Did you know that based on recent statistics, about half or more of Americans are single? This is true despite the fact that for the first time in history, people can find partners online and therefore all across the entire nation and globe. This leaves an important question: with so many options, how do so many people find themselves single today?
More opportunities should mean more viable options, or does having so many options make us too picky?
Maybe we get so busy sorting and swiping through potential mates that we forget to pick one. Or perhaps, we’ve been biding our time, waiting to be picked by the perfect suitor.
Christians residing in the dating pool today share in this angst. There are sites like Christian Mingle and Upward, but how many permanent relationships result from these websites?
If we pause to take a look, we’ll see too that America is a country far from its godly foundation and values. What we have today are broken families, single-parent households, and the normalization of many sins. Finding a partner is tough. Maintaining hope to find a partner is a challenge within itself.
However, if we know anything about our God, we know He can take something bleak and turn it into something beautiful. That means when we’re tempted to settle for just anyone or give up on finding love altogether, we can find comfort in the Lord. We can place our hope in Him.
You’re probably wondering how to find this comfort, so here’s how to find hope as a single Christian today:
Identify Your First Love
“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:20-21)
Before we invite someone into our lives to be our boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse, we have to identify our first love (hint: it’s not them). The reason we have to recognize God before getting involved with another person is because we run the risk of idolizing our partner. We could accidentally (or intentionally) let them play the role of God in our lives.
Consider this, in a loving, committed, and communicative relationship, partners talk, confide, and make decisions together. These are good traits, but if you are only seeking your partner’s companionship and wisdom, then where does God fit into the picture?
Is the partner’s word more valuable than the Lord’s?
We should invest properly in our relationship with God before getting involved with someone and after. With a correct perspective of God, we maintain the right perspective of our partner. This means exiting a relationship when necessary, but also loving on them in a healthy way when together. God provides the example for how to serve, and our partner is an opportunity to use what we learn.
Pray to God about Your Desire
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phillippians 4:6)
How long have you been single? How long have you hoped for love? No matter how you answer, God already knows. He knows what we want and what we need, but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t come to Him in prayer. In fact, carrying any sort of burden like a longing for companionship is important to bring to God (Matthew 11:28). He cares for us and wants to hear our prayers.
If the desire for companionship burns within you today, or on holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, take time to pray. Reach out to God whenever and wherever. He’s always available.
Become the Person You Want to Marry
“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
You may have heard the adage before that you should become the person you want to marry. There’s plenty of wisdom in this statement. Sometimes we despair, figuring there is no one that matches our values or belief system. That anxious lie doesn’t make sense though. We aren’t completely different from everyone in the world, so if we’re a Christian with a set of beliefs and values, surely someone somewhere is compatible with us. There are likely more compatible candidates than we think.
Have Your Priorities Together
Sometimes people get into half-baked relationships and make excuses as to why they don’t fully commit. “I’m working on myself,” or “I just got out of a relationship, but I really like you.” If you’re single and saying this, then you are not prepared for a relationship. Don’t waste your time or the other person’s. Why create heartbreak when it’s unnecessary? If you’re single and hear someone say those lines, run away.
People who date just for sport don’t have their priorities together, prioritizing themselves over long-term companionship. This is bad news for the single Christian hoping for something real and substantial. Have your priorities straight and make sure they do too.
Wait for the Person
“Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8:25)
As we hope for love we can do so by waiting patiently, or with some action. If we choose the former option, that entails praying to God and waiting for an opportunity to present itself. A patient person doesn’t wait and complain to God about the absent lover, but instead thanks Him for singleness and makes the most out of such a season.
Search for the Person
“Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
Waiting on God is a viable option, but sometimes we’re called to act. Though we pray, we should give substance to those words with deeds too. We shouldn’t expect God to do all the hard work. By searching for a spouse, we’ll seek out opportunities at church, the library, the grocery store, and anywhere to connect with people. Not in a somebody-please-talk-to-me kind of way, but rather, in an I’m-a-Christian-engaging-with-others manner. As you engage, you might be surprised by what you find. A simple greeting at the supermarket could lead to marriage. You never know!
Focus on Your Blessings
“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
Maintaining hope would not be possible without a positive perspective of God, ourselves, and our lives. Though single, there are things we have in life, an able body, loved ones, a car, food to eat, shelter, etc. Count your specific blessings and thank God for what He has given to you. A spouse may be on His list of gifts to give, maybe. For most of us, marriage will occur, but life shouldn’t be put on hold while we wait.
There’s plenty to enjoy if we just open our eyes. Once we do, we’ll see that not only does our gratitude expand, but so does our hope.
Aaron Brown is a freelance writer, hip-hop dance teacher, and visual artist, living in Virginia. He currently contributes work to iBelieve, Crosswalk, and supports various clients through the platform Upwork. He’s an outside-the-box thinker with a penchant for challenging the status quo. Check out his short story “Serenity.”