Relationship Status

Couple running


Couple runningThe number one question I get asked these days is, “Soooo… are you dating anyone?”

Talking about my romantic life or many times, the lack thereof, has always felt a bit odd to me. But for some reason very well intended strangers want to delve into a dialogue that hypothesizes why I am still single and how I will meet my future husband. I’ve heard a lot of interesting takes over the years, and for the fun of it, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorites:

Top Five Reasons Why I Am Still Single:

  1. “You still have more to learn from the school of ‘singleness’ before you can graduate to getting married.”

I’m pretty sure the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 7 had a different theology regarding singleness and marriage, but to each his own.

  1. “It sounds like you haven’t yet mastered the art of flirting.”

Not much to argue with there! Pick up lines make me giggle. Small talk bores me. I recently told an attractive single man I just met all about my Star Wars fandom, which in retrospect was probably not my finest moment. And call me old-fashioned, but I am rather reserved when it comes to how quickly winky-face emoticons make an appearance in any text of mine to an eligible bachelor.   Yep, I’m an emoji prude.

  1. “I don’t think you are praying hard enough for your husband.”

Not only is there an opinion being made about my romantic life, but I’m pretty sure there is an implication about my prayer life mixed in here as well. Not sure which one is more offensive. Now that I think about it, as I follower of Jesus, I’m definitely more offended by the implication about my prayer life. I should probably pray more about that. (You see what I just did, there? Clever, right?)

  1. “Men are intimidated by your strength.”

I’m never quite sure what is meant by the word ‘strength’ when it is used in these contexts, but from piecing together different conversations, I’ve taken it to imply not that men want weak women, but they don’t like the idea of wives who preach and/or hold leadership roles in life. I’m not quite sure what men these same people are referring to, because I have met plenty of men who not only encourage the gifts and talents of the women around them, but actively partner with same said strong women to build the Church and change the world. In fact, I am walking out my calling because strong men have believed in me, supported me, and made room for me… great men like my dad and my brother-in-law Justin, and my pastor Philip Wagner, and other heroes like Pastor Bayless Conley and Pastor Kevin Gerald and Dr. Jim Reeve and Pastor Scott Thomas and Michael Murphy, and friends like Justin Reimer and Harrison Conley and Andrew Gard and Nick Nilson to name a few. Never once have these men given me any inclination that they were in some way intimidated by whatever strength women bring to the table. That’s probably because they’re too busy bringing their own strength to the table.

  1. “Maybe God wants to use you as an example to other singles. God wants to send the message that even though they may be plagued by a severe case of singleness (Okay they didn’t exactly call it a disease, but it was inferred.), it doesn’t mean they can’t be used by God.”

And by this logic, I guess that makes me the token single woman preacher at conferences and behind pulpits, or better yet the Christian single woman mascot of sorts. Interesting. Does this mean I get my own costume and bobble head? I’m not gonna lie; that would be pretty cool.

Top Five Ways I Will Meet My Future Husband:

  1. “I bet you’ll meet him at a church conference.”

I’ve heard of people going to a conference to get a word from God, to get some practical wisdom, to encounter the Presence of God, but never to get a spouse! But listen, I don’t see why it couldn’t be added to the list. Now that would make for some great promotion for a church conference! “Come to Elevate or Ignite or Relate or Activate… (We really love using verbs to name things, don’t we?) …and not only will you be inspired and hear from world-class speakers… but we guarantee you will meet your spouse in one of our break-out sessions or you will get your money back guaranteed!” I’m not sure if any conference could deliver on that promise, but I guarantee the auditorium would be packed with single Christian women!

  1. “You’ll meet him when you least expect it, and at the most unlikely of places.”

Hmmm… At the dry cleaners? At the post office? At the DMV? Has anyone ever found love at the DMV?! That right there would bring a whole new meaning to Rihanna’s lyrics, “I found love in a hopeless place.”

  1. “You need to be looking for your husband. You are going to meet him when you are looking to meet him.”

What happened to when I least expect it? I’m confused.

  1. Have you ever tried Christian Mingle or online dating?

I have a hard enough time keeping up with my Facebook messages, let alone an online dating profile. Besides, does anyone remember the good old days when if a guy wanted to get to know you online he would subtly Facebook stalk you before sending a request to become your friend? Then he would ease into liking photos before sending a direct message. And that right there was successful online dating. Oh, Facebook, you were the pioneer of online dating AND you were free! A moment of silence, please, for what once was.

  1. “I bet you’ll be best friends, and then one day you’ll both see each other differently, and without even knowing it you both will have fallen in love.”

This is my favorite of all hypotheses simply because the ones with this theory get a bit giddy when sharing it. It’s adorable, really. They are the true romantics of the world. And there’s something to admire about that. They view chick flicks as more than movies; to those with a romantic flair they are potential real life stories waiting to come to pass. I never have the heart to tell them that I’d prefer to watch The Walking Dead over A Walk to Remember, and that I don’t have a male best friend, so their plan is foiled from the start. Instead, I grin back in reply, and say, “Could you imagine?!” Romantics love it when you get excited about even the possibility of romance.

I hope you just enjoyed a good laugh. I know I did just by writing these out for you! I believe humor should be a part of the conversation while talking about being single. Listen, being single can be tricky, but it doesn’t need to be taken so seriously. In fact, I believe being single doesn’t have to be something we endure, but something we enjoy.

To be clear, I want to get married. In fact, I’m really excited for that season and for starting a family and for the grand adventure it will all be.

BUT… I don’t think that should be the main goal of my existence. It makes sense to be a desire to get excited about, but not my number one objective. Being a wife is a role I will play, and a huge responsibility God will entrust me with, but it’s not why I’m breathing. I was made for God. My purpose before any other is to be in relationship with Jesus, to worship Jesus, to follow Jesus, and to tell as many people possible about Jesus. That’s where I’m placing my primary focus.

At the end of my life, more than anything, I want to see Jesus and hear Him say these words to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things; I’ll make you ruler over many.” On the other side of eternity, according to Matthew 25, Jesus will judge my life based on my faithfulness, not my singleness or my married-ness. I have read every Bible translation of Matthew 25, and have yet to find one where Jesus is quoted as saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You were once single, but then managed to get married and finally have godly sex; so now I will make you a ruler over many things.”

So I’m putting my efforts towards being found faithful. And having a good time with it! If you are single and waiting, or maybe just finding yourself in a waiting period for something in your life; I want to encourage you: The same Jesus who gave His life on the cross for you and rose from dead for you and sent His Spirit to empower you and has secured a spot in Heaven for you is the same God you can entrust your future to. He knows your desires, and He is faithful! And one of the best ways we can exercise our trust in His ability to provide for our future is by enjoying our today. Go ahead and enjoy the ride, don’t take yourself too seriously, laugh quickly, pray often, and above all, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. He’s got you, and with Him taking the lead, the best is yet to come!

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  • Reply
    August 22, 2015 at 3:33 am

    Hey Nicole,
    I just wanted to thank you for writing this post. It made me laugh because all those thing you said are true! And it made me cry because if have me freedom to just be myself and enjoy loving my single life. I love God with all my heart and he will always be my focus. This has freed me up to take what other says about my single hood more lightly and just enjoy every moment.
    Thank you!

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