Anonymous asked you:
I’ve always believed that patience is key and God is preparing me and the man of God I should be with but what happens when patience runs out and life makes me want to give up on ever being with someone. I know people say that you should enjoy single life but what happens when the loneliness, dejection and desperation start to seep in? Thanks Jed :)
Jed Brewer replied:
Hey my friend,
Thank you for your question. Loneliness is a terrible weight to carry around. And I’m sorry it’s pressing down on you right now.
For what it’s worth, it makes sense. You feel a longing inside of you to share your life with another person, to a have a flesh-and-blood friend and companion and lover and partner, and all the pretty spiritual maxims in the world don’t make the absence of that person any easier.
Loneliness makes sense.
But, now, desperation, that’s another thing entirely. Desperation says that this thing will probably never happen, and you’re a fool to believe otherwise. Probably there’s nobody for you. Probably you will live and die alone.
This is a lie.
It’s a lie, because, if you want “somebody”, you can have that today. Seriously. Where you live, there are bars and clubs where people are going to find “somebody”, and they will. They will meet, hang out, have sex, and have some form of relationship. And you can do that, too. Now, it isn’t a good idea – because it doesn’t work – but you can do that.
I mention this because the realization that you have a choice changes the nature of your singleness. If you are single because no one will have you, because you don’t have any options, it’s very easy to begin to believe that you are a pathetic and pitiable creature. And, should some schmuck come along and express an interest, it only makes sense that you would leap at that option – and cling to it – as though your life depended on it.
But, if you have the option of the cheap hook-up, and you’re choosing otherwise, then we’re looking at something else entirely. If you can go have a mediocre, unsatisfying relationship, and you are actively choosing to wait for something better, that’s a very different position to be in than single-because-no-one-will-have-me.
First, if you’re single-by-choice, we can accept our loneliness without being afraid of it or feeling like it says something negative about us. I think many single people feel ashamed of their loneliness, that it is in some way a sign of a deficiency on their part. But you, brave sister, don’t need to feel that way at all. You have a desire for a specific kind of relationship – one that has not yet come to pass. The only right emotional response to that reality is a certain measure of loneliness. (God himself said, “it is not good for man to be alone.”)
Second, if you’re single-by-choice, that means you’re in the driver’s seat in your life. Which you should be. A man or woman of God takes control of their life so that the can in turn give that control over to God. A man or woman of God acts – they don’t react.
And, if you’re in control of your life, then you can – and should – make some active decisions that will move you in the direction of the relationship God does want for you. Part of that means working on yourself. Building your relationship with God. Working on overcoming insecurities and hangups.
Part of it also means beginning to casually date members of the opposite sex so that you can begin to get a better idea of the kind of person you are ultimately looking for. This is important.
And part of it means putting yourself where the kind of Christian man you’ll discover you want would be. I can give you a preview of coming attractions. You want a man who is strong, faithful, confident, kind, compassionate, and able. Unfortunately, you are not likely to meet a man like that in most churches.
You are far more likely to meet a man like that volunteering at the jailhouse, or the AIDS hospice, or the homeless shelter. So go to those places. Get involved. Volunteer. And look around to see who else is serving with you.
You are no fool to wait for God’s best, sister. Now, take the next step in that process, and start looking at what the steps before you are towards recognizing and meeting God’s best.