Help me find...
by Frederick Cabasa, Singles for Christ Hawaii
With a voice that seemed to carry with it the slightest hint of impatience, my parents exclaimed to me one day, "You need a wife!" This is usually followed by the parental confession for grandchildren. At first, their comments caught me a bit off guard. What had prompted them to say this? Was it the fact that I had yet to marry after 30 years? Was it the thought that my life was somehow incomplete without a spouse in my new home? Or was it the realization that apart from someone to look after me I was destined to a lifetime of eating chips, frozen pizza, and leftover fellowship food for dinner? Whatever the reason, I recall at the time wondering whether or not they were right.
Today, nearly half of adults in the western world are single. This marks a dramatic change from as little as 100 years ago when those who were single made up less than five percent of the population. Many factors have contributed to this, including an increased divorce rate, individuals marrying later in life, and a larger percentage of individuals who do not marry for whatever reason.
Being single can be a time of great enjoyment. But sadly, this can also be a time of great emptiness and sorrow. There can be great difficulty in adjusting to a world that seems to be far more oriented toward couples than singles. I'm sure many of us will get into a situation where all our peers are getting married leaving us alone thinking, "When will it be my turn?"
Despite this perceived difficulty, it should be noted by some that a person spends the first part of their life as a single person longing for marriage and the latter part of their life as a married person longing to be single again. Tragically, this humorous notion is a living reality for those who have lacked contentment as a single person. Indeed, the lie of singleness is the belief that contentment will come from marriage. But the reality is, those who are discontent in singleness will be discontent in marriage; those who are content in singleness will be content in marriage.
The prize of a joy-filled life goes to those who learn the "secret" of contentment. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.(Philippians 4:12-13)
Paul had learned to be financially content-whether rich or poor. We need to learn to be physically and emotionally content-regardless of our marital status. The Israelites too had a problem with contentment. The prophet Jeremiah warned the wayward people with the words he had received from God.
Cross over to the coasts of Kittim and look, send to Kedar and observe closely; see if there has ever been anything like this: Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their Glory for worthless idols. Be appalled at this, O heavens, and shudder with great horror," declares the LORD. "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water." (Jeremiah 2:10-13)
So brothers and sisters, the answer to the loneliness, depression, and discouragement of the single life is not in finding a spouse - it is in finding Christ. If you have yet to receive His love and free gift of eternal life, you must choose to do so. Having believed that, we can then draw on the spring of living water that Jeremiah described to satisfy our deepest needs. We can ask God for the strength to endure times of difficulty in loneliness or temptation for meager relationships. Sadly, many Christians have dug the cistern of marriage instead-longing for a spouse to satisfy the needs that only God Himself can provide. Whether married or single, we dig our own cisterns when we rely on anyone other than God to satisfy our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. I'm sure many of us can relate to times when we engaged ourselves in bad relationships because of haste or loneliness.
Sooner or later, our own cisterns will break. The single person who has been waiting for a GG (aka God's gift, life partner) to take away their feelings of sorrow and emptiness may never find one. The married person who has been longing for their spouse to satisfy their deepest needs and desires will inevitably discover that their spouse cannot do so. The path of disillusionment, discouragement, temptation, and sin is laid out for all those who seek to dig their own cistern. Though my parents may have been right in expressing this perception of my need for a wife, God has revealed a greater need for our lives. The greatest need of a single person is not marriage. Our greatest need, whether married or single, is to know God and to grow in his grace(2 Peter 3:17).
This is what the LORD says:"Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)
Only God can fill the deepest needs of your heart. But only you can open the door. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.(Revelation 3:20)
Thus, we should enjoy this moment of our lives by seeing this time as an opportunity to know God more. I know most of us are destined for marriage. However, the path of finding our life partners comes from finding Christ first. It is only when we finally let God fill our deepest needs of our heart and make Him our priority do we ultimately realize our true purpose on this earth: to glorify Him and live a Christ-centered life …in every moment of our lifetime.