By Rhonda Stoppe, Crosswalk.com
Dear single friend, do you wonder when will it be my turn to get married?
My heart goes out to you dear one. There’s nothing wrong with longing for marriage.
But learning to trust God for His timing to providentially guide your steps will help you rest in His perfect plan. It may seem like God doesn’t care about your romance, but He really does.
And while you may be one of the few in your social circle who’s still single, you’re not alone.
If you find yourself in this place of aloneness, it may be tempting to think your life is on hold until you find one who’ll make your life complete. This idea is so pervasive in our culture that even a scene from a popular movie quotes the famous phrase, “You complete me.”
I’m not going to lie, that scene gets me every time! I mean, who doesn’t want to believe they’re so highly valued? While this idea gives us all-the-feels, it’s important to note the underlying confusion from this type of thinking.
If you think your life will only be complete when you’re married, you’re putting your hopes in the wrong relationship. God created us to long to find our worth in who loves us. But the value we ache for will never be realized in a relationship with another person.
God puts in us a longing to be loved and valued by Him. Sin stole away mankind’s perfect unity with our Creator and left our hearts aching to be treasured. When you buy into the belief that a person can hold the key to your completeness, you’ll be sorely disappointed when one day they cannot measure up to your expectations.
If as a single person you discover your completeness in Christ alone, then whenever God brings a godly spouse, you’ll be ready to love them with His selfless love and not expect them to be the source of your completeness.
It’s not wrong want marriage, children and all the wonderful things that accompany married life. But you’d be wise to realize that all seasons of life are complete when you're growing in your love for Christ.
If you’re still thinking that your life can’t be complete until you get married, here are a few consequences to consider:
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Anthony Tran
1. You May Get Stuck in a Waiting Zone
If you believe you’re incomplete until the one comes along, you’re in danger of living in waiting mode. Some singles think they’ll be more able to serve the Lord once they’re married. So, they wait to get involved in ministry until they get married.
When you are single, you have more freedom to serve Christ without distraction. The Apostle Paul said, “The unmarried man cares for the things of the Lord––how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world––how he may please his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:33-34).
Don’t get me wrong, having a spouse to help you serve Christ is a wonderful blessing. But things go sideways in marriage when husbands and wives mistakenly look to one another to fill the longing that only God can fill.
Unfortunately, when people wed, and their spouse doesn’t give them the sense of completeness they long for, they start to think: I must have married the wrong person. Or, I think I would be happier with someone else.
To combat this wrong thinking, while you are single realize that it’s never a good idea to think your life or service to the Lord will only be complete once you have a spouse.
Rather than looking around at who might make your life complete, keep your eyes on Christ as you run the race that He lays before you. It’s not wrong to want a running mate. And if He brings alongside you a person who helps you keep your eyes on Jesus as you run the race they might be one you should marry.
But remember, if you both work to find your completeness in your relationship to Christ, you’ll run side by side toward the goal He has for your life––and you’ll not look to each other to for a sense of completeness, because you both know that completeness can only come from Christ.
Looking around will become a distraction to the real work God wants to accomplish through your season of singleness. By all means, keep your eyes open, and ask God to guide you toward a godly spouse. But don’t become so obsessed with finding a mate that you forsake complete devotion to Christ and His Kingdom work.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Andrew Neel
2. You May Begin to Believe You’re Not Enough
Now, you may think, No, I believe I’m enough. I just want someone else to believe that too. ––I totally get that.
While you may not walk around singing the lyrics to the old song, “Your nobody till somebody loves you” the idea of not feeling complete until you’ve found your someone can be the voice in your head that leads you to believe you don’t measure up.
The voice in your head can be a blessing or a curse. Proverbs 23:7 says, “As he thinks in his heart, so is he”. If you want to be a delightful person, you must think on what is delightful. It’s essential to think on what’s true, right and lovely. And to combat wrong thinking with scripture.
When yet another relationship doesn’t pan out, rather than allowing your mind to play over thoughts of inadequacy, learn to speak truth to yourself. This habit will grow your faith and give you courage. Consider these suggestions:
- Look up and meditate on scriptures that come against feelings of inadequacy. Ask God to help you believe His Word.
- Memorize scripture. Whenever negative thinking starts to sneak in, combat it with God’s Word. If Jesus used scripture to battle Satan’s attacks we, all the more, need to be armed with the sword of the word.
- Contemplate how dearly you are loved by God. Consider your worth in light of Ephesians 1:4-14:
Even He chose us in [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved.
In Him we have redemption through HIs blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will…
In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.” (emphasis added)
Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Nikko Macaspac
3. You May Forget the Lord
“Do not forget the Lord,” was God’s repeated instruction to Israel. Deuteronomy 4:23 warns, “Be careful not to forget the covenant of the LORD your God that He made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol...”
While you may never construct an idol, consider the idols of your heart. There’s a real danger in allowing your longing for a spouse to become an idol, because it directs your focus away from the Lord and His guidance for your life.
When this happens, it’s easy to fall for Satan’s deceptions and end up settling for an unequally yoked relationship. And often, sexual sin is not far behind.
For some who start to think being married to an unbeliever is better than being alone, they’re in danger of following an idolatrous heart’s desire to be married at any cost. Sadly, after they wed their disappointment may be more than they bargained for.
Consider the story of the Samaritan woman who had desperately searched for her worth in marrying a number of husbands. Her hope was finally realized when she found her worth in Christ.
In over 30 years of ministry with my pastor-husband, we’ve watched individuals refuse to wait upon the Lord to find a godly mate. And if they end up sleeping with the person to whom they’re attracted, their sin quenches the Holy Spirit in their life and steals from them His wisdom and guidance.
Many of these people later come to their senses, only to realize the one they married cannot make them feel complete. Sadly, their loneliness only multiplies in a marriage to one who’s not a godly spouse.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Noah Buscher
4. You May Grow Anxious, Depressed, or Resentful
Focusing on what you don’t have, and becoming worried over your singleness will discourage you. And if that discouragement is left unbridled you may become depressed.
This can also lead to resentment. You may never admit you’re resentful toward your friends who appear to be happily married, but you might secretly resent them for not inviting you to their “couples only” dinner party. Or you may resent the Lord for not letting you have your own happily-ever-after.
Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in the heart of a man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.” The more you dwell on the good word of the Lord the better equipped you’ll be to battle anxious thoughts, dispel depression and resentment, and become a joyful person.
Instead of focusing on finding the one, work to become the one. If you want the Father to entrust you with a joyful, godly, Christ-honoring spouse, you would do well to allow Him to develop these traits in your own character.
Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). When you’re obsessed with finding a spouse, anxious or depressed, your words will reflect what’s in your heart. These character qualities will not likely attract a godly mate. So, let God’s word dwell in you richly so that when you meet someone who’s looking for a godly spouse, your genuine love for Christ will be an attractive reflection of your heart.
If you’re single and you’re thinking, But I don’t even want to get married this conversation is not for you. If God’s called you to singleness, don’t look down on others who hope for marriage.
For you who deeply long to get married, Psalm 37:4 reminds us, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
If you commit yourself to delighting in all God is and find your completeness in His purpose for your life.* Then you can trust Him to either adjust your hope for marriage, or, in His timing, grant your heart’s desire to marry one who will help you run the race for Christ.
Remember, God’s all about making you complete in Christ. He’s more interested in your holiness than your happiness, because true completeness will only be found in a relationship with Him.
As you wait, be encouraged by this promise; “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
*WATCH FREE this video of Rhonda sharing what it means to delight in the Lord.
Rhonda Stoppe is dedicated to help women LIVE LIFE WITH NO REGRETS.
Rhonda is the author of 6 books including: Moms Raising Sons to Be Men , and Real Life Romance Her newest book is The Marriage Mentor, is co-authored with her Pastor-husband, Steve Stoppe. (Harvest House Publishers) With over 30 years experience of helping women build a life with no regrets as a pastor’s wife, mentor, speaker, author, mom & grandmother. She’s a regular guest on Focus on the Family co-host of The No Regrets Hour, and other popular Christian Radio broadcasts. Rhonda helps women to:
- • Break free from regrets that hold them back
- • Grow in wholehearted devotion to Christ
- • Find victory over people-pleasing
- • Have the marriage others only dream about
- • Build a godly legacy to become more influential than they ever dreamed possible
Rhonda and Steve have been married 38 years and live out their own real life romance on their ranch in Northern California. Watch Free marriage videos or to book the Stoppe’s for your marriage event visit www.NoRegretsWoman .
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Warren Wong