Recently someone within my social circle asked a question about their current relationship. This was within a group of diverse folks who will discuss nearly anything. But the first thing to pop up was the advice that if it is right, you will just know. Now that caused something of a cascade of emotion in me, because I could relate to the question. I was single well into my 30s myself and as advice, that statement was pretty much useless.
Okay, I can admit that it might be enough for someone in their teens who is not really dating seriously at all, though even there it would leave something to be desired. But we are talking adults here who really want to know if they are going in the right direction. Can we possibly honor their struggle at least by not being flippant in our responses? Honestly, the only way that response could help is if it were followed by your own story about how you came to know you had found the right person. Otherwise all it does is add to the frustration and confusion.
Decision making for a Christian is perhaps less simple than for one who is not, simply because we are not just pleasing ourselves. We really do want to please God. Sometimes our direction is clear cut and other times it is not. Often, when we would most like clarity, we seem to have nothing but confusion. Sometimes, in the absence of a clear direction, we come to the conclusion that we are just supposed to muddle through. Looking back, we may find that God led us on the right path, even though we did not know where we were going. But most of us, most of the time, could stand to spend more time in prayer over our decisions.
But I digress. My focus here is on our response to those younger in the faith than we are, especially those who are single but wish they were not. I suppose that those who married young may have a blind spot regarding their single brethren. Yeah, I do consider other Christians to be part of my family, in a sense. I am afraid that some, who had a relatively easy time finding their life partners, may not be very understanding of those who don’t have an easy time of it. Have you ever felt left out? Well, our single friends feel that quite often, even within the church.
What I am suggesting is, if they share a bit of their struggle, maybe we should take our time responding to that. Recognize that they are hurting. Perhaps take the time to ask God for wisdom before responding. And if at all possible, illustrate your response with your own story. In my case, it all came down to prayer, but not the where’s mine variety. No, it was the searching my heart, what do I really want from life kind. I realized that I felt like I had wasted years searching for the ideal occupation, when I really wanted a husband, home and family. But it was beyond me how one could find the right man. I couldn’t even find ones I wanted to date more than once or twice. So, I listed for God what I wanted in the ideal man. And He sent someone with everything on my list. When I realized that I did just know, but it was nothing like the love at first sight stories. We took our time getting to know each other. So maybe the advice was okay, just insufficient without the story.