(Photo cred: Jeremy Poe)
Yesterday, I posted some thoughts on singleness being a gift, not a curse. I believe those words, and I pray they serve you well, but I also recognize the power of testimony in this discussion. Knowing the theology behind a subject helps; hearing how a person applies that theology may help more. So today, I want to share my current situation along with some lessons I’ve learned in the last few years.
Presently, I am single. This status is about par for the course; at twenty-six years old, I have yet to step outside of this category. Yet for perhaps the first time in my life, I don’t have a plan to escape. Previously, I assumed that I always needed to be thinking about a way out of the single life. I thought that one goal of my existence was to find a wife, and my eyes grew weary from searching. Only recently have I really embraced singleness, recognizing how invaluable it is in this season of life and treasuring it as a great gift from a glorious God. As I’ve reflected on my singleness, I’ve come to a few conclusions.
1. Priorities matter.
The times I’ve struggled the most with singleness have been the times I’ve prioritized my emotions over my mission. Similarly, the times I’ve struggled the least with singleness have been the times I’ve prioritized the kingdom of God and his righteousness over my temporary emotions or desires. This taught me the importance of looking at life in the light of eternity and recognizing that I simply don’t need to worry about certain things. If God chooses to call me to marriage down the road, well and good. But he hasn’t done that yet; therefore, I don’t need to worry about it. This leads into a second observation.
2. Knowing and embracing your present calling keeps you from worrying or fretting about a potential future calling.
A mind focused on weighty tasks and meaningful assignments has little time to bemoan its singleness. On the flip side, a mind unengaged by mission, free to wander into covetousness and idolatry, often mourns its perceived lack. When I look at my life, I see the responsibilities I have and the time and effort each task requires and I praise God for my singleness, for without it, I wouldn’t be able to do all that I currently can. I actually realize now that having a wife and family, as much of a blessing as that would be, would leave me unable to serve in some capacities. I don’t want to waste this time in my life by pursuing marriage. I know God hasn’t called me to that yet.
3. Your struggle will not cease, but your faith will grow.
I still feel lonely at times, and I won’t deny that I still desire a wife. I’d love to find a companion who will challenge me in my walk with the Lord. I’d like someone around to sing the female parts to songs (“Little Talks” has been stuck in my head lately). I recognize that these desires are not wrong, and I’ve learned to stop simply suppressing them. Instead, I’ve started praying more, asking that God would do what he decides is best and then trusting him with my future. He’s sovereign; I’m not. I can trust him with my life.
In all things, I want to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, setting my eyes on things above, not on things below (Matthew 6:33; Colossians 3:1-4). If God wants me to get married at some point, I trust him to lead me in his time. Until then, let me be found faithful in the work at hand, living as a good steward of my singleness for his glory.