My perspective on the word “Single” changed a few months after I started leading the singles ministry at my local church. As the singles lead, had the opportunity to encourage and counsel singles on various areas. However, the area of marital relationships and pre-marriage counseling was one that was dear to my heart. After counseling quite a number of people both in and outside my church, I found out that most of the so called “singles” were in relationships and did not even know it. They had formed an image of the spouse they wanted in their mind and have spent enormous amount of time looking for that image.
Let me explain what I mean,
Type 1 (The Rear View Single): This type has let past negative relationship experiences dictate and determine their future. They are like someone trying to drive a car by looking only in the rear view mirror. They have conformed to the negative experiences of past relationships and are not open to the transformation that comes with a new relationship because their mind has not been renewed from their past. They are mentally stuck in their past and want a relationship that will fix or heal their past. They feel anything short of that image is compromising their standards and future. Hence every potential new relationship is filtered by the lenses of the past and not filtered by the visions and dreams of the future. They focus on comparing potential suitors with their ex.
Type 2 (The high expectation single): This type of single is in a relationship with a particular image in their mind and is only looking for the human version of that image. For example, some ladies have the image of a man who loves God like David, who will take charge like Adam, who is rich like Abraham, who will be faithful like Isaac, who is bold and confident like Paul, who is respectful like Timothy, who is well educated like Luke the physician, who can be romantic like Solomon, who can provide like their daddy and who commands authority like Barack. Needless to say that he does not exist; they forget that these qualities are built over time. Some men desire a woman that will submit like Eve, who will pray like Hannah, who will love like Ruth, who is as beautiful as Sarah and who can cook like their mothers while been a corporate or business veteran who knows how to stimulate their minds intellectually and is meticulous in all that she does. I wonder were such single can be found…..!
Type 3 (The Social Single): This type is usually the life of the party; the one everybody admires; the one that would flirt enough to plant a seed of hope in your heart but not enough to give definition to that seed. You end up nurturing that seed and believing that you have what it takes to reap and keep the harvest. The fact is that if you plant a corn seed you get a corn plant; if you plant an almond seed you get an almond tree. However, because the seed that was planted in your heart has no definition, you are not sure what to get. At harvest time, chances are you won’t like what you receive. This type of single usually gives more than one person his/her attention with no commitment. I see this type of situation all the time, where people don’t define their interactions with the opposite sex. Just like definition and expectations are set at the beginning of every class in college, you need to define and set expectations at the beginning of your relationship.
“Relationship 101, guard your heart and don’t allow any seed be planted in it without your knowledge.”
That is to say, don’t let anyone hang around you without knowing their intentions. Bill Thrasher in his book, Believing God for His Best, stated that: “The best preparation for marriage is to maximize the use of the single years for the Lord. Your focus should be on becoming the person God ordained you to be, sharpening your skill set and developing godly friendships. This approach maximizes the potential for pure friendships rooted in God’s love because the approach focuses our attention to all but intention towards none.”
All these presumed singles were in relationships with images conceived from previous relationships, self-made expectations or societal expectations and they did not even know it. I noticed that in most cases there was a direct correlation between the number of previous relationships a person had been in and the number of desired attributes of these images.
Are you still dwelling on the past? Are you dealing with heartache and hurts from previous relationships? You cannot move forward by looking back. Leave the past where it belongs and don’t let the past become your present which will cripple your future. Don’t give your past a place in your present or future. Don’t let your mind be consumed by memories of the past with no space to imagine and capture visions for your future. Regardless of how dark your past is, know that your future is bright. The goal is to learn from your past mistakes and move on. Don’t dwell on the past.
“Yesterday ended last night, today is a brand new day.”
~ Zig Ziglar
Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18-19).
Don’t let your past hurts hold you down. Don’t let the past define your future. To be single is to be separated to God. When God created Adam, he was single at some point; which was a point in his life he was separated to God. He was basking in God’s presence and enjoyed every single moment of it. Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter seven talks about the gift of being single.
As a single person you need to be free from past hurts, enjoy God’s divine presence and get comfortable in your own skin. The first thing God gave Adam was His presence; and in order to experience the fullness of God, you need to let go of past hurts. You need to rest in God like Adam did. Psalm 37:4 helps us understand that we should delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our heart. You must be happy, content and satisfied while you are single.
As always, marriage is a journey and not a destination. The bible is the blue print while the Holy Spirit is your guide.