This week has been filled with streaming chick-flicks, sales on romance novels and flowers with Valentines Day in the midst of it. While in Christian realms, the focus has been on both the concept of marriage and singleness. Anthem Lights (so thankful for this group of guys) released a new single titled “Hide Your Love Away” from their new album. Listen to it here and check out the story behind the song here. What a great message!
Can I just say that I’m waiting? During this interim/season, I belong to Jesus. I’m His. Completely. Well, most days… I definitely have my moments. One would think that I would have learned by now that God has my best interest in mind, but I have a long way to go.
Recently, a friend of mine posted a link to an article from Relevant Magazine (found here) on how legalistic the topic/idea of dating in Christian circles has become. Mentioned in the article is Josh Harris’s book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, which I’m currently reading through. First, it’s not just about kissing dating goodbye, per se…it’s more about living life to its fullest now.
There is no reason why I should have to wait to go dine out at a restaurant simply because I have no one to go with.
There is no reason why I shouldn’t use the crystal glasses I received as a gift years ago just because I don’t have a family or occasion to share them with.
There is no reason I shouldn’t make my apartment an inviting home because I I’m the only one who sees it.
There is no reason why I should wait until a movie comes out on DVD simply because I don’t have someone to see it in the theaters with.
The list goes on. Simply put, life started the day I was born. It’s not going to stop because our culture says life doesn’t start until you meet your soulmate. God created me for more than solely focusing on my issues with singleness and loneliness. That is no way to live a life.
Also mentioned in that article is a book by Renee Fisher (Not Another Dating Book), who fell into the legalistic trap of thinking that she couldn’t date. Period. In the article, she shares her own discovery on what God has to say about this social issue: “It wasn’t about a formula. It wasn’t about dating or courting or whatever. It was like, ‘Go on the journey yourself with God, and He’ll show you what to do. It’s between you and God. What is it that works best for you?’…The Bible doesn’t really come out and say, ‘Thou shalt not date,’ or ‘Thou shalt only court,’…It does talk about how to…love others. It talks about boundaries and sexual purity….The Gospel makes it clear…Jesus really cares. He cares about my stupid dating life…”
And I couldn’t agree more. Singleness is something I’ve lived with, struggled through, and continue to live with. There are peaks and valleys with it, just as with any part of life, and the pressure that culture seems to put on this topic is intense. Let me be honest with you. It’s hard to focus on Christ when family, friends and co-workers seem to say that something is wrong with you as a person if you haven’t found someone to share your life yet; as if it’s a sin to be single. It’s not.
I have more time to dedicate to my Savior during this season in my life, however long it may be. I’m not pulled in a million different directions with the demands that life generally places on us when we become more involved with families, being mothers or being wives. I’m able to focus on God and allow Him to mold me into the woman I was meant to be. Personally, I think it’s a great thing.
I ended up skimming through a few excerpts from Fisher’s book. It’s a devotional and I ended up purchasing it through Barnes and Noble and would like to share a few ideas from that book (and possibly a few others that I have on hand). A few entries may be personal, but my only hope and desire is that you, my readers, will draw encouragement from them during your own struggles with this topic.
“You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it…you wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you?…If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and His way.” James 4.2,4 MSG
Just think about that for a minute.
If that’s not convicting, I don’t know what it. James really knows how to pack a punch in a loving way.
Fisher shares a story about a crush. Allow me to expound on that a little: I had one once upon a time…well, several throughout my entire pre-adolescent, teenage and college years. I was six when I experienced my first one and let me tell you, the time that one took…they weren’t kidding when they said the first one was always the hardest. We grew up together, making it difficult to move on when I determined that he wasn’t interested.
I used to hide behind objects when the boy was over to help my dad with random things around the farm. Or, I’d ignore him completely. When I had gotten older, he started flirting with me and I didn’t quite know how to react…the awkwardness of being a teenager. I had longed to be pursued, like most girls do, and I couldn’t wait for a crush to like me back. Fisher put it well when she wrote , “I craved the distraction from reality that crush provided. I would fantasize about whichever boy I liked. There’s something about a crush that makes me feel alive and beautiful. When I’m in between…I start to feel lonely, as if singleness is entirely my fault…There have been times when I allowed a crush, [or the lack there-of (my words)] to distract me from the things God had for me instead of giving my longings to Him. I forced the crush. I rushed. Pushed harder. I wanted to initiate instead of waiting for the guy to pursue me…”
Been there. Done that.
“…our job is to trust God and wait on His timing. Instead of panicking when I don’t have a crush as a constant distraction, I choose to spend time with God and find my fulfillment in Him. A crush shouldn’t distract you from your relationship with God – it should bring you closer. In Romans 4, Paul says that Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. ‘In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God’ (Romans 4.20).”
Let me ask you the same question Fisher phrased to her readers, “Will you hold on to the promise too – even when He seems farthest away?”
His timing is always perfect.
Source: Fisher, Renee. Not Another Dating Book. Harvest House Publishers. 2012. pg. 17-18.