I often get a lot of emails from women asking me questions along the lines of “what do I do while I’m single and waiting for God to bring my husband?” These questions are often from women who have recently decided to stop dating and are now waiting on God concerning a spouse and/or those who want a quick fix way to God releasing their husband to them. Some of the questions are from those who genuinely want to honor God through their singleness and others from those who may just want to find answers to quickly end their singleness in a “godly” way. The topic of relationships is a huge one in the body of Christ today. It’s a very important topic that has to be addressed because relationships (all types – parent/child, siblings, friends, family members, employer/employee, romantic, etc.) are very important to God. Although many have created relationship ministries for the wrong intent and offer carnal relationship advice, it does not take away from the fact that the topic is very important and still needs to be addressed. But it’s also important when addressing this topic to make it clear that being saved is not about God giving us a spouse (or any other tangible things) and we don’t serve God because of what He will give us or because we want something from Him, we serve God for God.
When I minister about this topic and others, I like to emphasize this fact and always bring people back to the focus of loving and serving God for the right reasons. We live in a time where many young Christians (especially women) just want to get married and have made having a husband and family their idol, so I believe we have to be very careful not to feed into people’s desires when we minister about the topic. If you’ve been following my blog or social media for a while, you know I always emphasize serving and living for God for real and when it comes to relationships, trusting God’s time and allowing Him to put it together. Below I will share advice on what to do and how to honor God while you wait and debunk common misconceptions about waiting.
When people say they are waiting on God for marriage, they typically mean they have decided to do relationships God’s way instead of their way/the world’s way. But at the same time, I’ve heard people say they are waiting on God but they are still dating around and getting into relationships. To truly wait on God means to WAIT ON GOD to do it. If you’re going out and getting the thing you say you’re waiting on God to bring to you, then you’re not really waiting on God. Some people will say they are waiting on God, but they get into a relationship on their own, ignore God’s warnings, stay in the relationship or get married and say that God did it. To truly wait on God is to let Him bring it about in His timing and in His way, which will honor His word and bring Him glory. If we say we are waiting on God then we have to get out of His way. We can’t say we are waiting on God but flirt with every man/woman that we are attracted to, have conversations with the opposite sex that we should not be having, or constantly try to guess who our spouse is. While you wait you are not consuming your mind and heart with marriage and relationships, you are letting God have His way in you. And you are not simply waiting for a spouse, God does multiple things in us at one time; He is always preparing us for a purpose far greater than just being married. It’s bigger than marriage and having a spouse.
So, what should you be doing while you wait? Well, I can’t begin to answer this question without first debunking some lies and common misconceptions about waiting. Our culture has become so consumed with marriage and relationships and it has become such an idol today that I can’t answer this question without first tearing down some lies and asking you (the reader) to first evaluate your heart:
- Jesus did not save you to give you a husband/wife – If your greatest heart’s desire or greatest reason for coming to God is for a spouse, then your whole relationship with God is going to be about Him giving you a spouse. And when you get a spouse, your whole world is going to revolve around him/her. Maybe you just got saved and now you’ve realized you can’t date or have sex anymore, so you want God to give you a godly relationship and that’s what you’re “waiting” for. I would encourage you to make sure your foundation is built on a love for God and not on a desire of the flesh. Any foundation not built on Christ will crumble. This is why we see people walk away from God when He doesn’t give them what they want, they never wanted God to begin with.
- We don’t walk in purity and live right just so God can bless us with a spouse – I think sometimes we can have a mindset of “if I’m on my best behavior then God will bless me.” God looks at the heart. We are pure/should want to live pure, because we love God and because sexual purity is a biblical principal for ALL believers. Whether we will get married or not, we are instructed in the word to live pure. Also, you can be pure outwardly, but your heart and thoughts may not be pure. You may be doing your best to not have sex physically because you want God to bless you with a spouse, but at the same time, you could be entertaining sexual thoughts and dreams. Good behavior is not what God is most concerned with, many can put on an outward act, God is concerned with a pure heart. When your heart is pure your actions will also pure – not just restrained.
- Everyone is not going to get married – Everyone who wants to get married may not get married if it is not God’s will for their life. But as I stated in point #2, we must all still be pure and life right because we love God. What if marriage isn’t in God’s will for your life? Will you walk away from Him or will you continue to serve Him wholeheartedly? Honestly ask yourself that question. What is marriage if in God’s will for you? Is God enough? Is His love enough to sustain and satisfy you and will serve His just as much or greater than you are now?
- The sooner you submit to God, the faster marriage will come – This is a lie. You can fully submit to God today and He may not bring your spouse for another 10-15 years. Does it mean you’re not good enough or you’ve done something wrong? No. It simply means it’s not time yet. This is why our motivation for being saved and living for God cannot be what He will give us. We need to live for God simply because we love Him, and we know and have experienced the magnitude of His love for us. God releases things on His timeline for us, not our timeline. We can discourage ourselves when we assume God is going to do something on our time because we’ve done “A-B-C.” Whatever you do for God, do it for the right reasons and with pure intentions.
- Consuming your mind with marriage while you wait – If a lot of your time is spent on watching videos about marriage, reading books on marriage, journaling about it, having devotionals on it, dreaming about it, planning for it, etc., something is wrong. It’s ok to study marriage from time to time as God leads but if a majority of your study is on marriage, it has become your idol. Waiting on God for a spouse is not about consuming yourself with the idea of marriage. God can prepare you for marriage in ways that don’t involve constantly studying the topic. If while you’re waiting everything you do revolves around marriage, you’re not really waiting – your plotting. Stop being so anxious and let God prepare you His way.
- Everything God is taking you through now is so that He can finally give you that godly marriage – This is a lie that I think a lot of single people believe. The truth is, everything that God takes you through is to prepare you for eternity – to prepare you for Himself! Yes, along the journey of life God uses different things to prepare us for future seasons and roles He will allow us to walk it, but that is not the main purpose of it all. The primary reason God takes us through what He takes us through is to make us more like HIM, He wants to present us to Himself as a spotless bride, so He takes us through various trials and situations that will expose our sinful nature, purge us, and teach us to walk in His ways. To believe that everything you are going through is to prepare you for marriage is to believe that once you get married you are perfect and you’ve reached the end goal. That is also a lie. When you get married God continues to process you. Your life and your salvation, even your future marriage (if God wills) has a purpose far greater than marriage itself – it is all to bring God glory at the end.
Now that we’ve torn down some of the lies about waiting on God in the area of relationships, we can talk about practical things to do when you have decided to wait on God instead do things your way:
- Spend time with God and enjoy Him to the fullest – In any and every season, we should be spending time with God. When you are single you should be making the most of your time with the Lord. Get in the word daily, spend time in worship, attend church regularly, live out the word wholeheartedly and honor God while doing so. Your mind should be so consumed with God and on the things of God. If you just got saved, this is very important for you because this is the foundation and beginning stage of your relationship with God. This is not the time for you to worry about a spouse, you should be completely consumed in getting to know God. When I was single I spent hours in prayer, worship, and in the word with God and I went to church every time the doors opened. I could freely give my time and my affection to the Lord without any divide. That is one of the benefits of being single, all of your time and attention can go to the Lord. 1 Corinthians 7:32 states that those who are unmarried care for the things of the Lord, meaning your attention is undivided, you don’t have to worry about pleasing a spouse, you can focus on simply pleasing the Lord.
- Let God fill you up with Himself – This is a time to really allow God to fill you up with Him. This is the time to allow God to deliver you from anything you need to be delivered from and really learn to fall in love with the Lord. Not only is your attention undivided, but your affections are (should be) undivided as well. When you are married your affections go to your spouse (1 Cor. 7:3), but when you are unmarried, ALL of your affection should be for the Lord. You can focus on Him alone and as you do that He will fill you with more of Himself. Use this time to really get to know Him, make Him the lover of your soul, get so lost in Him that a spouse is not a concern for you. I remember getting to a place in my walk that although God had shown me who my husband was, I didn’t worry or think about it much because I was so lost in the Lord and His love and I simply believed Him at His word. God was doing a lot in me at that time, He was purging me, healing me, strengthening me in Him, teaching me to trust in His love for me and so much more – it was part of my foundation. If I spent all my time focusing on marriage I could have missed what He was trying to do in me at that time. As you spend time with Him and as He fills you, He is making you. So, give all of yourself to Him, holding nothing back and let Him make you and mold you into what He is creating you to be.
- Serve, serve, serve!! – Serve where you can and as God leads, if He leads you. Some of you are mature enough to serve in ministry. Ask God if there is an area He may want you to serve in your local church. If He doesn’t permit you to serve in ministry yet then serve by simply loving on people and showing them Christ. Be a light where you are; whether at home, school, or work, be an example of Christ to those around you. Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in what we are waiting for God to do for us that we forget about the people around us. God may just want you to pray for the people around you. Don’t be so consumed with what’s going on with you, love on the people around you in whatever way God leads you to.
- LIVE! – You were born single and your life does not begin when you get married. It’s almost as if some single Christians are just waiting for marriage so their life can finally begin. If you’re waiting for a marriage to give you life, then you will feel like you have no life when your marriage is going through a rough time. Marriage is not the end all be all. Enjoy your life now! Do what you know to do where you are and where God has you. Do all that you do to the glory of God. Enjoy where God has you. If you are in school, then do your best to excel and honor God in school. If you work, then be the light at your job. If you have friends, then enjoy time with our friends before you get married and have more responsibilities. Travel, go to new places, try new activities and fun things if the Lord permits you to. Don’t wait until you get married to do fun things that you’ve always wanted to do. Enjoy the life that God has given you where He has you now; don’t wait until tomorrow to enjoy it, you never know when that tomorrow will come.
- Don’t focus on trying to make it happened or on when it will happen – You should not be trying to help God out. If your mind is truly focused on the Lord, then you’ll be too consumed with Him to try to make a relationship happen. If this is an issue for you, ask God for patience in this area, you don’t want to force something out of time or force something to happen that is not God’s will. When you get into a marriage out of time you end up suffering. The benefits of a godly marriage come from the fact that both parties have allowed God to make them into godly people. Bearing the title “Christian” alone will not bring these benefits. Don’t rush ahead of God, wait on Him.
There is so much more to life and to our salvation than a relationship or a marriage. I’ve been married for almost 4 years now and I can say that no one and nothing satisfies like the Lord. Only God can fill the deepest places of your heart, only He can satisfy your deepest longings, and only He can understand parts of you that no one else can understand. He is our Savior, not any man or woman. Yes, marriage has its benefits, but we’d be doing ourselves a great injustice if we glorified it above God. Simply put – GOD IS ENOUGH! He is enough in your singleness, in your marriage and in every other season of your life – He is enough! He is a jealous God and He wants our affection. Even when we are married, He wants our deepest affections to be towards Him, not our spouse or children. So, if you are single I encourage you to WAIT ON THE LORD and while you wait serve Him wholeheartedly and focus your attention on Him so that you can develop a deep, unwavering intimacy and love for Him. You should be so lost in Him that all you want is to be in His will, and if His will for you is to be single now, that’s where you should want to be. One of my prayers when I was single was: Lord I want You to get the maximum glory that You can get out of my singleness before transitioning me to marriage. He even used someone to tell me at that time, “there are things that God wants to do in you and through you FIRST before He moves you to marriage.” He wasn’t finished doing everything He wanted to do in my singleness; He had a plan and a time so there was no need for me to try to rush ahead of Him. Yes, marriage was in the plan but it wasn’t time yet.
Our ultimate wait is for the return of our Savior and our ultimate place of rest is in heaven. That is what our souls should wait and long for the most. That is where we will find complete joy and peace. So, let us not only be sons and daughter who wait on God for earthly things but let us be sons and daughters who desire God alone, sons and daughters that seek His face continuously and not His hand. Sons and daughters who love God because of who He is, not what HE can give us. Sons and daughters who want God more than they want a wife/husband. Let us be children after His heart. God knows what our hearts really desire. And if you evaluate your heart and find what you want most is not God, repent and ask Him to give you a desire for Him that cannot be replaced by any man or woman.