How to Handle Being Single With Faith
Marriage has been my dream since I got past the "girls rule, boys drool" stage in my life. If you are like many of us, it has been yours too. Fast-forward to early adulthood: I had finally reached the age when I could be legally married. And for seven years after my eighteenth birthday, I wouldn't be. Whether others were just hiding their loneliness to avoid judgment, or they were actually happy just the way they were, I can't tell you. Nobody talked about it. All I can do is speak for myself: I was downright depressed during that time. I went through a handful of relationships, and they all failed. I was single and not loving it. On the spectrum between independent and desperate, I will admit I was more toward the desperate end. God held me together. However, He got me through those seven years, teaching me much along the way, strengthening me, and drawing me closer to Him. He taught me how to handle loneliness with faith. Here's how you can too.
The Gift of Singleness
One thing that got me through those years was a teaching I heard at my church on the gift of singleness. It's a time in one's life that can be devoted to serving and pleasing God: an often unwanted, but definite gift.
32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 1 Corinthians 7:32-34. NIV.
It is not a sin to desire a partner, and it is not a sin to marry. What Paul is saying here is that singleness is actually better than marriage. Your attention and devotion to the Lord while single are undivided. Without a partner to please, you are free to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. Looking back, I realize that during my single years, not having a partner meant more time for God. During this time in your life, recognize that singleness is a gift. Take advantage of the free time you have and devote it to God. You can find joy in Him that no human partner could ever give you.
Fix Your Eyes on Eternity
At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. Matthew 22:20. NIV.
This verse was a huge comfort to me when I would look around at all the happy couples around me, and find my lonely heart aching. Just know that there will be no marriage in heaven anyway. It isn't like a happy marriage will last forever. In reality, it's "until death does us part," not "happily ever after." Keep your eyes fixed on heaven, and set your mind on it.
2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2. NIV.
One day God will wipe away every tear you have ever cried, and all pain will pass away. He will do this for all believers once we enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Seek the Kingdom above all else.
It's Only a Season
Remember this: there is someone out there for you, and this is only a season in your life. That happy day when you say "I do" will come, in God's timing, if you will only ask for it and do one thing:
4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4. NIV.
That's a promise from God's Word. And I know that God always keeps His promises. It has happened to me, and for the distressed single friends, I have sent this verse to. One day I stopped praying for forgiveness for desiring a partner so badly, and just started being frank in my prayers. I began praying for a godly man, and in the meantime, I devoted my heart to love God. Not too long afterward, my prayer was answered. I didn't think that I was worthy of having that prayer answered. But God blessed me anyway. I am now happily married, and this can happen for you too if you delight yourself in the Lord, and just have a mustard seed sized faith that your prayer will be answered. Until then, be patient, and make the most of it. Dive into God's Word. Serve, pray without ceasing, and grow.