Christian Beliefs vs ‘Modern’ Thought
It is my absolute conviction that it should be easier for Christian singles to thrive than anyone else. This, of course, flies in the face of current thought. According to ‘modern’ thinking, the only way to be single is to always be dating someone, have sex often, with or without a long-term commitment, and live together instead of marrying.
According to this thinking, having no sex or even a steady girlfriend, I should have been a miserable single again person. The truth is quite the opposite. Once I got over the initial shock of divorce, I began to thrive in my singleness. Because I lived out my beliefs, I can look back at my single years with a sense of satisfaction and the knowledge that doing it God’s way works best.
Having a lot of single friends and being involved in singles ministry and divorce ministry, I got to see a lot of people try it each way. I saw singles careful to do it God’s way and saw them thrive. I saw people do it the way most people today do it and saw them struggle.
Gettin’ Preachy Wit’ It
Usually, one of my goals with Thrive Singles Blog is to offer up a Christian world view of what singleness should look like without being preachy. Well, today you can put on your Sunday best and wave that hanky – I’m preachin’.
If you want to ultimately thrive as a single, living out your Christianity in the area of dating and sexuality will get you there. When it comes to thriving as a single, Christians should absolutely have the upper hand. I believe this is true for the following reasons: The Love of God, The Presence of God, and The Family of God. Let’s unpack each of those a little.
The Love of God
Two of the basic needs of human beings are love and acceptance. As a Christian single, you have that in abundance. God’s love for you is without equal and without fail. When you are secure in that, it moves you beyond the panicked search for love and acceptance in another person.
That gives you the strength to stay emotionally healthy. Whether any human being finds you attractive or gives you their attention or not, you know God loves you and is looking out for you.
The Presence of God
One of the biggest threats to the single person is loneliness, but in a very real sense, as a Christian single, you are never completely alone. God, in the person of The Holy Spirit, is always with you. Comfort and companionship are never something you lack. God is with you.
The Family of God
As wonderful as the presence of God is, that is not the only thing standing between you and loneliness. You also have the family of God. If you are plugged into a healthy body of fellow believers, you have their fellowship.
If you do not have that, find a body of believers who will offer you Christian fellowship. As a Christian single, you should never be completely alone in this world. You have brothers and sisters who love you. That is a major reason that I was able to thrive as a single.
Christian Singles *Should* Thrive
Yes, Christian singles should thrive. The truth is that Christian singles do not always thrive. I see many struggling. Given all of their advantages, why is that?
One of the biggest reasons is our sex drive. Being a Christian does not make your sex drive magically disappear. This is especially true for those of us who have a healthy sex drive and were accustomed to having regular sex before we found ourselves single again.
This was a huge issue for me. It is an area for which I cannot offer any simple solution. It’s difficult. I struggled with it constantly. God sees your struggle. God’s grace will get you through it – if you acknowledge it, ask Him for help with it, and resolve in your heart that staying pure is your mission.
Even with the presence of the Holy Spirit and the fellowship of believers, there are still times, late at night, alone in bed, when the loneliness feels overwhelming. Being that physical touch is my main love language, I was plagued by a constant longing for human touch. For others of you, it may be the lack of someone to talk to.
Here again, I have no easy answers. There will be times like that. In those times recognize that God is with you. You are not completely alone. If you consistently desire intimate touch or conversation, God has probably not called you to be single forever. If He has, He will make a way and if He has not, you will find a mate in due time.
Longing for Intimacy
All of these are closely related. For me, sex and touch were very much part of this bigger theme of intimacy. Most of us strongly desire the same thing we fear – to know and be known deeply.
The thing is, to know the ultimate fulfillment of that desire, it is usually necessary to let it go unfulfilled for a while. I find that the people who try to fill that need immediately with dating relationships end up further and further from it.
Getting too intimate too quickly, then breaking up, then doing it again seems to train the brain and emotions to withhold intimacy. You can only let someone in so far when you feel like relationships are only meant to last for a few months or a few years at best.
The longing for intimacy is powerful and it is normal and healthy. It just works best in its proper context. Total intimacy, especially sexual intimacy, requires total commitment and is worth waiting for.
Lack of Knowledge
Another reason Christian singles fail to thrive is that no one teaches them how to be single successfully. This is especially true for older and divorced singles. Most churches do not target you, and if you let pop culture be your guide, you are pretty much doomed to fail. But, there are resources out there if you search for them.
It is worth the time and effort to find quality resources and educate yourself. This area is too important to not get it right. That’s where ThriveSingles.com can help. Please consider Thrive Singles Blog and Thrive Singles Podcast as free resources to help you thrive.
Also, I am building out Thrive Singles Shop as a place where you can find valuable books and audio to help you grow and thrive. I will get a small commission on anything you purchase there or through the Christian Book Distributors link in the blog posts. By purchasing through those you have the opportunity to help me expand the reach of the blog and podcast to help more single people who want to get it right.
Dating Like a Christian Atheist
One last reason that Christian singles fail to thrive is that they date like Christian Atheists. You can read my post on that subject here. For some Christian singles, their Christian faith doesn’t seem to penetrate all the way down into their everyday lives, especially into the area of dating.
As a Christian, you claim that He is Lord of all. Make sure that includes Him being Lord of your dating life. Be different. Be salt and light. Reject cultural norms and instead be thoroughly Christian in the way you date. He will give you guidance and favor as your choices in this critical area honor Him.
I have a homework assignment for you this week. I want you to write out or type out your answer to these questions.
In what ways am I thriving as a Christian single?
In what ways am I struggling?
What changes can I, as a single person, make to better live out my faith and learn to thrive?
If you like, you can share your thoughts in the comments below.
Stay true. Stay pure. Thrive on!
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