“I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you.” Haggai 2:23b (NIV)
“And you shall be called Sought After.” Isaiah 62:12b (NIV)
“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:16a (NIV)
“You are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.” Isaiah 43:4 (NIV)
Sweet singles: I think I owe you an apology.
It’s easy to forget what it’s like to be single when you’ve been married for a while. You’ll have to forgive me; I don’t always realize that some of the things I’ve said to you were more hurtful than helpful. I’m so sorry for reducing your feelings with true but inconsiderate statements like this:
“Jesus was never married and look at His ministry!”
“Paul said it’s better for us to be unmarried anyway!”
“You just haven’t found the right guy/girl yet.”
Once again, Valentine’s Day has made me aware of how much our churches emphasize the importance of marriage, and how our culture constantly highlights losing your virginity as this ultimate life goal to be achieved. In light of that, it’s easier to understand why you struggle with having unfulfilled desires and understanding your value to the church. I know that you know your relationship with Jesus is most important, despite the Bible’s emphasis on marriage and family. I know that you know your ‘season’ of singleness gives you the unique chance to draw nearer to God. But I also know that it’s hard to be content in your singleness, especially if you’re surrounded by friends who are getting married right and left. You want to believe that if you have a godly desire, it will automatically be fulfilled, and it’s hard to grapple with the honest reality that you may never get married. I get it, friends. I really do.
Mostly, I just want to encourage you with a few truths. I’m sure you probably already know these things, but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded.
You are valuable.
You are important to God.
You have special worth as a single.
You are funny.
You are smart.
You are appreciated.
You are no more or less important than me, married people, single parents, pastors, janitors, or career missionaries.
There are two things I want you to do. First, remember that it’s okay to want to be married. Don’t beat yourself up for wanting that; it’s a good thing. But secondly, instead of sitting around wishing, start actively pursuing love instead of marriage. I love what John Fisher says: “Marriage is not an end in itself; it is a means to an end. Marriage is the servant of love. If we are pursuing marriage we are pursuing the wrong thing because love then becomes subservient to marriage. We start coming up with our own ideas of what love is.”
Here’s the truth: whether you get married or not, if you focus your eyes on God completely, you will still experience the vast fullness of His love. Don’t worry, friend! You aren’t lacking or missing out on anything! God has lots of ways of revealing Himself to us, and although marriage is one way, it’s not the only way or the most important way.
Lots of x’s and o’s, Laura