Singleness: Is It Waiting For “the one” or Following God?

Here come the laptop lids clicking shut. How many posts about waiting, dating, and “Top Ten Reasons Why Being Single is Awesome,” can we read before our eyes start rolling back in our heads?

For those of us who believe in Christ, we have the greatest gift in the world: the gift of salvation (John 3:16). Not only do we have this, but we have Christ’s love (1 John 4:19), His Holy Spirit (John 14:26), and His promise to be with us always (Matthew 28:20). God has provided everything that we truly need. However, even with the joy of salvation, we are still humans, and human companionship is something that we were designed by God to desire. God decided by Genesis 2 that it was not good for man to be alone, so He created a way for Adam to have a husband-to-wife relationship that is ultimately the earthly form of God’s intimate love for us (as seen in Ephesians 5:22-33). What a beautiful concept created by a beautiful God!

Before we explore further, I want to take a quick second to clarify something: if you are single and waiting for me to drop the classic, “being single is great and real Christians won’t ever feel lonely without a relationship because JESUS,” line, you’re not going to find it here. YES, God’s love is absolutely, in every way, enough. But if He’s calling you to marriage, He’s not going to do that by suddenly flipping your, “I Want To Get Married,” switch one day. He does it by giving you a desire for marriage. It’s not a sin to desire marriage when you’re single, or even to feel lonely at times. I’m not endorsing a pity party, and I’m not saying that self-control isn’t a part of this, because uncontrolled desires often become idols. I’m just acknowledging that it’s perfectly normal to be single and feel that little prick while you’re hoping to be married someday. Some people don’t struggle with that, and I think that’s amazing! Many of us do struggle with loneliness while we’re single, though. It’s human, and just like every other aspect of life, it’s something to be surrendered to God.

Okay. Moving on: what singleness really boils down to is following God.

I’ll say it again so it’s harder to skim over (because this is important!): What singleness boils down to is following God.

Real life example: right now, I’m single because I followed God here. I didn’t have to be single. I chose to be. Not too long ago, I was seriously considering marriage to a guy I’d been with for about a year. Near the end of our relationship, I started to see that this guy was taking a toll on my walk with God. He was a believer, but his love for God was hurting, and my love for God was blooming. This difference in our walks with God made us grow apart, as I felt that my love for God wasn’t shared by him. Daily I cried out to God as I felt an overwhelming LONELINESS.

You heard me right! I was really, REALLY lonely. I can now testify that, for me, being with the wrong person was even lonelier than being single.

I spent my days trying to pull him along and my nights crying out to God for answers. Was there still potential for marriage in our relationship, or did I need to move on? One night, He replied. But rather than give answers, He gave me a simple command:

Follow Me.

Peace flooded over me at this realization. Rather than a million decisions to make, I had one command to fulfill: follow God. I committed with a renewed mind to follow him daily and began to surrender little areas of my life as He directed. Little by little, as I followed day by day, He asked me to surrender more and more. Eventually, He asked me to surrender my relationship. He asked me to follow Him into singleness.

It happened so quickly that everyone–myself, my family, and unfortunately, the guy–were all caught completely off guard. But when I came home after having that dreaded conversation, I felt at peace because I KNEW I had followed God. There is no sweeter place to be than right in the middle of God’s will!

So following has brought me to singleness. Rather than squander this time, I’m filling my mind with the wonderful promises of my Rock and Redeemer. I’m getting involved with more ministries and meeting more people at my church. I’m deepening my family and friend relationships. I’m learning how to worship better, how to seek God in prayer, and how to meditate on His word and apply it to my life. No pity party here; just faith. Faith that, if I keep following God, He will direct my future in my jobs, my education, my service to Him, and my relationships.

While it’s okay to desire marriage as a single person, no desire should EVER interfere with our privilege as Christians to honor and glorify God. That would make it an idol. And, having been on both sides of the relationship arena, I can confidently say that NO relationship will EVER be worth giving up sweet fellowship with God. Truly there is no love more precious than His! How could I allow man’s love to drive a wedge between me and the God who gave His Beloved Son for me? While relationships that put God on the back burner may feel fulfilling for a short season, in the end they will only leave you lonelier. Just follow God. It’s SO much simpler than fretting, wondering, and despairing.

Proverbs 18:22 declares that, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing.” Marriage is a good, God-endorsed thing! If you’re following God, and if He has this, “good thing,” for you, you’ll follow Him right into that relationship: the one where you’re growing with God AND with a spouse. I truly hope that someday, I’ll have that. But for now, I’m just running after God. I don’t plan on stopping.

But if someone keeps up, I’ll gladly introduce myself.

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  • Dan

    Excellent post!! Follow HIM always. God will honor your faithfulness to follow Him. Perhaps it’s easier for me to see from my vantage point. My wife and I will celebrate 33 years of God-centered marriage next week. I was so determined to marry others 35+ years ago but God protected me until He had me ready to meet my future wife. And what a blessing that has been and continues to be.

    It’s encouraging to read about your faithfulness. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Natalie

      Glad you enjoyed it, Dan! Thanks for the encouragement and congratulations on 33 years of marriage! What a blessing!

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