Living the Single Life for God
For today's article, we're focusing back on the singles. Enjoy!
Valentine's Day is rapidly approaching! This invokes one of two feelings: pure excitement (usually for girls and women in a relationship/marriage) and misery (for those who are single and, let's face it, some men.) It's a day every year when we're forced to evaluate our love lives, no matter how nonexistent.
Speaking from the 28-and-single perspective, it can be rough. When you get to be my age in The Church, everybody is a well-intentioned matchmaker, so — trust me — I know how you feel! Just because Valentine's Day is around the corner, that's no reason to rush into a relationship or settle. God has MUCH bigger plans for you!
From the very beginning, God created men and women to be together. Genesis 2:23-24: "And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
Later on, Proverbs 18:22 states, "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord." Who doesn't want to obtain the Lord's favor? I surely do! But does that mean from the beginning of my time here on earth I should set out to find a mate?
While some might tell you yes, I'm learning to dedicate this time to God and me.
Being single offers free time that a relationship does not afford. If you want to visit another branch, travel for missionary work, plan a youth event, write an MBA lesson, put together a fundraiser, or author a Gospel Blog post (wink, wink), you can do it. It's time I can use to work on my prayer life, praying for myself, others, the church, ministry, and the sick. It's time I can devote to the Word, learning to stand firmly on the promises. It's also a time for me to work on me. Relationships aren't easy for Christians, especially these days. So, working on me is important.
I had a relationship a few years ago with someone who wasn't a strong believer, and I now know how important it is to be equally yoked. I made mistakes and learned from them. I learned what I can and cannot live with in a relationship. It's important to make a checklist of qualities you want in a mate because when you say, "I do," it's until death do us part.
Am I looking for someone who is a believer in Christ? Do they actively attend church? Are they involved? Do they pray often? Do they read scripture? Later on I can get into the specifics of where we want to live, how many kids we want to have, or if we're going to have dogs or cats, but our foundation should be on Jesus Christ. Any relationship not built on Him is bound for stormy nights (Psalm 127:1).
As singles, we should see the possibilities of what we can be doing with our time and the things we should be focusing on. Does it stop there? I sure hope not.
I absolutely adore Christian singer Mandisa. She is 37 and single, but she hasn't allowed that to tear her down. For her most recent album, she wrote a song called "Praying for You," about how she is praying over her future husband. She is constantly sharing the ups and downs of being a single Christian but is persistent in praying not only for her future husband but that she'll be ready and perfect for him.
This is something I'm learning to do myself, to pray for my future wife and whatever she is going through at this very moment. Praying that she's strong enough to deal with all my ridiculousness. That she is a strong woman of God who will support my desire to serve Him and further His gospel. That she'll want to read and pray with me. That when we have kids we'll raise them to be men and women of God. Praying that I'll be the man that she needs and that I'll be ready when she walks into my life.
So, instead of wallowing in self-pity and a bag of heart-shaped Reese's, I'll be preparing myself for my future wife this Valentine's Day. I'll be seeking a closer walk with God. I'll be trying to further His kingdom. I'll be praying for my future wife and using my time wisely in the Lord. Oh, and I'll be at a Soul'd Out Quartet concert praising the Lord and raising the roof in His name! Make the most of your single life in the Lord; I know I'm trying to!