Stop Saying These Things to Christian Singles

I got married about 7 months ago. I’m a newlywed.

Before I dated my husband, I had never dated anyone else.

When we first started dating, I was 24 years old.

Yeah, I was single for a long time. I went through high school and college without ever being in a relationship. Most of the time, I was okay with that. Most of the time, I didn’t have this huge desire to have a boyfriend. I had the desire to be a wife and mother, yes, but for the most part I was not in a huge hurry.

BUT…there were times when I DID feel very strongly about it. I don’t think it helped that I went to a very small, Christian college, surrounded by people in dating relationships that quickly turned into engagements and then marriages straight out of school. And while I’m certainly not blaming those people for how I sometimes felt, I would often look at couples I knew well, and wonder why I couldn’t have that…wonder if I would EVER have it.

Now, here was the problem. By the time I was 21 and about to leave college, if there was ever a time that I would mention my singleness, or express that I had never been in a relationship, there was an immediate stigma attached to the words that had just come out of my mouth. Somehow, my singleness was grounds for people to think they needed to fix me, or turn it into a teachable moment. Blanket statements were constantly thrown around, that I’m sure people didn’t even necessarily believe themselves, but assumed would be helpful or make me feel better…when really, these statements were just silly.

People! WHY is this a thing?

Three main things came to mind when I thought back to what was often said to me during my single years. And to Christians who have said these things to single Christian girls, I have this to say to you…

Knock it off. Stop it right now. Just stop. Done.

“There is one perfect person out there for everyone. Be patient. God is preparing him for you and will bring him to you in time.”

Really? I mean, I believe that there are people out there who are better suited for each other, and yes God can grow people together in their relationship, but to assume that there is only ONE person out there for you is probably not the healthiest thing in the world. See, what happens if you marry someone who is NOT that “one” person? Does that mean that God is going to let you be miserable for the rest of your life? Does that mean that He cannot be the center of your marriage because you did not find that one suitable person that He was preparing you for?

I love my husband, I am so thankful to God for him, and I have seen the Lord’s hand in our relationship from the very beginning. But if we weren’t “meant” to marry each other, or even if we had married different people, does that mean that we just wrecked God’s plans for our own lives? I really don’t think we are that powerful, guys.

This kind of statement also gives people permission to just sit around and do nothing and wait for their “one perfect person” to just fall into their lap. Friends, if all you do is wait, you’re never going to meet anyone!

Or, better yet, they wait around for this big magical event to occur so they can finally just say, “Oh! Here he is! My one! It’s perfect!”

Let me just tell you something…no relationship is perfect, okay? Relationships are work…it even can take work just to FIND it. And it usually doesn’t start with some big, grand, pomp and circumstance type deal. When my husband and I first started dating, we met, we liked each other, we dated each other, we GREW to love each other. I’m not saying that there are never firework type moments, but typically that’s how it is. Subtle. Developed. And that’s GOOD!

“Take this season to focus only on growing in the Lord for a while, and once you are secure in your identity in Christ, He will bring somebody to you.”

And cue the absolutely called for dramatic eye –roll!

This type of comment insinuates that God will gift you with a relationship if you are on a certain spiritual level with specific spiritual achievements.

Um…do you all really think that since I’m married now, it’s because I was rewarded for being more spiritually mature than you if you’re single? Ladies, if anyone has ever said something like the above to you, let me just tell you very bluntly…they are WRONG. Just saying. Your relationship status is not a result of how hard you’ve worked at becoming a better Christian. It’s not as though God looked at me after a certain point and said, “Congratulations, Emily! You have done well! Here is your husband!” Can I just scream, ARRRGGHHHH!!!! No! It just doesn’t happen like that!

Yes it’s important to continue pursuing the Lord and strengthening your relationship with Him. And yes, you should find someone who is also seeking after the Lord so that the two of you can keep walking that road together. But to think that you have to be full and complete in your Christian life first is just so wrong. It implies that you have to work harder to earn the Lord’s favor, and that goes completely against who He says He is and what He does for you. It just brings shame on the girl who feels she will never measure up to a certain standard, and therefore can never be worthy of getting a guy. That standard was set by PEOPLE, not by God. How many people do you know who are married or in a relationship, who are also totally and completely right with the Lord? I bet you can’t think of anyone.

Please show me anywhere in the Bible where those two statements are made? You can’t? Oh right. It’s not there. Hmm…

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And then of course, as soon as someone says they are still single, they can also get THIS kind of statement…

“Maybe you’re called to singleness. You should just be content in your singleness!”

Okay, I get it. It’s important to be content in your life and not allow your circumstances to dictate how you feel. But the desire to be in a relationship, the desire to be married that you may be experiencing, that’s not a bad thing! At all! That’s a desire from the Lord Himself, and He says that marriage is a beautiful thing. If someone is expressing that they wish they were in a relationship, it’s not a proclamation that they are unhappy or discontent with life. It’s normal to want that kind of connect. It’s normal to want to be a wife. And being single can feel hard sometimes, but why is that wrong? It’s a strong desire of your heart. So don’t beat yourself up, or let anyone make you feel guilty for feeling like that. Especially if you see someone else you know who might very well be content as a single person, that’s THEM! You do YOU! You’re different for a reason! It’s not as though one of you is doing it right and the other is doing it wrong {…and I could go off into a tangent right now about how different does not necessarily equal wrong…but I’m going to refrain…for now}.

Yes, the apostle Paul says that to remain single is good, and it’s a calling from the Lord. But he also says that to be married is good! And there are so many other spots in scripture that talk about the beauty of marriage, and what it is to be a biblical wife or husband. There is nothing that says you should feel ashamed over wanting something that was created and fashioned by God Himself. If singleness is a calling, then so is marriage.

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Y’all. Just stop with the blanket statements. Enough already. All you are doing is invalidating people’s feelings.

Everyone is different. No spiritual walk is going to look exactly the same as yours. Some people marry at 20, and have babies by 22. Others, like me, didn’t even have their first relationship until they were 24, and didn’t marry until they were almost 28! Neither situation is wrong! Neither situation should be shamed!

If you’re still single, and you are desiring marriage, seek out wise counsel…and don’t listen to these moronic blanket statements. No one is going to know exactly how you feel. Truly the best thing someone can do for you is offer up practical suggestions and advice based on what they would do in that situation…even if it’s not necessarily something you personally would do, it’s so much better than listening to someone claim those above three statements as “gospel”.

And know that the Bible tells us that when you delight yourself in the Lord, He WILL give you the desires of your heart. Not because you are on some strong spiritual plane or did anything to earn it…not because you are just waiting patiently on Him…but because you TRUST Him with your heart and you are walking with Him.

If you’re still single, remember you are not broken. You don’t need fixing. There’s nothing wrong with you. You don’t need to make yourself into something more just because someone else thinks you should. That shame that creeps in is a lie, and it is not from God. Live life the way you want to live it, and let God guide you along the way. If marriage is clearly hovering over the horizon for you, excellent! Marriage is awesome! But if that doesn’t seem to be happening fast enough for you and you want it, that’s okay! Don’t lose heart. That doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen. Let your journey be YOURS. God has you, no matter where you are in life! And that’s not going to look exactly like someone else.

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