Many people in various phases of life have good times, bad times, and highs and lows. Christian singles are no different. Many singles aspire to get married and have a family. Some have been waiting for a long time and live with this socially and culturally imposed stigma about being single beyond a certain age. Sadly, being single may be new for some of you because you’re recently widowed or divorced. In addition, the heightened epidemic of loneliness is affecting so many, especially singles. At the same time, many Christian singles are completely content with being single, leading full, emotionally healthy, and complete lives.
Then comes Valentine’s Day, a holiday filled with overt affectionate expressions, hearts, chocolates, gifts, and romantic dinners. Valentine’s Day for some Christian singles may feel like a game of musical chairs, which is a lot of fun until the music stops and you’re left standing, and everyone has a seat except for you. For some, this day where love is lavishly celebrated can magnify solitude and exemplify an awkward reality of being uncoupled. For some, there is amplified grief of losing loved ones and relationships that did not manifest into marriage. There are often attempts made by married Christians on Valentine’s Day (with good intentions) to mollify the sudden magnification of a Christian single’s “individual” status by expressing cliché-like sentiments that often fall flat. All of the flurry, blitz, and buzz surrounding the romantic significance of Valentine’s Day may lead a Christian single to ponder their overall relationship prospects in life, which may lead to asking the question, “Where is the love?”
While Valentine’s Day is daunting for some, it can be fun for others, including Christian singles. Truthfully, many are not negatively impacted or feel lacking on Valentine’s Day. Not all Christian singles are grim on Valentine’s Day and are annoyed by the assumption that they are. Many are planning to have celebrations in single mode or forgo Valentine’s Day altogether. In fact, they are often happy for those who celebrate. Many also understand that the commercialized origins of Valentine’s Day do not have the power to define what authentic love is truly all about. They know the answer to the question, “Where is the love?”
How am I loved?
Love is not just celebrated on certain days of the year. It is Biblically established that every day is a day of love for the Christian single. Love has been firmly established by Almighty God, who is the architect of agape love, which is unselfish, loyal, and benevolent intention and commitment toward another. Moreover, Jesus Christ is the embodiment of this unconditional love who gave His life so that we can experience agape love abundantly. In Jeremiah 31:3, God says that He “loves you with an everlasting love,” and this is every single second of every single day. Psalms 139 states that God created us purposefully and intimately. Psalms 139:13–14 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” He knows us better than we know ourselves! Because of who God is, we are always loved and never alone. God delights in you!
How do I wait?
We often acknowledge these truths about God, but many of our words and behaviors reflect an underlying belief that without a romantic relationship, we remain incomplete. Perhaps, someone reading this may have a sincere desire to marry, and their questions may be, “Where is the love and when will love come to me?” Wanting to get married is a beautiful and wonderful thing to long for. This requires prayer, exercising faith and wisdom in action, and waiting on the Lord. Sometimes the hardest part for many Christian singles is waiting on the Lord, and sadly, many take matters into their own hands with disastrous results.
Waiting on the Lord consists of three very important elements. First, it takes complete dependence on God and all that is in His will for your life. Second, it takes submitting to God and allowing him to mold you and mature you. Third and lastly, it takes a willingness to allow God to decide the terms and timing of His plan. When we patiently wait upon God, it means we have confident expectations and hope that God will provide an equally yoked marriage. It means we trust God enough to know what’s best for our lives. It means that we have faith that He will do exceeding and abundantly more than we could ever imagine. Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” While you’re waiting for God, don’t stop living for Jesus and His calling upon your life.
How can couples support me?
Married Christians, here’s how you can support us:
- Please don’t overemphasize our singleness (on Valentine’s Day or any other day), and conversely, please don’t pressure us to get married.
- Include us, and don’t avoid us. I encourage you to make your single friends part of your life and family. Don’t assume we’re too busy to hang out with you.
- Beware of “single shaming.” This is making preconceived assumptions or judgments about why a person is unmarried.
- Be prepared to give us godly advice on waiting and dating as led by the Holy Spirit and when solicited.
- Please don’t treat us like a match-making project – although some don’t mind match-making when asked and when it’s prayerfully considered.
- Also, when we’re approaching marriage, prayerfully tell us about red flags you see in our potential spouse and within us.
- Pray for us as the Holy Spirit leads you.
- Check-in on us often.
How do I spend Valentine’s day?
So, Christian singles, what will you do for Valentine’s Day? As many of you know, I’m a Single Pringle, and I have the flexibility to be spontaneous, so I plan to do some fun things and eat lots of great food. I will include practicing and experiencing the sustaining love of God and giving thanks to Him because this is truly where the purest love can be found. However you decide to spend this day, be assured that God sees you. He sees the sacrifices that you’ve made. God knows that being single can be challenging, but He’s got you. God knows that sometimes you feel lonely, and He has given us the Holy Spirit to comfort us. He has promised you abundant living regardless of your marital status. You are not cursed, incomplete, or a fraction of a person. You are blessed, loved, and set apart to be made holy for God’s plans and purposes for you. Now you are reminded where the love is truly found. Relish in that and in the One whose steadfast love endures forever.
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¹ Lanier, D. (2003). Love. In C. Brand, C. Draper, A. England, S. Bond, E. R. Clendenen, & T. C. Butler (Eds.), Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (p. 1054). Holman Bible Publishers.