My childhood pastor visited my home last year and prayed that by the time he returns this year, he wants me to be in a relationship with someone. He meant well, but I was embarrassed. I realized that day that for some, singleness is like a sickness–a sickness that if left untreated, will kill any hope of a fulfilling future. Troubled by this, I made a comment on Facebook that there are more important things in life than marriage. However, that prompted a woman to reply with something along the lines of, “this is so true! You’re a great guy, Sam. I don’t know why you’re still single.”
If a single person momentarily forget their singleness, they would soon be reminded of their misfortunes by well-meaning people asking for the latest diagnoses on their sickness. For instance, “So, are you dating someone yet?” is a popular second question after “how are you?” to single people. Some friends of mine are even afraid to visit home because they are weary of having to explain why they are still single to their parents. It is particularly difficult to explain why they’re still single, especially when they’ve been reassured by so many over the years that next month, next year, soon, they will find a spouse.
I am guilty of this. I sometimes speak in absolute terms with my teenage sister when I talk to her about marriage.
I often use the words “when” not “if” when we talk about her marrying someone one in the future, thereby potentially tempting her into thinking that she is supposed to wait for a spouse.
Growing up, the word some of us associated with marriage was “wait”. We were told that we had to wait until we finished school before we could date. We were told that we had to wait until we got a good job before we could marry. We were told that we had to wait until marriage before we could sleep with someone. Some of these are good and godly advice, however, they sometimes trigger an unhealthy preoccupation with waiting on a spouse. For instance, the goal of sexual purity in singleness is primarily to please our omnipresent God, not a future spouse.
In other words, we are not supposed to wait for a spouse. We are supposed to wait for our Saviour.
This is not to say that God doesn’t care about your singleness. He does. In fact, God cares about your singleness more than you do. 1 Peter 5:6-7, says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
God cares about your life: he created you. He cares about your life: he sent his son, Jesus, to give up his life for yours. He cares about your life: he knew you before you were born. He cares about your life: he will know you after you die. Even when you are asleep, God is awake thinking about your life, including your singleness. And if God was able to find a wife for Adam when there was literally no woman on the planet, he is surely able to find a spouse for anyone of us.
However, God has not promised to give you a spouse. He has promised to give you a Saviour. For that reason, singleness isn’t your greatest problem, your sins are. Therefore, a spouse isn’t your greatest need, Christ is.
So don’t wait for a spouse, wait for your Saviour. Don’t wait for a possibility, wait for a promise. Don’t wait for a man or woman, wait for God. Don’t wait for a spouse to deliver you from singleness, wait for Christ, who upon his return will deliver us from sin and lead us into a majestic and cosmic wedding ceremony and marriage.
When Jesus Christ returns, he will not merely return as a Saviour for sinners, but also as a long-awaited Bridegroom for us, his bride. So wait for your Saviour.