Valentine’s Day is upon us. You may be excited, neutral, or awaiting impending doom, but whatever your feelings, today is being a big deal to a lot of people. There can be heavy expectations whether you are single or married. I, personally, am single so I cannot speak for married people, or even for dating couples. I do hope you go out of your way to show immense love to your significant others. It is my prayer that you are able to joyfully serve each other today and that you make each other feel loved!
If you are like me this Valentine’s Day, you won’t have a date, and that is completely fine! It’s not sad or pathetic, I promise. It is an act of faith to spend Valentine’s Day without a mate if you honestly don’t have anyone actively pursuing you or have someone in mind that you feel God is calling you to pursue. Jesus is my Valentine and it’s actually really awesome! I am married to Jesus, until the day I have a husband. Even then, my husband will always come second to my submission to God. Don’t get me wrong; marriage is a huge desire of my heart. I want nothing more than to be married, have children, the white picket fence, all of it. I actually geek on romance, its one of my favorite things, but I don’t have someone perusing me in which I can direct those desires. So, in the meantime, I will use my desire to serve and show love to get to know my Creator intimately.
I am so far from perfect in this season of my life. I am so very human and I fail at this a lot, but I know this is what God wants for me right now. So while I cannot completely delight in being single, I can completely delight in honoring God in singleness. This is the best use of a season of singleness. Here are five things that have been laid on my heart to share with you this Valentine’s Day.
It’s Okay to Want to be Married (or be Single)
Wanting to be married doesn’t make you desperate or pathetic. It isn’t about not being able to find a significant other, but more about waiting on someone that God really wants you to be with. If it is your desire to get married, believe in the promise that God will give you the desires of your heart, but also be willing to do whatever God has called you to.
On the flip side, singleness is also a beautiful calling! Jesus Himself was single. Marriage isn’t for everyone, and if you have no desire to get married, that’s completely okay! Don’t let anyone convince you that it’s strange or ask things like “How will you ever feel fulfilled if you don’t get married and have kids?!” Your fulfillment doesn’t come from people. Your fulfillment comes from Jesus. It’s not weird to not want to be married. And for those who want to get married someday, but not right now, that is also completely normal. You’ve got time. God can do anything. There is no age limit on getting married, or on having kids for that matter. If it were possible, I would say ask Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 21:1-7). They’d know better than anyone. No matter your circumstance, God has you exactly where He wants you for the purpose of His kingdom.
For there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven (Ecclesiastics 3:1)
Purity is so much more than abstaining from sex. It goes way beyond the physical. Yes, we shouldn’t have sex before we are married, we shouldn’t be looking at pornography or lusting after others, but we should also be keeping our hearts pure (Matthew 5:8). Not settling is a part of remaining pure. We should be careful how we spend our time with the opposite sex. There is a reason our accountability partners should be those of the same gender. It is nearly impossible for at least one person to develop feelings when you spend a lot of time together. Not everyone earns the right to your intimacy. Our hearts should be guarded. We should have people in our lives holding us accountable for this. Keep God at the center of all of your friendships, and if you feel you are developing feelings for someone, stop and pray before you do anything else. The last thing you want is to act on fleshly desires. All this does is create heartache.
Don’t go out on a date just so that you are not alone. There will always be times of loneliness, even when you are married. This is the most recent development in my season of singleness, and God is showing me a lot on this matter. I don’t believe in dating to just “have fun,” even for just one day, like Valentine’s Day. I find joy in obedience to God while waiting for my future husband to come along and ask me out on a date. I will know his intentions because he will have the boldness to tell me. Just wanting to “hang out” isn’t going to fly here.
I want to look back and be able to tell my future husband that I was faithful in waiting for him. I want to be able to tell him that I didn’t date guys for fun or to evade loneliness. He will know my faithfulness to God and to him by my actions before we met. I strive to keep my body and heart pure for God and whomever He calls me to marry. I don’t do this because it’s easy, or because I have to, but because that is what God calls us to do. Three times in Song of Solomon it repeats to not stir up or awaken love until it pleases (2:7, 3:5, 8:4). And as God is teaching me lately, there is blessing in obedience.
If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on The Lord with pure hearts. (2 Timothy 2:21-22)
Find Joy in Singleness
I can already feel some of you rolling your eyes at me, and I get it. I feel that way sometimes too. It is cliché, but bear with me. When it is your heart’s desire to be with someone, how can you delight in being single? Well, I think that’s a valid question. As I stated before, it’s really difficult to completely delight in singleness, but I can delight in my obedience to God in my season of singleness. So while it can be hard and times can get lonely, I can stand firm in knowing that if I am going to be single, then I can do so in a way that is pleasing to God.
One thing that I hear from my married friends is they don’t get to spend as much time alone with the Lord. They have to spend a lot of time and energy thinking about their spouse, children, and the things their family needs. When you are single, you can spend every free moment seeking God, building your relationship with Him. If you don’t do this while you are single, it’s going to be harder to do while you have at least one other person to think about.
Let’s take this a step further. Be prepared for what I am about to say, because you probably won’t like it, and I know you’ve heard it before: If you can’t find joy when you are single, being married isn’t going to change that. You cannot find your worth or joy in anything but The Lord. Getting married doesn’t automatically change who you are as a person and where you are in your emotional health. If you are insecure single, you will be insecure married, If you are a messy person before you get married that isn’t going to change because you got married.
Our happiness should not start and end with another person. These things take time and patience to overcome. It’s true that God brings some couples together before they get some of the bigger kinks of their life worked out, but if you have the time why not spend it learning how to be a great husband/wife now? Learn how to serve others even when you don’t want to now, because you are going to be doing a lot of that in marriage. Even if you don’t get married, learning how to serve will always be beneficial to you for God’s kingdom and His glory.
I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of The Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of The Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. (1 Corinthians 7:32-35)
Fall madly in love with Jesus! Wake up in the morning and dedicate yourself to pleasing Him, just as you would a significant other. Let Him be the first person you speak to in the morning and the last person you talk to before you go to bed. Seek Him. Read and re-read your Bible the way you would text messages from someone you have feelings for. Be astounded in His immense love for you and how He knows you so intimately. As a believer, I find it really difficult to read the Bible and not feel love from God. Reading the Bible connects us with Him; it is how we get to know Jesus. The more love we feel from God and the more we meditate on His word, the less concerned we are with the troubles of this world.
Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33)
Surrender (and Surrender Again)
God may or may not call you to marriage. I don’t know your future, only God does. We (yes, I, too) have to be okay with the idea of never getting married. This is true surrender.
Let me ask you a question: Do you love God more than the idea of marriage? God reveled this question to me recently, and it’s caused me to really stop and think. Am I willing to give up the idea of getting married? I reluctantly said, yes. I can’t sit here behind a keyboard and tell you that I joyously surrendered my desire for marriage the first time I talked to God about it. The beautiful part is that He knew I would be reluctant, because He knows my heart and my desires. After the first time I said it, I felt comforted by Him. Now, whenever I pray about my future, I can say with confidence that I trust God with my heart, more than my feelings about anything in my life. He knows what is right for us better than we ever will. It isn’t always comfortable, but it is always true.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, “ says The Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts,” (Isaiah 55:8-9)