Hello, people I love! I feel like all that I've talked about lately is relationships and singleness but I've learned a lot since the last time we talked about it. I wish I could promise that this is the last time we'll talk about it but I won't make a promise I can't keep!
I cannot tell you how many times someone has told me, "You just need to be content with Jesus during your singleness." I don't know how many times I've told friends to be content with Jesus during his/her season singleness. But that's usually as far as the conversation goes. Normally when I'm told to be content with no practical tools to help me be content, I'm overwhelmed. I think, "Great. Here is yet another vague and general concept that feels 100% impossible to achieve." Can anyone else relate?
What's ironic about this situation is that usually the person telling you to be content with Jesus is usually struggling with something that they really, really long for and they don't have it at the moment. But aren't we all? Really, contentment is something that should go beyond singleness and should last until the day we are united with Christ forever.
Here's the reality of contentment in singleness: You should find your value, worth, and identity in Christ when you're single. You should find your value, worth, and identity in Christ when you're in a relationship. You should find your value, worth, and identity in Christ when you're married. You should find your value, worth, and identity in Christ when you're widowed or widowered. You should find your value, worth, and identity in Christ when you're rich, poor, healthy, sick, weak, strong, angry, happy, or any other situation you may find yourself in.
Everyone tells you that you should be content when you're single. What no one tells you that you should be content with the Lord in any season of life and any situation. Our contentment and unity with the Lord should not be contingent on whether or not there's a ring on our finger.
So the next thought that pops in my brain is: What exactly is contentment?
Over delicious waffles the other day, a friend and I were discussing contentment in singleness. I had been asking the Lord to show me what it looks like to be content specifically in my singleness and show me other areas of my life where I should be content. The Lord just sweetly whispered to my spirit in that moment, "Would you trade your relationship with Me for your husband?" Would I 100% give up my relationship with the Creator of the Universe to be united with my future husband?
Would you give up your relationship with God, your only hope, your salvation for a husband or wife? Would you give Him up for money? Would you give Him up (and ultimately give up joy) for happiness as the world defines it? Would you give Him up for knowledge? Would you give Him up for health?
Our answer should be no. We should be so in love with Him and honestly desire Him more than anything else in the world. But do we? Do you? Do I? Thankfully, most days I can honestly say I desire Him over all else. Some days, the devil is pushing all the right buttons and he convinces me that I would be happy with a boyfriend than with Jesus.
When it comes to singleness, most days I would rather have my relationship with Christ than a man. I don't want to give up my relationship with Him, I want to go deeper. Why? Because I know that at the end of the day, my Lord will never leave me, disappoint me, hurt me, or keep me from His best for me. A human, flawed, imperfect human man will even if he is the most amazing person I've ever met. If God's best for me is Himself in this season, I'll take it. Something the Lord taught me a few months ago is that my relationship with Him is training for marriage. In order to have a healthy relationship with Him, I have to communicate with Him, be completely honest with Him, and spend time with Him. I have to die to self and follow what the Lord wants for me instead of what I want for me. Marriage is the same way: Communication and honesty are the foundation of a healthy marriage. You have to spend time with someone you're married to and sometimes I'll have to give up being right or the best piece of cake for my future husband.
Every single day I have to ask myself, "Do I want a boyfriend more than I want Jesus?" I have to remind myself that as badly as I want my future husband to be here, I want Jesus more. He's the only thing that can truly make me happy and give me joy. On those days when I physically ache with longing for "the one," the Lord reminds me that "the joy of the Lord is my strength" and He is the source of true joy.
Honestly, when we all meet and fall in love with our future spouses, there will be something else that rises to the surface of our hearts that we will have to remind ourselves to be content in Him and where He has placed us. We're human and imperfect. It stinks but on the day where we get to kneel at His feet and worship Him in His physical presence forever, it will all be worth it.
So sweet girl, sweet man (Do boys like being called sweet?), "Wait on the Lord and be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart." Hold onto Him. Pursue Him. Allow Him to take you deeper and deeper into His love and it won't be so hard to remind yourself to be content. Keep your eyes on Him and you won't be as distracted by that aching in your heart when you're not-so-gently reminded that you're single. Wait for His best for you. Don't settle. You're worth so much more than mediocre that the Son of God left His throne and gave His life for you. He has more love for you in His pinky toe than any boyfriend or girlfriend could have for you in their entire life.
I am currently a teacher and life-long student of Scripture learning more about life and Jesus's marvelous love and boundless grace.