinful person to fill a void in your life. Especially when that void is God-shaped.
So what do I think about contented singleness?
I think contented singleness is when you stop waiting for a special person to show up in your life.
So many people are waiting! I think girls especially struggle with this, though I’m sure guys do as well. Since I’m a girl, I’m going to stick to a girl’s perspective on this. Guys, draw whatever conclusions you can based on Scripture and your own struggles. But girls, how many of us are still sitting around waiting for Prince Charming on a white charger? How many plans have you put on hold because you’re not sure when or whether he’s coming? How many of you SINGLE girls are trying to work your life plans around those of a guy you don’t know– one who isn’t even part of your life yet?
Remember what I said about being complete in Christ on your own? That could also be applied to just being a complete person on your own in general. No one likes a chameleon dater, nor is that a healthy mentality. You should be confident and comfortable in your own skin. God gave you your own talents, abilities, and hobbies. You don’t need to conform everything to some guy’s, and you absolutely should not! I don’t think I need to tell you why doing so is an unhealthy idea.
If you don’t know who he is, if you’re not attached, if you are single you’re blessed. You have the freedom to look at those God-given talents, abilities, and hobbies, and decide what to do with them. You have the freedom to create your own hopes and dreams, find out which of those are God’s will, and go after them!
Paul even said in 1 Corinthians 7:34– There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
I’m not against dating, or love, or marriage. On the contrary, I deeply desire to have a husband and family someday. That’s not wrong either. God said that it is not good for man to be alone, and he created woman to be man’s helpmeet. That is biblical. Those desires are God-given, and both sexes have those desires, albeit somewhat differently. It is obviously not wrong to desire what God created you for! But in focusing too much on that idea, we are missing another.
Those of us who are single have unique opportunities to serve the Lord that we probably wouldn’t have if we were tied down in a relationship. This is not an in-between period of time– at least it shouldn’t be. This is the time we have the most freedom to serve the Lord, the most flexibility.
So why are we waiting? There’s nothing to wait for! The rest of your life does not start when you start dating that person, or when you become engaged, or even when you marry that person. The rest of your life starts every morning when God chooses to let you wake up and live another day, and He lets you do that because He has a purpose for your life. The rest of your life starts now. What are you waiting for? What are you going to do about it?
“Lord, what would you have me to do?”
That is what “single and content” should mean.