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God's Will Regarding Singleness
There was a time when I wholeheartedly followed and believed the teachings of some churches and religious scholars that singleness was something God chose for you while He chose marriage for others. If you were single and hadn't found a mate or couldn't find a suitable mate then singleness was the path that God had chosen for you. And it was up to you to learn to like it. If you didn't you were disobedient towards God.
Yet some people had been bestowed with the gift of marriage. This faulty thinking leads to anger and resentment of God. Leaders that teach this are responsible for causing people to harbor resentment towards God especially when they teach that if you haven't found a mate then singleness is your gift and by not embracing your status you are going outside of God's will because it is He that has chosen your path for you and it is He who will choose your mate for you and send him/her along.
When I was single I frequented a number of single christian sites trying to find something to explain why I hadn't found anyone and those I did find were unworthy of my company. Did I aspire to higher standards than I was emotionally, physically and spiritually able to reach? In a nutshell, no. I had certain things I demanded from a potential mate and for obvious reasons. Everyone must have a list of things they will accept and things they won't. By not doing so, it leaves one open to accepting anyone's behavior.
Are there women and men who make a laundry list that is absolutely unattainable? Definitely, men and women make lists that their potential spouse must meet that a monk couldn't live up to and are then disappointed when they don't find anyone. It is true there are alot of people out there that are not marriage material and it is wise to stay as far away from these people as possible. These people usually have far more negative attributes than just not fitting into the marriage perspective.
There are a number of online and offline groups who chastise you if you even so much as wonder aloud why you haven't met anyone accusing you of questioning God's authority. This is another fallacy. While I believe that God is ultimately in charge of the universe, it is up to us to make our own decisions. While God is all knowing and may know what we are going to do in years to come He does not interfere. It may be wrong but still He does not interfere. Instead He lets us choose our own path whether for good or for bad. I disagree in every way that God has already chosen a mate for us and it's simply up to us to find that person or rather lie in wait. That puts alot of pressure on a single person to find the ONE for them. The ONE chosen by God and if singles don't find the one for them they have somehow failed. This has led to the teaching that if you don't find your soulmate then marriage simply wasn't meant for you. God has chosen for you to be single and you must learn to love this new gift bestowed upon you. This perpetuates the thinking that singles are too stupid to find their chosen one.
I believe that God can rearange a meeting, if you will, but it is up to us to decide what we are going to do with this new person we meet.
Of course, with all the things the church teaches about finding a mate it is no wonder there are so many singles left scratching their heads. Afterall, the church teaches if someone doesn't reach certain standards they are unworthy or rather they use terms like unequally yoked and it is the church that decides who is the best choice. Unequally yoked meaning not to be yoked with someone who is not a christian and doesn't share your beliefs. This thinking doesn't take into account whether the person is a good, upstanding, honest, compassionate, loving, considerate, empathetic person but rather whether they profess salvation or not and as long as they claim to be saved that's enough. The addition of these much needed attributes are merely an afterthought.
Singleness is a state of being, a state of decision. Some want to be single and again the church teaches if you are meant to be married according to God you will be whether you like that idea or not. I disagree. People make their own decisions. They decide their fate. At least when it comes to singleness or marriage they do. There are many things in life that is out of their control but choosing a state of being I don't believe is one of them.
Just because someone says he/she is a christian doesn't make it so. Just because he/she says they live according to God's word doesn't mean they do. There is a big difference between being a good, loving, nonjudgemental God fearing human being and someone who claims christianity because it makes them look good. There are alot of so called christians out there who have no idea what it is to be God fearing and loving. Oh, they talk a good game but that is all it is. I've certainly met my fair share of people like that. They are hypocrites. They may not realize that's what they are but it is.
If you feel pressured that singleness is your destiny step back and take a good look at who's saying it. Ignore well intended people who tell you you'll meet someone. This is a favorite line among married persons.
If you are single it simply means you haven't met the right person or you may have set your standards so high that even your soulmate couldn't live up to your tall order and you may have overlooked him/her. Sometimes your mate is right under your nose and for whatever reason you've rejected him/her. Be careful not too judge too quickly. Step back and take time to really look at a situation before committing to anything.
Be upbeat, happy and loving. This will attract your mate quicker than anything. And most of all, stop worrying that you're going to live the rest of your life all alone and don't fall prey to the pity party and crying in your beer.
And whatever you do, resist the temptation to let prospective dates know about your lackluster line of boyfriends/girlfriends. This doesn't give them the impression that you are somehow an overlooked diamond in the rough and the idiots you dated were too stupid to see what a great guy/girl they let slip away. Even though this is probably the truth it only makes someone think there is something wrong with you that they have been too unfortunate to see or head for the hills before they get a chance to know you.
And women, please resist the temptation to be high fashion all the time, never letting your guard down. There was a time when I succumbed to most of this thinking and never let my guard down.
That's not the way married life is going to be. You are going to grow old together hopefully and there will be good and bad times. Hopefully, you use your tools wisely to carry you through.