Let me say a few words first.
I’ve posted on the topic of singleness before. Short thoughts through different mediums and outlets, but I’ve never been able to write out complete thoughts. Let me describe who I am writing this to. I am writing to the people that message or email me on a regular basis saying that they desire a relationship, and it is a struggle for them. They’re frustrated, and they want to be in a relationship. That is the desire of their heart in the season they find themselves in.
Let me also say this, and this is critical. It always seems to be lost in translation or the victim of a character count. Read this. Whether you are single, dating, or married, if you are in Christ, there is nothing in your life that you lack that a relationship with another human can bring to further fulfillment in life. Nothing. It does not take a spouse for you to flourish under the canopy of grace. If you are in a relationship with Jesus Christ, saved by grace through faith, you have everything you need. I sincerely hope that clears up all questions as the rest of this article unfolds.
This isn’t for the person who is content in their singleness, if that’s you, you’re in a mature and beautiful place. I mean that. Paul concedes in 1 Corinthians 7 that he wishes others would be as he is (single), because it’s easier to secure one’s complete devotion to the Lord rather than being anxious about a significant other, but this is not a command. Here is the the reality though, the overwhelming majority of people that reach out to me are extremely dissatisfied in their relationship status or really, a lack there of. I write to them. Not you, who is content. According to Pew Research Center, 70% of millennials want to marry. And according to what I see on a daily basis, 95% of Christians desire marriage.
Singleness does not equate to a time of waiting for a relationship, but the reality is that many of you are waiting for that. My position here is simple, that if you are waiting, you wait well and on God. That if you are struggling with your relationship status, that you know you aren’t defined by your relationship status. That if the church has made you feel less than, that you would realize you aren’t inferior. That if you feel like you lack, you know that you are whole. That if love feels like it eludes you, that you know that love has already sought you, and found you.
Singleness is not a storm, it’s a season. I can hear already hear the keyboard warriors tweeting me that singleness is not a season because it can last a lifetime. Keep reading.
The northernmost city in the United States is a town called Barrow, Alaska. The average temperature in Barrow is 11 degrees. The seasons change just like they do in the rest of the United States, but the temperature doesn’t fluctuate as much. You’re always wearing a jacket, regardless of the fact that in July they say it’s summer. You might say that’s an extreme example, and you’d be correct. But if you’re reading this and don’t plan on being married, you’re like Barrow, an extremely small percentage of people who won’t or don’t care to get married.
Does the fact that Barrow, Alaska feels like it’s always winter to the rest of the population in this country mean that it is any less a part of the United States? No. It just means the temperature there is extreme and different from the majority of other states. If it’s God’s will for you that you remain single, does that mean you are any less whole? Not at all. According to Pew Research, the vast majority of you want to and will get married, so for most of you, singleness is in fact, a season. I’m not trying to set you up for unrealistic expectations and guarantee that your season of singleness will end, but at some point, statistically speaking, it’s likely. Most people marry, successful or not, but if you don’t, Paul applauds you and so do I. I am astounded by your spiritual commitment and fortitude.
But for the rest of you who wish to marry someday…
It’s that time of year where you’re painfully aware of your relationship status, or lack there of, because everyone is posting about their own. Love is in the air, the leaves are beginning to fall, everyone has someone they can grab a blanket and a PSL with except you, right? It feels like the rest of the world is being insensitive to the fact that you’re struggling with where you’re at, but I want to talk to the person who is struggling.
The person that desires a relationship and is both completely devoted to the Lord and hopeful that there is someone out there for them. Be a great steward of your singleness. Wait, and wait well. Once again I can hear the keyboard warriors tweeting me that using the word, “wait,” is an indication that you’re waiting for something that may never happen. Hear me out though, I’m not telling you to wait on another person, I’m telling you to wait on God. Whether He chooses to bring or not to bring someone your way is His will, and at the center of His will is where you’re called to stand. As you are being sanctified, giving thanks in all circumstances 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 5:18 relationship or no relationship.
So, wait. Not because it’s easy, but because it’s worth it. Seasons of waiting are the training grounds of becoming. Becoming the man or woman of God that you’ve been called to be. Should God bring you into a covenental relationship with someone else, becoming the person who can stand in front of God, family, and friends, and confidently say, “I do.” Becoming someone who is tethered to Christ. Someone who understands the gravity of their vows when made in the presence of God. Someone who doesn’t leave when things get hard, but is committed to being a stayer. Christ stayed on the cross in His love for us, we reflect that love in our love for another when and if we marry.
Waiting is not a punishment, it is a process. The only thing more difficult than waiting on God is wishing that you had. Don’t force or over-romanticize relationships. We tend to only observe the benefits of a relationship and ignore the difficulties of one. If we do this, we’re setting ourselves up to fail. There is nothing wrong with desiring a relationship with someone. There is something wrong with idolizing it, and that’s what a lot of Christian culture has done. We want someone else more than our Savior, but we must prioritize Him above all.
Singleness isn’t a disease and relationship isn’t a cure. If you are waiting on God, and if you believe He has brought someone else into the picture, be sure they love Jesus more than they love you. Pray for the person you hope God blesses you with, focus on becoming the person God will bless someone else with should he choose to do so, and glorify Him together. Fall in love with Jesus above any and every thing, every person, and every opportunity. Only Jesus can fully satisfy with His perfect, unfailing love. If you have Jesus, no love is a replacement or compliment to it. His love stands alone as complete in it’s satisfaction and fulfillment. Jesus is everything we could ever want and more than we could ever deserve.
Catch up with Luke on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook: @lukelezon
I am not and would never profess to be an expert on this topic. The only reason I give this topic a shot fairly often is because I get bombarded with questions about being single two times the rate I get asked any other questions. As a young married individual, I’d never give marriage advice, but as someone that was single and did eventually get married, I try to help where I can. There are significantly better resources than me though. I will list a few below - you can find any of these books on Amazon.
Single, Dating, Engaged, Married - Ben Stuart
Welcome To Adulting - Jonathan “JP” Pokluda
The Meaning Of Marriage - Tim Keller
You And Me Forever - Francis and Lisa Chan