This is an article for those who are single more than others. This article is not for those who tick the singles box in the marriage section of a form but are in a dating/courtship relationship. This article is for those who are single and don’t have someone for valentines. February is the red month. Everybody talks about it being the love month. I remember chilling with my friend once and they would tell me about what they were doing for their girlfriend. They weren’t boasting but a sense of jealousy and envy will always creep up my spine. I would look up to the sky and ask, “Father for how long will l be single.” Some of my homies even got engaged but for me “bae” was “dololo”. Navigating singles is made hard by the people around us. Watching couples who love each other on screen doesn’t help either. So how should we navigate through this journey of singles?
A lot of the times when we are single we fantasize about how it would be like to have a girlfriend. We always think that life is greener on the other side of dating. Which is not true. If you ask anybody who is in a relationship they will tell you about the challenges they have with purity, handling the pressure of getting married, learning how to communicate, the struggle of comparison, long distance and dealing with unresolved issues of the past the list is endless. Even if we know this we may still find ourselves not satisfied with being single. The best advice is to find contentment in God. We do this by looking to God for strength just like Paul in Philippians.
(11)Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. (12) I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. (13) I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Phil 4:11-13)
In the above text Paul was taking about finding contentment in all situations whether he suffered or in times of plenty. David Guzik Commentary on this passage explain it the best. Guzik highlights two things:
- To accommodate ourselves to an afflicted condition – to know how to be abased, how to be hungry, how to suffer want, so as not to be overcome by the temptations of it, either to lose our comfort in God or distrust his providence, or to take any indirect course for our own supply.
- To a prosperous condition – to know how to abound, how to be full, so as not to be proud, or secure, or luxurious. And this is as hard a lesson as the other; for the temptations of fullness and prosperity are not less than those of affliction and want.”
Applying this same thinking in singleness and dating. We need to know how to suffer through the want to be in a relationship, to not be overcome by the temptation to be in a relationship, or to either lose our comfort in God or distrust his providence that will make us look for a wife without his guidance.
Even, when we enter into a relationship we need know how to enjoy the relationship in a way that glorifies God. We need to avoid being prideful and forgetting God since now he has given us the very thing we have been aching for. We need to learn how to fight the temptations and challenges that come with being in a relationship like temptations to have sex before marriage. But how must we learn this? Paul’s answer was, “I can do all thing through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). Through Christ’s strength we can be taught to be content in singleness and when we are in a dating relationship.
What if l am single and l will never marry?
In the above piece of this article l have been mainly addressing those who are single, still searching and someday are going to be married, but the truth is not all of us will get married. Some of us will be called to a life of singleness. I encourage you not to look at you yourself any lesser than those who are married. Both singleness and marriage are both meant to be experienced through a dependency on God’s strength. God sovereignly orchestrates them for our sanctification. But what if you do stay single? I will ask you this question, “If you were to remain single all your life, will God still be enough?” Would you be able to say the same words as David said in Psalm 73, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.(Psalm 73:25)” Will God be your supreme treasure and the main source of your joy.
The fight for contentment is not easy. Just the same way that Adam and Eve were tempted by the one fruit they were not allowed to eat when they had all the numerous number of trees to eat from; we are also wired the same way. We tend to focus on what we do not have, yet we forget that “no good thing does he (God) withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11)”. As I end this article, I pray that the Lord may strengthen our faith and we find contentment in him.