Like so many other Christian singles, I also struggled to find a soulmate. With each failed relationship, rejection, and dateless night, I wondered if there was something wrong with me. I began to ask painful questions.
Why can’t I meet anyone?
Is God punishing me?
Will I ever meet someone – or am I destined to be single forever?
I want to find my soulmate as quickly as possible. So, how can I ever enjoy my single season?
If you're single, you've probably thought about (or even said out loud) some version of wanting to find your soulmate and move on to the next stage of your life as quickly as possible.
And while that may be what you want, it's not always easy to enjoy being single when dating and a thriving relationship are your goal.
The Bible tells us that seasons are part of our lives.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. — Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (ESV)
The writer of Ecclesiastes encourages you to enjoy the season you are currently in: your single season.
Have you ever felt like you're stuck in a rut, waiting for something good to happen? Maybe your friends have all found great partners and you're feeling left out. Or maybe you're just not enjoying your single life as much as you thought you would.
It took me many years to realize that my season had already arrived!
It’s just a different season.
The Bible says, to every thing there is a season. Having said this, being single is a season, too. There is a time for every purpose under the heaven. My purpose is to be single, at the moment. This purpose will remain until the season is over.
I've always liked the word "purpose." For years, I felt like I needed to hurry up and get married. My first plan was to be married before I turned thirty. I thought my purpose was to get married and start a family. But now I know that there's so much more to life than just meeting those milestone.
No matter what life throws our way, we can always find a way to overcome it. At 30, I had just ended an unhealthy relationship. It was my first serious dating relationship, and I made many mistakes. Before beginning, I was not sure how that kind of relationship should actually look, as I most certainly was a complete novice. But that is not a problem. I am happy that I tried, because I learned a because I learned a lot about myself and what I really wanted and needed in a couple.
“Single at 30? What is going on?” I thought.
I realized that, however, there is not simply one way to live your life, and I discovered that there actually was a purpose to this very season. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines purpose as something set up as an object or end to be attained. Are you single? God has a plan for you. He wants to use you in this very moment. In other words, he has an end in mind that he wants you to reach. You do not need to wait until you find “the one.”
There is even a greater promise we can find in the words of the Great Teacher. I often thought that a goal would be fine. If I only had a clearly defined goal or a greater purpose, then I would be excited about life. Nevertheless, I felt like it was just “ok.” Something was missing. I was merely surviving, and the joy of my current state was absent. Above all, I was busy doing things, which allowed me to achieve so much. Despite all this, I was still lacking a deep satisfaction and peace. The text shows us that there is more to life and hence being single:
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
— Ecclesiastes 3:11 (ESV)
Take this sentence and soak it in! Your current season is beautiful. Simply put, it is great, and you can rejoice. Be grateful for it. Seasons are part of God’s nature. There is no coincidence. He does everything on purpose. At the end of Creation, he looked at his work and saw that it was very good. This is true for your life as well, even if you don’t think it is the case. You have a purpose, and it is a beautiful season.
When I look back on the many years of singleness, I recognize that my life has been amazing. I have had a lot of opportunities to take part in the great work God is doing.
For instance, I have traveled so much more than I would have ever imagined. Did I mention that I loved traveling? Mission trips, business trips, speaking at conferences, backpacker trips — it was so much fun to take teams on mission trips.
Similarly, I enjoyed playing the piano at church musicals. I would have never imagined playing the piano in the Salle Métropole, one of the best and biggest concert halls in my city, Lausanne, Switzerland. The night we had been performing in front of more than a thousand people, I talked with the other musicians once the show was over. We were amazed how much God blessed us, giving us this amazing opportunity that usually only professional musicians get to experience.
Furthermore, I had a lot of time to think about great business opportunities. Being single also resulted in more time to read all kinds of books, including church leadership, entrepreneurship, biographies, marketing and many more.
Because I was single in my thirties, I was able to resign my well-payed job, accept a substantial salary cut and do a three-year Ph.D., which I probably would not have done if I had children at that time. Some of my colleagues asked me: “Are you crazy? You are leaving this great project manager position that gives you wonderful perspectives for your career progression. Are you serious?” I was serious! And I thought, you should enjoy your single season, too. Most importantly, my courageous decision was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
In short, I am grateful for every single opportunity and enjoy my single season. It has been a blast, even though it hasn't always been easy or fun. There have been some challenging moments, and there are still some unanswered questions. Being single is not always easy, but it has its moments of joy and challenges that make it worth while. I would not trade my single season for anything.
I do enjoy my single season. Every single moment. I like being single.
What about you? Are you enjoying your single season?
My heartfelt book Single For A Season helps you find your God-given purpose as a single and enjoy your single season even more.