One evening during my second year of seminary I was having dinner with some classmates. The subject of dating and relationships came up. I jokingly lamented my living situation, which was six dudes in a two-bedroom apartment, and five of those dudes were in relationships. Can you guess who was the one roommate who didn’t have a girlfriend?
Yep…that was me.
Then one of the guys looked at me and said, “All in God’s timing man.”
My filter wasn’t on so I quickly responded with, “Yeah? Well God’s timing sucks.”
My friend was a little dumbfounded by my honest response. I guess in seminary we’re supposed to have more eloquent and well-thought out things to say than “God’s timing sucks.”
But that is honestly how I felt. I was in a season of my life where my closest friends were all in significant relationships or even engaged. And then there was me spending my free time reading books written by old (or dead) theologians and writing papers.
For a man who desired to find a woman to marry one day, as the months of singleness turned into years, discouragement took root in me, and I became very bitter with some of my friends, my family, and God.
If you are single and you’re loving it, great!
But if you can relate with me, then I have a few words I’d like to encourage you with.
- Yes, it does get old real quick when people (especially Christians) feel it is their sole mission in life to encourage you in your singleness with clichés. To feel annoyed and frustrated is a legitimate feeling. Don’t ignore it.
- Yes, it does get old real quick when people (especially Christians) feel it is their sole mission in life to set you up with someone nice, as if they are the doctor and you are the patient in desperate need of help. It’s totally normal and understandable to feel irritated by this.
- Yes, it does get old real quick when people (especially Christians) feel it is their job to give you advice, as if you were hopelessly sitting around waiting for someone to give you basic advice that you couldn’t figure out yourself.
If you have been on the receiving end of experiences like these more times than you’d like to admit, then please know that it is okay to feel annoyed at well-meaning people and frustrated at your seemingly never ending season of singleness.
But in this ReThink series we are taking subjects and adjusting our perspective on them. Knowing that your experience is unique – yet at the same time you can most-likely relate to the above senerios – I do not expect (and neither should you expect) this one post about singleness to completely remove the frustration of unwanted singleness. But, I do believe a shift in perspective can offer hope.
Here’s my one thought for you as we ReThink singleness together: Singleness can bring great opportunity.
What do I mean by opportunity? I can only speak from my own experience, but I found that I was able to graduate from college a year early because I worked hard and had the time, the focus, and determination to get it done. I’m not saying that if I had a girlfriend during my time in college I would not have been able to graduate early. I’m just saying it’d be harder.
The reality is singleness provides one with more time. But my encouragement to you is this: Don’t waste the extra time. Instead, wasting it on video games and Netflix, use this time to discover who you are, determine who you want to become, and make progress to get there.
Therefore, here are some recommendations for how to maximize the opportunity singleness provides:
- Develop healthy habits now.
- Get your finances in order (i.e. get on a budget, cut out bad spending habits, put together a plan and timeline to get out of debt).
- Develop self-awareness.
- Discover your calling.
- If necessary for where you want to go, pursue further education.
Singleness is not a time to mope and waste time. It is an opportunity to discover who you are, and develop yourself into the man God is calling you to be.
INSTAGRAM & TWITTER: @DAVIDBEAVIS
Eating lots of food and looking at pictures of puppies are couple of ingredients to David's perfect day. The driving passion of David's life is walking alongside people as they figure out what it means to follow Jesus today. David holds a B.A. in Psychology from Vanguard University and an M.A. in Theology from Talbot School of Theology. He currently works at Mariners Church in Irvine on the High School Ministry team. He lives is Costa Mesa, California.