I wouldn’t call myself much of a loner. I love to be around people, I enjoy company, and to be honest I don’t like to be alone for long periods of time. However, I have gone many places by myself: movies, restaurants, parks, etc. And for the longest time this bothered me. Why? Because I saw cute couples going to movies, I saw them eating out together, or doing cute couple things. (To be honest, I had plenty of friends I could of hung out with but I never took initiative). It got so bad that I would be angry at myself, angry even at God from me going places alone all the time, for me not having a girlfriend to hold hands with, for me not laughing with a girl or taking a girl in my arms and sweeping her off her feet. But praise be to God our savior that he rescued me from my loneliness, and brought me away from my idolatry!
If I was going to sum up what I have learned from being single my entire life I’d do so in 3 lessons:
- Being single isn’t bad:
The common reality of being a high school or college student and seeing people younger, older, or the same age as you getting in relationships, engaged, or married can be quite stressful. From my experience it’s because I felt like I deserved a relationship and that my life would instantly get better. Now, God made relationships and ultimately marriage to glorify himself, and these things aren’t bad; however, I believe we need to have a healthy look at singleness and relationships. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians says this: “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” 1st Corinthians 7:9 (ESV) I think the biggest idea we can take from this passage as single persons is that Paul himself says that it us good for us to remain single. (Uh oh! Coming from a man who has been single his entire life, that’s not the news I want to hear) Why? Because it’s about the Gospel. Paul expresses here that being single has it’s absolute benefits and that is to pursue the kingdom of God without having the responsibility of a spouse and family. He doesn’t say that it’s a bad thing however. He goes onto to express that if you cannot abstain from the burning passion, that it is better to be married. So, how does this play into being single? I believe that people who truly pursue God and that also have the desire to be married can have benefit of being single because of several things: You get to grow in Christ as much as possible, you have an abundant amount of time available to you, and you can explore who you are as a person. That is what I have experienced in my single living. I have dug into Christ, battling sin, loving him more. I have done my best to use my time effectively and productively for the kingdom of God by not spending time on social media all the time but by investing in friends, getting hobbies, loving people, etc. And I have also been able to do things and become a whole new person! I now have multiple hobbies. Such as: reading, mountain biking, working out(sometimes), computer nerd stuff, and guitar. So, when you are going through this time I encourage you to dig into Christ, pursue him, and focus on growing yourself!
2. The desire to be married isn’t bad either
Although Paul did express that you will be able to pursue Christ further, he doesn’t say that it’s a bad desire. It isn’t a sin. In fact, I have heard multiple times that if you have that desire to be married, you most likely will. (Despite your thinking that you will be, “single for life.”). It is a good desire, and marriage ultimately represents Christ and the church. Like a relationship with Christ, a marriage is a beautiful thing.
3. God has someone great in store for you that you can’t even imagine!
Through the many girls I have come to like and been attracted to at times I thought (I’ve liked so many girls there’s no more girls for me to like!) But I know that’s not right thinking. I fully believe in Christ to bring me a woman far more beautiful than I can ever imagine. And I don’t mean just physically. I know this because God has given me other things like my parents, friends, mentors, etc. that have absolutely been amazing and edifying to my relationship with Christ. I have also seen this in marriages that have lasted a long time. People that love each other unconditionally and are willing to stick together. I pray every night for my wife. I really do. I pray that she is honoring Christ, I pray that she is filled with joy and that whatever she is doing in her life she is doing for Christ, and that she’s enjoying her time. I often think of the time that I will be with her and the fun that we will have and the times I will look into her eyes and see her beauty, and see who she is on the inside and out, and love her for both! At times this has been hard for me to comprehend, I’ve honestly wanted so bad to just ask a girl out from my loneliness. But that’s shallow and stupid, and I have an identity in Christ. I know that he will give me someone that I was never expecting, and someone who will love me when I’m stupid, who will keep me close to Christ, and will make me love Jesus more and more. I have heard it said that marriage is, “for holiness, not happiness.” And so, if I can be single my entire life and be completely satisfied in him, then so can you. I would pray that if you are struggling with being single that you come to the knowledge of the Gospel, grasp it, never let it go, and have it shine within you. Then I believe everything will start coming together for you. It has for me!