Do you ever feel lost in the crowd? You find yourself pulled this way and that trying to grasp something that always feels out of reach? You’re Mia in ‘La La Land,’ sneaking away at the party, wondering “is someone in the crowd the only thing you really see? Watching while the world keeps spinning ‘round?” Everyone around you has it all and you’re walking through life in slow motion. And you become disoriented… your life seems to stand still while everyone has the perfect job, the perfect home, the perfect lifestyle, the perfect someone.
You start to believe the lie that without a relationship, your life is still on hold. You’re waiting, waiting, waiting… searching desperately to find someone. You’re stationary in a moving world.
Here’s the secret though… listen really closely… you are not on pause. Life will just keep moving forward, whether or not you feel that you’re stuck where you are. You may not be walking up the escalator, but it’s still going to move.
Believe me, I’ve been there. I am 18-years-old and have never ever once been on a single date. I know…whoa. She must be insane or something… well, no, actually. For the most part, I just haven’t felt the Lord leading me to be in a relationship. And that could change at any time.
But let me tell you something I have learned so far while I’ve chosen to remain single. It is that I do not regret trusting the Lord with the inner thoughts of my heart. I surrendered to my Savior a long time ago, and I am content where I am. I could be very happy in a godly relationship, and I could be very happy remaining single. Each has awesome opportunities to minister and serve God.
Unraveling The Lie
As I read in another blog, marriage is not the mission. Our mission is to spread the Gospel and bring glory to our Heavenly Father. Our mission as believers is not to find the Proverbs 31 woman or the Ephesians 5 man. It is to serve Christ. It is not to share a 1 Corinthians 13 love with our significant other, but with every person, we encounter every day of our lives.
Yes, the dream of being in a healthy, long-term, godly relationship is still a beautiful one to me. However, despite what I’ve been told – that I should live it up while I’m young, or mess around a little and have some fun, or I won’t know how to handle a relationship one day – I am still convinced that the person you are attracts the person you would want to be in a relationship with. And that person is not someone who messes around and lives it up. That person is one with a heart so rooted in Christ that it takes God’s hand to turn his head.
If you are holding off from being in a relationship until you feel the Lord leading you into it, you will be criticized. In fact, God’s Word says:
“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” 2 Timothy 3:12 – (ESV).
I have been openly mocked for choosing to wait until marriage for physical intimacy. I have been teased that I’ve never been kissed. One individual told me that if he wasn’t in a relationship, he would date me so I’d know what it was like to be liked by a real guy.
Seriously?! And I think to myself, why would I ever want to find myself trapped in a lie where I have to date someone to feel appreciated and loved? I am loved by an earthly father and mother who encourage me daily. I am loved by siblings and friends that lift me up. I am loved by a church body that prays for me and keeps me accountable. But even more than that, I am loved so so deeply by a Heavenly Father who sent His only Son to die for me. For you. For all of us.
The lie that this world will constantly try to persuade you with is that you can’t handle that pressure. “Be you” but “follow us.” It’s this contradictory lifestyle that has spun a web so thick that many people don’t even know where to start in climbing out. But see, what the rest of this world doesn’t see is that God is stronger than criticism. He is stronger than trends. He is greater than our doubts.
Another lie you will be told is that being single is the same as being stuck in a rut. But I’ve found it’s quite the contrary. It opens up unique opportunities to minister to those in the environment in which you’ve been placed. Where being in a relationship can be very encouraging, it does take time. While you’re single you have so much more time to offer those around you and give and serve.
Now I’m not saying I’ve never had feelings for anyone or wanted to date. It is simply that, for the most part, God has always whispered to my heart, “It’s not time yet, my dear daughter. Trust my timing. Look at all I have already given you to do.”
And I pray I never lose sight of my real mission here on this earth. To be a Proverbs 31 and Ephesians 5 woman who loves everyone with a 1 Corinthians 13 love and unashamedly spreads a Romans 8 truth.
I pray that as a Ruth, I would trust the Lord, follow Him, and if He so chooses to lead me to my Boaz, then I will trust He knows the readiness of my heart.
Paul even encourages singleness in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 7:7-8). This doesn’t mean that singleness is the only way to go, by any means! I look at Ruth and Boaz (Ruth), Abraham and Sarah, Adam and Eve, Jacob and Rachel (Genesis). The Lord has given us pictures of what a godly relationship should and shouldn’t be. He created Eve for a purpose, to be a companion for Adam, someone he could have a unique, one-man one-woman relationship with.
It simply means that every season in our lives is for a purpose. If you are single, I pray that you would follow Christ with all your heart and use every moment of that special time to accomplish the great things you have extra time to do. If you are in a relationship, I pray that your heart would still remember that while that is a responsibility and special time to share with your significant other, marriage, even if you’re married, is not the ultimate mission. Remain faithful and true to your boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse. But remain faithful to Christ.
“Contentment didn’t come by merely clenching my fists, closing my eyes, and whispering, Jesus is enough, Jesus is enough.
Instead of sitting around trying to talk myself out of loneliness, I got up and went on mission. I grabbed lunch with non-believers, pursued time with Christian brothers, grew in knowledge of his word, and discipled men on campus.
Purposelessness feeds loneliness and makes singleness torture. So, I filled more of my time with what God called me to. Much of what we singles mistake for groanings for marriage is, in my estimation, none other than the soul indigestion of a wasted life. Jesus has bread for your hungry soul that you may not be currently tasting: doing your Father’s will by laboring in his harvest (John 4:31–38)” – Marriage Is Not the Mission, Greg Morse, Desiring God
A Foundation of Truth
The Bible uses many pictures to explain our unique relationship with Christ. A big picture that comes to mind is Jesus as the Bridegroom and the Church as His bride. No matter where you are personally in your single, dating, or marriage life, remember the relationship that comes first. Remember the Love that loved you first.
Our goal is not to date. It is not to marry. It is not to find the “special someone”. We already have an infinitely special Someone who loves us more than we could possibly imagine.
Don’t view your singleness as being stuck in a rut, or it will become that. You are never stationary unless you allow yourself to be. The world keeps moving. It is up to you to surrender to the Lord’s purpose and move with it, not becoming sucked into its pull, but standing apart and serving those around you as it moves forward.
Also, remember, whatever stage you’re in, that whatever you do, you are to do with your whole heart for the glory of God (Colossians 3:23, 1 Corinthians 10:21).
If you’re single, pursue the spreading of the Gospel with those in your community. If you aren’t, pursue the spreading of the Gospel with your significant other, your children, and still your community.
Don’t spend every moment finding someone in the crowd to be “the one.” But rather trust God with the yearnings of your heart, and know that He will guide your heart. He knows exactly what He wants from your life. Trust Him.