Hey y'all. As a wedding planner, my professional life is constantly surrounded by love, commitment, and marriage in one form or another. However, in my personal life, I have many loved ones that are currently struggling through singleness, divorce, or rocky relationships and all that it brings. As of September, it will have been two years since Don and I said our vows, so in many ways I cannot relate to someone who is walking through a season like this, but I do understand the desire for companionship and love that we all share. I also know that there are many people walking around deeply wounded from previous relationships, guarded and afraid to try again; and this I can relate to. In addition, I think singles are often overlooked in our culture, communities, and churches. In light of that, single people: this post is for you. You are not forgotten.
As God has brought into my life more and more single people, I see a common thread: loneliness and frustration. I can imagine that it must be hard to be single in your late 20's or early 30's when a large percentage of your friends are married or getting married. Now, I know these people are more than happy to support their friends, and I don't think we should make an idol out of being in a relationship or be envious of others, but deep down we cannot deny that being alone must ache for our single friends. If you are single and have no desire to be married, then this does not apply. Some people embrace and even prefer singleness, and there can also be many benefits to a single life. However, as with many people I personally know, this is not the case. Most of them desire to be in a healthy, fulfilling relationship with someone they can share life with.
There are many different reasons people are single. Some people just haven't found the right person, some are never in situations to meet people of the opposite sex, some have demanding work schedules, some have simply taken a break, and the list goes on. However, I think more often than many of us know, people are wounded. Deeply wounded. I sat with someone for nearly two hours this morning that shared the story of how after 12 years of marriage, her husband just decided one day that he no longer wanted to be married. I can only imagine how devastating that must have been to her and her children. I also know others in my life struggling to save their marriage after years of abuse, infidelity, and lies. These women are strong, beautiful, smart women that have been broken by someone they trusted.
Don't get me wrong, I know women hurt men too, and that both parties bring faults into a marriage, but I don't have deep relationships with many men, and so I can only speak from a woman's standpoint. Women as a rule have a deep desire to be pursued, loved, and cared for. Most women are looking for a guy that would gladly jump into a burning building to lead them out to safety. This deep desire goes far beyond what we have learned from stories like Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty (which aren't always accurate representations of real relationships). However, I do think God has made women to crave love.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body,[a] of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”[b] (Ephesians 5:25-31).
Whoa. That's some pretty deep stuff right there. Our husbands are supposed to love us like Jesus loves His church. To me, these verses make it very clear on how God views the way a man is supposed to treat a woman. And even if you are not a Christian, or still struggling with what you believe about all this Bible stuff (which is okay), I would guess that you still have a desired to be loved and cared for. When a husband does not love his wife in a sacrificial, uplifting, and honoring way, he is causing her to feel a deep and painful sorrow. Many women that have been abused, neglected, or mistreated by a man take on shame and worthlessness as their identity. Women, by nature, tend to be more sensitive and emotionally vulnerable than men, and that's why devastating consequences can result when a man mistreats a woman.
Women, I am here to tell you that there is good news. For years I dated one toxic person after another (not all, but most). I have been in just about every type of bad relationship you could imagine. Before I met my husband, Don, I had pretty much given up on the whole concept of dating and marriage altogether. However, when I met him, my whole viewpoint changed. Don was one of the only guys I had ever met to come and walk along side me as he demonstrated sacrificial and selfless love.
You are not the words that have been spoken over you. You are not the pain that has been done to you. You are not the scars on your skin. You are not your wounds. I listened to a message Lecrae gave at the Passion 2015 conference and he told a story of a $640 tee shirt he saw on the rack of a clothing store in Beverly Hills. He asked the guy behind the register why the shirt was so expensive, and the guy told Lecrae that it was because of the designer's name on the shirt. It added value to the shirt. This, Lecrae pointed out is, what happens to us when we belong to Jesus. We have an immeasurable, unending, nontaxable, long-lasting value that thieves cannot steal and moth or rust cannot destroy. Women: this is where you get your value. It is not from your husband, your boyfriend, or your singleness. Our value comes from Jesus, and His love and glory is stitched in our very makeup. And for those of you who don't know Jesus, He wants this same kind of value for you as well. You are so loved. So desired. So pursued.
Again, I am not pretending to know what some of you may be going through in singleness, but I do know there is hope. I do know that you can heal from the pain caused by another person. I know that God cares. That he hasn't forgotten you in your singleness, broken marriage, or even divorce. I haven't forgotten you either. I know that I post a lot of content about marriage, but I also care for and value those of you who are single as well. Don't believe the lies. They are not yours. They do not belong to you. Shame does not belong to you. Defeat does not belong to you. Worthlessness does not belong to you. Feeling undesirable does not belong to you. Love belongs to you. Hope belongs to you. Healing belongs to you. Let God be your lover as He prepares to bring you a man (or woman for the guys out there) that will cherish your heart, love you sacrificially, help you heal, and lead you to safety.
Singles, please forgive us if we have made you feel forgotten.
Thanks for stopping by.