This was the answer many girls gave back when I was in High School when asking them to dinner or coffee. It has transformed over the years, in my experience. Most recently I was told, “I feel that Jesus is telling me not to date anyone right now.” This used to make me upset because I thought it was just these girls using Jesus as an excuse, instead of just telling me they didn’t have feelings for me. I used to misunderstand them completely. Up until just recently.
Recently, I came into the possession of real wisdom from God of what Paul meant when he said:
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”
I had understood what it was supposed to mean, and I would tell myself that I was content in all things, but up until recently I never actually let go of the one thing I was never content with: my singleness. No matter what my emotions were, I was always looking for that one girl that would complete me. That one girl who could lead a Bible Study with me and would be a perfect coupling on my Christian walk. I would look everywhere, in my Bible Study, Young Adults Ministry at church, work, at women driving past me in cars… everywhere! God was blessing me immensely with a great and secure job that tested my resolve and stretched my knowledge and such a wonderful house, but I was legitimately waiting to live life until God gave me a wife. A constant prayer of mine was that God would introduce me to my future wife… Or even show me a connection with her. I knew that I wouldn’t know who it was when I met her, but just that He would GET ON WITH IT and get my life going! All the while God was channeling blessings into me without ceasing. I was able to cut out a lot of college debt even with owning a house, I would even trust Him with my tithing even when it looked like finances were going to be really tight, and sometimes they were. But I found out that when you offer your money to Him joyfully, willingly, and responsibly, God will take care of you. Blessings were abounding! I had a couple of girlfriends that didn’t pan out during that time through which God taught me some valuable lessons, but I kept my eyes shut to what God really wanted.
Then just a few months ago, God was really doing a work in me and I reached the point where I was completely content with where I was in life. It had come to me slowly, I had realized that God would never want me to wait for a wife to continue living my life, and I had planned a trip to Taiwan… to meet a girl I had feelings for over there. It was a process! That trip didn’t pan out, thank God! Through daily devotionals and really delving into Romans and Paul’s other writings as well as a long commute where I consistently listened to the teachings of Greg Laurie and Skip Heitzig, God really showed me how to live a godly life that is fully pleasing to Him. It was to fill your life with so much of Him that you don’t have time to focus on worldly desires. Why did I want to have a wife? Sex? Kids? Someone to show compassion to? Relationship? Someone to love me? Some respectable and spiritually responsible reasons, some not. I wanted a wife for me. For me to feel that life could continue. Not to please God. I always had an idea that I would grow closer to God and so would my future wife, but that would come in just marrying a Christian.
The breaking point in my contentedness came through my parents, sister, and first niece, Evie. I had just had dinner and spent some time with that little blessing of a niece when I had realized something. Why am I searching for someone to love me when I have so many people who love me quite unconditionally? There is no person other than my family who would be able to show me this feeling of comfort and love without a measurable amount of time spent with that person. That is when I realized what I deeply wanted, unconditional love. Once I realized that, my entire paradigm of dis-contentedness was shattered as I came around to the fact that God loves me completely unconditionally! He loves me unconditionally enough to have placed me in a family that, albeit broken, loves me so completely! What a realization! What I had been seeking I had already been given.
What I was missing all this time is that he wants you to rest completely in Him. He wants you to be complete in Him. He doesn’t want you to be seeking your “soul mate” or seeking a woman at all. He is a jealous God and really only wants you seeking Him. I used to say “Just keep walking on your path towards God, and look to the left and right and try to join close to a girl that is walking that path with you.” But it is so much more than that. God really wants you to focus solely on Him and love him the highest. He does not want your conquest of finding a wife to share your high places with Him. He wants you completely. He will not allow anyone to share the throne of your heart with Him, and He is completely right in that! He is the most holy, righteous, gracious, merciful, passionate, beautiful, powerful, protective, caring, compassionate, sacrificial, and perfect being in all of existence. Having anyone or anything even try to share the spotlight in your life is a pale and offensive comparison to a perfect God.
Recently, I had a friend explain a gorgeous girl to me. “She is not into men”. I asked gingerly, “What is she into?” “Nature. Life. God.” That got me thinking, what a way to live! Not being interested in women! Loving God so much that you have compassion for all of his creation completely, but that you never have ulterior motives! Being a friend of all, and drawing close to those that love God. If He happens to draw you close to a beautiful woman, then so be it! That is a pleasant and beautiful side effect of allowing Jesus to be your all in all. In your ministry you can get to know them and allow God to shape your relationship.
So I say this to you, single people. Give it a try! Stop trying so hard to find a romantic relationship, and instead focus on the One who is in control. He knows what is best for you, and will guide you in that way. What is best for you is so much better than you think! God’s good is ultimately better than what you think is good. If you are focusing on finding a relationship your focus is sadly missing its mark. I know giving up on the desire to find a spouse is a radical thought, but I truly believe that singleness is our unique blessing as single Christians.
My aim is 1 Corinthians 7:32:
“I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord.”