So I must preface this post with two things: First, this will be a long post. Secondly, these are simply thoughts and ideas I have discovered as a single, 20 year old male in college who pursues Jesus by His grace and love alone.
I am writing about the idea of singleness because I have realized how big of a topic it is in America (not just in Christian circles). However, singleness is treated as a disease that needs to be cured. So often I have been asked “are you dating anyone right now?” as if there is an expectation that I have to or should be. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely have a desire to be married one day, but I have found that a lot of Christians’ views of singleness is quite skewed. We always have these cliché (and might I add stupid) quotes related to dating within Christianity. Here are two for example:
“Run fast as you can toward God and if someone keeps up, introduce yourself.”
“Remember God will never take something away from you without the intention of replacing it with something better.”
There’s always a “cure” for singleness. You just have to wait long enough, trust God enough, pursue God harder. It’s never enough though because singleness was never a disease to be cured. Let me briefly share my experience with this in all of my 20 years of living in this “ring before spring” culture.
My entire life, until very recently around the middle of September, I had structure my life like this:
I had centered my life around girls and finding a relationship. Everything I did orbited around finding a relationship. Each day I would wake up and try to find someone that could make me feel loved, who gave me affection, made me feel special, and ultimately I just wanted to feel comfortable and to feel good. My whole reason for following Jesus was to impress a Christian girl. My prayers were that I would become a godly man so that I could find a godly girl. Going to school, church, and my job was like fishing for the best girlfriend. I had realized this destructive tendency in my life and surrendered to God saying “I don’t want anything to distract or get in the way of my relationship with you, O God, ever again.”
That night, I never felt so free and joyous. I had been freed. The reason I say freed is because with my life looking like that, I was under slavery to relationships. It was a heavy yoke that brought only disappointment, hurt, and sadness.
There were many repercussions to this view that I am still dealing with today. I do admit I am not perfect and I sometimes still strive for a girl’s heart rather than the heart of God, but I can honestly say my whole life has changed since that night.
What I’ve realized since then is that there is so much emphasis on how to date properly, how to figure out if this person is worth dating, figuring out if this person is a part of God’s will for your life, etc. These can be fine and I’ve actually found some material that is quite excellent about this stuff. All that excellent material, though, centers around Jesus Christ and not relationships.
We all have a desire to be loved and shown affection and that’s not a bad thing. If we find that desire is being “satisfied” by anything other than Jesus, it just becomes a cyclical mechanism that destroys your life. Trust God. Trust Him that He is good and that He alone satisfies you. To chase after anything else to be satisfied is an act of unbelief and distrust in God. You will be shown love, affection and be cared for through Christ. Has He not already?
I may have said this in previous posts, but I will gladly repeat it: love has to be followed by an action. You cannot simply tell a person each and every single day that you love them and do nothing about it. Love is also measure by the depth of that action. Want to know how much God loves you? Read Romans 5:8 then read John 15:13. That’s how much God loves you. The perfect and holy God who needs nothing loves you that much.
So to those who are single: Seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness. Trust Him. Love others the way you want to be loved.
To those who aren’t single: Please help us out and (for those of you who do this) quit asking about our love life. If we are seeing someone you will know.