But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." — Matthew 6:33
I used to think singleness was a curse, but now I know that it can be a gift—even if it's a temporary one.
Eight years ago, I entered a "situationship" with a guy who told me from the beginning that he didn't want to be in a relationship or get married in the future. I secretly hoped that I would be the one to change his mind
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 eight, but 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 eight 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 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. I haven't since.
Over the years, I've learned a lot about myself and about how to overcome the struggles that Christian singles experience. I hope 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. I feel your pain.
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 Him for who He is and find your identity in Him.
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 when you need it.
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 decide to accept Him on his/her own. Falling for a person's potential is dangerous, especially if that person doesn’t see their potential.
A change done for another person will rarely last, but a change done by 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 most successful relationships that I've witnessed 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. This may sound weird to some, but it can be helpful to make a list of non-negotiables—things or character traits that you 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 what you deserve—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're nowhere to be found? I do believe in divine connections, but in most cases, God requires us to step outside our comfort zone in some way.
You can't expect someone to find you if always locked in your house watching Netflix. We are currently in a pandemic, so if you don't feel comfortable with in-person meetups, there are plenty of virtual small groups and events you can join.
Showing interest in someone is a great way to showcase your availability. To the women reading this, don't mistake showing interest for "pursuing a man." Proverbs 18:22 clearly states, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.”
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.