Hollywood wants us to believe love is all about one-night stands, hook-ups, and roaring intimacy. This Valentine's Day alone, three romantic movies will release in theaters. Each film displays these ideals that love is hardly more than an action displayed in the bedroom.
Then there's the struggle as a Christian single. Our world, even the Bible belt world, is surrounded by people entering and exiting relationships. You start out in middle school searching for the right person. If something doesn't seem to work out, you ditch the "special someone" you were just bragging about, and begin searching all over again. Or, maybe you don't date much, if at all. If you're anything like me, you've chosen to not date, but you keep your eyes peeled for any likely suitors. Every new guy you meet turns into a possible solution to this problem called "singleness". You search and search and search, all in order to find the right one.
I'm not going to lie; I've struggled with this. For too many years I've waited around hoping a guy will make me happy, to become the one for me. Then one day my wise older brother shared something with me that changed my outlook on dating. It gives me clarity when I start looking at guys as future spouses rather than brothers in Christ.
Here's what he shared with me. He took me to the very beginning: to Adam and Eve. In Genesis chapter two, God creates the first couple. If you've ever been in Sunday School, you probably remember the story well. God breathes life into Adam. Adam names all the animals. Then Eve is created and Adam said, "Whoa, man!" But there's an intricate part of the story that is usually overlooked. Genesis 2:21-22 says:
So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. [NASB]
Adam wasn't even paying attention when God created Eve for him. In fact, he was completely asleep. It wasn't until God "brought her" to Adam that he knew the blessings of having a spouse. When we look at it in this context, a spouse is a gift from God, someone He brings into our lives to be a helper and mate in our journey through life. A spouse isn't someone we need to go out and search for in order to have happiness in our lives. Sure, they do bring those things with them, but our true happiness and joy should come from Jesus Christ. They don't complete us. They complement us and make us better, just as iron sharpens iron [Proverbs 27:17]. Christ, however, does complete us. He makes us entirely whole. He gives us purpose. I think sometimes we get so caught up in finding the right one we forget that, as Christians, we already know the only One Who really matters.
Joshua Harris says it best in I Kissed Dating Goodbye:
When I stopped viewing girls as potential girlfriends and started treating them as sisters in Christ, I discovered the richness of true friendship. When I stopped worrying about who I was going to marry and began to trust God's timing, I uncovered the incredible potential of serving God as a single. And when I stopped flirting with temptation in one-on-one dating relationships and started pursuing righteousness, I uncovered the peace and power that comes from purity.
Being single can be great. It sure isn't easy, but it can be a blessing if we allow it to be. And while merely focusing on God is not going to hasten the arrival of a spouse, chances are it will make the wait more bearable, maybe even enjoyable! We mustn't let the idea of a spouse override our thoughts, but instead rush our minds and hearts with the peace that comes from knowing a perfect Creator.