If we look at most romantic movies, we see a common thread. Boy meets girl, he sweeps her off her feet, they fall madly in love, get married and live happily ever after.
With the exception of a few, the storyline is pretty much the same. Marriage is portrayed as the “finish line”. But all too often, romantic movies only give us an over-simplified and romanticized version.
This faulty narrative of marriage as the finish line is a detriment to singles. Many believe that the person they will someday marry is going to complete them and make all their dreams come true.
The loneliness some singles feel is oftentimes prompted by the marital happiness they perceive (or even imagine) others, besides them, are enjoying.
We tend to view our life as a check list. We have check markers we use to measure the success in our life. Many are still waiting to check off the marriage box. The lie that “I would be happier if my marital status were different” invades the mind of many singles. But the truth is that if you’re not content in singleness, then you won’t be content in marriage. God never intended marriage for our lifelong fulfillment. Marriage was created by God to be a depiction of Him and His love for the church. It is only in God that we find true fulfillment.
Waiting around for marriage, as the ultimate life goal, can lead us to miss what is right in front of us. We miss out on the mission and purpose God has given to us right now. This mentality distorts the purpose of what being a Christian is all about. The single life is not meant to be a life of passivity. We were created for a much higher mission than matrimony. We were created to glorify God. (Isaiah 43:7) This is and should be our ultimate goal in life as Christians. When we trust God’s good plan for us, we testify, not only to ourselves but to those around us, that singles aren’t to be pitied.
I can’t tell you how many times married people have told me “Evelyn, seek and serve God and when the time comes He will bring the right guy to you.” I know they’re just trying to encourage me and mean well by doing so, but this statement can’t be farther from the truth. The reality is that God doesn’t have to bring me someone to marry. He is not obligated to do anything for me that is not for His glory and His will for my life. I have no right to condition or bribe God into giving me something. Since I am not omniscient, I cannot claim to know what I think I need will give me long-term joy. God may give me the gift of marriage or He may not. The ultimate decision is up to Him and one thing I do know is that God has never ceased to provide exactly what His people need.
So, I come beside you as a fellow single, encouraging you to cherish the season in which you are in. Marriage is great, but it is not our finish line. Christ is our ultimate goal and in Him we find our true happily ever after. Where you are in the circumstance of your life is God’s gift for you. If you are married, you have been given the gift of marriage. If you are single, you have been given the gift of singleness. I don’t know for how long, but I do know God is being gracious to you and giving you gifts in your current life’s circumstances. This is what God has given you in this stage for your good because He is good. Never forget that!