It’s been proven that millennials are waiting longer to settle down than generations prior, though this statistic doesn’t speak to everyone. Some people that I graduated with in high school were ready for marriage and a family the second that they walked across the stage at graduation, before they could even dip their toe in college waters. Others, however, completely dismissed the idea of dating, and dove head first into double-fisting Bud Lights at college tailgates. Neither of which I would personally recommend.
Millennials nowadays are much more wary of immersing themselves into a marriage and family lifestyle so quickly. Many people want to experience life or focus on their career at the forefront. Basically, not everyone is ready and willing to be a soccer mom in their early twenties, and that’s okay.
For some who still remain single, it’s not by choice. The most difficult aspect for some is finding someone who you’re actually willing to invest your time in. In today’s world, it can be extremely difficult to find someone who not only shares your values, but whom you resonate with well enough to invest your time getting to know.
But when gathering with family, co-workers and acquaintances that are elder to you, or even just friends who are dating or married during your season of solitude, questions and suggestions about your singleness always seem to come to surface. Though these friends may have good intentions, they don’t always translate well, and can often trigger guilt, loneliness and doubt, making you feel as though you don’t love Jesus enough, or that you’re weak in your prayer life.
You’re not alone. Here are some dumb suggestions many have heard during our season of singleness:
1. “Have you really prayed about it? Are you praying for something too specific?”
Yep. Every day. Consistently. For the past few years. Thank you. And so what if I am praying for a handsome, jacked man who reads his Bible? Jesus knows the desires of our hearts, right?
There’s always going to be someone who suggests that your prayer life is weak as the reasoning behind your solitude. The truth is, you could pray all day every day. God will bring someone in His timing. Which brings us to:
2. “God isn’t saying no. He’s saying wait.”
Omg, no way. THAT’S why I haven’t found the one yet?! Iconic, thank you for this life-changing information.
While this might actually be true… WE KNOW, and don’t need it reiterated to us.
3. “Maybe God wants you to remain single forever so that you can spend your life in pursuit of Him.”
Wait… what? That escalated SO quickly!
This one may make you cringe, or laugh out loud, but it’s something that I was literally told by an elder at my previous church (Note: previous church). For a while, after this unwanted advice was offered to me, at sixteen years old might I add, I really believed it. I struggled with this for a while and actually begged God to tell me that this wasn’t actually the case. It wasn’t until I spoke with my youth pastor years later that I realized that God is not a selfish God. He truly does know the desires of our hearts, and I don’t think God would force you to spend your life alone to pursue Him if that would be devastating to you. Instead, He will bring you someone who you can pursue Him with. After all, remember when God told Adam that it wasn’t good enough for him to be alone, so he fashioned a wife for him? He can do the same for you.
4. “Jesus should be enough for you.”
PSA: Wanting to be married to someone other than Jesus does not make you unholy!
5. “The moment you stop looking, God will drop your husband/wife into your lap.”
Fake news. If this were true, 90 percent of people would still be single. Some relationships take more pursuit than others. The desire to love is something that God Himself instilled in us when He created us. Keep your singleness in mind, and keep your eyes open, but don’t allow it to cause you to lose sight of everything else.
It is, without a doubt, the most annoying thing to receive unwanted advice during your season of singleness. So elders, maybe try changing the way that you encourage those who are experiencing a different season of life than you. Instead of triggering them into feeling guilty for how they love Jesus or the way that they pray, support and encourage them with prayer. And, for the love of all things holy, if they don’t ask you for advice, maybe don’t offer it?