Let’s talk about the content single! I have been single since the end of 2009 and I mean single, single with the exception of entertaining a random once. This means no boyfriends, no dates with potentials, no texts or phone calls about the future with a guy or anything! In the last year in a half to two years this was all done by choice but prior to that it was not my choice to be that single…by any means. To be honest, up until I got saved I really did not want to be married. I had seen a number of failed marriages and I saw people stay in marriages that they hated and they didn’t like the person they were married to anymore. I knew I didn’t want to get divorced but that I also didn’t want to feel stuck to someone once I got married. Once I got saved and started to have an understanding of what marriage really is from a biblical stance and actually seeing people that did marriage God’s way and understanding how allowing God to choose your mate impacts the overall health of a marriage it brought back that desire to want to be married. Now with that desire also came an obsession!
I swear every single Christian man that I laid my eyes on the thought popped into my head “omg is he the one?” The funny thing is that I wasn’t sold on any of these guys because it was always something that was kinda off (i.e. too short, not attracted physically, unsure if they’re really saved or they just go to church) but they were a Christian so I figured I had to take what I could get. I became consumed with trying to identify my spouse instead of allowing God to do so and as a result of this the thought of marriage became an idol. I was so focused on wondering when would it be my turn that I would get annoyed at my timeline when I saw yet another engagement, when yet another birthday passed and I was still single, and when everyone I had went to high school/college with were not only married but had a gut full of human or multiple babies. I felt like I was living for God and He was not rewarding me with my good Christian man as He was “supposed” to (insert side eye towards myself and please see blog on PSA to singles that a spouse is not a reward for living for God none whatsoever). To make matters worse, I went to a revival when I was 22 I believe and the person speaking told me that God said it would happen when I was 25 and so I associated "it" with meaning I would meet/marry my husband at 25. I had already planned out in my head that I would meet my husband, we would date for a year and a half to two years, and then we would be engaged for 6-8 months so that means with that timetable I should meet my husband tomorrow! I know God was like girl sit down and shut up, My goodness you are getting on My nerves! Needless to say that really upped the ante of looking at every Christian man and wondering is he the one or is it that one?
Somewhere along the way this got really exhausting as you could imagine and the more time I started to spend with God He showed me that I wanted the marriage more than I wanted Him. I got tired of constantly being focused on finding the one and being in my feelings when I saw other people getting engaged. I sat in my floor one day and asked God to help me and I told Him that I wanted Him more than the husband and even if I never got married I would still want God and could accept that He was enough. That was the beginning of me really being intentional about being content in my heart in my single season versus just pretending which is what I had been doing forever. With that being said, I’m definitely not going to act like I don’t still think about marriage or that I don’t think about what my one day husband will be like but it’s not the focus of my thoughts and it’s not a thought out of desperation of wanting to be married. So, what helped me to get to that point? I’m so glad you asked!
1.Accountability/Proverbs 4:23: Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. It is so important to surround yourself with other single people who are content or are pursuing being content in their single season as well versus those that are planning a wedding in their head every 5 seconds with people they just met. My best friend and I decided to read the book Lady in Waiting together a few years ago, which I would highly recommend for singles, and we made the decision that we would not defile each other. What this means is if either one of us meet a guy no matter how great his potential appears we don’t get excited about it and scream OMG this could be your Adam and we don’t start discussing colors for the bridesmaid dresses. We encourage each other to take our time to get to know the person before rushing into a relationship, to not start planning our wedding in our head, and to be God led and allow Him to show us if the guy is really legit. Surround yourself with people who want to guard your heart versus entertain your fantasy wedding and tell you everything that you want to hear.
2.Focused on Kingdom business/Matthew 6:33: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. When you really start seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, chasing or being caught by your spouse is the last thing that is on your mind! Mainly because you realize that if you put God first whatever is for you will be given to you in His timing and quite frankly you’re busy being focused on doing what God has called you to do versus being focused on a man or a woman. I’m not complaining or bragging by any means but I am so busy doing what God has called me to do that the thought of adding a man into this equation would be a lot. Something I realized the more I started to step into ministry is that marriage is ministry as well and even more so it has to be your first ministry. Although my marriage will not come before God it does have to come before Changed Hearts and Changed Hearts: I AM Woman. I refuse to have a ministry that is helping people and thriving yet my household is a mess and I’m neglecting my husband as a result of it. I realized that when I do get married I’m going to have to pull back a ton from what I’m doing right now and I really enjoy what God has allowed me to do so I don’t want to rush this season. Of course my husband will be supportive of my ministry but that does not negate the fact that I will have wifely duties added to my plate that have to come first. Bottom line get focused on kingdom business and really enjoy the time that God has given you as a single where you have more freedom to get up and go and spend time on things that you wouldn’t be able to do or do as much once you’re married.
3. Desire to be equally yoked/2 Corinthians 6: 14: Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? The thing about marriage is that it has to be so much more than you just “liking” a person. I like chicken but I’m not trying to marry it, just saying. The desire to honor God has to trump your desire to get married to just anybody. I really became content when I developed a standard of who I wanted to marry and how I wanted our marriage to truly honor God. It will take an amazing man of God to take me off the market and I will not apologize for saying that. Get a standard, a realistic one, and don’t settle for anything less than God’s best for your life (Mariah and I did a video on deal breakers that can be found on my youtube page). Trust that it is so much more worth it to be married to someone that you love doing life with, that pushes you towards Christ, prays over and encourages you versus one that is attractive and gave you some attention but is so far from being God’s best for you.
I know the single season doesn’t always seem like the best but it really is a great opportunity to really learn yourself, who you are in God as an individual, and to just really experience life without the cares, commitment, and devotion that is required in marriage. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying marriage is like being in prison and you’re tied down and can’t do anything. Marriage is also a great season that comes with other great opportunities but don’t rush through the single season and miss out on everything God is trying to show you and do in your life as an individual. Contentment in singleness comes with time and I still find myself checking myself and working on my heart in that area. Don’t beat yourself up and also don’t go from one extreme to another! There are moments where I have gone from being a content single to being a very guarded single which I will discuss next week. We have to remember that the desire to get married is not wrong it’s how we respond to that desire that ends up becoming the problem. Allow God to be your heart’s desire whether single or married.