Being single can be frustrating. But with God’s help, you can learn not just to cope with the frustrations—but to actually appreciate them!
God actually wants you to be happy as a single. Yes, He wants you to be dating and preparing for marriage and family. After all, that is your eternal future! (e.g. Revelation 19:7). But God wants to teach all of His people to be content in whatever circumstances He places them.
The Apostle Paul set an admirable example in this regard. He had a physical ailment that was an agonizing trial for him (2 Corinthians 12:7). He was anointed for it three times, desperately desiring God to remove it (verse 8).
We know it was God’s will to heal Paul of this uncomfortable infirmity—but just not at that time. God told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (verse 9). Don’t worry about your weakness, God said. Focus on MY strength!
How did Paul respond? “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me,” he said. “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (verses 9-10).
Once Paul accepted that he would have to live with this weakness, his whole attitude changed. He viewed the trial as an opportunity for God to work things out despite his weakness. He appreciated that it would keep him humble (verse 7). When Paul saw God’s power at work, he actually became grateful for his infirmity.
This is the attitude God wants all of us to take on. God sees our weaknesses as opportunities. In fact, the weaker the instrument God uses, the more His grace and power is manifested.
Paul encouraged us to always think on the positive (Philippians 4:8). He set the example in doing so (verse 9). He explained, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (verse 11).
Contentment was something Paul learned! Who knows how much time passed between those three anointings—or how frustrated and discouraged he got waking up each day with the same affliction? But over time, he learned how to cope with it—even to the point of rejoicing in it!
“I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want” (verse 12; Revised Standard Version). There is a secret to facing any and all circumstances, including singlehood. That secret is to learn how to be content. Whether abased or abounding, Paul learned to thank God in every circumstance.
Our human nature always wants to get. It grows terribly discontented when it doesn’t obtain what it wants. It frets and worries, strives and agonizes to get more for the self. And it is always in a rush, selfishly wanting everything right now!
God, by contrast, brings tremendous contentment into our lives. His Holy Spirit brings fruits of joy— genuine happiness; peace— contentment and peace of mind; and patience— waiting for God to fulfill His promises in His own time. Developing the patience to wait on God is a crucial key to true contentment.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (verse 13). Purge feelings of inferiority, fears of failure, and negative thinking. Commit your life into God’s hands, serve Him and obey His Word. He will give you the strength you need.
“Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:4-5). As long as you delight yourself in Him, God will give you the desires of your heart!
Many people today want a lot—the best job, the fancy car, the nice home, the passionate romance. But we have to delight in God and commit our ways to Him, or we set ourselves up for frustration and failure. God wants to bless us and give us a lot—but we must put Him above everything else, and learn to patiently and contentedly wait on Him.
There is a definite time element involved in this formula. “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass” (verse 7). Rest in the Eternal. Wait patiently on Him. Never fret, getting caught up in comparing yourself with others.
“[T]hose that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth … and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (verses 9, 11). That is where true contentment leads.
Being discontent with your singlehood is dishonoring God and showing a lack of faith. Impatience and frustration has led many singles to make terrible life decisions. Don’t be among them.
Rest assured that continually putting yourself in God’s hands will yield good results in the end. “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:8-9). Don’t allow yourself to get overanxious for a quick return. Let patience work its perfect work (James 1:4).
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). Put God first, and then be content with what He provides.
“[G]odliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6). Contentment here means a perfect condition of life, in which no aid is needed—a sufficiency in life’s necessities.
“For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (verse 7). This is true physically—but not spiritually. That is why we shouldn’t set our hearts on physical things in this life: because, like our physical bodies, they won’t last! The spiritual realm, on the other hand, is incorruptible and eternal, which is why Jesus advised us to invest in heavenly treasures (Matthew 6:19-21).
The thing is, if we become godly and are content, then physical blessings will follow! (verse 33).
Singles who think that marriage will solve all their problems too often find that their dissatisfaction and inability to embrace their life circumstances follow them into the marriage!
It is the happy single who becomes the happy married person!
So in order to prepare for your future marriage and family—physical and spiritual—learn to be content in your present state. Delight in God, commit your way to Him, trust in Him—and He will give your the desires of your heart!