Thoughts on why you might be struggling with being single
It’s been a while since I’ve reflected on being a single Christian girl; it’s been something I’ve struggled with, especially seeing my friends and other ladies getting married off. Nonetheless, God has done a great work in my heart these last past months, and I am SO thankful for it. By His grace, somehow, He’s removed that loud, inner noise in me that would persistently nag me; the desire to be married. Don’t get me wrong; I would love to be someday if God has that for me, it’s just more on the back-burner of my mind. :)
Singleness doesn’t have to be a struggle, and God has really shown me what a blessing it is to be single, and has convicted me in stewarding well my singleness. That all said, God has also provided for me. I am on a mission here in this little town, but I’m not on mission alone. God has provided me with a family and community of believers, my church, who I get to work alongside. Over these past few months, we’ve been able to see how the mission and call of God for our town has born fruit and truly is very exciting to see. I’m as always, super thankful to God for my cousin, who with him, I get to run a ministry.
Reasons why you may be struggling
A couple of possible reasons why you may be struggling with accepting the gifts of singleness. I think there’s one reason: idolatry. You have made something, other than God, your god.
You’ve put your hope and trust that marriage will solve your problems, fulfil your calling, make mission and ministry easier, cure your loneliness, fill your need the affection, attention or approval, affirm your attractiveness, beauty, or acceptance. Maybe you put your identity into being married.
You believe that a godly spouse would make you closer to God
Perhaps you rightly desire a godly spouse for the wrong reasons. You believe that having a godly spouse that loves God will make you love God more. It’s tricky because here there are good desires mixed with bad reasons. Non-Christian or Christian, single or married, your future or current spouse is not your stepping stone toward intimacy with God. Jesus is the “stepping stone”; Jesus is the narrow and only door to God the Father.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6, ESV)
You believe your call can only be fulfilled through marriage
Perhaps you feel called to have a family, plant a church, be an overseas missionary, lead a ministry, homeschool, adopt a tonne of kids, or whatever, and you believe that God can only do this, or you can only fulfil your call or mission if you are married. Whatever the status quo is, God is sovereign and beyond. God will not be stumped to achieve what he desires to bring to completion in you just because you’re single.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6, ESV)
Relationship with man has become your idol
You’re sick of being single or “lonely”; your current friendships don’t satisfy you anymore. Friends are too busy, and they can’t spend time with you as they once did. You rely on other people to get you where you want. You’re hoping that being with a person will help you pray more, do more for God, have more fun, do more stuff.
You’re wrong. Your boyfriend, or girlfriend, or spouse, will one day fail you, disappoint you, hurt you. They will one day die, and you may find yourself alone again. Make your primary relationship a relationship with Christ, who died and was risen, who you can spend life with eternally. Remember that Christ is the Living Water and Bread of Life, he is the only relationship that will satisfy you.
but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14, ESV)
Instead, keep making friends, pursuing people, loving Christ. Don’t use people to get what you want, but allow Christ to use you.
You believe that dating or marriage will affirm your beauty
You believe that if there is a man out there who wants to marry or date you, then you can be considered attractive in the eyes of man.
Ladies, because God is perfect and beautiful and you are made in His image, God will restore you to true beauty and perfection. You cannot attain true beauty and perfection through your own works, through buying more cosmetics and clothing, or dieting and exercise. Your earthly beauty will fade. You will die. Invest in things that do not perish. Let the fruit of godliness be your adornment, be clothed in in the sanctifying work of the Spirit. If God has marriage for you, you want your spouse to find beauty in your spirit and soul, which is eternal, and not simply in just your flesh and blood that will perish.
likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. (1 Timothy 2:9-10, ESV)
You feel that by dating someone or being married will fulfil your affirmation that you are loved
You’re bitter and angry that God hasn’t given you your idol, and so you’re pursuing other activities for satisfaction. Instead of prioritising your time and thoughts to be with Him, you seek to be filled by other people. You’re already loved and affirmed by God the Father. You are already known deeply by Him. Do not fail to delight in the knowledge of this.
You’ve made yourself an idol
You’re impatient with God that He is “slow” to give you what you want or think you need. You can’t find any good Christian men. You’re tired of being single. Tired of always being the bridesmaid and never the bride. You’ve decided to take matters into your own hands? You decided that your timing is better than Gods. You’ve invested your time, energy and finances into trying to make yourself more physically attractive instead of adorning yourself in the fruits of godliness. You’ve decided to pursue who you think ought to be your spouse, you want to choose your own spouse and forsake the decision of your Heavenly Father.
You are not God; you don’t know what is best for yourself. Left to your own devices you would choose sin and death. Let your Creator and Heavenly Father be Lord and Sovereign in your life again. He desires good things for his children and brings all things to good for those who love him. Let God surprise you again.
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— (1 Corinthians 2:9, ESV)
What do you do?
Pursue God, love Him, put to death your fleshly desires. Put to death your idols, for all human-made gods are dead and will lead you to death. You will not be satisfied in anything but Christ, so put aside your stubbornness, lay down your pride, and give back to Him your dreams for your future. Trust and know that the things he has for you are beyond what you can imagine or anticipate. Let Him woo you and romance you again. He will surprise you.
Also check out the book Redeeming Singleness: How the Storyline of Scripture Affirms the Single Life by Barry Danylak