If you’re reading this as a single man or woman who feels strongly about a relationship – even marriage – you’re not the only one. I’ve been single for as long as I can remember. Most days, I don’t mind the wait, but as much as I love learning about the Lord on my own, I eagerly wait for the day when I can grow in faith with my partner.
Friend, I want to affirm you and let you know it’s okay to be faith-filled..and still be lonely. When my lonely gets too loud, I tell myself it’s alright. This is human – as human as anyone can get. If people invalidate your desire and say you lack faith because “you are not satisfied in the Lord,” talk to someone else. Your desire is God-designed – God created Eve for Adam as a helpmate – in the same way that others have the equally blessed gift of singleness. But then, this isn’t an excuse to waste this fulfilling albeit tiring season. You eventually get to a point when you understand its purpose. This is exactly when you allow His faithful plans to unfold.
- Make peace with your past.
The most liberating feeling is knowing your shortcomings, asking atonement for them, and making way for God to renew you. I’m pretty sure we all have had (almost) relationships and “cheap” imitations of love we want to keep in the farthest corners of our minds – or even pray into non-existence – but wounds often arise when these aren’t properly dealt with. Before you can genuinely be content with the season you’re in, make peace with the people you’ve hurt, make peace with God, and make peace with yourself. God can trace away all the murky, sad parts of you you’re afraid to show others – if you let Him. Let these chains (of hurt and self-loathing) be broken.
You will no longer remember the shame of your youth. (Isaiah 54:4)
- Guard your contentment.
Guard your heart, you’ve probably heard that – and if you’re in a Christian environment, endless amount of times. But, do you guard your contentment? The simple act of binge-watching Koreanovelas or romantic comedies makes any woman want the fairytale-type-of-love fast. Personally, I watch vlogs from itsjudyslife every single day. When I get really lonely, I cry myself to sleep because I don’t have what they have. (I’m not exaggerating.) I’m not telling you to stop watching these shows, I have no intention of doing so too, but take caution in what holds your heart and mind captive.
Months ago, I deleted a playlist with sad love songs I listened to when I wanted to indulge in my sadness. Rather, I pray and redirect my thoughts to higher things. Stop romanticizing your sadness, and know what triggers it.
- Learn from your relationships.
And no, not from romantic ones. How do you treat those you have nothing to gain from? Are you creating new relationships and nurturing old ones? Are you plugged in a solid community that helps you grow or are you too busy engaging in futile acts like gossip to belong to one? How you treat those around you will eventually be how you treat your partner.
For women, do you affirm the men around you? Do you push them towards Christlikeness? For men, do you treat women with respect and protect them? Do you let their unique femininity radiate? Regardless of your “intentions,” kindness doesn’t go unnoticed.
- Passively wait, actively serve.
Are you pursuing your best, the Lord? Do you make time for Him? Are you delighting in Him and His precepts, or do you simply make Him an afterthought? There is so much that God can boldly use us for – to reach out and mentor someone younger than us, to be part of any ministry in Church, and to let people know about God in whatever way we can. This season is a great gift; may we offer our waiting to the Lord.
An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world – how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:34-35)
Being in a relationship is a beautiful, life-giving thing but honor your singleness, and make peace with it. Don’t make a (romantic) relationship your goal. Be open to possibilities, and allow this season to bear glorious things within you. If you’re single, good, it means you have uninterrupted time to learn about life without compromising your plans – because you have another person in the equation. It is a wonderfully grave responsibility, after all. Do the things you’re afraid of – trek a mountain, learn a new language, go on your first solo trip – and love life without anticipating that someone falls in love with you in the process.
Work on your person, and continue to fall in love with your kind of beautiful. Let time transform you. Lay down your expectations on the feet of Christ. I tell you, every day you wait on God’s plan is a gift to your spouse.