The Joy of Going Stag
I consider it a blessing to have had the opportunity to grow up in church. From the nursery till today, I have learned many valuable lessons (some even from the pastor) which I cherish deeply. However, I have found that I also learned a lot of things (many that I came to on my own), which I have had to reevaluate, and sometimes unlearn.
Being raised in church, there was an idea which seemed to be subtly spread. There was an underlying impression given that if one did not seek their significant other, and get married, they would never really reach their full potential. There was an often unspoken understanding that marriage was a necessity for everyone.
The idea that I NEEDED to find someone to share life with, loomed over me for years. Life seemed incomplete, as I prayed, agonized, and searched. I continually called out to God, “Why can’t I just find someone? Why does it seem like I take a stand, do what I’m supposed to, and yet everyone else seems to be enjoying dating someone?”.
Do you understand the longing to find someone to spend your time, and eventually your life, with? Do you find yourself angry toward God because of the fact that it seems like you will never catch a break? That’s where I was in life. The world around me kept feeding me the idea that I should be dating as many people as I could, while the church seemed to imply that I should be dating to find the right person. Both left me feeling that I wasn’t measuring up to the man I was supposed to be.
But, then I got out of the way and actually listened to God.
It was like someone turned on the lights, and I could finally see things as they actually were.
To be single is a blessing.
The Apostle Paul teaches that being single is something to be cherished (1 Corinthians 7:1-7). If you find someone who you want to spend your life with, everything changes once you do. When you are single, it is the ONLY time that you can focus completely on your relationship with God, and wherever he wants you to serve. Once you enter into a relationship with someone else, your focus is (and should be) divided, because you are no longer responsible for only you. Paul even states that married people will face troubles because of the fact that they now worry about pleasing someone other than God (1 Corinthians 7: 28-34). Now, I do not believe that Paul is speaking against marriage (in light of all of his teachings), but he is speaking blatantly that a relationship is NOT something to be taken lightly, and that one should embrace the joy of being single.
I found a new peace and understanding once I realized that I did not need another person to be complete. Ironically, it was when I taught this very lesson in church, that my wife says she knew I was the man she wanted to marry (we weren’t even dating at the time).
For the men out there reading this, who are single, take this time in your life to focus solely on becoming the man God created you to be. Realize that being single is the only opportunity you will ever have to be fully devoted to growing closer to God and serving.
If God brings someone into your life, you will only be able to love her more THEN, if you realize that you don’t need her NOW.