"¿Mijo, y ya tiene novia?" (Son, do you have a girlfriend already?) Does this sound familiar? It's the common question single people get from loved ones at family gatherings like the holidays and such. The worst part: the question comes way too often as you age and are still single. As if being single is a terrible thing. We define singlehood as the state of being single and especially unmarried. In the Hispanic culture, it is a rarity to find single people past their mid-twenties. It leaves many Christian singles wondering and asking, "God, have you forgotten about me?" The reality is that God has not forgotten about His single children but the problem is that we have placed extreme focus in finding "the one", instead of getting ready for when "the one" comes. This has caused singles to jump into the dating scene prematurely with the fantasy that when they finally date and eventually marry, their lives will be perfectly fixed. Pop that cloud of fantasy and step down into reality. Jesus is the only one that can truly change, transform, and satisfy a person. It is important, though, to enjoy your singleness, take advantage of it, and prepare yourself for marriage.
Unless God has called you to remain single, singlehood is just for a season in the human cycle. It is not meant to be forever. The singlehood season can be used as a time to:
Serve God with Liberty
Being single allows you to serve God with liberty. I have had numerous conversations with married couples who have shared with me what life is like in marriage. The common answer I get is that there is more responsibility involved because now you have a family to look out for. While single, there is more freedom to travel, go out with friends, or do other activities without the responsibility of a marriage or children. In marriage, the opinion and desire of the spouse have to be considered. Being single means you have the liberty to serve God with a higher investment in time and without heavy family responsibilities that can slow you down because of mutual interests. The apostle Paul wrote that the unmarried man can focus completely on how to please the Lord without worries, meanwhile, the married man is anxious about the things of the world. He wants to please his wife (1 Corinthians 7:32-34). Marriage is a blessing on its own and it does not mean that as a couple one cannot serve God, but if you're present state is single, then enjoy this time to serve God with total liberty. Do a deep study of the Scriptures. Go on a mission trip. Equip yourself with education. Travel. Serve in your local church with your God-given gifts and flourish. Stop complaining about being single and start serving and enjoy this time with God so when you are no longer single, you will have many things to talk about and a great foundation for your marriage.
Let Go of Childish Ways
Being single means you can give yourself time towards maturity. Not having a job or a skill will not help, no girl wants to marry a guy that is "finding himself", or vice versa. They need a partner that can lead a family through providing emotional, physical, and spiritual security. Someone who is strong in their faith and firm in serving God as a family. Just like Joshua when he proclaimed, "...But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:15). A man that is ready for marriage will hold these qualities. Use your time as a single person to transition towards maturity. If you currently live with your parents, ask them how you could help financially. Learn to pick up after yourself. Build a work ethic. Stay in school and graduate. Take God and faith seriously.
Clean out the Closet
Being single permits you to clean out your heart. If you are struggling habitually with a sin, ask God to help you overcome. Let go of past grudges against your past relationships. Don't compare past relationships to your future one. If you grew up in an abusive home at a young age and through that, you learned how to respond to conflict by giving physical abuse, allow for Scripture to renew your mind and teach you how to handle conflict correctly. While being single we can work in these areas of our lives. After all, we are a new creation in Christ and our past does not define us (2 Corinthians 5:17). History means the past. Now we are on a new path with Christ. Don't carry past baggage into your future relationship and eventually marriage.
After all, being single is a blessing, a gift from God, and a season He uses to help us grow and mature and prepare us to be great future God-fearing husbands or wives. Take this short-span of time as a single and commit to God with liberty and unanxious focus in serving and loving Him, to work towards spiritual and emotional maturity by letting go of childish ways, and cleaning out your heart from things that can affect your future marriage. Enjoy this season, don't be burdened by it.
Note: Originally posted at bejiparedes.com