I sat across from my beautiful, talented friend as she confided in me what someone from her Christian college had said to her.
“It is a tragedy that you are graduating and you are still single.”
In disbelief, I grabbled with the aspect that a Christ follower would say such a thing- yet alone BELIEVE THAT. It made me angry for my friend, and it broke my heart that she had to listen to such shallow, empty perspectives from her peers. And it got me thinking. It led my thoughts to the things people say about my relationship status, how the “church” responds to it and what the affect of their attitude is towards my singleness.
First of all please let me clarify that there are millions of people, churches, Christ followers with different opinions and what I write is merely from my experience. I am not lumping all Christ followers into this. But my heart hurts, genuinely aches, that there are so many people who pressure us, singles. They try to set us up, they pity us…. trust me, I need neither of those things. I need love, support and practical advice on how to make Jesus my all in all.
Personally I know both great Christian single guys and girls. Most of them have confided to me about their struggle with how the church sees them. That isn’t right.
The entire point of Christianity is to find in Christ everything, to pursue others to seek Him, to make Him Lord over every aspect of life, to put our treasure in Heaven and our sights on the things above.
So we need to stop making singles feel like they need to pursue marriage. They don’t. They need to be encouraged in their faith walk. Just like the 80 year old, just like the newlywed, just like the teen wrestling with life, just like the middle-aged man facing a mid-life crisis. If we are placing any other solution to temptation or loneliness above Christ it is a lie from the pit of hell. That is a lie that will lead people to sin, to more hurt and lies motivate us to respond in our anger, fear and frustration.
The bible tells us to live in the world but not be of the world. And I think that sometimes the church can get lost, hung up on a worldly aspect. To be worldly just simply means living for something other than God. Modern day church’s major weakness is to make marriage an idol. Yes, it is an institution set up by God, between one man and one woman and I am sure we have all heard that is a picture of how Christ loves the church. But so is family, friendships, mission trips, sunsets, kittens… God displays His great love EVERYWHERE. It is not limited to a white dress and two becoming one. How dare we limit a limitless God to marriage being the highest reflection of His love. It isn’t. It is not the end all be all, it is not a perfect state nor is it even for everyone.
Marriage is temporary. When we walk through the gates of Heaven- marriage isn’t going to exist, there are no engagements there, no sex, and no chapels with flowers girls. ”For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven” ~ Matthew 22:30
So my question to us the modern day church is this: “Why are we pursuing, fretting so restlessly about a temporary thing? Why aren’t we running after Christ instead of an earthly position?”Do we believe our value is found in another person? Do we believe that we are better than our friends because we are married? Do we believe that God is limited to just marriage relationships? Do we believe that our loneliness would go away if we were dating or married?
I pray that we believe in none of those things! I pray that we decide from this day forward to stop seeking for a person and instead start falling madly in love with God. I pray that we would think before we speak, that we would truly be the hands and feet of Jesus to the singles in our life and in our church. I pray that we would look to Jesus- the leader and completer of faith- a single man who was God as our inspiration and our truth.
We are loved just as much as anyone else on this earth. God does not love one person more or one person less. His love extends to all of us and it is an overflowing portion poured out to every single person. I hope we realize how much God cares about us, how important we are, how significant we are and how nothing defines our worth or value except the love of God.
God’s love cannot be measured by human understanding; it cannot be constricted to what we see or even what we know. God is so much greater than that. Than us. Before I wrap this up, I want to leave you with this scripture: “He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.” ~Luke 16:15
May you always highly value God above all else!