My 12 year-old self will probably laugh at me. She believes that at the age of 23, I’ll meet the the man that I am going to marry. She will surely ask me what happened, and then she will remind me that I was once a boy-crazy/fangirl with all those posters inside my room. She will tell me that this is not what we’ve planned. I’m sorry to break her heart, but God has a different plan.
HOW DOES IT FEEL?
“Single person who loves Jesus is much more like a married person who loves Jesus than like a single person who doesn’t know him. We’ll know Jesus forever and be loved by him for eternity. This is way more central to our identity than our marital status. Don’t think of yourself as unwanted by any prospective spouses. Know yourself as loved forever by Jesus.” — Stephen Witmer; Will I Be Single Forever?
People who are in a relationship always ask me if it feels better being someone who is still single in my mid 20s or it’s lonelier. Most of the time, I answer them with laughter because I think that question is too subjective. Some would say it’s better and some would say it’s quite lonely.
1. THERE IS TOO MUCH PRESSURE
“To be wanted by God is better than being wanted by a thousand men.” — John Piper; Will I Be Single For The Rest of My Life
I have never felt this kind of pressure before. I already came to a point wherein I cry at night while thinking that this might be my life until I die. I am a Medical Student, so I know all those risks in pregnancy when you marry in your 30s. I have been constantly pressured by my relatives and classmates why I haven’t been in a relationship. They say things about improving how I dress and everything so I can ‘attract’ guys. My clothes are more of modest blouses, pants and skirts. I love it when my blouse covers my neck. I wear those clothes not because I don’t want to attract men or I’m too religious, it’s more of I am comfortable when I don’t show some skin. They said I should refrain from being too serious about everything like showing my faith and telling people about Christ because men are scared with too religious women. They think if they are going to befriend and flirt with me, I’d think about our wedding the next day. But that’s not what is in my mind. People around me even want to change my lifestyle so I could be found by the one that is right for me, but I think I’d be attracting the wrong ones more if I display myself differently.
2. HAPPY BUT ALWAYS CURIOUS
“My marital status may read “single” on my tax return, but I am not unclaimed. I do belong to someone. And this is not some elusive future spouse. I’m speaking of Christ. I am his.” — Leanna Branner; My Dream Singleness
For me, this is not a sad place. It feels good that I don’t need to update someone about my daily routines or ask permission if I can go out with my friends. I don’t have to worry if someone gets jealous or get angry. I can watch and enjoy a movie alone and feel happy. I can explore places and travel alone completely satisfied. I have no regrets that I am still single, but honestly, I get curious how it feels to be in a relationship. I wonder if I will be able to treat him right knowing that I have no experience in that kind of relationship. I wonder how that kind of love actually feels, and how we can differentiate it from infatuation. I don’t know the answers because I haven’t tried it.
3. THE HOPELESS — HOPEFUL CYCLE IS REAL
“When service and joy collide, there is less room in my heart for discontentment or loneliness, because the gaze of my heart is turned outward and upward. When service to Christ and joy in Christ are married in me, I am able to see that every gift he gives is good — even when it does not come in the shape of a diamond ring.” — Katelynn Luedke; The Unwanted Gift of Singleness
There are times that I really feel hopeless. I have tendencies to plan everything although I know that God has greater plans for me. I plan when to settle down and what specialization to get so I can still take care of my future kids. But every time I look at my life, I get discouraged and think of other option on how to live this life if ever that I will be single for the rest of my life. And then there are times that I feel hopeful. I start to pick myself up and think of a brighter future ahead. I’d be faking it if I say that I don’t desire marriage because I really do. I want to become a wife and a mother and raise godly children. But I also know that my life is up to God, and His plans are always better.
4. ALWAYS THE GIRL BESTFRIEND
“No matter what you are hoping for, he has not decided to give it to someone else and asked you to settle for something less. You haven’t missed out, and you will not be excluded from all the good and perfect gifts God provides. Each one points us to the ultimate best gift: himself. Our redemption in Christ and the promise of eternity with him. If we are in Christ, nothing can compare to what he has already given and the grace he pours over us daily.” — MaryLynn Johnson; Singleness is God’s Best For Me Today
Most of my friends are guys, and sadly, I was put in the ‘friendzone’ thrice when I was in college and once in Med School. It’s not that I was the one who initiated the courtship. It was more of I developed some feelings in the long run, but the guy doesn’t like me the way I was seeing it. I am not a ‘too girly’ kind of woman but I’m not boyish as well. It’s just that I don’t see something wrong with having guys as your close friends. But as time goes by, I learned that I must put boundaries when it comes to building friendships with the opposite sex. Just this year, I learned it the hard way.
5. IT HUMBLES ME DOWN
Some say I can take pride of this because I am waiting in the most awesome way, but the truth is, it humbles me down. For me, you cannot equate purity with celibacy. Purity has something to do with our heart — our desires and what motivates us. You can be outwardly ‘holy-looking’, but your heart is far from God. Sometimes virgin women take pride with saving sex for marriage thinking that it’s the only way we measure purity, but it’s not.
Purity isn’t a gold band around your finger; it’s a commitment to be holy because God is holy (1 Peter 1:16). Virginity is one teeny-tiny piece of that puzzle. Virginity is a behavior choice; purity is a heart choice. Yes, God calls us to keep the marriage bed pure (Heb. 13:4), but He also says:
- To keep our prayer lives pure (Job 16:17).
- To keep our hearts pure (Ps. 24:4).
- To keep our conduct pure (Prov. 21:8).
- To keep our speech pure (Zeph. 3:9).
- To have pure devotion to Christ (2 Cor. 11:3).
- To practice pure faith (James 1:27).
- To offer pure love to others (1 Peter 1:22).
IF THE FATHER WILLS…
To live is not to marry. To live is not to raise children. To live is not to find “the one.” To live is Jesus Christ. — Greg Morse; Marriage is not the Mission
If there is a great lesson I learned with being single, it’s surrending my plans to God and being truly satisfied in Him alone. I learned not to plan all those smallest details of my life and trust Him with everything.
If you’re someone who desires marriage, being single at the age of 25 is quite alarming. Maybe you’re going to ask yourself so many questions and sometimes feel you’re not worth it. But everytime it haunts me, I remind myself that God doesn’t owe me a spouse.
Sometimes we feel unsatisfied because God didn’t give us a spouse or those things we desire, but let us remind ourselves that God doesn’t even owe us salvation, how much more with the other details of our lives. When you found that satisfaction in Christ, your joy will overflow that even if you will not get married soon, you will still be happy because that is God’s will for you and we, His children, must delight in Him.
Soli Deo Gloria.