This Valentine’s Day, Single … and Content?
I went to Walmart the other day to buy a replacement water filter (Read: being “healthy”), and I almost got a sugar high just from breathing the air. Like department stores across the country, the store had gone from being Winter Wonderland to Cupid’s castle. Every surface to spare was covered in pink and red, hearts and arrows, chocolates and roses.
Get Discouraged, Lose Hope
Sometimes February can feel like “rub it in your face” month, if you’re single, as I am. Friends expect you to hook up with someone just so you’re not that third wheel on the 14th. If your family is anything like mine, it seems that every phone call home includes some form of, “By the way, Dad wants to know when he gets his grandbabies.”
For others, V-day is a reminder of heartbreak. That relationship gone wrong, the gal (or guy) that smashed your heart into a million pieces.
It’s easy to get discouraged. It’s easy to lose hope. As time goes on and you get older, it’s easy to think that there may never be a “special someone” for me.
But I have to believe that God’s got something (that is — someone) great in store for me. Why? Because, to be frank, I’ve prayed about remaining celibate, and the Lord has told me that’s not His plan. He gave me a desire for marriage for a reason.
If that’s the case for you too, then now that we have the goal, how do we get there? From my experience, people usually swing one of two ways. Either they are wholly focused, to the point of obsession, on being in a relationship, or they keep it completely out of mind, even feeling shame when they do think of it.
So What Do We Do?
So, what do we do? Three things.
First, take this thing to the Lord — please take this thing to the Lord. Trust me, God understands. He kind of created mankind so that He could “present her to Himself” as a spotless bride (Ephesians 5:25-27) — and He has to deal with an unfaithful Church every day. (See: the entire book of Hosea).
Ask Him what His plan is. Get into the Word, and grow your relationship with Christ so that He can sustain and fulfill you. It’s important to get your faith solid now, while you can fully devote your time and attention to Him. (1 Corinthians 7:32-35).
Second, pray for your future spouse. The other day I asked the Lord why I wasn’t in a relationship yet, and if there were things that I still needed to learn. His response? “What if she’s not ready?”
It wasn’t a definitive answer. He didn’t say, “She isn’t ready yet.” But it has drawn my attention to a more important issue: Where’s my focus? If you haven’t heard of them, 31 Prayers for My Future Wife and 31 Prayers for My Future Husband may be a good place to start.
Third, think about your future spouse’s needs.
I believe that most divorces today, especially in the church, are caused by a focus on self. Any marriage counselor can tell you that “He’s/She’s not meeting my needs” is one of the greatest complaints in a struggling marriage. On the flip side, ask any couple in a thriving marriage what the biggest thing they have learned is, and they’ll tell you, “To be selfless.” It’s part of the design of marriage — learning how to love and respect for the sake of your other half.
So, I beseech you to think of your future spouse. Start praying for him or her now, and ask the Lord to prepare your hearts for each other. Then bring your troubles to the Lord (Read: Trust Him), and allow Him to direct your steps. (Proverbs 3:5-6).