For a really long time I wanted nothing more than a boyfriend. Especially when I graduated from university in June I found myself wanting to meet a guy, settle down as soon as we could and have children. I’m not sure what was going on with me in that period of time, but I’ve finally come back down to earth and sorted my head out.
I’m surrounded by a lot of couples and engagements and married people at the minute. Whether they’re people I know well, acquaintances or just people within the body of Christ whom I know of (e.g. half the musicians I listen to), everyone seems to be in a relationship. But, the thing is, I’m just not ready for it yet. Don’t get me wrong, I want to get married and have kids one day, but right now I’m still a kid. I’m still searching, still figuring out what I want to do, who I want to be. I’m still exploring the world, pushing it to its limits, seeing what I can find in it, where it can take me. I think the first few years of my life after graduating will be as crucial as my time in university, and for me the important thing is focusing on God and figuring out where He wants me to be.
In 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 Paul says
“I would like to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned with the Lord’s affairs – how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world – how he can please his wife – and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned with the Lord’s affairs: her aim is to be devoted to the Lord is both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world – how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may life in a right way to undivided devotion to the Lord.” (NIV)
This doesn’t mean that anyone who is married is going to stop caring about God and focus on nothing but their spouse, what it means is that while we are single we have an amazing opportunity to grow closer to the Lord in everything we do, in a way that married folk can’t. In a way singleness allows us to be selfish in a way that you can’t be in a relationship, but that doesn’t have to be negative. For me it means that I can chase after Jesus in a way that someone in a relationship can’t, I can figure out where in the world I want to live, I can go on adventures whenever I want, and I love all of this. I love that I haven’t made a commitment yet.
I hate to put a focus on singleness, because I hate that there’s so much stigma around relationships in the Church, no matter what your status, but I just want to let everyone know that singleness is cool, and that it doesn’t define you. It doesn’t make you any better or worse off than anyone else.
I think Christian women focus on all this “one day my prince will come” rubbish, and they’re all “I want a man like [insert name of man from the Bible here]”. But y’ know what? I’ve been burned by Christian guys so many times. We act like they’re wonderful and put them on a pedestal, but they’re just like every other guy; even the men in the Bible messed up big time. The problem is that I’ve been hurt most by the Christian guys who pretend like they’re really lovely and Christ-like, so much so that when they do screw up it hurts ten times more because they made you think they could never do that. No one is perfect; we need to give people room to mess up because no one but Jesus is Jesus (this goes for men putting women on pedestals too; no matter how sweet a girl appears she still has the ability to hurt). A relationship won’t make life easier, all relationships are hard. Stop expecting so much of people and then maybe you’ll stop putting them and relationships on a pedestal and you’ll chill out a bit.
I had a brilliant chat with a friend the other night. She’s a social worker and she analysed me and I loved it because I learnt a lot of really interesting things about myself. Something that came up, that I’ve been aware of for a while, is that I spend a lot of time focusing on the future rather than living in the here and now. If all we do is think about how great life will be when we have a relationship (which isn’t necessarily true), instead of considering how great it can be right now, we’re going to miss all the good stuff now and be let down when the future doesn’t live up to our expectations.
I encourage you to live in and love the here and now.