“You’re kind of quiet. I wouldn’t say you’re a very loud or outgoing person. Maybe that’s it.”
I had accidentally walked into some unsolicited advice as to why I might still be single. After watching a myriad of my friends walk down the aisle before the age of twenty-three, I started to think I was missing something as well. There had to be some reason, something that I could fix and then men would just start lining up to ask me on dates. If I could just figure out what it was…
I started to do some research. Anytime I met someone married or in a relationship, I would ask questions. “How did you meet? Did you like each other right away? Were you dating a lot of people at the time?” I started collecting stories, waiting to find that thing that each person had to arrive at before they could cross the line into being marriage material.
Guess what I found out. Nothing. There was no magical thing. Of course there were some things that helped, but there was no one requirement that all of them met before getting married. Sure, some of them had a lot of things in their life together, but some of them didn’t. Some of my friends had never even been asked out on a date, and then one day someone asked, and then later they married him. Some of my friends had gone on lots of dates, and they were still single. Some of my friends couldn’t flirt to save their lives, and they still ended up married. Some of my friends were so good at flirting, it was actually amazing to watch, but they still didn’t have boyfriends.
The other thing I found out from hanging out with a lot of other singles, is that I wasn’t the only one trying to figure out why I was still unattached. “I think it’s because I’m too short… maybe I’m too curvy. What if I’m just too tall? Maybe it’s where I’m from or because of my past. Is it because I post a lot of pictures of my dog on social media? Maybe it’s because I laugh at my own jokes.”
I tried a lot of things myself. I tried giving up dating for a time on purpose. I also unintentionally gave up dating for a while as a result of no one asking me on a date. I tried talking to a lot of guys. I tried not talking to any of them. I tried not looking, because people told me once I stopped looking I would find someone…
I’ve found a lot of things that haven’t proven to be true, but here’s what I do know is true:
God is not limited by any of the things listed above. He’s not finding it impossible to find someone because I don’t go to enough parties or I’m not loud enough. I’m not going to go down the road of self-criticism hoping that one day I’ll become good enough for someone. I’m not going to change my personality to get married. I’d be cheating myself, and I’d be cheating the person I marry.
The truth is God could find me a spouse tomorrow. He could bring me someone out of nowhere. This is the most beautiful and frustrating thing in the world. I’ve definitely prayed my fair share of prayers about it.
Then there’s my list of single friends. What about them? What about all the ones who have waited and prayed and fasted and waited and prayed? I’ve prayed for them, talked to them, bought them ice cream and dried their tears, but I’ll be honest, I don’t have a good answer for them. I don’t know why God hasn’t brought them a spouse yet.
I do know that some people pray and don’t get healed, but it doesn’t mean God’s not the Healer (Exodus 15:26b).
I do know people following God who lose jobs or lose money, but it doesn’t mean God’s not the Provider (Genesis 22:14).
We can’t decide Who He is based on our circumstances. We have to decide who He is based on what He says about Himself in His Word. The Word says He’s the Lifter of our heads (Psalm 3:3). The Word says He withholds no good thing from us (Psalm 84:11). The Word says if we delight ourselves in Him, He’ll give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4).
So I’m going to venture to say, if you’re single, maybe it’s not because you’re broken. I mean it could be, but maybe it’s not. If you’re single, maybe it’s not because you haven’t embraced your life enough. What if, just maybe, it’s not because you’re doing anything wrong?
“We have to decide Who He is based on what He says about Himself in His Word.”
It might be timing or circumstances or something else, but regardless, this is where faith comes in. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Faith isn’t when you have the perfect boyfriend or a line of great guys who want to buy you dinner. Faith is when you’ve been a bridesmaid thirteen times, you haven’t been asked out on a date in five years, the only one texting you is your mom, but you refuse to give up.
Faith isn’t when the woman of your dreams just said yes when you asked to marry her, and all the things you’ve desired are finally becoming reality. Faith is when your fiancé just broke off your engagement and you have to pick up the pieces of your life and start to build again. That’s when you need faith. That’s when you need the substance of things you’ve been hoping for for years, and the evidence to support the promises of God you can’t yet see.
So if you’re wondering why you’re still single, I don’t actually have an answer for you. All I know is, God offers peace without understanding. God offers comfort and strength in the middle of the struggle and the journey, not just at the end. God offers hope that the things that look out of reach, are actually more possible than we think.
ANDREA IS A GRADUATE OF THE SCHOOL OF MINISTRY AT BETHEL AND CURRENTLY SERVES ON THE WRITING TEAM FOR MORAL REVOLUTION. SHE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT SEEING THE CHURCH CARRY JOYFUL HOPE AND EXPECTATION IN EVERY AREA OF THEIR LIVES. SHE LONGS TO SEE THE UPCOMING GENERATION EQUIPPED AS STRONG LEADERS WHO STEWARD THEIR LIVES WELL AND INFLUENCE SOCIETY AS A RESULT.
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