You are either so beyond delighted to read this blog because you want to be happily single or you literally rolled your eyes because you are tired of people telling you to enjoy your single years, and all you want to do is be in a relationship, but you decided to read this anyway because a friend asked you to.
Well, I have to be honest. I used to fall in the second category. I read or listened to every book and podcast I could find on the topic when I was so eager to find my “soulmate”, partner in life, and husband. I would get so frustrated when people would give me advice on dating or recommend ONE more book or article on the topic. Here’s a list of just a few books.
- How to have your life not suck.
- True Love Dates
- When God Says Wait
- Wreck My Life
- Kingdom Single
- Swipe Right
- Boundaries in Dating
- Love Sex and Dating
- Sex, Jesus, and The Conversation The Church Forgot.
- When God Writes Your Love Story
- Living Life On Purpose
- If You Only Knew
- Capture His Heart
- 10 Things A Husband Needs from His Wife
- Relationship Goals
It honestly made me sick to my stomach to think about it, because I’ve done the work on myself, followed every “formula” I could find. I dated way more guys than I like to admit, I’ve even been engaged… so glad that did not happen!
The truth is I have done some things really well and I’ve done some things terribly, but I am finally at a place in my life where I ACTUALLY ENJOY BEING SINGLE! Yep, that’s right. I’m not eager to find my “Man”, I’m not looking for the perfect person. Honestly, if God said I want you to be single for the rest of your life, I’d do it. This is not coming from some bitter place inside, this an enjoyment and PEACE from God.
I know some of you are reading this and thinking, that’s great Erin, I am so happy for you, but I would like to find a partner in life, and I DON’T want to be single forever, that thought makes me sick, I don’t even want to entertain it.
There is NOTHING wrong with that thought. Let me be clear, wanting to be married and have a family is a Godly thing! I have peace because I trust God. He has put it on my heart to one day get married and plant a church with my future husband. Do I want that, yes! But do I need that to be happy, no! Why? Because God is my source of joy and I have been in too many bad, I mean CRAPPY and TRAUMATIZING relationships that I would rather be single and happy with Jesus as my Night and Shining Armor than end up with the wrong man.
That man that I was engaged to, that I said THANK THE LORD ALMIGHTY JESUS that I did not marry him, well that was an extremely toxic relationship. He called me a Selfish B word the night of my dad’s funeral. Apparently needing comfort and empathy during a devastating loss was not allowed. A time that I really needed him to be strong and encouraging, he tore me down. Sadly, that was not the lowest of my relationships.
Relationships are amazing, beautiful, exciting, hard, self-sacrificing, but overall can be the best things in life with the RIGHT PERSON. I’m not saying you have to go through what I went through in order to find happiness in singleness. I know without a doubt that if and when I do find my partner, he won’t have to be my everything but an amazing addition to my life.
I share my story because I hope for you to look to Jesus to complete you. Renew your mind so you can experience the fullness of joy that comes from your new life and relationship with Him. Another messy work-in-progress can never complete you. That’s a job for the Holy Spirit. It’s far better to wait on being with the right person rather than to settle for being with any person, just to be in a relationship. Allow yourself to experience the fullness of joy in your single season, on great healing, renewing adventure with Jesus. Learn to love yourself the way he does.
7 Steps to Becoming
1. Find Your Identity in Christ!
If you believe Jesus is Lord, died on the cross for our sins, you, my friend are a daughter or son of the King of Kings. Which means you belong to Him. You can stand before God as perfect as Jesus was. This means you are an heir to Christ. God loves you so much and wants to have an intimate relationship with you. When you take hold of this truth you can grow more in God’s fullness every day. The more time you spend with Christ in his word the more you reflect Christ. You can read more about this in our blog, Our Daily Bread & Living Water.
2 Corinthians 5:17 If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new!
John 1:12 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
2. Chase God with Every Fiber of Your Being!
The more time you spend with God, the more time you want to spend with God. It is really amazing how good God is. He is a father to the fatherless, creator of the universe, provider, protector, guide, healer, the list goes on and on. When you begin to chase God with every fiber of your being, everything else tends to fall in place, because you can wholeheartedly trust Him to take care of you and provide all of your needs.
The more you fall in love with God the more obedient you want to be to Him. When you are obedient to Him, you find security knowing that His will prevails. Everything that happens is for your own good and His glory. Then you can begin to walk in the peace I wrote about earlier. Learn to enjoy doing things you love alone with God! When you know the desires of your heart align with God’s will, you can trust he will guide your steps.
Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Romans 8:28 We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Isaiah 58:11 The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
3. Discover Who You Are!
Our great creator knit you together in your mother’s womb. He was so particular about how He created you. You may already have a good sense of self. But now is the perfect time to take note of all God created in you and for you. What are your strengths, weaknesses, interests, ambitions, and what’s on your bucket list? What do you want to do with your life? What is your dream career or career(s)!? Do you want to start a business? Make goals and start working towards them.
If you don’t know your strengths and weaknesses maybe take a couple of personality tests. Myers Briggs and the Enneagram are my favorites. If you don’t know where to start on goal setting, that is okay check out our Word of the Year blog for goal setting guidance. I also highly recommend Michael Hyatt’s books Your Best Year Ever and Living Forward. Try new hobbies like dancing, running, surfing, paddleboarding, etc. your options are limitless. Become comfortable in your own skin, doing adventures with Jesus. You do not need to have permission or approval from others. When you are single, it is the best time to become the best you with Jesus.
4. Stay In Your Lane!
God created you for a purpose, for your own purpose. When you compare yourself to others, what they have, who they are with, what they are doing, what they look like, anything that God has blessed them with that you are envious of will deter you from all that God has for you. We have a God of abundance, just because they have something you want does not mean that you will not be blessed with it too, it just means that it isn’t your timing. Lysa Turkerst once said God loves you too much not to bless you in HIS PERFECT TIMING.
It’s true. He knows what you need and when you need it. He is preparing you and or your partner for what He is about to bless you with. I honestly don’t think it ever happens in our own timing. The beautiful thing is, when you want His obedience above all else, waiting doesn’t seem all that hard, because you can TRUST AND KNOW when it happens, it is going to be better than you could have ever asked or imagined.
When you start to notice yourself comparing, take note of what you are comparing. Look at your life, what are you doing to pursue those things? Is it a husband or wife? What is it that you love about their relationship? Take note, see step 6, continue to run hard after God, and focus on your alone time with Him. Is it a big house? What are you doing financially to prepare for a big house? Side note, I grew up in a big house with a ton of property, IT IS SOOO MUCH UPKEEP. If you don’t want the upkeep, maybe you want to rethink that desire. The perfect career? What are you doing to chase that dream career? Make goals and get to work, look at the person you are envious of, and say “Good for you! One day I’ll be there too!”
The perfect body? If it’s someone’s body or how they look. I want you to stop reading this look in the mirror and say three good things about how you look. Then I want you to look at what you are unhappy with and start making goals to achieve a healthy body. Some people may think this is trivial, but you need to hear this YOUR BODY IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. You should take care of it. Make sure you are healthy, and confident in your own skin. If it’s something you can’t change, KNOW GOD CREATED YOU THAT WAY FOR A REASON! I personally have always been envious of blue eyes. Some men I’ve dated have said “OH HOW BEAUTIFUL BLUE EYES ARE”…. I have brown eyes. But, you know what I like to think whoever my future husband is will LOVE my brown eyes. You never know, what you don’t like may be the very thing your future spouse is attracted to.
Lastly and probably the most important thing in this, DON’T MAKE THIS AN IDOL. It is so easy to see something and want to start working so hard for it that you begin to place that desire above God. I will warn you when you do this, it will end in pain. If you feel like you are at the point where you want this thing more than God, lay it down at the feet of Jesus and walk away from it. If you have to do that multiple times a day, do it multiple times a day. Repent, and tell God you are trying. He sees your heart and He knows it is not easy completely letting go of our fleshly desires. Ask God to help you let it go, He knows we are weak without Him and He will help us let it go.
Proverbs 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
5. Make New Amazing Friends!
When you have amazing friends and are focused on making memories. Time flys! Find some that enjoy the same things you do and start crossing things off your bucket list with THEM! Maybe try some things they like to do. Travel with them. Build life-giving friendships. These people will be your lifeline seriously. Studies show when you have a close group of friends you live longer. They can encourage you to grow closer to God, pray for you when life gets hard, and celebrate you when you accomplish big things in life. If you need help finding a life-group we have many amazing life-giving groups that grow in the word together and support each other in life through the good and bad times. Connect with us to find out more.
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
6. Define Your Ideal Relationship!
So this one, I’ve gotten a lot of push back on. People are like isn’t that a bad thing to list out details of what you want in a partner. I completely disagree because it helps you narrow it down. One Saturday in prayer a few years ago, I was asking God for direction. I felt God ask what I want in a relationship. I of course argued I want whatever you want Lord! What do you want for me? Jesus knows I can be very stubborn sometimes. He said I needed to describe my perfect relationship. So now I’m asking you to do this.
What do YOU want in a relationship? What kind of man/woman do you think would be a good match for you? What attributes are you attracted to? How do you want to communicate with each other? What are your non-negotiables? List everything out.
The key is not to make this an end all be all, but a guide. When you do this it’ll help you narrow it down when you are ready to start intentionally dating. Someone once suggested a prayer, that I continue to pray. “God only gives me eyes for you and my future husband. I don’t want to fraternize with anyone because I really want to hold everything I have out for the RIGHT MAN. I’ll talk more about this in Part 2 of this series.
7. SEEK GOD. TRUST GOD. WALK WITH GOD. BE PATIENT WITH GOD. FIGHT TEMPTATION WITH SCRIPTURE.
This is probably the most important step. YOU SHOULD DO THIS IN EVERY ASPECT ON LIFE.
Seek God in all that you do. Pray to Him, ask Him for guidance and understanding in every situation.
Trust God with what He responds to. He loves you so much more than you can even comprehend. He has you in the palm of His hand, you can trust that He already knows what you are dealing with and has the solution. Listen to Him intently and expectantly.
Walk with God in obedience. If He is going at what seems like a snail’s pace, stay with Him, if He is at an all-out sprint, run with Him. You can trust He will guide you in the right direction. If you are unsure, dig into scripture, if what you are doing aligns with scripture, you can trust you are walking in God’s will. If you are not, then repent (see psalms 51) and wait for His next direction. Honestly, it can be quite annoying for people like me that are planners and want the whole playbook, but God only gives us one step at a time.
Be Patient with God. If He is silent, wait and lean in closer to Him. I said this earlier, GOD LOVES US WAY TOO MUCH TO NOT BLESS US IN HIS PERFECT TIMING. He really does want what is best even if we don’t understand the why. He is so much greater than we are. His understanding is beyond ours. We can find security in the waiting because He is with us, and KNOWS WHAT IS BEST FOR US.
Fight Temptation with Scripture. There will be times we all are tempted to do things that are not in God’s will. We must recognize these temptations, hold them up to God’s word, and declare that they are against God’s will, and RUN THE OTHER WAY. SERIOUSLY. This might help, write down the temptations whatever they are, then search God’s word for the truth, then write that down next to the temptation. Memorize the scripture so that the next time Satan tries to tempt you, you can quote that exact scripture.
I wholeheartedly believe that once you are a whole person with Christ is when you can start to look for a partner in life. But it is so important to focus on Jesus and yourself before you try to bring someone else into your life. I am praying that this was helpful and that you are opening your eyes to Jesus to complete you. I pray that you are learning to love yourself and see yourself the way Jesus sees you.
When it is time to start dating, you should be intentional about it. Don’t just jump into a relationship with anyone. Hopefully, you created your list in step 6 to help raise your standards. Part 2 in this relationship series on Intentional Dating; Find the Partner God has for You is coming soon. Follow us on social media and keep an eye out for the posting.