I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid.
- John 14:27
"Do you have a boyfriend? When is a man going to snatch you up? Are there any prospects?" These were the questions I was asked by extended family when we were attending my cousin's wedding back in December. Out of nine grandchildren, he and his brother are the only ones married. I am the oldest of four, recently turned twenty-six, and have never dated. Not one date, not one invite. When I was younger, during high school and even my first two years of college, singleness, in a way, did bother me. In high school I saw all my girl friends bring their boyfriends to proms and go on double dates. One friend even hid her relationship from me because she knew I had a crush on the guy who became her boyfriend. I saw guys I was attracted to in college end up with other girls, all of them married now. Is it emotionally taxing as the single one to watch friends and prospects date other people and get married, to see all the engagement and wedding photos on social media? It certainly can be, but we have to remember that having a relationship, being married, is not the end goal in life. In fact, it's not even the purpose of why we were created in the first place.
We can go back to Genesis 1:26-27 to see that God made man in His image and called us good. The reason He made mankind was 1) so that we could glorify Him by making our Creator known to all the world, 2) for there to be an earthly authority over the animals and land, and 3) so that He could have a relationship with us. From the start, we were made to be in relationship with God, but the fall, Adam's sin, broke that connection. When Christ came to earth to die on the cross and rise from the dead, He re-established the connection we have with God (Romans 5:10, Colossians 1:20).
Richard Chenevix once said, "None but God can satisfy the longings of a mortal soul; that as the heart was made for Him, only He can fill it." No relationship will ever fill the void we all have within us; they will never make us complete. It is only by salvation through Christ and seeking Him daily will we ever find that fulfillment (Colossians 2:10, Ephesians 3:19).
Alistair Begg says, "Singleness is a gift. Marriage is a gift. We should not misuse the gifts we've been given." These gifts of singleness and marriage are tools we can use to bring glory to God. In a marriage, it is the representation of Christ and His Bride, which is the body of believers. It illustrates the intimacy that He intends for us to have; the pure union of two becoming one. In singleness, it is the display of having abundance in Christ, that He alone is all we will ever need, and having a greater freedom to pursue Him while we aren’t tied to the responsibilities as a spouse and parent. Just because the longings of our fleshly hearts, the desire to be in a relationship, exist within us does not mean we should wish away our singleness. This is a season in our personal lives that can be quite fulfilling. There is so much room for growth here personally, spiritually, relationally, and emotionally. This is a season where God can do so much work in and through us if we are willing to let Him and recognize that being single is okay, and it is a good thing too. There should not be shame for being single, no matter what the world says and how it reacts when we say, "I'm not in a relationship."
If struggling with singleness is something you face, I encourage you to do as Philippians 1:6-9 tells us to do when things make us anxious, worried, or afraid: pray about everything and thank Him, which allows us to experience His great peace, fixing our thoughts on things that are lovely, godly, pure and honorable, putting into practice the Scripture we study, and God will grant us that peace. To find peace in our singleness is no quick fix. This takes time, it takes effort and self-discipline on our part, but I can guarantee you it's worth it. At this point in my life, I'm not in a state of mind where I want to get married, let alone even date. It has taken me a few years to grow content in Christ in regards to my singleness, and although I personally am an independent person, I know that if God has in store for my life a godly husband, it will be in His timing, His way, and that's a better love story than anyone could conjure up.
1. If I struggle with my season of singleness, what is the root of why?
2. How can I better give God all my concerns about singleness, devoting myself to Him alone wholeheartedly?
3. How can I use my singleness as a way to reach others for God and to grow closer to Him?
Father, thank You for making me and loving me. I believe in Your abundance, how You can satisfy me completely. Help me to be grateful for this gift of singleness and take advantage of the freedom it grants me to bring You glory and grow in my relationship with You. Show me the beauty of this season and use my story to reach others who also struggle with their singleness so that they too may find their peace in You.
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