The female heart is a fragile yet resilient thing. On the one hand, it can endure unbearable pain, but it isn’t left unmarked by a mean word or flippant comment.
We women thrive off of sweet gestures, kind words, or knowing people are thinking of us. We’re made to be helpers, supporters, and lovers. Yet, I see a waning hope in so many women’s eyes — including my own.
I drove my car mindlessly as tears streamed down my face wishing my heart was in a better place and my hope in a particular situation could be secure. But I have no answer. I am not promised anything but Christ in this life. But why is it that when it comes to our dating lives, we hold back from surrendering our desires to God? Or we don’t ask for our desires, or we are afraid to trust God with them because He might not answer how we hoped He would.
I decided to sing a song as a battle cry against my doubts. I put on “King of my Heart.” When it came to the part about singing God’s goodness, I blared the speakers and sang as loud as possible. I needed to silence my discouragement, shut the enemy’s lies out, and sing the truth.
How the enemy is winning
The enemy has convinced too many women that there are no good men left. That once we hit our thirties and forties, we should stop hoping. I think we’ve bought the lie that marriage isn’t in the cards for us — shame on me, shame on us.
Who are we to doubt God? When did we forget He can turn water into wine? When did we forget He split the Red Sea when there was no other way? He’s the One who walked on water. He is the One who gave Sarah a child after child-bearing years. He is the One who created man out of dust and breathed life into him. Then God made the woman out of the man’s rib. God is the One who brought them together!
Did we forget that marriage was His idea — that God is the One who invented romance? Who are we to say there is no hope? It may be where we are placing our hope that has caused us to lose hope! God loves us with an everlasting love and has our names engraved in the palm of His hand.
But, when we look at society, sure, it seems hopeless. And unfortunately, if we look at those claiming to be Christians, it can seem hopeless too. I cannot tell you how many times I walked away discouraged after talking with Christian women who are dating. Either the guys they are dating are not believers. Or the guys are not willing to wait to have sex, or they do not cherish the gift these women are.
When we settle, we not only hurt ourselves, we hurt other women
How? Because we’ve told guys, the Lord isn’t that important to us. And that it’s okay not to honor our bodies. And it’s okay to take us for granted. So, if the relationship ends, and he begins dating someone else, why does he need to expect any different from another woman? I know guys play a part in this too, but I am only speaking to us women and how we are handling things from our end.
Ladies, I hope if the relationship ends; we leave the guy we dated better! We can do this by respecting him when we are dating. By thanking him for all the dates he planned or the food he bought. Why are we not striving to help him be better for the next woman he may date? Perhaps we didn’t because we let our emotions ruin evenings. Did we inflict unnecessary harm by talking ill about him to our friends and families? We need to do better because God deserves better.
Everything we do, we will give an account for; dating is not a free pass. As believers, we are to live to a higher standard. God is clear; we are not to date unbelievers. If God allows us the opportunity to date another believer, are we caring for them well? Are we being kind, sacrificial, and encouraging? Are we helping them grow as a believer, or are we hindering them? Did we make the relationship all about us? I don’t see anywhere in Scripture where this life about us.
“You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” — 1 Corinthians 6:20
At the end of the day, we are accountable for our actions. When we look around us, we will always find someone who is doing better than us, and we will always find someone who is doing worse. But only what God says about our actions and choices is what matters.
Finding hope in our singleness
I think there are a lot of women (including myself) who feel like Elijah did in 1st Kings 19. He’d just come from doing an incredible miracle, but Jezebel said she would kill him. She’d already killed many other prophets, so the fear was real. Elijah laid down and asked to die. He said he was the only one left. How often does the enemy want to make us believe we are the only ones left? You may feel alone, but you’re not alone!
Do you know how many people are on this planet? God is not a God of scarcity but abundance. One person getting married shouldn’t be a threat because another good one got married. God doesn’t work like that. If He made the entire world, sustains our heartbeats, and gives us breath in our lungs, why do we believe He cannot handle our love life and can bring us a spouse who loves Him? Please know I have had to preach this to myself over and over again!
So here Elijah is, feeling alone and wanting to die. God brings him what my friend Livia says, “a snack and a nap.” Then he leads him into a cave and shows him how to find His voice. Recently, God convicted me of where my hope has been. In the same song, “King of my Heart.” The bridge says, “You’re never going to let, you’re never going to let me down.” I could never sing that part. Why? Because I felt let down when God decided to take my Dad home.
I didn’t understand it. But feeling let down and actually being let down are two different things. God has brought good out of losing my Dad; despite the pain, God used it. He didn’t waste the hurt. The loss of someone you love changes you. It grows your capacity to love and show compassion. I’m not the same person I was before I lost my Dad, and it’s only because of God’s work in my life.
Unfortunately, I still wasn’t convinced until I prayed about it and asked God. Romans 5:5 come to mind: “Now hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Now, back to Elijah, this chapter ends with God telling Elijah that He has reserved 7,000 who have not bent their knee to Baal. If God can reserve 7,000 who didn’t bend their knee to the cultural norm of that day, don’t you think He can do the same today? Did we forget that nothing is too hard for God? Have we forgotten that His arm is not too short? God is in heaven, and He does what He pleases. We’ve got to stop telling ourselves and others that no good men left because that is a lie. They may be in a cave 😉, and when God wants them to find a woman, they will. They will be the ones listening to God’s voice and not the cultures.
If He brings us a man, He will want that man to cherish and love us as He does. And if he brings us to a man, God wants us to love and respect him as He does. Because at the end of the day, if you are following God’s best, You will both be Christians, and you will both be God’s children. Because of the love, grace, and mercy God has extended to you, you will want the best for the other person — even when it hurts. Loving another means sacrificing for them. For love to live, you must die to yourself.
“Love and Pain go together, for a time at least. If you would know Love, you must know pain too.” — Hannah Hurnard
And if God chooses to have us remain single, then that is His kindest and best decision for us. He knows what we need. He is a good father who loves His daughters. The same God who can do the impossible (like bringing us a spouse!) can give us an impossible faith that continues to believe and thrive in His goodness.
If God chooses to give us a spouse, praise God and if not, praise God.
Let’s not waste our life pinning away, but serving and loving God and others well. That way, if He does choose to bring us a spouse, we will have had lots of practice.
Don’t count God out. He is great and mighty, and He is trustworthy. So let’s let Him write our stories. Keep in mind God often thinks outside of the box. His ways are higher and better, so don’t expect Him to write our stories the way we think He should — surrender it all to Him. He is good and worthy of our trust and love life!