I am nineteen years old.
I have never dated anyone or been in a serious relationship.
Do I want to get married someday? Absolutely! Since I was a little girl, my dream has been to be a godly wife and a mommy to a house of little ones.
However, during this time of my life, God has me absolutely single. Even though it is hard sometimes, God has been teaching me a lot about how he views relationships during the past several months, and I have come to realize that this time of waiting is absolutely essential to my growth as a daughter of God–and not only essential, but also a tremendous blessing.
Am I perfect in my contentment? No. Do I struggle at times? You bet! But I can honestly say that I am so thankful for this time of singleness that the Lord has given me. Today, I want to share with you three things about relationships and singleness that God has recently laid on my heart.
1. God Wants To Give Us Good Gifts
If I decide to surrender my love life to God, will he make me wait until I am thirty to get married?
How will I find a spouse if I make a commitment to purity?
Sometimes, I feel like God just doesn’t want me to be happy.
What if God never brings me a husband or a wife?
When it comes to the area of relationships, we sometimes view God as a cosmic killjoy. When our longings go unfulfilled, we imagine that he must not want us to find joy in a relationship. “I’ve waited for so long, and no one has ever noticed me,” we think. “God must not want me to get married.” Or “God, I really think we would be a good match… why haven’t you put us together yet? Don’t you want me to be happy?”
In our romance-obsessed culture, the pressure to “hook up” with someone begins at a very young age. With everything from well-intentioned friends to pop songs telling us that we need to find someone and find them quick, we fear that if we hand God the pen of our love story, he might write something that we don’t like. Or something at the wrong time. Or nothing at all.
However, when we fall into this pattern of thinking, we are forgetting one key truth: God created marriage!
In Genesis 2:18, God looked back at all He had made, and for the first time since He began creation, He saw that something was not good.
“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” … So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.” (Genesis 2:18, 21-22).
That was the very first wedding. God gave away the very first bride. It was God who came up with the idea of marriage. It was God who saw that it was not good for man to be alone.
Far from condemning marriage, God aches to give you an extravagant, beautiful love story. He wants it for you even more than you want it for yourself. And it is because he wants the very best for us that he asks us to hand the pen over to Him. It is because he wants us to have a beautiful romance someday that he asks us to embrace purity and wait on his timing to bring the right person into our lives.
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22).
If we commit to letting the Master Author write our story, we can be sure that He will give us a story that is more glorious than anything we could have ever imagined or hoped for. I love the lyrics to the song “Far Beyond” by Eric and Leslie Ludy:
Far beyond my deepest heart’s desire
Far beyond what I could ever dream
Far beyond my fairy tale imaginations
Is Your perfect plan for me.
There’s no limit to romance in all its beauty
When the Author of Love shapes my destiny
Far beyond the most that I could long for
I will find the dreams You have dreamed for me.
2. Only God Can Satisfy
However, even though marriage is a beautiful and wonderful thing, it was never meant to be a substitute for Christ.
Colossians 1:19 says, speaking of Christ, “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (emphasis mine).
Beloved, only Christ can ever completely and totally satisfy your soul.
Colossians 2:3 tells us that in Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Ephesians 1:3 says that we have been blessed “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” Colossians 2:10 (NASB) says, “In Him [i.e., Christ] you have been made complete.” John 1:16 says, “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”
As wonderful as marriage and relationships can be, they were not created to fulfill us. Only God can do that.
Yes, God created marriage. Yes, godly romance is a good thing when it is orchestrated by Christ. But far better and far more important than any earthly relationship is our relationship with the living God.
One of the things that God has shown me is that even if I do get married someday, I won’t suddenly be completely happy and satisfied. A husband won’t be able to meet all my needs, for one simple reason: he wasn’t intended to. God didn’t create marriage to satisfy me or make me happy. Rather, marriage was intended by God for me to someday reflect his selfless love and sacrifice towards someone else. My personal fulfillment can only come from Christ.
Throughout my life, God has repeatedly asked me the gentle question, “Child, do you love Me more than ____?” I have had to answer this question by laying the issue in question at His feet. Each time I have done so, he has filled me with a joy that far surpassed any pleasure I thought I had in that other thing.
Brothers and sisters, do we love God more than we love our dreams? Is he more important to us than everything else in our lives, even our hopes for a future relationship and family? Are we willing to lay these things down on the altar, whether or not our dreams ever come to pass? Are we willing to allow Christ to complete us and fill us with his crazy, amazing joy?
“And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me'” (Luke 9:23).
If we answer “yes” to these questions, we can be sure that God will be faithful to walk with us every step of the way. When we submit to the will of the God of the universe, that is when he can really begin to work in our lives… and there is no more exciting journey than that!
3. We are Refined in the Waiting
We live in a culture that doesn’t like waiting. We normally don’t speak of it with great gusto (“Wasn’t it absolutely epic waiting for the bus?”). From computers, to credit cards, to microwaves, we have come up with countless ways to cut down the time we have to spend waiting.
However, Scriptures gives us a much different picture of waiting. Rather than being a negative thing, waiting is presented as a necessary, beautiful, and strengthening aspect in the life of a Christian.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14).
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31a).
“’The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth” (Lamentations 3:24-27).
When it comes to relationships, waiting is an essential part of the journey. As we wait for the Lord to work his perfect will in our lives, we are refined to become more like Christ. We learn patience. We learn endurance. We learn to trust him and put him first. Our character and maturity is given a chance to deepen and grow. We are able to focus on serving the Lord and others in a way that is unhindered by the responsibilities of having a family. We have a freedom that is unique to our season of singleness (see 1 Corinthians 7:32-35).
And what’s more…..as we wait on the Lord, we are fulfilled and renewed with his joy and his strength. The more of us we give to him, the more of him he gives to us.
Is it easy? Definitely not! But is it worth it? Absolutely! Brothers and sisters. My prayer is that we will all experience the joy that comes with surrendering our dreams to our sweet Savior and handing him the pen to write our love story–and not just our love story, but our whole story.
He is, after all, the Master Author.
Will you join me in living the adventure that he writes?