I want to see a show of hands, who has heard the question “Why are you still single?!?”.
Keep them up if you have heard it more than once!
I have a little gift for all of you still raising your hands (aka… everyone). If you are going to have to deal with the awkward questions, you may as well get a little something for it? Stay tuned for the end of the post to see what it is! :)
That question though… I guess it’s people’s way of saying they think you are a great catch and can’t understand why the fellas haven’t caught on yet. But the truth is, if you get asked enough, you may actually start thinking “Why AM I still single?”.
Over the years, I contemplated this question more than I want to admit, but it has led me to a few findings that I want to share with you! Some I’ve learned from my own experiences (I feel like I went through 4 of these firsthand) and some I’ve learned from observing others. My hope is to give you some thing to consider as you hope for your future.
#1. It may just be God’s timing.
Hindsight holds so much. It makes the answers to all those questions we used to have seem so obvious. I wish I could have told 25 year old Natalie just WHY she wasn’t meeting her husband and getting married like all her friends were at the time.
My husband is 6 years younger than me.
When I was 28, he was just graduating college and figuring out what it meant to live as a man of God.
When I was 24, he was just starting college and excited for his new role as a college football player. A role that eventually led him to FCA and to a relationship with the Lord.
When I was 18, he was … well we won’t go there. ;)
I share all that to say that sometimes the reason you haven’t met your husband could simple be logistics! You may be in a season of waiting, because there are just some things that need to fall into place first before He can bring you two together! Looking back in hindsight will probably make you laugh like it did me as I saw how all the pieces fit together perfectly. Not only will it make perfect sense, but you will also be really grateful for how everything fell into place.
#2. You may have something to learn.
Had I been married at 21 like I planned, I cannot imagine what kind of wife I would have been. If the type of girlfriend I was, is any indication, I would have been a hotmess.
My twenties were a season of learning and growing, spiritually and personally. This growth will indeed continue throughout life, but there was a great blessing in being able to grow alone. During my first year as a wife, I have discovered that when you are connected to someone through marriage, every choice you make also effects someone else. You aren’t living in a vacuum where you are the only person who feels the consequences of your choices. You are responsible to another person for whatever comes your way based on your decisions and actions. And that responsibility only grows as you have children.
Older couples often tell me, what a blessing it is to start a marriage with 2 Christians, desiring the Lord and His plans. It feels like we gave ourselves a head start, since we walked into marriage each a littler wiser and more mature! Marriage is marathon and any little boost you can give yourself BEFORE you start will surely benefit you both. And don’t worry, there will still be plenty of things to learn and navigate together!
Consider whether the Lord is allowing you the freedom and opportunity to really grasp something that He wants you to learn that will serve you well throughout the rest of your life! Use this time to make mistakes, learn foundational principles, and figure out who you are. There is something really freeing about the opportunity to be able to do this alone!
#3. You may need some balance.
Ahhh balance… I hate to be just another person telling you that balance is the sweet spot, but in terms of dating or hoping for marriage, it seems like it may be beneficial here as well. The extremes are where we get into trouble and lucky for you I have experienced them both, so I can share some thoughts. My pendulum seemed to swing between wasting time with the wrong guys to avoiding guys completely and back again. Hopefully this can help you determine if you are in need of some balance in these areas.
- Too Eager :
Desperate. Disobedient. Naive. Used. That’s how I felt as a girl who was a little too eager to make something happen.
With the pressures of getting older and friends getting married, it’s easy to slip into this thinking. You may be that girl on the prowl, ready to pounce, or you may just be the girl that is just so ready that you make unwise decisions. Unfortunately this type of thinking can get you into a situation that is really not your desire at all. You could end up settling for whoever is in front of you, distracting you from something truly great God has for you. Or you could try to force something to happen with someone who will only end up hurting you.
- Too Closed Off :
Withdrawn. Cold. Disengaged. Rude. Prideful. Thats how I would characterize myself when I got into the rut of being too closed off to relationships.
Let’s just call this an over correction on my part. When I decided that I wanted to be cool with my status and not be too eager, I fell into this withdrawn mindset. Maybe you are like I was and you don’t want to be seen as a flirt or as an aggressive girl so you withdraw. Unfortunately, as I developed this attitude, I didn’t really want to engage in getting to know new guys, and I even grew cold toward them, not friendly or welcoming at all. This honestly just led to me just staying in a lot. not meeting new people, and coming off rude to the guys I did meet.
Being able to find the balance between being open to new possibilities, but not so eager that you force things that shouldn’t be is such a great place to be! The key to this will be sticking close to the Lord, so that you can feel satisfied in Him, build your trust in His plan for your life, and hear from Him on what He has next for you!
When I met my husband I felt really calm and balanced in these areas. I was open to talking, was warm & engaging, but I also held the idea of a relationship with him very loosely. My heart was to follow whatever God had for me, whether it was to be with Josh or not. Which leads me to the next point.
#4. You may have made marriage an idol.
How tight is your grasp on this idea of marriage?
Are you pursuing it above your relationship with God?
Are you listening to His guidance on what to do with your life?
Are you doing whatever it takes to meet a man?
For some, the prospect of marriage is an all consuming thing. Especially as you get older, it can feel like the elephant in the room with you at all times. But the prospect of marriage was never meant to be something that drives your life in such a way. It is not the goal or the prize.
Have you considered that you may have made marriage an idol in your life?
If you find that you have, please know you are not alone. It is easy to do, especially with all the pressures we feel from outside influences of the world. But if marriage has made itself an idol in your heart, you will need to do something about it. Specifically surrender it to the Lord.
Surrender has been a very powerful exercise in my life and it continues to be today. Two of the greatest things that have happened to me – discovering my calling & meeting my husband – came after a difficult season of surrender. It came after I had finally given the reigns over to God to do with my offering and my life as He saw best.
The key with surrender is to have no other ulterior motives than to simply desire His will and experience what He has in mind for you. It’s not a magic formula to get what you want, but I do believe it opens the path to you receiving God’s best. The thing to remember is that what you want and God’s best may be 2 different things.
As God hears his children, begging for his best for us, He truly desires to give us things better than we ever imagined, but sometimes we stand in the way of that when we insist on something far less than His plans. Stand back and allow Him to do what only He can do.
#5. Marriage may not be in your future.
I know what you may be thinking… “You are married now. That’s easy for you to say.” But the fact is that I learned (and eventually accepted) this truth when I was still single and had no prospect of a man in my late 20’s.
This is not an easy thing to hear and really not easy to say, but my heart is not to be popular, but to challenge you with a truth that will transform your life, because I know it did mine.
When I first came across this truth – the possibility that marriage was not in my future – I didn’t want to accept it. I thought that if I accepted this, then it would inevitably be true in my life, like God was waiting for SOMEONE to be ok with this. I feared being called to a life that I did not want at all.
But what I learned in that season, was that as I turned my heart and gaze to the Lord He transformed my heart to want the things that He wants. I believe we usually read Psalm 37:4 in error. “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” It was in this season that may eyes were opened to understand that it was not that He would give me the desires of my heart (give me what I was wanting), but that He would put new desires in my heart… that I would grow to desire His will for my life.
I couldn’t understand how I missed this before. He and His desires are primary and mine are secondary. My heart should always be conformed to His, never the other way around. And because we know that He is a good God, we can trust that this is a situation of a parent who loves His children and wants whats best. Not the kind of parent who desires control over their children.
He doesn’t mold to fit His story to please me, it’s the opposite way around. But I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I know this can be heavy and challenging.
I know the sting of loneliness can cut deep.
And I know what it feels like to feel forgotten.
But I’d love the opportunity to chat more and pray for you ladies!
Leave a comment below and send me a message here or on Instagram.
Love you, ladies <3