Let’s get real. “Singleness” is a topic that most of us girls don’t really like to think about. Most of the time we see it as a “waiting” season; we wait for that special Prince Charming to come sweep us off our feet! And during singleness we wait and daydream of our future husbands/boyfriends and what they will be like. We think about how sweet it will be to be romanced one day. And we even think about planning our future weddings on Pinterest! It’s just so easy to get caught up in desire for that special someone to share life with. But if we are honest, it’s also a little easy to get discouraged in singleness, especially when our friends get boyfriends… and then fiancés… and then husbands… and we are still over here chillin’ in the single life.
Real talk: Singleness can be a struggle. It can be lonely at times. And it’s so easy to somehow think that life will get a little better when the right guy comes along!
Don’t get me wrong- finding the right man is a very real and intimate desire for us women to have. In fact, God designed us that way! We are designed to be relational people with companionship. Part of that includes marriage. And God designed marriage to be a blessing between a man and a woman. He even designed marriage to reflect the relationship between Christ and His bride! Christ is our ultimate bridegroom, and as His followers, we make up the church and the bride of Christ. So when we look to God’s Word, we see that God does care about love and marriage! And wanting to have a godly relationship with a man one day is good and we should rejoice in that hopeful blessing!
However, what about when there isn’t a husband or boyfriend? What about singleness? Or- dare I even say- what if we are always single and never marry? You might be thinking “Whoa- you just went a little too far.” Like I said, this isn’t something us girls like to think about too much. But I encourage you to hang in there with me as we reflect on singleness together.
I remember the first time I had my heart broken by a boy. It was rough. I remember feeling the sting of the heartache and loneliness. I remember crying… a lot. I also remember being confused and hurt, and not understanding why I had to go through that. And yet, looking back now, what I remember most is what Jesus taught me during that time of life. Having my first boyfriend and break-up led me to discover a beautiful season. I hadn’t really dated anyone growing up, and here I was just now experiencing my first (and failed) attempt at dating while in college. It was back to the single life. Yet Jesus used that heartache to begin to really work in me and cultivate a desire in me to know Him more. I began to read the Bible more, and I learned about true, intimate prayer with God. Jesus became my best friend. I began to dance with Jesus, and I didn’t want anyone else to cut in!
Jesus began to show me who I am in Him: My value and identity can be found in Christ alone.
God has fashioned me in such a unique way to make me the quirky girl I am today! Through this I began to see how Jesus pursues me in such intimate and personal ways.
Jesus also began to teach me more of what it truly means to be His disciple. I came to realize the command in Matthew 22:37, which tells us to love the Lord with ALL of our heart, soul, and mind. I began to be so thankful for being able to solely focus on Christ with no distractions. Of course, I am a girl and still had a desire to date and find that Prince Charming. And of course as friends found boyfriends, that desire for me increased. But my focus was not on just waiting around for a guy. My focus ultimately was Jesus. And that led me to naturally want to serve Him more. I embraced the opportunity to go and do ministry without a distraction of a committed relationship.
I realized I had to learn to be the bride of Christ before I could ever think about being an earthly bride.
So as I sought to know Jesus and His Word more, I began to love Him more. And with time, that led me to think about the hard questions. What if Jesus wanted me to be single forever? I had to learn to be ok with that. I knew that my calling as a follower of Christ was to be completely satisfied and content in Him alone. It became a daily surrender. And yet, I learned more about true romance during this time than I could have ever imagined I would.
The entire Bible is a giant love letter, showing us how holy the Lord is and how He has divine love and grace for His people! God pursued His people, the Israelites, in the Old Testament through various ways. And Jesus pursues us now with love through the cross and resurrection, found in the New Testament. Jesus romances us by knowing us and delighting in us. When we repent of our sin and follow Jesus as Lord and Savior, we become part of the bride of Christ. He is a detailed God, and He knows the desires of our heart.
Jesus knows our desire for singleness- He was even single here on earth!
Singleness is not always easy and there is no set formula for how to get out of it. And having a desire to date and marry a godly man is not wrong. We must be careful to not be consumed by that desire, though. My goal through this post is simply to encourage you to look to Jesus and rest in your divine love story with Him- and to dance with Him. Chase after God and seek to live for His glory in all you do. It’s easy to put our hope in getting past a season of life, but we need to enjoy the ride. And if we never get out of a “single” season of life, there is still joy in Christ. So I want to encourage you to focus on doing exactly what you are called to be doing- loving and serving Jesus. In the end, His glory is all that really matters.
The name’s Emily Gray. Jesus is her life. Even though she messes up every day, the Lord is good and faithful and His perfect love and grace keeps her going. Other fun things to know: She is from Memphis, and family and friends mean the world to her. Her dog, Coco, is her biggest pal! Sweet tea is a favorite, and she loves photography. Emily went to undergrad at Mississippi College and received her bachelor’s in Christian Studies. Now she is in grad school at Mid- America Baptist Theological Seminary. The Lord has given Emily a passion for girl’s ministry, and she gives Jesus the glory for it all! Join her on Facebook.