A BIGGER LOVE
Living the single life and loving it! That may be the case for us single ladies but more than often we see our friends with their bf’s or better half’s on social media and we think ‘I want that too’. On my Instagram, every second post is about someone getting engaged or someone beaming with gorgeous bridal gowns and the very trendy saying ‘Jesus, I’ve seen what you’ve done for other people, and I want that for me’ pops into my head. I’m not saying that I want their love story or that I wish I had it like them; it just seems as if God may have overlooked me in this particular area of my life.
The cultural worldview of singleness isn’t positive; in fact, the media portrays singleness as a very sad situation to be in. When I was a teenager, having a boyfriend was important to show other people that I was ‘cool’ or ‘wanted’. I remember very vividly one occasion where my boyfriend at the time wanted to be more intimate and I had a moment of clarity where I thought to myself ‘I’m only 16! I don’t want this kind of commitment!’ By God’s grace I exited that relationship and decided that instead of having a relationship for the sake of it; I will give Jesus the key to my heart and trust Him to lead me into the right relationship in His time. The desire to be married, to love and be loved in such a unifying way is good and God given.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church in 372 (245, 246) puts it this way: “Man and woman were made ‘for each other’ – not that God left them half-made and incomplete: he created them to be a communion of persons, in which each can be ‘helpmate’ to the other, for they are equal as persons (‘bone of my bones. . .’) and complementary as masculine and feminine. In marriage God unites them in such a way that, by forming ‘one flesh’, they can transmit human life: Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.”
The issue is not that we have no clarity. The issue is not that we have a blueprint to fall back on. The issue is with the waiting. Long waits fuel insecurity and fear distorting our true desires or blurring the very desire you may have carried closely in your heart. What more, the fear of loneliness leaves one with no choice but to grasp for this ‘love’ instead of waiting on the Lord in confidence and trust.
The Complete Image
So, let’s get off the cloud of social media images and sit on the ground together. What is the purpose of marriage? Is it to find someone who can help you achieve your goals, someone who will support you through it all? We can say vague things like, ‘I want to be with someone who I can be myself with’ or ‘who will love me for who I am’. Yet, marriage is so much more.
To understand marriage, we need to understand that it was created by God Himself and given as a gift to humanity. In marriage (family), the expression of the Holy Trinity is found. Together, the man and wife express the complete image of God. The purpose of marriage is for God’s glory; to point to His love and His goodness. This vocation is important and God also takes it seriously. Every aspect of your life is precious to Him and there is nothing He doesn’t know about you.
In one of my scripture verses Psalm 139:1-4, the psalmist says, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.”
This verse encourages me so much and reminds me that God knows me better than I know myself. He knows my heart’s desire and He knows what is best for me. I trust His knowledge of me and His plans for me because He is good and faithful. Another verse Romans 8:28 confirms this and resonates in my heart; It says “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”
God Is Working In Your Waiting
Sister, perhaps, you’ve had your heart broken too many times and you are afraid to try again or you are like me, wondering if God can truly give you the gift of a loving companion. Take heart, for God loves us deeply and is not holding back on us. His love is fierce and gentle at the same time and it constantly pursues us. He only wants what is best for our lives. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him”—1 Corinthians 2:9. The more we engage and deepen our relationship with the Lord, the more we understand the nature of true love, because more than not we look for this perfect love in a person who will never be able to meet our expectation.
Our singleness is not a broken, incomplete state of being, but an important season of service in love to our fellow brothers and sisters.
In the season of singleness, I am learning to love strangers and friends and also learning to accept love from others; I am learning and healing from a distorted worldview of love and charity and choosing Christ’s way. In every moment, we are called to love; a personal practice of mine and which I recommend is to ask the Lord; ‘teach me and show me how to love the people you have placed in my life’. Saying the Rosary and pondering the life and love of Christ also has enabled me to love and be at peace with myself and others.
God is more than generous and wants to pour and lavish His love and blessings over us. Let us not waste the blessed single life but live it out joyfully! The single life is not just a period of waiting and pining for more but a period of actively seeking out to know the person of God and His love; realising that the person we marry one day (with all their weaknesses as well as our own) is someone to journey with towards heaven, towards the perfect union with God.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nicole Hartzenberg from South Africa now lives in Tokyo, Japan following a strong call towards mission. A medical doctor by profession and now a missionary serving the needs of the youth ministry, she is certainly discovering how her professional experience of compassion and care make for greater markers in Christian discipleship. You can connect with her @hartz_nx