All day long, I’ve been wanting to write out a post on what I considered a pretty serious subject.  But when I got to my computer I thought, what the heck, it’s Friday night, I’m home and relaxing after taking my summer class final.  So I thought I would instead share some (hopefully) light-hearted musings about a topic that has been close to my heart of late.  Just consider me the jesting Jude.

Many reading this are probably aware that I have been widowed since 2004.  My excursion into singleness (again!) has held a mixed bag of emotions and blessings.   I admit, at times it is not easy being single especially when your desire is for something much different.  I know that I am not alone and probably many reading this are in my same shoes.  So here it goes.

I admit to having tried a couple of Christian dating sites.   The first time was about 3 1/2 years ago and encountered one individual who would eventually become one of my best friends.  He challenged me theologically, which caused me to think deeply about my why I believed what I believe and particularly my hermeneutics, which was very troubled at that time.  His friendship would be the catalyst for my journey to DTS.   I value both this journey and his on-going friendship. And I especially value the fact that I encountered someone so theologically astute in the sea of pop-culture devotees. For I have discovered that finding this on a Christian dating site is as rare as finding a Charismatic in a Lutheran church.  He is happily married now, which I guess does give me hope.

Despite the outcome of my first foray, I swore I would never touch another dating site.  Yet, some months back I heard an advertisement for a new dating site that claimed to be authentically Christian and different than the rest.  My curiosity got the better of me and I signed up only to find that it was NOT authentically Christian nor were all the people on it.  In fact, it was the same spoonful of fluff that other sites advertise as well.

I actually have a beef with these sites, not because I don’t see them as useful but because they falsely advertise.  ‘Find your true love’, ‘love is just around the corner’, ‘we will find your soulmate’.  The truth is this is deception and raises false hopes.  The only thing you’ll find is maybe increased opportunity plus a whole lot of nonsense.  You get the good, the bad, and the ugly no matter how authentically Christian it claims to be.  For the less than discerning person, this can be devastating as they venture into this arena with the highest of hopes only to find them crash in no time flat, or worse and make themselves vulnerable to predators.  And yes, there are predators who prey (not pray).  I personally think such false advertisement is authentically Un-Christian.

And good luck for finding a mate from the heap.  If you saw the line-up, I’d think you’d agree.   I would also be interested to know the stats on how many permanent hook-ups theses sites produce.  My guess is very slim.  So my advice to any single regarding these sites is proceed with caution and don’t believe the hype.  As for me, I’m signing off and besides, I have a whole lot of books to read PLUS a son to raise anyway.

My favorite though, is that I recently became aware of a site just for Calvinists.  I thought, wow, its the site that chooses you.  I wonder if you have to sign off on the Westminster Confession to join.  I am just waiting for the Arminian counterpart to emerge called ‘Free Will Offerings’.

So what is a single to do?  Nothing makes me scream louder than the misinterpreted and misapplied advice from 1 Corinthians 7 by those that would say it is better to be single, that marriage is a second rate substitute.  If that is the case, then somebody please explain Song of Songs to me not to mention that God brought the first man and woman together and said ‘this is good’, which Jesus affirms in Matthew 19:4-6.  Sure Paul says all should be like him, but he was also beaten.  Do I want that too?  Yep, it sure is wonderful sitting in a glass bowl watching how others are making themselves worse off.

And making themselves worse off sure has been all the rave in seminary.  I can’t believe the number of hook-ups that have occurred, permanent ones leading to marriage.  It makes me think that DTS has a covert operation called Dying To Snag.  Ok, not really but just seems that way.  I say that in all due respect.  I do want to graduate, after all 🙂

But coveteousness should have no place for the single, that’s for sure.  Contentment is key.  And as I’ve cautioned before in my God as Husband post, God is not your husband but your loving heavenly Father.  Any deficiencies in contentment must be honestly and openly shared with Him not as a surrogate spouse but as our provider, our shield, our strength, our strong tower, our Father.  But to those people who have arrived at the pinnacle of contentment with no need for human interaction, please have pity on us mere mortal humans and stop suggesting that our faith is somehow deficient because we desire a mate.  Please!

Desire is good but desiring God is better.  Yes, trusting Him through it all, who sees our hearts, who knows our needs, who understands our pain.  For some that is more severe than others.  I don’t know why He grants happiness to some and while others can only wish. But I do know that He is good and His intentions towards His children are likewise.  So if you are reading this and you are like me, single but wishing for something more, don’t despair, keep looking upwards and walking on whatever path He has orchestrated.  And if you are married and reading this, enjoy your spouse.  Give them lots of hugs and kisses and continually let them know that you appreciate them.  Some of us can only dream.

Thanks for bearing with my ramblings.  I promise to get back on task with the next post.

    20 replies to "Some Random Thoughts on Christian Singleness"

    • Geoff

      I can totally relate to this desire to find that special someone that God is preparing us for. I get down discouraged have great feelings of insecurity at times. I ask what is wrong with me why can’t I find someone I would be happy with and have her desire the same. It seems like everyone around me is finding it, but then I look and see so many struggling in their marriages and so many getting divorced and wonder maybe it is good that God is protecting me from something so difficult. It doesn’t take away the desire to find a companion, but it gives me the desire to make sure I find the right one that God has for me and not settle because I am lonely.
      I just keep holding onto that verse that says to delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desire of your heart. It is a process to really learn what it means to delight yourself in the Lord, but if I am focused on this I know that God will provide my companion at the right time and when I am ready to love her the way He has loved the church.
      Thanks for sharing your heart and letting some of us other single and struggling know that there are others out there are feeling the same way we are.

    • P


      Singleness is a tough road sometimes for one seeking to follow Christ. I am sure this is doubly so for one who experiences marriage and then travels the road to singleness once again.

      Just wanted to comment on your experience with online “Christian” singles sites. Your advice is wise, in that proceeding with caution and don’t believe the hype – just like “offline” life really. Without a doubt, one should approach any relationship prayerfully, seeking the mind and will of God all the way through.

      I signed up for a Christian site around 4 years ago, and by the providence of God met my now wife and her son. While it’s not something I would recommend to anyone – our road was particularly tough as we were quite literally on the opposite sides of the globe – certainly in our case doors were clearly opened by God.

      I pray God will give you peace through this time in your life. My years of singleness are not so far past to forget the many hours spent wondering why God was finding soul mates for everyone but me, and wrestling with all the uncertainties outlined by Geoff above.

      God bless.

    • Jeremiah Lawson

      We seem to travel in different circles because in the church I’ve been in it is the single person who is considered second or possibly third class, First class being married with children and second class being married. The most common application of 1 Cor 7 I have heard, actually, is that unless you have a ministry smuggling Bibles into communist China you SHOULDN’T be single because “it’s not good for the man to be alone” and there’s nothing a single person can do for the kingdom of God that is greater than what married people can do. As a pastor put it, 90% of people will get married and in practice it seems to mean that the 10% who won’t aren’t really a concern for him (though he didn’t actually say that, it just comes across in his preaching).

      A bit tangential but wives of men serving in the military are also having to deal with an effectively single motherhood situation. I have a relative who is having to deal with this now and it’s tough. My sympathies for your situation, Lisa.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Thanks for those comments guys and for sharing your struggles, too Geoff. One thing that kind of gets to me is the attitude (usually by married folks) that singleness should not bother us. I can’t tell you how many times I have felt the slap down on the times I lamented my singleness. But I also know that people need encouragement so I hope I have provided some here.

      P, I also have a friend who met her husband on an on-line Christian dating site. I have heard of a few other success stories as well. So I did not mean to suggest that quality people cannot be found but are in such small percentage. I do think you are right, though, about caution in general. I have learned that character and integrity have to be the chief gauge beyond equal yokeness for any partner considerations. Yes, wisdom and discernment are needed.

      Jeremiah, I also can relate to feeling alone in a marriage. My situation was not good compounded by the fact that my husband was sick for 5 years. I actually think that is a worse place to be than single and can bring feelings of intense isolation. I have not found too many pastors/preachers talking about it either, unfortunately.

    • Dave Z

      Lisa, not sure what to say, other than my heart goes out to you and I pray that God brings that partner along. I think that generally, if it’s “not good for the man to be alone” it’s not good for the woman either.

      I do know that it’s in our times of struggle that we grow the most and that God does the right thing at the right time. And in all things, he works for our good.

    • Andrew Vogel

      Thanks for writing this Lisa. My wife abandoned me two months ago, so I am forcibly back into singleness as well. I do largely agree with you about dating sites, the only one which seems to stick out to me is eharmony. Partly because it costs more, and partly because it picks for you, it seems that there is a greater number of people who are serious on there than other sites. My own impression/experience at least.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Thanks Dave. I was hoping for this to be a more light-hearted piece after my baring ramblings over on Theologica. Not sure I accomplished that. But at a minimum, I hope it encourages others who are in the same boat to let them know they are not alone and there is hope.

      I have been thinking lately on how God uses pain to endear us to Him and purge unwanted blemishes. It’s a purifying process as Peter mentions in 1 Peter 1:7 for a greater weight of glory.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Andrew, I am so sorry to hear that. After my husband passed away, I have to admit I jumped into a couple of unsavory situations. What I’ve learned since then is sometimes God wants to heal us and purge us from some things before we can move on to the next phase. Otherwise, we might be carrying old wounds into a fresh situation and possibly threaten it. I know that has certainly been the case with me as He has seemed to isolate me from any potential male suitors while at the same time having to confront things from my past. It does hurt and a lot. But it is also quite liberating. I pray that you are allowing Him to heal as well.

    • Andrew Vogel

      I agree completely with you Lisa, and I hope I wait long enough too :). I also don’t regret the time I had with her, as He always uses even the difficult situations for His glory.

    • Char

      “Free Will Offerings” HA! But yeah dating sites=PHEH. Horrid things.

      As came up in the discussion over at that other place (okay it’s sanctified chat of theologica) I find more often Jeremiah’s experience rings truest. There had better be a DARN GOOD KINGDOM REASON you are single. Otherwise you are probably a selfish and irresponsible person and you are definitely disobeying God’s design for your life. PHEH to that too.

      I do think that when Paul said remaining unmarried was even better, it was this attitude he was nipping in the bud. No one stayed single in that day and age. It was quite a shift. He’s saying it’s a perfectly good one.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Yeah Char, PHEH is right. I’m done, no mas. Although, one of the saving graces for this one is they had a blog and discussion section. There were a few good discussions but not many. I tried to rev things up some thought provoking questions only to find tumbleweeds. It made me run like mad over to Theologica.

      Besides, I’ve been way too engrossed in reading up on inspiration and authority of Scripture PLUS need to get ready for the fall, which starts in 2 weeks.

    • Joshua Allen

      I love the joke about Calvinist dating sites 🙂

      FWIW, my understanding of secular dating sites is that they are just as bad. One of my closest friends met his wife of 10 years through one, but most of what I hear are horror stories.

    • Char

      Yeah someone from a Calvinist site totally bothered me to join for awhile there. I was all God has elected me from eternity past to not join your dumb site!

      They’d be useful if they were discussion sites as well. You know we misuse the heck out of ning. It’s supposed to be a social site (aka place to showcase rampant narcissism) but I think we actually make something of it.

    • Jason C

      Being alone sucks. I was 33 before I met my fiancée and aside from a rather intense three months about 12 years before I’d been relationship free most of my life.

      It’s often easier when you don’t know what you’re missing. 🙁

      My home group is dominated by divorced men, and they have some stupid ideas about looking to God for all your needs. They didn’t seem to understand why I said that we shouldn’t expect God to provide for those needs for which he created other people (like emotional intimacy). I’m not really sure they’re qualified to give relationship advice though. 😛

      *My daddy used to tell me that we were put here to help others; he never really explained what those others were here for.*

    • Lisa Robinson

      Jason said,

      “they have some stupid ideas about looking to God for all your needs. They didn’t seem to understand why I said that we shouldn’t expect God to provide for those needs for which he created other people (like emotional intimacy).”

      Jason I could not agree with you more and I am so glad you said that. This is one of the points I trying to bring up in my God as Husband post, that there are some aspects of marriage God cannot fill. Not only that but that, but it not designed to fill. It’s not just sex but an emotional intimacy as well.

      There seems to be a common and prevailing attitude that if you fill the hole of that missing gap, it corresponds to a lack of affection towards God. That contentment in the lack means I’m not supposed to feel the lack. I think nothing could be further from the truth. We would not apply this concept to any other factor that would cause disruption in our life, such as illness or financial distress. But when it comes to singleness, it suddenly becomes a bad thing.

      I also believe that God does use the pain of that missing gap, to work out discipleship in us and dependence upon Him. But it does not nor should it mean, that we don’t feel the lack.

    • Broken

      “I don’t know why He grants happiness to some and while others can only wish.”

      Being 39 and still single (which I’ve never wanted to be), I’ve come to a conclusion: While God loves all the members of the Body of Christ, He dosen’t like all of us equally.

    • Lisa Robinson

      Broken, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve uttered those same words. I’ve wondered why some get the proverbial silver spoon while others get the tin cup. It does seem quite unfair at times.

      I suppose that Job felt the same way. He had no idea what was going on and certainly wasn’t helped by his so-called friends that suggested there must be some deficiency on his part. But there wasn’t and in the end he had to learn to trust God regardless.

      I am nothing but convinced that God has only kind intentions towards His children, even though it doesn’t seem to play out how we think it should. I am so moved whenever I contemplate the gospels, and how Jesus, God in flesh, Immanuel demonstrated care and compassion for the broken, the weak, the lame, the rejected. This shows the heart of God, I believe.

      So Broken, hang in there. God does indeed have a plan. Keep coming to Him and crying out to Him. He probably will reveal His hand in good time and in His time.

    • vicki johnson

      hi . i picked ip your comments by accident whilst trawling through the web for some christian art.i want to say thanks to lisa for just about the most helpful comments on singleness. i too am widowed and probably quite a bit fact past the age where paul says one should not remarry but hey the dividin line of feeling read to give up hasnt arrived yet and whilst im coming o the conclusion that its probably not meant to happen its been a tough struggle.. im aware thet thers millions of others inthe same position so but thanks anyway

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    • The Truth

      why would anyone want to be single? it is always wonderful to meet someone to have a life with instead of being very much alone and having no one at all.

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