6 Tips for Facing the Challenges of Singleness
It begins early.
The proactive excitement and fantasies of tangible preparation for one of the biggest milestones of your life.
The concept of being eternally partnered with a person who is designed uniquely, yet still internally structured with limitations like yourself.
It becomes necessary.
The “list” of qualities, characteristics, and non-negotiables that evolve.
The adding, erasing, reprioritizing, and ripping it up when it’s a hair away from being finalized.
It becomes challenging to wait.
The “almost” moments.
The “dodged a bullet” scenarios.
The “this could be it” hope.
And the challenging “when is mine coming?” questions.
Moreover, the careful dance of remaining hopeful for your heart’s desire and trusting the timing of the One that put it there, even when others’ timing is seemingly arriving quicker than yours. While we must emphasize that marriage is not the end goal in the body of Christ, addressing the challenges at all angles of singleness is God’s heart for those that desire Godly covenant.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”Psalm 37:4 ESV
Singleness in the body of Christ can evoke many emotions that are addressed in the Bible. While the most well-known love story in the Bible is found in the book of Ruth, with Boaz the prince-charming, many take-aways in the Word of God aren’t specific to marriage but to the long-suffering of one’s heart’s desires. For example, we can take Hannah in her barrenness who wept bitterly for a son while also enduring Penninah’s tauntings (1 Samuel 1:10). Or even Abraham, who waited 25 years for God’s promise to Him to be fulfilled (Hebrews 6:15). Both required waiting, and in Hannah’s case, waiting while watching someone else receive the promise first.
Whether it’s waiting for several months or years, God is intentionally attentive, present, and available for every facet of the journey — even in the challenges that may be shameful to admit. Here are several tips on walking in singleness as He’s walking with you:
- Know that you are valuable, even when you aren’t being told you are.
If you’ve experienced repeated cycles of abandonment and rejection in romantic relationships, it becomes easy to believe that you are the problem. It becomes a default to believe that you aren’t enough. The truth is, we’re not — not on our own without Christ. But in Him, we find that our value doesn’t come by way of works, but by way of receiving Him (Romans 5:8). Even if the snags in your journey have a hand in the timing of the partnership God has ordained for you, His voice will never diminish how valuable He sees you as His beloved.
- Become what you’re seeking while you’re waiting.
Many read this statement and assume that they should be investing in themselves for their partner to come. In other words, one cannot expect to receive qualities in a partner that one doesn’t already personally embody. While there’s truth in this, your waiting season should also be a time when you are becoming more like Jesus, through seeking Him. In seeking Him, you become equipped for what is of Him — marriage His way.
”I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.”John 15:5 NIV
- Your desire for marriage doesn’t mean you’re idolizing it.
You can love Jesus with your whole heart and still allow Him to make room in your heart for your life partner. You can be content in Christ and want to glorify God with your life in conjunction with someone else’s life. Desiring affection, affirmation, and romantic partnership does not neglect the truth that Christ is enough for you. It becomes idolatry when your desires dictate, compromise, or take the place of your relationship with Him. Rest assured that you are not in error for desiring love while loving God, too.
- Keep your eyes forward.
Know that you haven’t missed anything that God has told you to walk away from. Nor have you lost an opportunity to walk into what God has ordained for you. Singleness can lead you to ruminate on failed relationships that were seasonal and/or never there for you. Eyes forward with Jesus — there’s nothing back there.
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”Psalm 84:11 NIV
- Know that loneliness is not a sin.
God isn’t disappointed in your craving for companionship — He designed you that way (Genesis 2:18). He also isn’t disappointed in the pain of not having it. He knows your confessions of Him being enough and can also empathize when you feel like He isn’t. Your loneliness is welcomed by God, and He isn’t upset that it’s there. Instead, give it to Him every time. He will always have something in exchange for it.
- Be honest with yourself, God, and your community — there’s enough grace for it.
By way of wisdom, communicate your needs with your community during these challenges. Share your truth and kick pride to the curb — it’s okay that it hurts. Watching the waiting season end for others can be painful and emotionally challenging while you’re in yours. Rejoicing with others during this circumstance can feel as if you’re stretching beyond capacity. Remain prayerful, allowing God to help you see others’ circumstances through the lens of His heart. But in this, also remain aware that God has positioned others in your life to intercede, support, and listen as your season continues.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”Romans 12:15 NIV
To the one that’s waiting patiently.
To the one that’s waiting fearlessly.
To the one that continues to wait with the mustard seed of faith.
To the one that’s waiting while healing from the last.
To the one that’s waiting while watching the wait come to an end for others around them.
God is in the waiting.
God the Father,
God the Son,
And God the Holy Spirit are all in the waiting, with you.
One Also in the Waiting.