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5 Ways to Deal with the Question, “Why Are You Still Single?”

Written By Noni Elina Kristiani, IndonesiaOriginally in Bahasa Indonesia

“It’s a new year already but I see you’re still single, eh?”

“When are you getting a boyfriend?”

“You know, your friend from high school already has two children. When will you be like her?”

Those are the questions I often get. As someone who has been single for quite some time, I can laugh with my friends when they joke about my singleness. But sometimes it still upsets me to hear such comments.

Recently, I received a direct message on Instagram, where I often share my thoughts and feelings about life. The message was from a girl who was in her final semester of university. She told me that she always feels sad when those she considers her close friends tease her about being single. She also shared that she feels uncomfortable whenever they start talking about their dating life. Coupled with their thoughtless teasing, she often feels hurt by her interactions with her friends on this subject.

While I completely agree that true happiness doesn’t come from having a life partner, but from an intimate relationship with God, it still isn’t easy being single. I believe God will satisfy all my needs, and I have no problems waiting for God to bring the right person into my life in His perfect timing. But sometimes, comments and questions from people around us can make us singles feel left out.

If you can relate to the story that the girl shared, or have felt hurt by inconsiderate comments on singlehood before, I’d like to share five tips that have helped me confront and deal with such comments:

 

1. Be honest with God about how you feel

How do you feel when someone asks, “Why are you still single?”. Perhaps some of us don’t take these questions to heart and can confidently share the reasons why we may still be single. But I’m sure that there are many of us out there who might feel upset upon hearing such questions. If you fall under the latter category, I want you to know that it isn’t wrong to feel this way.

Sometimes it’s okay to not be okay. When we’re hurt by the words or behaviors of people around us, I believe God wants us to be honest with Him and to bring our thoughts before Him. Admitting my feelings to myself and God in prayer enables Him to heal me from the hurts and disappointments that the words of others inflict on me.

 

2. Bless those who offend you

Even though questions about our singleness don’t cause us any physical harm, they are still hurtful and can make us feel depressed. Whenever we feel offended or stung by the comments of others, it helps to remember the example that Jesus showed as He went to the cross when He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

Even though it may be hard to do so, forgiving those who hurt us and choosing to bless them instead is a good way to recover from our pain and hurts. Not only does it release us from any form of bitterness, it also enables us to turn our attention to how we can be more aware and sensitive of how other people are feeling, and pray for them instead.

 

3. Build an intimate relationship with God 

While others may base our worth on our relationship status, we can be assured that God doesn’t. He sees us as precious just the way we are (Isaiah 43:4).

The more we immerse ourselves in God’s Word, the more we’ll understand our true worth and learn to define ourselves based on what He says about us, not what the world says about us.

As I’ve begun to read the Word more, I’m also coming to a better understanding of what true love looks like. This has helped me readjust my expectations of love from what the world offer us, to what God offers us through our fellowship with Him.

 

4. Spend your time wisely

Rather than fretting about other people’s comments about our relationship status, it’s more helpful to use our time for personal improvement—especially in the areas of our gifts or talents. If there’s a dream you’ve always wanted to achieve, go ahead and start making plans to work towards that. Invest your time in building up the lives of those within your community.

I’ve found that filling my time with activities that are edifying—such as serving the young people in my church and training disciples, as well as joining a writing community—has helped me live this season of singleness with joy instead of resentment or self-pity.

 

5. Develop a heart of gratitude

It’s easy to be grateful when everything’s going well in our lives. But can we also be grateful when everything isn’t going according to what we’ve hoped for—especially in the area of relationships?

It’s never easy, but I’m learning to cling on to the wisdom of Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “. . . give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Practicing gratitude has helped me become truly grateful for the season of singleness I’ve been in for the past eight years. It also helped me become truly happy for my friends when they find their life partners and start tying the knot.

Even though they have been painful, I am grateful for the questions and comments I’ve received over the years about my singleness—because they have helped me examine my life more deeply and reconsider how I can make the best out of this time in my life.

As I’ve grown closer to God, I’ve been strengthened by His promise that He will make “everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). So even though it may be tough to constantly field questions about my singleness, what’s more important is that I know I can face all of life’s challenges with joy, because God knows exactly what He is doing with my life, and He is with me every step of the way.

 

These days, I’m learning to take on a different perspective. Instead of asking God when I will meet my spouse, I’m beginning to ask: “God, what do You want me to learn in this season? What do You want me to do?”

Since then, God has shown me areas where I can serve Him more fully. When I’m more focused on what He wants me to do, the questions and assumptions of other people don’t matter as much to me anymore. What matters most is knowing that whether I’m single or married, I will never be alone because God is my guide.

Why I’m Choosing to Stay Single This Season

Written By Shelley Pearl, New Zealand

The standard answer I have on hand whenever people inquire about my single status is that I have not met Mr Right.

Which is partly true, because at the moment, I have no idea where Mr Right might be. But the truth is, I promised myself I did not want to be involved with someone who would draw me further away from God. So, the season of singleness I am in right now is by choice.

When my ex-boyfriend broke up with me several years ago, I decided it was best to consciously spend the next few years of my life being single so I could mentally and emotionally heal before embarking on another relationship.

He was not a Christian, and while he respected my religion enough for me to attend and volunteer in church, he always showed a bit of resistance whenever I asked if he would go to church with me.

In a way, I was leading a double life when I went out with my ex. On one hand, I was worshipping God and reading the Bible, but on the other hand, I was unequally yoked with a non-believer (2 Corinthians 6:14).

At that time, I justified it by telling friends and acquaintances that I was not a religious fanatic, and besides, I have met Christians whose behaviour were a lot more deplorable than non-Christians. I concluded with much gusto that there was nothing wrong with dating a non-Christian.

When the inevitable happened between me and my ex-boyfriend, I was angry, but I also figured it was God’s way of saying He had enough with my double life.

Now, I am going to admit that staying single in this season has not been easy, and there are times when I have a little grizzle with God about why He would put suitable men before me, only for me to find out that they’re not Christians or even if they were, they were only Christian in name.

“It does seem a bit mean of you,” I told God, but I would soldier on as I did not want to go back to my old double life.

However, there was a period of time when I faltered and signed up on various online dating sites, thinking Mr Right was just one click away.

Because deep down, I do want to get married one day. I do want to have someone I can spend the rest of my life with—and the idea of still being single when I turn 50, surrounded by cats, is rather terrifying.

Eventually, I did find someone online, and things went rather well in the beginning. I thought he was smart and funny, and for a minute I thought, “Right, this is it! I have found someone!” He was not a Christian, and had told me he did not think the church should have any say in our personal lives.

But in my weak, flesh-centred moment, I thought, “Oh well, no one’s perfect.” Luckily for me, my dad saw signs that the guy was more than met the eye, and advised me against continuing with the relationship. So, to my dismay, I ended it.

By now you might be wondering, “Gee, why is she so fixated on not straying away from God? Surely God is able to call her back if she’s gone too far.”

But it is more than just having God call me back once I have strayed. For me, my relationship with God is a sacred one. I want to have an intimate relationship with God, which I felt was really hard to do when I was going out with someone who did not share the same faith.

For me, a person who says they “respect my religion” is nothing more than a spectator. They are happy for me to do my churchly activities, but their stance changes when it comes to my stand on pre-marital sex or co-habitation before marriage.

And can I honestly say I love God and seek His word if I am doing the direct opposite? I do not want to walk away from a God who loves with an everlasting love (Isaiah 54:8) and who has promised to meet my every need (Phillipians 4:19) for a man whose love for me might be superficial and fleeting.

Yes, God loves us even though we fall away, but I personally feel the damage done and the work needed to mend ourselves can be long and painful. It is a pain I would rather avoid on the outset.

I also believe God has my best interest at heart, and if His will for me is to get married, I trust He will provide me with the right person in due time.

And I imagine the spouse that He has for me will be a guy who truly loves God, someone who shows the fruit of the Spirit, such as love, kindness, forgiveness (Galatians 5:22-23).

He will also be someone who knows love is not the warm, fuzzy feelings we all feel at the beginning of a new, exciting relationship. Rather, he will be someone who perseveres in love, is not self-seeking or keeps no records of wrong (1 Corinthians 13:4-8), and he will love me as Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25)

Having said that, I have also learned to accept that if God’s better plan for my life is to remain single, and to carry out His works like Paul did, preaching the Gospel to every part of the world, then I am also happy to be that vessel. Even if it means sacrificing the dream of walking down the aisle and spending my life with the person I love.

If you’re still single like me, maybe society and family pressures have you wanting to get hitched as soon as possible so you can start filling your social media feed with your engagement news, followed by wedding photos and snaps of your first child’s sonogram. But can I just encourage you in your season of singleness to really press in on God, to draw in closer to Him, and not trade this season for just any guy to fill an empty void. I want you to know that God’s best plan for you will be just that—simply the best, not a cheap substitute.

Episode 3: What Is The Best Way To Live As A Single?

 

 

Episode 2: How Should The Church Approach Singleness?