Have you ever wondered if your singleness was your fault?
I have. I’ve wondered if I’d turned at a different corner on the street then I would have accidentally bumped into him. Or maybe I should have gone to a different college, lived in another state, or worked in a different field. All these what-ifs set me up to believe that being a single, 35-year-old is completely my fault. I should have been someone different, done something different so that I wouldn’t find myself in this season.
The choices I made in my life were right for me. As an introvert, I like less people in one space (funny, but it’s the truth!). I went to a small liberal arts college because the thought of sitting in auditorium style classrooms was too overwhelming. I took a job that would help me pay for rent and offered flexibility while I was going to school. I’ve been to both a large and small church. I briefly tried online dating but eHarmony wanted to know me better than I knew myself.
During my 30-something years of singleness, I believed so many lies about myself and God. I believed I wasn’t good enough or just to too broken to be loved. Lies come from the father of all lies and we must dispel them.
Lie #1: Singleness is your fault.
At a certain age, you thought you’d have a have a ring on your finger after saying “I do”. Instead, you’ve been the one listening to the wedding vows instead of saying them yourself. Concerned family and friends ask when it’s going to be your turn (as if you could give them an answer). You ache wondering if you missed the day God was handing out the spouse slips. What most people don’t understand is that no matter what our plans may be, God’s plans will ultimately win out.
Surrendering your timetable for marriage and children is part of surrendering your life to Christ. You’ve made the best choices you could in the moments that you had to make them. They led you to schools to get an education and build friendships. They took you to places of worship that fed your spirit and gave you community. You were placed exactly where you needed to be when you needed to be there.
Singleness is God’s best gift for your life (right now).
Lie #2: Singleness is a punishment for your past.
We have all failed and fallen short of the glory of God. Singleness is not divine punishment for your mistakes.
Condemnation, like shame, says that you’re a bad person. Conviction says you’ve done a bad thing and it needs to be corrected – in thought and in action. Jesus showed compassion to the woman who was caught in the act of adultery. He, out of all people, had the right to throw the first stone at her. Instead, He stooped down to the dust of the ground and wrote with His finger. After the Pharisees dropped their stones and left, Jesus told the woman to go and sin no more. Repentance turns us away from our sins and leads us back to the Cross. There Jesus opened His arms wide in loving invitation for unconditional relationship.
There is a huge difference between condemnation and conviction that I pray God’s daughters will understand (and find freedom once they do!).
Lie #3: Singleness is permanent after you turn 30.
We can believe that there is still hope even when we reach our 30s (or beyond) because God is great. He is not limited by our age or anything else in this world. We limit Him and we must stop doing that! When can’t lose sight of who God is: our Sustainer, our Comforter, the Lover of our soul, our Good Shepherd. Hope in Christ is our anchor because He is eternal and constant.
The truth is that we are looking forward to something better than an earthly wedding – a heavenly one. Jesus, the Bridegroom, will be returning for His bride.
It is that hope that will tear down the husband (wife) idols from your heart.
Kari Jobe and Nancy Leigh DeMoss are two women who have encouraged me during my time of waiting. They trusted God’s plans for their lives even as the pressure of age could have made them give up. But they knew the God they served and in turn could serve Him joyfully!
Singleness is not a punishment for your past; it is a public showing of the hope for your future.
Lie #4: Singleness means God has forgotten about you.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick…” and there are many of God’s women who have gotten heart-sick because of their singleness. You may be among them who have asked God, Why?, and received no answer. That does not mean God has forgotten about you. It means that He’s chosen not to reveal that part of His plan with you.
Singleness is not easy especially as you get older and wonder if it will ever happen. One of the gifts of singleness is that we find we are truly complete in Him.
I wish I could tell you for certain that you’ll be getting married one day. Honestly, I wish I knew that for myself…but I don’t. All we can do is cling to the Word of God and what He has revealed to us. When all hope seems lost, remember women like Sarah and Naomi who received God’s amazing blessing despite their unbelief. God does not forget but fulfills all that He said He will do.
Ultimately, your relationship with God needs to be based on trust and not what He can do for you.
Lie #5: Singleness is due to major character/personality flaws.
We turn on ourselves believing we have major character flaws when we don’t understand God’s plans. You start to wonder if you’re pretty enough, talented enough, smart enough, or worthy enough. If getting a spouse were based on perfection, no one would ever get married. We all have issues that God is dealing with. I can easily list at least five in the first two minutes. (It would take me longer to list my good qualities…but isn’t that always the case?).
Marriage is not a grand reward given to almost perfect beings. It is iron sharpening iron and when that happens sparks will fly! Trying to meld together two different lives is never easy. We should never think that it’s going to solve all of our problems. God wants to do a work in you but you’ll never be perfect.
God loves you so much that He gave His only begotten Son for you. He loved you before you ever thought of Him.
Singleness is not due to your flaws; it is a season for healing and thriving in Christ.
Sharing is caring – What lies have you believed about singleness?