Have you ever told yourself or someone else that you are just waiting for “the one”? You know, the ONE person God has planned for you to marry? Perhaps you have even read those books that talk about how if you just guard your heart and make yourself content with being single and “dating” God then He will reward you with that meant-to-be relationship? But you are still single. And now you find yourself wondering why. Wondering what’s wrong with you. Wondering what you did wrong that made it so God cannot “reward” you. Maybe you have even found yourself feeling a bit bitter toward God for not keeping up His end of the deal. Let me tell you, I’ve been there. And I want to share with you the things I have learned…
I’m that girl. I have read the Christian dating books. I have my penny prayer jar (every time you find a penny, say a prayer for your future spouse and put it in the jar). I even have the journal to my future husband. Sure, I still find value in these things – after all, I still find it very important to pray for my future husband – and I will continue doing them (so if my future husband is reading this, oops… the cat’s out of the bag. Ha!) But now I am doing them for the right reasons. See, I started doing them because I felt like they were items on the checklist titled “Have You Earned Your Way to Marriage?” Like I had to do them to be good enough for God to reveal His perfect person for me. Now, I realize that I want to do these things because I already love and care about the person I will someday marry, no matter who he is.
Now, before I go any farther, let me clarify another point to this. I DO NOT believe there is one perfect person for every other person out there. I also do not believe everyone is called to marriage. No, I’m no theology expert, and there is no passage in the Bible that spells this out for us, but let me just explain the way I see it. First, God is way too creative to have made us in pairs… as if He sits up there on His throne and plays wedding Go Fish. “Hmm… do you have a Ken of hearts? Perfect! I have a Barbie and Ken match!” Yeah, no. Also, we are not puppets or robots. We have freewill. This is what gives us the choice to love. And the choice to live inside or outside of God’s will for us. As a mentor of mine explained it once, think of it as concentric circles. Take a sheet of paper and use this to represent the pile of all the people in the world that you could marry. Then, draw a big circle on this paper. This represents God’s will. All of the people in the circle would fall within God’s will of who you could marry. Now, there is a smaller circle inside that one. This is the circle of God’s perfect will. In it is a smaller amount of people that would be the best ones for you to marry. See, you can marry any of those people in the big circle and still be within God’s will, but He also knows which people are better fits for you… you know, the specific things like common interests and compatible personalities. Finally, whether or not you agree with me on the analogy for God’s will, take this into consideration: if there was only one perfect person for every other person to marry, if one person married someone who wasn’t their “one”, it would mess up everyone else… like a huge domino effect of mismatched marriages. That would be a catastrophe. Then there are people who are called to live a life of singleness. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul talks about singleness as an amazing position to be in, but it is a gift given to some people and not others.
Now that I’ve explained my personal beliefs, let me get to the point of why I decided to write and share my thoughts on this topic. I have come in contact with a lot of young people who feel discouraged about not being in a relationship. Many of these same people feel like time is running out. Some of them feel like there is something wrong with them, they are being too picky, or they aren’t doing all the right things. I have felt all of these things. Please read and take to heart what I have to say…
- You are a beautiful child of God. Always remember this. Your identity does not depend upon your relationships with any other human. You are who you are because you are a child of the Creator of the universe. That makes you a pretty spectacular, one-of-a-kind person.
- Every day is as it should be. Don’t take for granted your current position. There are so many opportunities at your fingertips, in singleness or a relationship. Don’t miss all that the present has to offer by worrying about what may or may not happen in the future.
- Singleness is the perfect time to ground yourself in your faith and your relationship with God. Dive into His Word and invest yourself in His service.
- Keep praying for your future. Pray for God’s will to be done in your life. Pray that God would align your heart with His. Pray that if God intends for you to marry, that He would bless and strengthen whoever your future spouse may be. Prayer is still powerful, and God loves to hear from His children.
- Don’t try to figure everything out. In my experience, the best things often happen when we aren’t expecting them. Nothing in your life is a surprise to God, so you don’t need to have it all mapped out. He’s got it under control.
- Keep in mind that nothing in this life is perfect. In our fallen human nature, we are all flawed, and our earthly relationships all come with their problems. God knows this. Trust that He is preparing you for whatever your future may hold.
- If you are not called to a life of singleness, start loving your future spouse now. Pray that God would be preparing you to love him/her in ways that bring glory to God.