It’s a daunting feeling when you finally realise it might not happen for you.
It’s not a feeling of resignation, it is dread; not because you don’t love yourself enough but because you’ve quickly realised that friends and community simply cannot replace spousal companionship.
Your friends can’t hold you in a way that calms your heart; they can’t assure you with a gentle forehead kiss. They can’t look at you like you’re capable of achieving anything; they can’t promise to spend the rest of their lives trying to make you happy. They certainly can’t fold you like a soft pretzel (when the time comes).
Your friends try – honestly they do – but it’s just not the same. Their attempts pick at scabs of your heart – they’re a constant reminder of what you want but don’t have.
Honestly, it’s crazy because when you’ve done all the right things. You abided by the Three Tips for Singleness (and fruitful marriage):
- Abstained from sexual immorality
- Fled all appearances of situationships
- Remained unyoked with unbelievers
In your teens and early 20’s, it’s a breeze. Whether, it’s because of youthful zeal or because your biological clock is on snooze – it’s simply easier to handle. You convince yourself that in a few years things will change. Fast forward, nothing has changed and curiosity/(ovulation) horniness is trying to kill you. You begin to resonate with the words of my favourite contemporary philosopher – Bobrisky.
You look back on your life and realise Good girl has really not paid. It hurts. It feels like you’re being punished for doing the right thing. It feels like you’re being hassled by cosmic LASTMA because they couldn’t catch the car that sped past and you obeyed the traffic light.
God’s goodness and promises begin to feel inconsistent because you know people that are doing/did wuru wuru to the answer and it “ended in praise”.
You listen to sermons about being content in Singleness and how to maximise the season or how it’s not even a season – or whatever.
Frankly, they’re all rather trite. You didn’t come to this conclusion glibly, you used to find encouragement and hope in these sermons. Now you’re thinking, to what end? I mean, if the singleness sweet like that – why you go marry? And the single person preaching this topic sef seems to be trying to convince themselves more than encourage others.
It’s also doubly frustrating because you know if you bend (at least) one of the Three Tips – you’d have what you want. It may not be exactly what you want and it might pale in comparison to the real deal but it’s better than nothing. Afterall, a breadcrumb is better than none.
You start to think – I can’t lose out on both ends. I can’t lose out on life whilst not reaping the apparent benefits of the three tips – a good romantic relationship/ marriage. Surely, there has to be a statute of limitations on these commands because it’s clearly not working. Is this even really God’s way?
I’m not gonna go into how God is infinitely wiser and kinder than we are – we know that. We also know how real and tangible our desires are. They are literally THERE with constant physical and emotional triggers. Why would God allow this to be our burden to bear? WHY? Honestly? I don’t know.
Underneath all our pain is the feeling that God isn’t good to us. We must be careful with that.
It’s not that God isn’t good to us, it’s that we feel He’s not good to us in one of the many ways we want.
Through our wants and desires, we need to have a heart of gratitude for the things God has given us – even the ones we didn’t ask for.
Sometimes, being single for a long time does feel like a cruel joke; I just want you to know that you are seen, you’re not overreacting – IT IS HARD.
My words of encouragement remain:
- God gives us grace every day to face any and every obstacles we face
- Pour your heart out earnestly to God – keep asking.
- Let go of the sinful attempts to achieve your desires and trust God regardless of the outcome
If all else fails, wrestle with your angel until they give you a broken hip.
Essentially, keep taking your frustrations to God.
3 thoughts on “When Singleness Feels like Punishment”
Very well written and entirely relatable article. It is a very real experience that we shy away from really discussing in truth. Another word of encouragement is Hebrews 10:23
Very encouraging because this is exactly how I am feeling. Thank you for this and will hold tightly to your words of encouragement😊
It’s not easy but God is good and kind and He will come through.
This is so timely. Thanks for reminding me to see and embrace the kindness of God.