Celebrating Singleness: Dating is Not a Goal

We were not designed to exist in isolation. God made us in his image, and even God exists as a fellowship within the trinity. We were designed to build connections to those around us, to be in communion with others. There is nothing wrong with seeking someone with whom we can share our lives. Yet desiring to be in a relationship becomes problematic if it becomes the focus of life. Dating and even marriage is a means to an end, not the goal of life itself.

So why is looking for a spouse such a poor life focus?

You are not incomplete

Focusing on searching for a partner might circumvent contentment with God and with self. You are already complete on your own. God has gifted you and loves you. God has promised us that he is always with us and that his grace is sufficient for us.

You already belong

We are adopted as beloved children of God. We are not alone, but rather drawn close into relationship through the blood of Jesus. God has already claimed you as his own, and he has already placed us in communities to care for one another. There are wonderful people to support and encourage us within God’s body whether we are single, married, widowed, or divorced.

You are blessed

You can find contentment knowing that God has blessed you. Don't miss the blessings that God has already placed around you. God has your best interest at heart. You may feel that that God is punishing you by not providing you with a spouse. Let God hear your loneliness and let him astound you with how he provides. Each day holds blessings and promise in which we can delight.

Don't settle for less

If we try to rush the process, we may settle for less than God desires. Out of impatience or fear, we may lower our standards to someone less than God desires for us. Choosing a spouse who does not cherish you fully or fails to demonstrate love and faith in Christ may seem better than being alone, but it will set you on the road to conflict and heartache in your relationship for years to come.

Trust God's timing

God’s timing is often not in step with our own. We want what we want when we want it, but God often has lessons to grow us in the time of waiting. We live in a culture of immediate gratification, which makes it harder to wait. Yet God may be growing you.

You don't know the plan

God has a plan for your life that is beyond your understanding. God may desire for you to glorify him in single life. God may have a plan for you to marry down the road, but not be in a relationship right now. God may be trying to direct you to the spouse that he has in mind, but you are too focused on finding someone yourself. Lean on God and trust in his plan for your life even when you don't see the whole picture.

Don't get distracted

Pursuing romantic relationships can distract us from God's plans for our lives. God has blessed you with gifts and guided you to opportunities to minister in the life of others. Focus on following God’s lead and exploring the avenues of ministry in which you have been gifted. As you find yourself following God’s lead, his greater plan for your life will unfold for your life.

Keep trusting God’s plan even when it is not the plan that you would have chosen. Psalm 37:4 tells us to delight yourself in the Lord and he will give us the desires of our heart. It may not be what we envisioned, but it will be best.

About the author — Rev. Deb Koster

Deb Koster is a producer, writer, and speaker for Family Fire. She is also an Innkeeper at The Parsonage Inn in Grand Rapids, MI where she leads marriage retreat on weekends. After over 20 years as a Registered Nurse, she completed a Master of Divinity degree and was ordained as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church. Deb and her husband Steven enjoy doing ministry together and they are the parents of three awesome young adults.

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