SINGLE ON VALENTINE'S DAY (and why that's okay)

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Despite my dear friends' best efforts, this author is still as single as the day she was born (and that's okay). So I might not be the best for advice-giving in this area. But it came to mind, and it's something I'd like to incorporate into a book at some point.  

I know for a lot of people, this holiday hurts much more than it should. I know folks, both male and female, who bounce from toxic relationship to toxic relationship, who will take the scraps of love that only sour with time. Logjammed with the awkwardness of coming home for the holidays, getting nitpicked by relatives who want to see a ring, February 14th can be just plain disheartening. And I'm not bashing anyone, not shaming anyone, or picking on anyone who's struggling. But there are a couple verses in particular that keep coming to mind when I'm thinking and praying for friends who are struggling with singleness right now. 

"When the time is right, I, the Lord, will make it happen." (Isaiah 60:22.)

"My times are in your hands..." (Psalm 31:15.)

Are these verses about love and romance? No. They're actually about winning battles against enemies. God assured those battles would be won because He was involved. When the Lord Almighty rolls up His sleeves, there's nothing anyone else can do except let God do His thing and follow Him close.

But this heavy discouragement that comes from being single and not finding "the one" or just not being where you thought you'd be by now? The hurt? The frustration? That's a battleground. And it comes from Satan. The enemy wants you to waste your time on earth right now. He wants you to let this nag at you, he wants you to mope, he wants to make you feel like you aren't worthy of love at all (which is wrong), like you have to settle for anything short of an equally-yoked relationship or marriage (which is wrong), like you have to change yourself or view your body negatively (wrong)  like you'll never get it right (wrong) or even that your past mistakes will ruin any chance you have in the future (also wrong). He wants you to feel worthless (guess what? WRONG.) He wants you to question God and His timing. He wants you to fall in the ditch of stagnant faith so he can kick you while you're down. Don’t believe that God is punishing you or withholding a relationship, either. (That falls under “works.”) God does not withhold any good thing from those who love Him and live righteous lives (Psalm 84:11). Instead, see it for what it is: another life experience often jaded and robbed by the fallen world we live in. That’s why “situationships,” cheating, people who string you along and downright abuse you — that’s why those problems exist. But you trust God to give you this next breath. Why not try to trust Him with this, too? 

Instead of letting Satan get you down? Serve God in the meantime. Keep your eyes so focused on Him, asking Him to give you strength to focus on Him instead of what you want. There's nothing wrong with longing, but put it to good use: ask God to mold you into the person you need to become to be a good spouse, if that's in His will for you. Tell God your frustrations and hurts while you’re at it. He’s the best one you could ever vent to, and He won’t gossip, either. 

And remember this: Waiting is an opportunity to grow. (Much as I HATE to say that, as an incredibly impatient person by nature.) 

And while everyone isn't promised marriage, handing that desire over to God and trusting Him to prepare you and steady you is the best anyone can do. He loves to help us, and when we are weak, He is strong enough for you and then some. God's already factored our personalities and mistakes (and just plain idiocy, sometimes) into His plan for take comfort in that. 

And if you're married or dating right now? This one's for you, too. Because Satan uses an entirely new level of attack against those who are serving the Lord in their marriage and relationships. Recognize those attacks and don't let them move either one of you. 

Our times are in God's hands, no matter where we are in this world or what stage of life. He will protect you, but you still have to keep your eyes wide open and watchful of attacks that seek to destroy everything that is good.

So if you're discouraged right now, let's take some time out of the rat-race to look up to God, ask for help when we're down in the dumps over it, and ask Him to help us grow while we're waiting. 

(And since this is a reading/writing/bookish blog? Check out Chip Ingram's Love, Sex, and Lasting Relationships no matter what relationship status you bear.) 

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