For those of you who are saved and single, let me start by saying your singleness is not a curse.
There was a time when I thought it was, though.
I've been single for most of my adult life, actually all but who's counting. Six years ago, I entered a "situationship" with a guy who told me from the beginning that he didn't want a relationship, nor did he have any plans of ever getting married.
I secretly hoped that I would be the one to change his mind and convinced myself that it was okay to date him because I didn't want a relationship at the time either. That was just a lie that I told myself.
For a year and a half, I allowed him to take advantage of me and emotionally abuse me. I compromised my values and my relationship with God to be with him.
I got saved when I was 8-years-old, but because of not fully understanding the difference between religion and relationship, I lived as a carnal Christian for most of my life. I sought love in all the wrong places and had little self-worth.
I was attracted to guys who objectified me and ran from the ones who were genuinely interested in me. And then six years ago, I put myself through a situation that I didn't have to go through, but God used it to open my eyes.
My heart was completely torn into pieces. I loved someone who didn't have any respect for me because I had low standards for myself.
After that situationship, I pleaded with God to help me and decided that I was going to work on myself and never again compromise my values for anyone. And I haven't since.
I have been waiting on God to send me that special man for (what seems like) a very long time. But in waiting, I've learned a lot about myself and about how to overcome the struggles that Christian singles experience.
My hope is to encourage the not-yet-married and share a few things that will help you along your journey. Here are 5 keys to overcoming the struggles of being saved and single:
1. Focus on God.
So, you've been trying to do the right thing and follow God, but you notice that all your non-saved friends are getting married. And you're still single. Believe me, I feel your pain.
As crazy as this may sound, a season (or seasons) of singleness is a gift. We need to learn how to be content in singleness. God has amazing things that He's trying to do in your life right now and wants your full attention.
A period of complete devotion to God is necessary so you can see God for who He is and find your identity in Him. Because if you don't know who you are in Christ as a single person, how can you ever know who you are in a relationship centered around Him?
You can't. You'll be looking for your relationship to define you and never be truly satisfied.
"You must not have any other god but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea."
— Exodus 20:2-4
It's important to find your identity in Christ before entering a relationship because a man/woman can become an idol. God doesn't want you to put anyone or anything before Him.
Learn to trust God and do things His way. He may not always give you what you want when you want it, but He will always supply you with what you need.
2. Don't be a missionary dater.
Although God does use us to lead others to Christ, you shouldn't date someone in hopes of converting them. This is a trap that can lead to serious heartbreak.
Accept people for who they are, and if they're open to knowing more about Christ, awesome—share with them but keep it pushing. Let a person's actions speak louder than their words, because the moment you become emotionally attached to someone who isn't saved, you're headed downhill.
You can lead a person to Christ, but a man or woman must make the decision to accept Him on his/her own. Falling for someone’s “potential” is dangerous, especially if that person doesn’t see it for him/herself.
A change done for another person will rarely last, but a change done for God will always prove to be true.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.
3. Live your life.
Marriage will not fulfill your unmet needs. Despite popular belief, your future mate should not complete you—he/she should complement you. There's a big difference.
The best relationships are when two whole people come together. If you aren't content in your life now, a relationship won't be able to fix that.
Live your life! You don't need a mate to live the life that God has planned for you. Exercise, travel, take risks and build your dreams. Flirt with life and enjoy being single.
You'll be surprised at what will happen when you least expect it.
4. Don't flex on your standards and/or values.
Be decisive and selective, and always stand firm on what you believe in. When you're desperate and indecisive, you're ripe for making poor decisions and accepting anything.
Practice the things that help you to stay grounded, and don't waiver in your selection process. As corny as this may sound, it can be helpful to make a list of non-negotiables — things you absolutely will not be flexible with. Writing things out can help you to think clearer.
As challenging as it can be, waiting on God will always bring the most blessed outcome. Don't let impatience or desperation cause you to settle for anything less than God's best.
But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.
— Isaiah 40:31
5. Make yourself available.
A. Make yourself available to meet someone.
How can you ever meet someone if you don't make yourself available to do so? I do believe in divine connections. In fact, I've heard some of the most miraculous stories ever, but in every single one of those stories, God required that person to step out of his/her comfort zone in some way.
Some people make themselves so unavailable that the chances of them ever meeting someone is slim to none.
I do also believe in showing interest in the person who you believe meets your qualifications. To the women reading this, don't mistake this for pursuing a man. Proverbs 18:22 clearly states, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.”
Let the man find and pursue you, but he can't do that if you're always locked in your house watching movies on Netflix. Talking to or even expressing interest in a man does not mean you’re chasing him—it just means you're communicating your availability to be pursued.
To the men reading this, communication is key. Don’t be afraid to do more than just say hi to a woman you’re interested in. Developing a friendship first is always a great step. And asking her to grab coffee doesn’t mean you’re automatically committed to her.
I will admit that women are super emotional though and tend to misread things, so be straightforward with your intentions and make wise decisions.
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." — 2 Timothy 1:7
B. Make yourself available to BE the qualities you seek in a mate.
If you want a compassionate man, learn how to be a more compassionate woman. If you want a patient woman, learn how to be a patient man.
A few years ago, I wrote a prayer request to God with all the qualities that I desire in a future husband. The most important part of that letter was about the work that I desired for God to do in me.
I asked God to work in me and help me to increase in everything that I want in a mate. And He really has and still is. As you abide in God, He promises to abide in you and grant your requests.
Waiting on God can be challenging at times, but the absolute best way to overcome the struggles of being saved and single is to stay grounded in the Word.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.
— Matthew 6:33
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic. What are some of the things you deal with as a Christian single? What qualities do you look for in a God-centered man or woman? Head on over to the discussions page on the blog, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Know someone who'd benefit from this message? Share with a friend :)
Hang in there guys! God's always at work.