You had it all planned out. You’d go to college, where there are thousands of singles. You’d lock eyes with someone in Bible study. You’d start studying together. You’d start dating. You’d graduate together. You’d get engaged at 23. Married at 24. First kid at 26. You’d be the cool younger parents. It would be great.
Back to reality. You’re hitting 30. All hopes of being in your 40s and seeing your kid go to college is gone. Forget about kids — you can’t even find a spouse! It feels at this point that it might be possible that you’ll never get married.
Been there? Or maybe you’re 25 and thinking this way? Or maybe 22?
This feeling isn’t limited by age. Can you think of someone who has it “worse” than you do? Or maybe better?
Why is it that so many single people feel this way?
Deceived By Your Expectations
This feeling is driven by your own expectations. If you’ve read my other articles, this won’t be the first time you’ve heard me say this (and it won’t be the last either): Your biggest disappointments come from your own expectations.
When you were young, you made plans to get married in your 20s. Now that you’re older and wiser, do you still hold on to those ideals? Many singles can’t seem to let go of those hopes and expectations. As long as you hang on to those dreams, you put yourself at risk for feeling like marriage is never going to happen.
This is why you feel it’s never going to happen. Because you have no other plan … but that of marriage.
What is the worst thing that can happen?
Single the Rest of Your Life
Let’s assume you’ll live until you’re 80. That’s the life expectancy in the U.S., plus or minus a couple of years. This is what it looks like to be single for the rest of your life:
- No one ever asks you out.
- Every single relationship fails.
I guess it’s possible, but very unlikely, you’ll be single forever. So if you live until you’re 80, what special circumstances are you in at 25, 30, 35 that you believe that when you’re 80, you’re still going to be single?
Most people do get married, so what makes you think you aren’t a part of those odds?
You’re Limiting Yourself
This whole “I’m never going to get married” deal can actually be a self-fulfilling prophesy. When you were in your 20s, there were things you didn’t have to consider. For instance, few people have kids, are divorced or widowed. Now that you’re older, if you hold on to those same ideals, you may find few people have never been married or don’t have kids. If you are looking for someone with the characteristics of your perfect 20s plan … you may remain single longer.
You may have to consider a marriage partner who:
- Was previously divorced.
- Has kids.
- Is widowed.
- Is a lot older/younger than you.
- Is taller than you.
- Is from a different denomination.
- Has a different personality than you.
If you were anything like me, you wouldn’t have considered any of that when you were younger. Why would I? I had a ton of choices at the time. I’m in a different life stage now, and a lot of things have changed.
But despite these circumstances, something else has to change.
I need to grow up and let go of this fantasy I once had. I also need to grow in my knowledge of the Lord and how he sees people. All those things shouldn’t matter. What matters is what’s in the heart.
…The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. –1 Samuel 16:7
If we have a good understanding of the Gospel and have a Gospel-centered view of all things … then the way we see people is the way Jesus sees them.
That being said, objections and circumstances surrounding an individual have no bearing on their value. Ultimately what you’re doing when you feel like you’re never going to get married is mourning how you thought your marriage life would look.
When you heal from that disappointment, you will see that your options aren’t so limited.
A Marriage That Honors God
When Christ died on the cross, He didn’t consider anything other than you are valuable and worth dying for. So do you see the value in people? Do you value their love for God above everything else?
I do not think we are meant to be single. Genesis 1 says a lot about this. I feel like a lot of us talk about being single forever like it’s supposed to be the norm. It’s not. But I do believe a lot of people will be single longer because they value the wrong things.
So cheer up!
A lot of what you put first in life will determine if being single is the plan that plays out for you.