I am a single man who dates actively, despite having a pretty great distaste for the dating itself. My hope is that, by doing so, I may meet a woman with whom I could not only develop a relationship, but also build a Christ-centered family. In the last few years, I have met a number of great, single women in Christ and the prevalent concern that appears to be impacting too many – even myself at times. While I speak to myself, first, if you are among those who are listed here, then I pray that this would help.
For the several years after hearing the call to submit and surrender to Christ Jesus, I struggled with a desire to have a companion or, more specifically, the desire to have a family and the lack of success saddened me deeply. As I began dating Christian women, I saw this sadness as commonplace, which really is the end result of a beautiful desire that, up to this point, has remained unfulfilled. We can certainly seek to abide by Paul’s wisdom and remain unmarried, but there is some innate desire within us that causes us to long for someone to share our lives with and, in a way, someone who will help us feel complete. What makes matter worse is seeing others endeavoring into matrimony and how quickly it dissolves under the copout of “irreconcilable differences.” Sure, one may say that Christ is all we need and, theologically speaking, this is certainly true, yet in the matter of our lives here on earth, we do have many moments wherein we crave that sort of completion. Woman was made as a helper for man by God, from man himself; this is why man leaves his mother and father, being then united together with his wife as one flesh.
The problem, as I see it, is not a lack of understanding that Christ is the essential, but is a sort of forgetfulness of God’s sovereignty. See, we, as Christ-followers, count on and believe in the sovereignty of God to handle everything according to His will, except, it seems, in this particular area. The pain or, rather, the void and the immediacy of how we are impacted with respect to what could potentially occur, leads us to conclude prematurely that it will not happen. More than this, we often base our search on the belief that it is supposed to happen and that there is something wrong with us if it does not and, yet, we overlook the reality that God is always in control.
Jesus taught us that our pursuit should be to seek, first, His kingdom and righteousness. Paul, though, gave us the consequences of this, when, writing to the Philippians, he wrote (Philippians 4:11-13):
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him [Christ] who gives me strength.”
Through seeking, first, His kingdom and righteousness, we will learn to become content in all circumstances. By counting on His grace and sovereignty, we will understand that God will provide with what is important and essential for us. For so many things, this is a given, but do not segregate companionship from it. The Lord knows your heart hurts. He does, for that matter, know that mine hurts as well, but seek, first, His kingdom. Perhaps the Lord will see us all to relationships of significant substance with amazing companions, but whatever the end result, let us not forget “that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
Peace to you as you seek refuge in our Lord.