Theatre gal now working in full-time ministry. Here to encourage you as you figure out a life lived pursuing Jesus.
If you’re a single in the modern church, you’ve probably experienced one of the following:
I get it. I’ve been there. I’m still there. Singleness can be a difficult stage of life to be in, especially if you’re someone who does not want to be there. Even those who remain single by choice often deal with the pressure of society (both secular and Christian) to find “the one.”
I’m not going to lie; when I first started dating in college, I went in with romantic comedy goggles on. I thought to myself, “This is what I’ve been waiting for for so long…It’s going to be great.” It wasn’t. I was slapped in the face with reality. What I had built up in my head for so long was a lot more disappointing and mundane than what I had imagined.
I don’t mean to sound like the Ebenezer Scrooge of dating here. I have also seen many people in my life build wonderful, God-honoring relationships. The problem is that we’ve allowed marriage to become an idol in modern culture, making singles feel like they’re in the back of the pack in the marathon of life.
If that’s you, please know that God has an entirely different narrative to offer.
Growing up in the church, I heard a lot of teaching on dating and marriage. Like, a lot. I knew more about how to keep room for the Holy Spirit between me and a boy than how to pray and fast.
I sought out a lot of this teaching on my own. It seemed like an important topic, and the Bible isn’t really explicit on it, so like many other teenagers, I had a lot of questions. Years later, I’ve realized that the underlying belief I was building was that my greatest fulfillment and satisfaction would come from being a wife.
Now, if I had articulated that back to any of my leaders or pastors at the time, I’m sure they would have graciously corrected me, but back then, I didn’t know what was happening. I didn’t realize that I was building an identity and self-worth around a relationship status.
This was why I sometimes flirted with boys, just to see if I could make them like me. This was why I built a massive Pinterest wedding board and spent hours daydreaming about falling in love. I believed that I would eventually find my “other half,” and suddenly, my life would feel complete.
Part of my passion for having this blog is helping you (and me) find God’s best for our lives. Friend, please reject the notion that you can’t find God’s best if you’re single. Being sanctified in Christ does not look like being married and living in a suburban house with two and a half children.
Jesus never married. He proved that a perfect, holy, and content life could be lived single and celibate.
As I said, I used to view marriage as a sort of magic machine that transformed you into the best version of yourself. Until you met your other half, you were living a half-full existence. Now that I’ve seen close friends and family get married, I know the truth. You and your spouse are broken, sinful people the day before you get married and the day after.
I just had the privilege of standing by the side of one of my oldest friends on her wedding day. I got a text from her this morning, and all it read was, “It still doesn’t feel real….” I’m not married, so I can’t speak into this emotion that much, but what I’ve witnessed is that being married doesn’t make you feel different. You are still the same you with all the flaws, dreams, and quirks you had when you were single.
You still need to meet with Jesus daily, engage in community, and die to your flesh on the regular. Probably even more so since you are now sharing space with someone who is entirely different than you.
We need to dismantle any belief we have that marriage will somehow improve or save us. It won’t. That power is vested in Christ and Christ alone.
Whether single or married, I think all of us contribute to singles’ pressure to get into a relationship. After all, who doesn’t enjoy watching a good love story unfold? What this does, however, is make singles feel like they need to rush out of their season of singleness.
Back in World War 2, when compiling covert teams to fight Nazi Germany, many operations required agents to be single. Why? Because they were less likely to be preoccupied with the thoughts of their spouse and family, which allowed them to contribute greater to the larger goal at hand.
Paul outlines this same premise blatantly in 1 Corinthians 7:
“I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.”
You can still be useful for God’s kingdom if you’re married but being single offers you greater devotion and freedom. If you want to get married one day, chances are you will. Therefore, your singleness is only for a season. Use it with generosity.
Offer to babysit for free. Take a night class to learn more about scripture. Serve overseas.
When you talk to single people, instead of asking them if they’re seeing anyone, ask them about their dreams or how they’re serving their community right now. Encourage them to make good use of their freedom.
God is offering you full, abundant, satisfying life exactly where you are. Let’s choose to dive in.