Brother, You Are Single for a Purpose
The following article is a guest post by Andy Landrum, D.Min candidate in Church Revitalization at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Being single in a coupled world can be awkward and a lonely. You look around and it appears that everyone around you is coupling. When you are in a prolonged season of singleness, it feels like you are the single best friend in a cheesy romantic comedy that can never find “true love.” When this occurs, we tend to look inward and question what is wrong with us. Along with help from our flesh and the world we like to remind ourselves that we are broken and that it is our fault that we are alone.
We try to fight our flesh and try to remind ourselves of the truths of the gospel but fighting our flesh day after day can be tiring. The sad thing is that we, more often than we like to admit, give ourselves over to our sin and fall into despair. We believe these lies and lose sight of the gospel in our lives.
The good thing is that you are not broken or screwed up because you are single. I have met guys that seem to have the world by a string except for their dating life, and because of their marital status, they were more miserable than you could image. These men seemingly have a strong walk with the Lord, they have family and friends that love them, and they have joy in their school work or job. In the end, however, they are miserable because they are not with a special someone. A couple of them were even open enough to tell me they felt like failures because they were not married yet with kids.
These guys had lost sight on what made them special. These men forgot who completes them. These guys had lost sight on the gospel and forgot to preach it to themselves. Therefore let’s talk about being single. There may be loneliness in singleness, but there is great joy that can be found if you focus on the truths of who God is and what your role in your love life truly is. Let’s dive into it and see what we can find out.
You are not the reason you are single
The first thing that you need to realize is that you are single because God Almighty has you single. We see this play out all the time. We all know that guy that got married that had no right, by worldly standards, to get married. He is not handsome, lacks money, nor has a lick of sense, but he was able to find him a mate. I know you question how that happened. I have asked the same question. We become bewildered that someone we deem less worthy than us was able to find someone and we cannot.
The reason for your bewilderment is because you have thought that finding a mate was all your doing. You thought it was under your power and your ability to find a mate. This leads to great heartache because, when we do not get a mate, we assume it is because of us and feel down on ourselves. You, however, forget that you are not single because you are a loser or because you lack the attractiveness that is needed to draw in a mate from the fairer sex. You are single so that the perfect will of God can happen.
For that perfect will to take place, you need to be in your current state. If God is sovereign, which he is, then your life is not yours. The life you are living right now is God’s life. He has a right to do with your life as he pleases. Now, do not get me wrong, there are freedoms in that will. A single guy could go out and get one of those mail order brides (if they still do that), but in the end, you will not be able to do any good or any evil without God making it happen or, like in the case of sin, allowing it to happen.
Hearing this, some of you will think this is even worse than blaming yourself, but this should be freeing to you. Realizing that you are single, not because of you, but because of the will of God, means that you are free from the restraints of worry and fear if you measure up. You do measure up. You are made in the image of God. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
So what if you are interested in a woman and she is not interested in you? That woman was not the one that you are supposed to marry. Do not get down because of this, but view it as it is, a blessing. Not because there is something wrong with the woman, heck, she may be the greatest woman to ever walk on the face of the planet. The reason it is a blessing is that your loving, all knowing, all powerful Father, who knows you better than you know yourself, knows that she will not be a good fit for what he has called you to do.
Therefore, if a woman rejects you or it seems like women do not like you, allow yourself to move on. Do not get hung up on her because your flesh can use that as fodder against you. Do not be afraid to turn to Christ in your rejections. Our Elder Brother knows more about rejection than you can fathom. He knows the pain of your rejection because he was there in your shoes. He was rejected and scorned by those he came to save.
Therefore turn to Christ and let the Holy Spirit handle your heartache and rejection. Trust what God is doing with your life. Some of you need to be brave enough to give up your strangle hold on your life and let the real person in charge do what he is supposed to do. Because honestly, you have no power in the first place.
Stop Fantasizing About Marriage
The second thing that you need to do is stop fantasizing about how great it will be to have that special someone in your life. Now I am not saying that it is wrong to desire a wife. As someone pointed out to me, it is a good thing for a man to want a spouse. What I am saying is that you need to be realistic in the abilities and powers of your potential future wife.
She is not Superwoman. She is not going to come along and fix all your problems. Having her is not going to make your life instantly better. She is not going to be perfect. She will be a sinful person just like you. She is going to have flaws just like you. You have to be honest about why you want to a wife. For some of you, instead of looking for a wife to complete and fix you, you need to be looking to the Father. I was this way, and I have talked to many guys that were as well.
I thought that once I had a wife, everything would be better. I believed that my life would finally come together and be complete. I thought I would finally stop feeling like a loser. One day in my prayer time with the Lord I was reminded of a statement I heard in a sermon, “Is Christ enough?’’ If I had nothing else in this world would Christ be enough? I wholeheartedly agreed until the Holy Spirit reminded me of my desire for a wife and kids. I had the thought run through my brain, “If I never have a wife and children would Christ be enough?”
After fighting the urge to give it over to him, I finally did with tears streaming down my face. I thought sadness would follow, but instead, joy came. It does not matter what you are holding on to in this world. You could have a death grip on your financial status, your perceived success in your career, your desire for a spouse, and for our married friends the success and image of your family. Whatever you are holding on to give it over to Christ and remind yourself that Christ is enough. He can take everything away from you and/or never give you your heart’s desire, but in the end, you will have so much joy if you do.
Enjoy Being Single
Enjoy this season of your life. I mentioned it earlier; God has you exactly where you need to be for your good and for his glory. If you are ashamed or embarrassed that you are single, do not be. You need to get your head up and be proud in the way that God is ministering through you. You are blessed with an incredible gift. Being single, in this stage of your life, is not a curse, but a real gift.
You should be just as proud that you are single as the married man is proud of being with someone. Do not waste this opportunity to serve the Lord in ways that a married man cannot. While you are single, continue to draw in near to the Lord. Continue to battle sin and become a spiritual leader in your church. Fight and struggle for the bride of Christ to which you belong.
One day your singleness will end. Singleness in this lifetime is just a season. The length of this season varies for every person, but in the end, it is temporary. The odds are you will be married and you will have children at some point. I hope you rejoice greatly when the day comes to knit your soul to another. Until that day comes, find the joy that comes with being single.
Single brother, be strong, be bold, and enjoy your life that God has given you because there is nothing more fulfilling that you can do than to live a life that radiates and proclaims the gospel.