Why Christian Singles Shouldn’t Wait
- Clayton Coates ChristianMingle.com
- 2012 14 Feb
A recent poll on ChristianMingle®.com asked, “Do you believe there is one right person out there for you?” While the topic of “soul mates” is often debated among the Christian community based on the lack of biblical evidence on the subject, the majority of those surveyed (46 percent) said they do, in fact, believe in “The One,” indicating that perhaps Christian singles do believe soul mates exist.
If this is the case, how do you find that one perfect person God has picked for you? Is it up to God to drop him or her at your doorstep? Or, do you play a role in making that connection?
These are not easy questions, and there are a few things to consider and pray about before discovering the answers.
God has called all believers to a great purpose—a greater purpose than what can be found in a marriage, or for that matter, in a career, or as a parent. He has called Christians to be his children and influence his kingdom here on earth. This role should drive everything else we do.
As a former singles pastor and current senior pastor, I often hear Christian singles say they are ready for a significant other, but I caution them not to focus too much on the search. Whether or not you believe God has a soul mate for you, it’s important to realize he expects us to work toward being an ideal mate for our future husband or wife.
In God’s kingdom, we are all made complete only through a union with Christ, as described in Colossians 2:10. God understands our desire for human companionship, but you will be doing your future mate a great disservice if you only focus on him or her, rather than your relationship with God—the One who can make you whole.
I’m not saying you have to be perfect, or even close to perfect, before developing a relationship with the opposite sex. Romans 3:23 reminds us no one except God’s only son, Jesus, is perfect. Still, God calls us all to strive to live like him. Therefore, your job is to begin the journey to becoming who God created you to be, fulfilling his purpose for your life. Part of this process is to surround yourself with individuals who are supporting you in these efforts to be more Christlike. An easy way to do this is by joining an online community, where Christian singles are looking to make meaningful connections within the faith and build Christ-centered relationships.
Once you have made the effort to be a wonderful mate, it does not mean the process will be effortless. Even when you believe yourself to be whole—confident, peaceful and content—he or she may still not be making an appearance.
Finding a soul mate isn’t like going to the grocery store and picking out what product looks best. Although the ChristianMingle poll also revealed 55 percent of Christian singles believe in love at first sight, it isn’t exactly as easy, nor should it be taken as lightly, as picking out fresh produce. The process of finding your significant other takes patience and should never be rushed.
I believe God’s timing is perfect, especially as it relates to relationships, but as you wait on God’s direction and go through the dating process, you might be tempted to develop an onslaught of questions, doubts and worries such as: What if I’ve already met “The One,” but turned him or her down because I wasn’t sure I was ready? Or, what if I think I’ve found “The One,” but end up marrying the wrong person? Or, what if this isn’t the person God wants for me? These are all typical questions which haunt singles, unfortunately taking the focus away from God and his will.
Sometimes our biggest fear is loneliness. When this fear becomes the focus of everything we do, our desire for quality time diminishes and we settle for quantity. The fact is, you can spend an immense amount of time with people who are not right for you, people who are not God’s best for you, and people who require you to lower your standards.
If these fears begin to creep in, seek guidance from both God and like-minded Christians. Being an active participant in church or online communities enables you to surround yourself with people who truly care for you, who are checking in with you on a daily basis, who will ask the real tough questions, and who will help you grow with God. Proverbs 19:20 says, “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” Trust the opinions of those who know you best.
Develop a set of check points for dating and stop to take an honest assessment. Are you spending a lot of time with this individual, but not really getting to know them? Even more so, are you getting to authentically know them? Are you getting to know who it is they want you to know or is this quantity of time truly quality time, which is letting you know the real them? Does this individual lift you up or tear you down? Can you see yourself spending the rest of your life with this person? These are real questions you must ask both yourself, and God.
While seeking God is an important aspect of the entire process, I still want to encourage you to not wait on God to put the perfect person on your doorstep. Before you think I’m telling you to disobey God, hear me out.
If you were looking for a job, you would pray for direction and seek God’s counsel. But, wouldn’t you also send out your résumé, network within the industry and search open positions on job websites? I would hope so.
In an analogous way, God can orchestrate ways to help you find your significant other such as church singles groups, singles cruises or Christian online dating sites. No matter how you meet your significant other, the most important thing is to meet a person with whom you share your faith. That is essential in finding God’s match for you.
Pastor Clayton Coates is a ChristianMingle Advisory Board Member and lead pastor at First Baptist Church in Coppell, Texas. Prior to this role, Coates led the Single Adult Ministry at Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, Calif. At that time, Saddleback's Single Adult Ministry included over 13,000 single adults in the greater Los Angeles area.