There is no denying it. When you are single and want to be married, it can be a painful and even downright miserable time. That period was for me, anyway. The older I grew older, the more difficult my singleness became. This is because God did not intend for us to be by ourselves. God created human beings in a primordial state of marriage:
“Then God said, ‘And now we will make human beings; they will be like us and resemble us’… So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them male and female… Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to live alone. I will make a suitable companion to help him.” (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:18 Today’s English Version 2nd Edition)
Yes, the scriptures clearly support that God created marriage and that he desires marriage for his people. But what if you are single yearning to share your life with a spouse, and there is no suitable companion in sight? What can one do to begin to change things around?
God saw that it was not good for man to be alone and bought Adam a wife; God also initiated man’s redemption by sending his son, Jesus Christ, to be born of the Virgin Mary. God is always taking the first step with us. “We love because God first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
It is because of God’s love for us that he is ever-present to lend a helping hand. God offers us his support in providing for our natural needs, supplying us with heavenly wisdom, or bestowing graces on us to aid in our efforts. To change our state from single to married, one may need all three types of these assistance from God.
In beginning to contemplate how to change our situation, however, I believe it is best to ask God for guidance: for his wisdom and his counsel. And God is all about this.
During the season of Advent and Christmas, we celebrate the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ. The prophet Isaiah had the following prophecy to say about him:
"A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called, 'Wonderful Counselor,' 'Mighty God,' 'Eternal Father,' 'Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Peace. Not only is Jesus called all these things, but he does all the actions associated with each of these titles in addition to bringing salvation to mankind.
There is a wonderful, good counselor in God that you can go to and get help with for any need. This is not to say that a licensed professional mental health practitioner should not be sought out when necessary. However, God is always available and wants to help us. Especially where prolonged singleness is concerned.
When I was struggling with my single days, I remember someone sharing with me that God had helped him find his wife. This really struck me quite odd because up to that point I had viewed God as working against me, as someone I had to convince that I was marriage worthy. I later came to see this viewpoint as part of my problem. I did not think I deserved marriage or anything good.
It was after God worked a healing transformation in my heart that I finally started to believe that he wanted to bring me a spouse all along. He was waiting for me to seek him and his wisdom to get unstuck. I know genuinely believe that God desires marriage for us more than we do for ourselves. He knows how difficult it is for many of us to get married today, to find a suitable companion. From the beginning of creation, he was the one that issued the decree that it was not good for man to be alone. God is standing by as the wonderful counselor just waiting to be asked by his children to assist with their spouse-finding needs.
Jesus reminds us about the importance of asking questions and continuing to seek God for answers in Luke 11:9-13:
“And so I say to you: Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For those who ask will receive, and those who seek will find, and the door will be opened to anyone who knocks. Would anyone of you who are fathers give your son a snake when he asks for fish? Or would you give him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
God desires to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him, to help them. This is great news! Based on the above scripture passage, God wants his children to seek him and to ask questions. The Holy Spirit will aid you; the Holy Spirit will assist you in getting the answers you seek so that you can move forward towards healing and wholeness.
Do you want to be married and do not know why you are not? Are you scared to put yourself out there and to start meeting people? Do you have a sabotaging mindset when it comes to the opposite sex or with regards to yourself? Are you completely in the dark as to what issues are holding you back? Start asking God! He wants to help you more than anything. And maybe some of that help will direct you to a therapist or a book or to make some necessary changes. Or perhaps a scripture reading at mass will speak to your heart and be the encouragement you need to hear. We tend to think in terms of either/or. However, we should be thinking in terms of both: seeking God in prayer and taking reasonable steps in the natural world to do what we can.
I want to provide you with five scripture verses which demonstrate God’s promise to help us. I found this to be very reassuring when I was in the throes of my own prolonged singleness. I still refer to these verses today when facing difficult challenges and hardships in my life. The following verses are reminders that God is still present and wants to assist all of us with our problems:
- “But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all. But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all.” James 1:5-6a
- “Call to me, and I will answer you; I will tell you wonderful and marvelous things that you know nothing about.” Jeremiah 33:3
- “My Child, learn what I teach you and never forget what I tell you to do. Listen to what is wise and try to understand it. Yes, beg for knowledge; plead for insight. Look for it as hard as you would for silver or some hidden treasure. If you do, you will know what it means to fear the Lord and you will succeed in learning about God. It is the Lord who gives wisdom; from him come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:1-6
- “You are a refuge and a defense; guide me and lead me as you have promised.” Psalm 31: 3
- “You people who live in Jerusalem will not weep any more. The Lord is compassionate, and when you cry to him for help, he will answer you. The Lord will make you go through hard times, but he himself will be there to teach you, and you will not have to search for him anymore. If you wander of the road to the right or the left, you will hear his voice behind you saying, ‘Here is the road. Follow it.” Isaiah 30: 19-21
I invite you to look up the above verses for encouragement and take them to God in prayer. Ask him for insight about your prolonged singleness. Remember, no one needs to have all their issues resolved to get married. That, my friends, is a lifelong process of sanctification. The only issues that need to be fixed are the ones that are keeping you from entering and maintaining a relationship that can and will become a sacramental covenant!
By Julieanne M. Bartlett All Rights Reserved Copyright 2020