EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to hesaid-shesaid@crosswalk.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously).

QUESTION: Recently I saw a matchmaker on TV say it was a young lady’s own fault if she was single for more than 2 or 3 years. As a Christian, how do I know if it’s “my fault” or if I’m just waiting on the Lord? I want to wait for the Lord to send the right man into my life; however, I am in my 30’s and have never really dated anyone. What do you think?

HE SAID:

Would I be correct to think this television show you were watching was not “faith-based”?

If you’ve been asked out and turned everyone down, never left your house except to go to work, rarely tried to appear appealing and approachable, never looked anyone in the eyes and smiled, not given the time of day or initiated a conversation with anyone, then sure…you may indeed be responsible.

However, being single for more than two or three years, like I have, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s your “fault.” There are probably a number of contributing factors which has led to your singleness, but there is no need wasting time figuring who’s to blame. Some things are uncontrollable, especially in regards to dating, the actions of others, and God’s will. Instead try to solve the problem at hand.

When it comes to relationships (or non-relationships), we need to take some action as we are “waiting on the Lord.” What I mean is if you truly want to be in a relationship, you need to do something about it…..and discover what God blesses.

I have witnessed on occasion some Christians who believe God will bring them the “right one” the first time without much effort on their part.

We need to get up to bat and we need to take some swings. Chances are you’re not going to meet your “soul mate” on the first date, or the second date, or even the third, fourth or fifth.

Michael Jordan, who some consider the greatest basketball player of all time, once said, “I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

If you want to be in a relationship, put yourself in a position to be in one. Join an on-line dating service, get involved in activities you enjoy where you can meet others who share your interest, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with those you come in contact with, be open to try something new and quit worrying whose “fault” it is.

SHE SAID:

Don't get me started on this one. First. that matchmaker is trying to make money so - keep in mind their ultimate goal. If they say, oh, take your time, pray about it, trust the Lord, then you might never get married. If you take your time then you won't need a matchmaker!

But let's talk about the rest of your question...about waiting on God.

There are many mindsets out there about waiting on God, allowing the man to chase, dating or courtship. For me personally, I think waiting is what God wants from us but this doesn't mean you sit at home and wait for the UPS man to show up at your door. You do have to get out there to meet people. You do need to have friendships with men. You do need to have dates with purpose, with meaning. Dates where you learn about yourself and the guy. Dates where you learn boundaries, communication and sharing. Dates that can lead to marriage.

Now, how do you get out there? Beside Christian singles groups that are everywhere these days (groups that have Bible studies, mission trips, socials, lunches, etc.) there are also meet-up groups that are based on something you like to do. Maybe you like to hike, walk, talk, cook, politics or wrestle alligators - it doesn't matter. The point is to find others who have similar interests, and then join them. All the while praying for your own growth in the Lord while God is preparing someone for you.

Yes, waiting is good as you're saying God, I trust you for all things. But wait with intentionality. Wait using this time of singleness to grow to be more like Christ. Wait to use this season to reach more for Christ. Wait to see God's best for you. And I look at it like this: if you never date or ever get married, then you will have grown so much in Christ you won't care anymore. Christ will be enough.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).

HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.

SHE is … Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of three books.

DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.

GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to hesaid-shesaid@crosswalk.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.

Publication date: September 26, 2013