No one ends up with the life they imagined in their teenage years. Maybe you can relate. You probably had a plan for your career, and perhaps dreams of being married with kids by now, or at least be dating. Instead, you may have found yourself in a lengthy season of singleness. Perhaps you’ve been single for 3 years, for 5 years or even more, and you desire deeply to be in a relationship. Perhaps you’ve even prayed about it and it seems like your prayers have bounced against the ceiling and come right back down. And maybe you’re wondering could there be something wrong with me? Why can’t I seem to date and find someone to love and who loves me too? And all this questioning has left you a little broken. Could it be God’s fault?
The truth is, God is not against you and certainly not opposed to you forming relationships with other people. He calls us to love one another and be kind towards each other. God created us to have successful relationships in our lives (familial, friendships, and romantic). However, God wants you to take notice of your singleness and learn a few things.
- We have an adversary
We have an adversary, the devil, and his goal is to steal, kill, and destroy your life (John 10:10). He wants to destroy you because that’s the only way he can hurt his real target, which is God. You just happen to be collateral damage. In his process of destroying you, the enemy wants you to think that you need someone to be whole. If you’re single, something must be wrong with you. This is a LIE. All LIES. Satan knows that if you are whole and saved, you become dangerous to him because of your connection with God and your desire to worship and honor Him with your life, including your relationships. So, he steps in and whispers these lies to you. Meanwhile, God speaks the truth and says: You have everything you need to be whole. You have me, and my Spirit living in you (Ezekiel 36:27). Therefore in your singleness, God wants you to learn to guard your mind because that is where the enemy will rage war against you. If you believe the lie of the evil one, you will feel broken. But if you hide God’s truth in your heart, you will remember that God has already provided an abundant life for you.
- God is hiding you to prepare you
If it is God’s will for you to marry, He may still be hiding you for a season. His goal is that you would focus on building a strong foundation with Him first. You must first seek Him. God wants you to understand that whoever comes into your life will take second place because first place is reserved for Him. Remember you cannot love anyone more than God, not even your future spouse (Luke 14:26). When you reserve the first place in your heart for God, everything else in your life will fall into place (Matthew 6:33).
If God is hiding you, then be assured that He sees something special in you, something far more precious than rubies. And since you are very special to Him, He wants you to learn to trust Him along with His plans for your life (Jeremiah 29:11,) to know yourself and your worth. For someone as special as you, God has to prepare someone who can appreciate you and be a ‘purpose mate’ in your life. God will hide you until you grow into who He has created you to be and until your future spouse grows into someone who can support you in God’s purpose for your life.
Moreover, out of love for you, God wants to prepare you for the next season of your life, but you cannot do so by jumping into it. Don’t be so quick to jump into the next season when you have not yet planted seeds in this season.
Let’s look at King David’s life. David was a shepherd boy and a youth when the prophet Samuel anointed him to become king. However, David did not reach the throne until he became a man, valiant soldier, leader, and husband. For many years, despite having been anointed as king of Israel twice, David stepped into other roles, learned many skills, built a strong connection with God,and gained valuable lessons through his experiences. What David did not realize is that these experiences would serve to prepare him for the throne. This was his season of preparation. During this period, he had to tend to his family’s sheep, become king Saul’s armor bearer, play the lyre so the king could sleep at night, fight against Goliath, become a skilled soldier, lead an army of men, become a husband, and defeat the great army of the Amalekites; all before becoming king. Like David, you must go through a season of preparation to be ready to receive all that God has for you.
This season of your life is far more than just preparing you for dating or marriage. It’s about preparing you to come into your purpose, to know why you were created, and fulfill God’s calling for your life.
- There’s a season for everything
The wisest man that ever lived said (in Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV): “to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”. This could not be more accurate. God loves you so much that He created a season in your life that will help you set the right foundations for the rest of your life. If you allow Him, this is the season of your life where God will draw close to you, teach you about Him and expose the things in your life that you need to work on. During this season, there is no relationship that will distract you from doing a thorough work in your life. This is the season of your life when you can build a rapport with God and be more like Jesus. The more you become like Jesus, the more you will see your own imperfections and the areas in your life that need improvement as well as the things you need to get rid of.
Looking at the life of Jesus, we know that he was single. But he was Jesus! I knew you would say that. Because he was Jesus, we can draw the best examples from him. Jesus spent thirty years of his life in a season of singleness preparing for a season that would only last approximately three years: his years of ministry before dying on the cross. But these were the most important years of his life. In his thirty years, he learned to build a foundation, a rapport, a history with God and discern His voice, specifically for his three years of ministry. Is there a purpose for your season of singleness? Certainly yes! You may not be ready for a relationship just yet, it may be for God’s glory or God may want to build your trust in Him first. Whatever the reason, God has a specific purpose for your singleness and the only way for you to find out is to do what Jesus did: talk to God.
- Learn to be content
This season is not forever unless you desire to remain single. Even then, your singleness won’t always look the same. While you’re in this season, God wants to teach you to be content. Yes, be content with your season! Too often, we are in a rush to move on to the next season and fail to appreciate the beauty of our current season and go as far as resent it. When we move on to another season, the same thing happens again although this time, we may even wish we could go back to a former season.
I’m sure you know some people who are currently married and talk often about the days when they used to be single and how they wish they could go back. In their singleness, they did not learn to be content. Now as they are in their married season, they can’t fully appreciate what they have either. Discontentment is a terrible disease, don’t let it affect you. God wants you to learn to be content in whatever state or season you find yourself (Philippians 4:11).
- Fight the spirit of comparison
During your singleness, you may feel broken because you have this constant feeling or impression that you are missing something. When you glance at the lives of others around you, they all seem to have what you are missing or at least you think so. Could it be that you would not feel this way if you did not compare your life with others? Absolutely.
The spirit of comparison is an evil spirit and one that God would like to remove from you. It causes you to look at others, compare yourself or your life with their seemingly perfect life, and desire the same things they have. Only, what you don’t realize is that what you were looking at may not be the most accurate portrait of their lives. Nothing will lead to discontent as quickly as comparing your life with that of another person.
In a world dominated by social media like Facebook and Instagram, you see pictures of friends and their spouses or partners and think Oh how I wish I had a relationship like theirs. This is how the famous hashtag #relationshipgoals started. More often than not, those pictures paint a very different picture from reality. They fail to capture what people really look like (filters added, etc.), how people really feel (the smile is not genuine), and what people do most of the time.
For instance, take my friend Brian. I’m sure you have one of those friends. He’s married, has two kids and a lovely wife. Brian just posted a picture on Instagram of his wife Michelle and him smiling in their car about to go to church with their two girls seating in the back. Looking at that picture, it’s the perfect family and you just wish you had one. Well, what you don’t know is that Brian and his wife Michelle had been arguing during the entire drive to church, and the girls were fighting refusing to share a doll. Michelle had to turn around several times to reprimand them. Just as the family pulled up into the church’s parking lot, Michelle gave the girls a stern look to behave and put on their best Sabbath smiles. Oh, and let’s not forget, smile for the selfie!
You see, a picture says a thousand words but only if it tells the truth. Today, so much of what we see on social media is staged. So, while you’re unhappy and comparing your life to others, they secretly wish they had a different life and try to mask what is really going on. Let go of the spirit of comparison. Instead, embrace what you do have and who you are right now.
~God does not make mistakes. ~
I heard it said before that God does not make junk. I could not agree more. His word confirms it; he created you in His image. From his first creation down to you, God has never “manufactured” defective items and He is not about to start now. So, believe me when I say: even if you have been single for long, there is nothing wrong with you. If God is keeping you in your singleness, He is doing it only for a season and He has His reasons. In the end, all things will work together for your good. If you are feeling broken, turn to God, focus on seeking Him and becoming whole. So, is it God’s fault that you feel broken? No, it’s not. The real question is: does He have a work to do in you during your singleness? The answer is yes.
Remove the enemy’s lies from your mind and remember that you are enough. You have everything you need for this season and you can trust God with His plans for your life. And don’t forget to enjoy this season because it won’t last forever.