You’re single. You’ve been single for what feels like decades. The novelty of a bachelor/bachelorette lifestyle wore off long ago, and you’re ready to meet someone and settle down. Friends have told you to be patient, but you’re done waiting. You are an adult and more than capable of handling a mature relationship.
According to Jarrid Wilson, you might want to double-check your motives first. The Christian author and blogger recently posted several bad reasons for why people rush into relationships. The problem, Wilson argues, is that they often start with selfish motives.
1. You think a relationship will make you feel better.
Whatever problems you have in life, I guarantee that getting yourself into a relationship won't fix all of them. Sure, you might find some short-term peace, but a relationship alone isn't going to make you feel any better. Respect someone enough to not use them as a solution for your hardships (Matthew 11:28)
2. You think a relationship will bring you a sense of worth and identity
Your worth is not found within a relationship, but instead God. Don't date hoping someone will bring you a sense of worth that was intended to be filled by your faith. When you place your worth upon the shoulders of someone else, you will inevitably be let down and disappointed. God won't let you down. (Galatians 2:20)
Though Wilson’s words should certainly be taken to heart, some might argue that they treat the symptoms instead of the problem. Being single and Christian is, in many ways, more difficult than being single and secular. In recent years the Church has put marriage on a pedestal and made it the golden standard for Christian living. Among single Christians there is a perpetual fear of being left behind, of being stuck in the past while friends and family walk toward the future. Crosswalk writer Whitney Hopler believes bad environments drive singles into unhealthy relationships, and encourages them to understand they deserve more.
“Recognize that you’re worthy of real love. If you’ve been settling for disappointing and frustrating dating relationships, know that God wants much more for you – and because God made and loves you, you’re worthy of real love. Decide to pursue something better than staring at screens trying to decipher cryptic messages and responding to guys’ lazy attempts at hooking up with you. Realize that dating casually like that tells men how little you value yourself by allowing them to string you along, while also telling you how little guys value you because they’re treating you so nonchalantly. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to see yourself as God sees you, so you can understand just how vulnerable and beloved you truly are.”
As for Churches, they can provide valuable support by becoming a home to the single Christian. When congregants invest in a person, regardless of their marital status, they build a place free from doubt and insecurity. They become the hands and feet of Christ, reminding us all that we are truly and deeply loved.
What about you? How can the Church better help singles?
*Ryan Duncan is the Culture Editor for Crosswalk.com