The Gift Of Being Single
I have had my fair share of crushes in my life, but up until two years ago, I had never been in a relationship; not on one date. And no, I didn’t read a book and make a pact to kiss dating goodbye; it just never happened. I had become a Christian at 22 and all I cared about after that was Jesus and me. All I did was consume the Bible and grow in my relationship with Christ. I had no desire for a relationship and I was content.
That changed when I went to live and serve alongside a family in Africa for part of a summer at 25. I saw for maybe the first time what a Christ-centered marriage looked like. This man and woman loved one another; and their focus individually and together was Christ and His Kingdom. Each pushed the other toward Him and by doing so, grew all the more in their love for Him and for one another.
It was such a beautiful picture of Christ and the Church, I began to desire that. And so I began to pray. I prayed that if this new found desire was His perfect will and was for my good and His glory, He would reveal it in His perfect time. Years went by and there was no answer, but the constant reminder that God was perfectly faithful and that the course of my life was in His power (Psalm 31:14-15) was always clear.
Was it hard? Incredibly so; there were times I felt so alone and defeated. I longed for that blessing but I longed for God more. And God slowly began to show me that my singleness was an incredible gift and not a stigma. He began growing my heart for my church and revealing to me the needs that I could meet there. I saw the beautiful gift and privilege that had been given to me and my love for God grew deeper.
A dear friend of mine said that in her singleness she grew closer to God by being “alone” because she was able to focus on her own heart, her character, and who she was as a woman of Christ. This is God’s desire for us, dear brothers and sisters; that He would be our only desire and fulfillment, regardless of our relationship status.
John Stott, an Anglican cleric who remained single his entire life, stressed the importance of singles focusing on their relationship with Christ. He said this, “If Christians don’t develop a deeply fulfilling love relationship with Jesus, they will put too much pressure on their DREAM of marriage, and that will create pathology in their lives”. We need to know that Christ is our central focus and that His ways are our desires; otherwise, if we do eventually date and marry, there WILL be very deep and difficult issues that will arise.
I think often in the Church, if you are over the age of 25 and single, a stigma gets put on you and you begin to think there might be something wrong with you. You couldn’t be more wrong.
Singleness is a beautiful gift that God wants you to unwrap and discover all the blessings that are inside. If you are single at this point in life I would encourage you to do these three things:
- Pray and ask God if this is His desire for your life and for your good and His glory. Ask if He is calling you to a life of singleness.
- Pray and ask God for a deeper heart and a deeper relationship with Him.
- Pray and ask God to use you in your church and in your community; serving and encouraging alongside your brothers and sisters.