While some prefer to remain single to keep their independence, there are others who are desperate to find that special someone. Many of us are hopeful that one day, God will bring forth our Ephesians 5 man or Proverbs 31 woman. But what if God is asking you to wait over an extended period time (maybe even years) before He answers your prayers for a spouse? Can you maintain happiness when God is telling you to wait, or if He flat out tells you “no?” This challenges us to reflect on whether our desires align with the will of God. Wanting to be married is perfectly fine, but learning to find happiness while being single is an important aspect of spiritual growth and self-development. Indeed, being content in singlehood is a lesson many of us can learn while we’re building our relationship with God, working to overcome our weaknesses, and embracing our true callings.
Build your relationship with God
God may be keeping you single because He wants to develop a relationship with you, first. Building a relationship with God may require a period of isolation, where you are busy seeking His voice versus seeking to find your husband or wife. A relationship with God often manifests through expanding your prayer life, fasting, and most importantly, studying God’s Word to keep you aligned with His will for your life. With being alone with God, you are allowing yourself to gain much needed wisdom to not only become an ideal husband or wife, but also to become a healthy and ‘whole’ servant of God. When one becomes ‘whole’ through Christ, he or she realizes that happiness starts within, not through the external comforts of a relationship or marriage. As a single woman who has experienced ups and downs in relationships, I realized that God had placed me in singlehood to get my attention, and to change my perspective of what happiness actually is. With getting closer to God, I began to experience an unconditional love that I could never find within a relationship—and that was when I could truly say that I found happiness.
3 The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.Jeremiah 31: 3 KJV
Examine your weaknesses
Being single can help you to tackle problems that may be hindering your path to happiness, such as self-esteem issues, lack of confidence, people-pleasing, and codependency. With a relationship, some of these issues may become clouded because of the infatuation with romance and being in love. However, singlehood gives you the space and time to explore those problem areas that have been buried away through relationships and mere acquaintances. For example, if you are constantly finding yourself jumping from relationship to relationship to satisfy the need of happiness, being single may expose the problems that lie under the surface of this pattern. This is when we must ask ourselves: ‘What am I running from?‘ Ironically, when we are running to and from relationships, we are avoiding the need to fix our character flaws that are constantly contributing to the many failed/toxic relationships we continue to stumble upon. In all, happiness while being single comes from the ability to confront our weaknesses so that we can become a healthier and happier person.
Learn to let go of the past
Healing from your past creates room for happiness to come in to your life. Holding on to your past mistakes, hurts, pain, fallouts and other not-so-good experiences is a heavy burden that blocks happiness and inner peace. Memories of what happened years ago can become a stronghold that keeps you in bondage to anger, bitterness, and all out misery. Yet God tells us to forget the past to embrace the promises He has set before us:
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.Philippians 3:13-14 KJV
18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.Isaiah 43:18-19 KJV
Even if you have experienced many failed relationships, God may bless you with someone who will ultimately take your hand in marriage in the future. But this requires patience and forgiveness of yourself and others for any past sins and aggrievances. Definitely, you can’t fully enjoy and appreciate God’s promises while holding to what’s dead and gone.
Explore your life’s purpose
While being single, you have the opportunity to create happiness through finding your life’s purpose. What is God’s purpose for your life? Is it to establish a ministry, start your own business, or support certain social causes? Have you considered starting a new hobby? Engaging in activities that spark your interest or allows you to use your hidden talents can lead to a new level of happiness that does not necessarily involve an intimate relationship. Although finding the ‘one’ can be an exciting, dream-filled adventure, exploring your most unique gifts during singlehood may be very rewarding on a physical and spiritual level. For instance, you may have been in a relationship that consumed all of your free time, so you often didn’t have the energy to engage with your hobbies, such as writing a book or playing a sport. In fact, your relationship may have kept you from spending time with God, yet now that you are single, you have the time to start a ministry and fellowship with other believers. Surely, it’s safe to say that being single can give you more time to tackle things that you have probably put off for the sake of your relationship. For me, I find great joy in doing things that I love, such as creating music, writing this blog, studying God’s Word, and spending time with my family—which has truly provided me with much happiness.
Being single does not mean that you can’t find happiness. Happiness starts with the one looking in the mirror—you! A relationship or marriage can certainly provide many joyful moments in your life; However, learning to be happy while you’re alone can bring forth a sense of peace that doesn’t depend upon the actions of another person.
Believe it or not, your perspective of happiness while being single can contribute to the foundation of your relationship or marriage. How you spend your time in singlehood determines your readiness of being a husband or wife. Do you spend your time sulking, sad, bitter or angry that you haven’t found the ‘one?’ Or, are you using your time to work on your relationship with God, healing past issues and growing into the person that God has called you to be? In truth, if you choose the latter approach, happiness will not be so hard to find.