It’s a personal status that is embraced, hated, desired, tolerated, revered as second class, and even envied. Surprisingly, this is similar to marriage in most of those aspects, but most likely not statistically the same. So one may say, “What in the world am I supposed to do then?” “Time is passing me by and this is not how I pictured my life at this point in time!” This frantic search for contentment can at times make a person’s heart seem like a squirrel zig-zagging back and forth in the road, not knowing whether security and purpose is to the left or right as a car approaches. For people, the very action that seems to be the wrong decision leading to disaster is to -- stay still. There are times for everyone to… be still and know that God is God. (Ps 46:10)
Questions that remain and linger are “How do I do that?” “When?” And, “For how long?” Yet, there is more than just being still while waiting for God’s timing concerning a marital partner.
Yes, there may be many content singles out there whether never married or as single again, but my purpose for this article is to share some truths and activities that have helped me, not an expert in singleness, embrace singleness and to endure lonely times while desiring marriage.
First, review and reflect on these biblical truths in your Bible:
singleness is a life ‘given’ by God to some people – Matt. 19:11-12
some are incapable of marriage from birth or by man – Matt. 19:12
singleness is the life we will all have in heaven – Matt. 22:30
single life needs to be accepted (to be content with) – Matt. 19:11
godliness with contentment is great gain – 1 Tim 6:6
singleness is a gift from God (for a season or for life) – 1 Cor. 7:7
single life can have less distractions and be enjoyed for God’s glory – 1 Cor. 7:7-8, 32-35
widows can remarry and / or be devoted to serving the church – 1 Tim. 5:3-16
everyone who willingly and sacrificially follows Jesus will be greatly rewarded -- Matt. 19:29-30
Secondly, along with scripture, here are some sayings that I dwell on and also actions that help my mind and heart endure loneliness, broken relationships (heading toward marriage), and to battle lies that come through our culture in the form of songs, movies, and traditional sayings …
God knows what’s best for me now and in the future.
Do not seek a romantic relationship with someone who does not fear and honor the Lord.
Fast from things that provoke lonely feelings, depression, or that that make you feel like singleness is a curse.
During lonely times, reach out to those who do not know Jesus for the purpose of leading them to Jesus over time. These people can be family members, neighbors, co-workers, and strangers (be prayerful, careful, and wise).
Seek one or more people to help them grow as a Christian; in studying the Bible, prayer, discovering their spiritual gift, serving the church, giving, going on a mission trip, and sharing the message of Jesus – make disciples.
Finally, for those who sincerely desire to encourage a struggling single, here is a thought or two to consider in what not to say:
a) “If you just focus on what God wants you to do, he will bring you a mate as you are faithful.” Listen, God does not promise everyone a mate and his timing is normally not ours.
b) “Why are you not married?”
Yes, it’s probably meant to encourage them in their physical beauty and character, but I perceive that most singles in college and beyond desire to be married and prefer not to focus on the marriage topic unless they bring it up or permission is asked. But, healthy singles in Christ are not afraid of “singleness conversations” and will have testimonies of how God blesses and uses singleness for good.
Bless and be Blessed in Singleness,