A Note on Singleness and Searching

I think our worldly culture glorifies human dating and sex to such an extent that we who are single feel inadequate because we do not have a boyfriend or girlfriend. But the Apostle Paul saw things quite differently. Paul believed that we can glorify God in whatever situation He has placed us in — if we trust Him. Indeed, Paul even believed that being single is in some sense better than being married or betrothed, since the single man has more time to devote himself to the things of God. Paul should know; he was, after all, single his whole life. But he used that time to devote it to the ministry with which he had been entrusted. (See 1 Corinthians 7:25-40.)

If you’re a Christian struggling with singleness, be mindful of (at least) three things:

(1) God speaks and galaxies come into existence. Do you really think, then, that the God of heaven is unable to bring a godly man or woman into your life at the right time? God is in control, and we need to trust in his perfect timing.

(2) Be mindful of the fact that it may not be the will of God for you to have a boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband right now. When Israel rebelled in the desert, God sent her into wandering for forty years so that she could learn her own heart before entering into the Promised Land. Even Jesus waited thirty years before beginning his public ministry; in the meantime, he surely devoted all his time learning from his Father. So, God probably makes us wait so that He can prepare our hearts and shape our character for the right person at the right time: the man or woman of His own choosing after His own heart.

(3) Pray in faith, and if it is God’s will, He will do it! If you desire something, ask God, and wait on him. Pray into the will of God concerning your future wife or husband. Actually pray for him or her, that God might give you wisdom into looking for and finding a godly person to be with. But don’t pray with wrong motives. Keep God’s glory and His will the root and foundation of your whole search. Otherwise, the search might become idolatry. For you will begin seeking after the gift (i.e. the boyfriend or the girlfriend) over and above the gift-Giver — God, the LORD, who has said, “Have no other gods before me.”

Finally, remember that God loves you, and will always give you your daily bread (your needs) so that you will not become fat and forget Him. God has given you a place in his family, His own Spirit, and He has also given you your brothers and sisters in the church to lean on, share concerns with and to pray with and for. Keeping seeking God’s will, and in His timing, He who “works all things for the good of those who love Him” (Rom 8:28) will bring about a godly result.