Read Parts 1-5 here.
I cannot conclude this series without considering the formidable task of trusting God with relationships in the absence of possibilities. When there’s a promising online match, a friendship that appears to be blossoming into more or an interesting fellow you met at that last wedding you attended, trust is a bit easier. There’s something tangible to rest your hope in (even if it never goes anywhere).
But what of the dry spells? I discussed this in an article I wrote last year:
I am single.
I’m not ashamed to say it. Most of the time I’m OK with it. By “OK” I mean I don’t break down in tears after attending my fifth wedding in one summer. I don’t mourn with a tub of mint chocolate chip and “Sleepless in Seattle” every time I have a quiet Saturday night … or four. And I barely cringe when my married friends get a twinkle in their eye and utter those dreaded words: “Soooo (they drag this word out endlessly), is there a guy in your life?”
I smile and explain (with maybe a bit of overcompensating enthusiasm) that there’s not currently a special someone (nor has there been for three years), but I’m confident, in God’s perfect timing, the right one will come along.
I know from experience, this kind of waiting gets old. Really old. Relationship advice is all well and good, but how do you apply it to the reality of no viable options? I cannot tell you that God will deliver you a spouse. I can tell you He cares about you deeply, is invested in this idea of marriage and has the power to provide a godly mate. Still, I also know you can’t negotiate with God to secure that person.
For the everyday pain singles face while they’re waiting for a spouse, I am reminded of two principles for living. First, regardless of whether God blesses me in this way, I am called to trust Him. In a very painful and confusing situation, Job said: “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15).
Second, God is all powerful and my lack of a spouse has nothing to do with His ability to provide. Not only that, but He wants good for me. Consider 1 Corinthians 2:9: “However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.’ ”
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when enduring a dry spell is to avoid giving in to bitterness. Not only will it render you spiritually useless, but others will cease to be drawn to you. Along with pursuing the straight path, rejoicing in God’s romantic heart, actively building community and seeking to respect and build up the men I know, I must choose to live in the life-giving joy of Christ. The truth is, the Lord is worthy of my trust even when I don’t see how He’s working. And because of that, in the dry spell, I still have hope.