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My heart goes out to those who remain single far beyond the time when they hoped they would be married.

That’s because I long to inspire and lead others in preparing for and pursuing a life-giving, life-long marriage, as early as the teen years and before they ever begin dating.

Indeed, it’s more than just a longing. It’s a call on my life.

Do you believe (hope, pray) you are called to the oneness of marriage? If so, I want to share with you just one reason why you’re still single.

Now please note, I’m not saying I know all the reasons you’re still single, or even that I know the main reason.

This is only one reason you’re still single. But rest assured, it is one significant reason. And understanding and embracing the reality of it will help you thrive in this season of waiting. Whereas resisting this truth will likely add to your suffering… and possibly prolong your wait.

One Scapegoat for Singleness

But before we get to that, I first want to highlight one reason many credit with their single status. And then I want to call that reasoning into question. (Trust me, there’s a purpose for this detour.)

I discovered this reason in an online survey where Christian singles were asked why they believed they weren’t yet married. The multiple-choice options were insightful and included:

  • Prioritizing career
  • Fear of commitment
  • Baggage from previous relationships
  • Just not ready yet

However, of all the options one came out way ahead of the others. In fact, this one option was chosen by all but three of the survey respondents, and here it is:

God just hasn’t brought the right person along yet.

Now, admittedly, taken on an individual level, this is a plausible answer for any Christian single seeking God’s will in marriage.

But is it plausible for almost all Christian singles?

And before you answer, let’s zoom out and look at the single landscape as a whole, because right now in our country a little over half of all adults are unmarried. Read that again: more. than. half. of. all. adults. are. not. married.

That’s already a huge percentage of single adults, but then when you look at millennials you discover almost three quarters are single! And all of this while, according to a Gallup poll, 90% of never-married adults age 18-34 want to get married someday.

So with that state of affairs, I ask you again…

Is it even remotely likely that all, but a tiny fraction of singles (at least the Christian ones), are simply waiting on God?

It’s not that any substantial proportion of those Christian singles are:

  • Prioritizing their career
  • Afraid of commitment
  • Dealing with baggage from previous relationships
  • Just not ready yet
  • Some of the above
  • All of the above

In other words, is God simply keeping far more people single for far longer just because He can?

Regardless of your answer, it’s clear from 1 Corinthians 7, not even the Apostle Paul (who, by the way, wished everyone could be single and celibate like himself) would have considered this scenario likely.

While You’re Waiting on God

For the sake of argument, let’s say you are still single simply because God hasn’t brought the right person along yet.

It is a possibility, but whether or not it is the truth of your situation, there’s something else at play in your life.

I’m going to warn you ahead of time, you probably won’t like it. However, I share it with you anyway, because…

I want the same thing you want! I want to see you in a life-giving, life-long marriage just as soon as possible.

In other words, that very-good-yet-very-painful longing for marriage, you believe God has given you, God has given me for you! So here’s that one reason you are still single…

God wants to teach you patience.

I know you may be thinking, “I’ve been patient long enough!”

And I feel you. I really do!

But then I have to recognize the irony of that statement. I mean, would a truly patient person consider they’d been patient “long enough”?

Of course, I can’t relate to your wait for marriage. I got married early in life.


But it ain’t like I haven’t had to wait for anything. Even things as good as marriage.

Take the desire I’ve shared in this very post: the longing to inspire and lead others in preparing for and pursuing a life-giving, life-long marriage. People like you.

In spite of my passion (and again, I believe it’s a calling that was God’s idea – not mine) I’m still waiting for our little ministry to breakthrough, so we can finally change the lives of the millions of Christian young adults out there longing for marriage. (I can’t change them if I can’t reach them.)

Yet, I hear the Holy Spirit speak to me (in the voice of Yoda), “Patience you must have, young Padawan.”

Will You Surrender?

God wants to teach you patience.

Is patience as fun as being married?

Well, no. Not really. Not as fun as a great marriage anyway.

Is it neater than having a successful ministry which reaches millions, empowering them to walk in God’s calling in marriage?

That’s up for debate.

Regardless, patience turns out to be pretty essential to getting along in life. And when it comes to love, patience is the first adjective used to describe it in the love chapter of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13. Love is… patient. So check this out.

In essence, if we haven’t learned patience, or aren’t learning patience, or refuse to learn patience, we’re resisting the very life lesson which could empower us to be better lovers.

And trust me when I tell you that after twenty-five years of marriage, it is my impatience which is responsible for much of the hurt I have visited upon my wife and our five children. I have spent many hours grieving the pain they have had to bear because of all the times I failed to be patient.

So what can you do with this reality?

Surrender to God’s will and allow His Holy Spirit to teach you patience.

We’d like to help you with this surrendering thing! In fact, we wrote a 3-book discipleship series designed to do just that. It’s called Beyond Sex & Salvation.

But as I close out this post, it might help for us to remember patience isn’t just some virtue God wants us to practice, so we can become better people.

Patience empowers us to connect with others on an intimate level. Especially with God.

It’s an essential part of understanding…

You are His beloved whom God will care for with the sweet affection of the perfect lover…

in His perfect timing.

You are His child whom God will lead in the divine grace of the perfect father…

…in His perfect timing.

You are His disciple whom God will instruct in the infinite wisdom of the perfect teacher…

…in His perfect timing.

You are His servant whom God will direct in the unfathomable goodness of the perfect master…

in His perfect timing.

You are His ambassador whom God will charge with the kingdom purposes of the perfect king…

…in His perfect timing.

So yeah. Maybe God hasn’t brought the right person along for you quite yet.

But even if that’s your situation, it’s not like His holy hands are tied.

It’s not like He really wants you to be married right now, since you’re ready and all, but the partner He had hand-selected for you since the dawn of time wound up taking the wrong job in Hoboken which means God now has to go back to the sovereign drawing board to figure out how to get your two paths to cross in a way that will inspire books and movies.

In other words, if God hasn’t brought the right person along yet, you can be certain He has good reasons. Very good reasons.

But maybe while you’re waiting on God, He’s also waiting on you.

Waiting on you to learn a little more patience.

Don’t hate the messenger. This messenger is praying for you. And the future marriage for which you hope. One even beyond your imagination.

For more help, in addition to the discipleship series referenced above (and below) you might also head over to the book of Psalms to find inspiration from the Psalmist who admonishes both of us to “Wait for the LORD!”

DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s DNA? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

The LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE you fall in love!

It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.

Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.

Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!