By Diethra Seymour | Director of HR
One of the greatest privileges that I’ve had since joining the LCU teaching team has been to speak the truth on the topic of singleness. I’ve found that all too often we as Christians have an incorrect perspective of the season or call to singleness. As a culture, we have fed into the lie that many movie plots feed us: if you are single, then you are incomplete and you need to find your spouse and get married before it’s too late and you will die alone with a bunch of cats. haha. You may laugh at that stereotypical statement, but for the majority of single women, it is a fear that is currently or has at one time filled their mind. It is as if marriage is the greatest accomplishment in life and if you haven’t attained that status, your life isn’t successful, something is wrong with you, you’re less than, there’s no way you could truly be happy, you’ve missed it, God is punishing you, etc.
One of my favorite things that LCU Director Ben Meckel says is that there isn’t a “Preferred season.” So often we are focused on the next season in life (in this case being married) and deem it the better season of life, which prevents us from being fully immersed in and enjoying what God is doing now. If we truly trust God and know that He is good, then we would be settled in our single season because we would know that this is the best season for us right now.
We live in a culture that is so focused on the next thing and getting there quickly that we can often miss out on the now. Uncompromised singleness is living in such a way that demonstrates it is the best for my life right now, for however long God has me here. Uncompromised singleness is not settling into this season as if it’s God’s second-best for me – I walk unashamed and uncompromised in my singleness and I will not be pressured to compromise my stance on this!
One of the things that helped bring the right perspective to my view of this season was a statement made to me by a close friend who is married. She said, “Diethra, enjoy this season because you won’t ever be able to get it back.” It was at this point that I began to see this season as a blessing, not a curse. A gift, not a punishment. An invitation, not rejection. It truly is all about perspective…God’s perspective, not our own or the one that is being pushed upon us. It was at that moment I realized I had been so focused on finding a husband that I was not giving God my full attention and was missing out on the only relationship that can fully satisfy me. It was at that moment that I began to allow Him to define me, and not my circumstances. It was at that moment that I began to allow Him to fulfill me instead of looking for a spouse to do so.
I can almost 100% guarantee that all feelings of discouragement and despair in the single-season can be linked back to an incomplete relationship with Christ.
I cannot stress enough the need for us to be complete in Him. As many of my married friends can testify, if you were unhappy and incomplete when you were single, it will only be magnified and get worse when you get married. Dr. Myles Munroe said it well when he said, “If you don’t know who you are, then you can’t love and appreciate others.” I’ve received many promises from God regarding my husband over the years, but I have also learned that I’ve needed to do this single season well in order to do marriage well. Beyond that, succeeding in your single season allows you to do relationships in general well. Some of us are looking for that Jerry McGuire moment to tell someone “You complete me,” but the fact of the matter is that NO ONE can or will complete you but Jesus. We need to be whole in Him before we can ever truly be in a healthy relationship. Two half people don’t make a whole, two whole people make a whole relationship.
So, what does uncompromised singleness look like? It looks like having a single focus. We must have intimacy with Him and He must be the only thing that satisfies us. In life, it is so easy to seemingly be satisfied and fulfilled by so many things in our lives, but the truth is that we were not made to be satisfied by anything but Him. I remember for years how I would cry out to God and tell Him that I wanted to be satisfied completely by Him and not rely on other people or other things to take the place that He should occupy in my heart. I wanted to go deeper than just surface satisfaction and truly be whole in Him. I was living in cycles of disappointment and it wasn’t until I sat with Him that I realized I would continue to be disappointed and frustrated with my life if I didn’t come to the place where nothing else satisfied me but Him. If there is one thing that I would say has marked my season of singleness, it would be my relentless pursuit of God and being jealous to not let anything or anyone distract me from pursuing Him.
The thing we have to ask ourselves (regardless of whether we are married, single, or otherwise), is are we truly living out Psalm 27:4? Is He really the “One Thing” that we are after? A quote from Damon Thompson’s website is another way to say the same thing:
Devotion and proximity to the feet of Jesus is my chief obsession.
From this position is where I obtained my identity as a beloved daughter. It is from this position that I am able to walk out my single season with Kingdom success. It is from this position that I receive the truth that God loves me, and as Jeremiah 29:11 says, His thoughts and plans towards me are good. Because of the relationship that I have fostered with my Father, I am able to crush every lie that says I’m single because something is wrong with me, or because He is punishing me, or because I’ve missed it, or I’m too picky (don’t get me started on this one!). It’s from this position that I am able to walk in the call of God on my life because with or without a husband, I have an assignment on this earth. If you were to ask me what allows me to walk through life in peace and confidence in Him, it’s because of living out the above scripture, it’s because of the history that I have cultivated with God. The testimony of my life is that I flow from a place of constant pursuit of Him.
You may be wondering at what point I’m going to address dating and finding a spouse, but in my opinion, uncompromised singleness has one focus as I mentioned…Him. Please don’t misunderstand me and think I’m implying we should all stay single forever. God instituted marriage and the bringing together of two (whole) people to become one flesh. That being said, I strongly believe that when we are so wrapped up in Him, He will lead and guide us to the right person at the right time and tell us when it is time date. Yes, I do believe He’s that faithful and specific. When you live an uncompromised single life, you won’t compromise what you know God has spoken to you just to conform to the standards of this world or a religious system. An uncompromised single life at the feet of Jesus allows you to maintain a standard of holiness and purity despite the temptations that will be thrown at you. You won’t sell yourself short for temporary satisfaction because you’re already satisfied in Him. People around you will no longer question whether or not someone can be single and full of joy because they have an example! They see you living your best life because you are in your best season fixated fully on Jesus!