This is never going to work.
I thought those words as I stared at my uneaten meal trying my hardest to muster up as much conversation as I could with my date who just finished his third round of “all-you-can-eat” fries.
Between bites, he said, “What do you want to do after dinner?”
Umm, something fun? “Anything is fine, maybe go for a walk?”
“Sure, we can walk around Wal-Mart.”
Let’s just say our last date ended in walking around WAL-MART. That’s right. WAL-MART.
Clearly, it was for the best that he and I didn’t work out (again… WAL-MART), but that night still left me feeling frustrated, worn-down, unworthy, and down-right SINGLE. I was in my early twenties, about to graduate, and I’m on my own… again. I was so done with being single.
That season of singleness was a time of loneliness and self-pity. It was easy for Satan to attack my insecurities of worth and value! My poor view of singleness became the fuel for the raging fire of self-pity. And I couldn’t shake it.
I believed I wasn’t worth it.
The truth was that God didn’t have that “We should go to WAL-MART as a date” man as part of my future. Instead, He used that part of my life to uncover those lies and to magnify His Truth.
We live in a culture where singleness is only the transit for meeting the love of your life. There are commercials for online dating, free apps for quick dates, co-workers who try to set you up, and family members repeating “Just wait, one day you’ll find him.” The world around us is screaming that being single isn’t acceptable. We cling to the desire of meeting “The One” at any cost, leaning into the lie that our worth is found in a significant other. We ask ourselves, how do we live as single Christians when the world around us isn’t single?
We live bravely.
We bundle up all the fears that are in us, give it earnestly to Jesus, and live counter-culturally. We get out of our heads and shift our focus to worship with every ounce of our being. We stop living like the end goal is marriage and lean into the truths of God’s Living-Breathing-Promising-Fulfilling Word.
BE DONE WITH BEING SINGLE.
First, you are not alone. You are loved and valued and cherished by the only One who will fulfill you and give you life. Paul writes in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, not any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Your worth, value, and identity should be in Christ. And, friends, that doesn’t make you single.
Secondly, the people around you matter. Being in a community of believers allows you to grow and develop in ways unlike anything else… and that doesn’t mean just surrounding yourself with singles. Being around believers is what helps you draw on Christ’s love. Lina AbuJamra writes in Thrive: Living the Single Life as God Intended, “Your relationship needs are first met in Christ and then grown as you live your life in true fellowship with other believers. That’s where you will find relationship. That’s where you will find accountability. That’s where you will find victory."
YOU ARE WORTHWHILE.
Ever hear those doubts start rolling through your head? I’m not good enough for him. I can’t believe she turned me down. I’m just not worth it to anyone. Friends, Christ doesn’t call His followers to believe those lies from Satan. Instead, He gives TONS of promises throughout scripture of your worth and value. God created your inmost being, knit you together and designed you perfectly. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139: 13-14). You are worthwhile. The second you believe you are not “worth” being in a relationship is the moment you believe a lie Satan is whispering to you. Be brave. Don’t listen to those lies, but lean wholly onto the promises of God. Culture’s view of singleness is not your identity.
STOP FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF.
It is easy to go down the slippery slope of wallowing in self-pity. It’s easy. It feels good in the moment. That’s when a reality check is needed. In that part of my life, I was living in this self-dug pit of self-inflicted misery. My friends were single. I was single. I felt hopeless. But, it took leaning on God and trusting that no matter His plan for me—whether living for Him being single or married—that I was going to live it bravely. That means being okay with living life without waiting for a significant other to be with you. Lean on your church family. Live in a way that is a reflection of Christ, not singleness.
Know that God’s design does include singleness, and it is good (1 Corinthians 7:8).
MARRIED? BE INCLUSIVE.
The church tends to be a haven for couples/families and families create community with one another. Singles in the church often get overlooked, excluded, and—even worse—pitied. As a couple or family, when singles are not part of your relationships, you’re not able to experience the fullness of God. Singles have a lot to offer in friendship and they need relationship with couples as much as couples need relationship with them. I spent many nights on the back porch of a sweet and hilarious married couple—laughing until my sides split—and that was invaluable.
Whether single or married, being in community with each other is essential in journeying towards Christ. Together, let’s live bravely like we are cherished and valued children of a loving God.