I have written this post on contentment in singleness three times now. Each version looked at the topic from very different angles. But none of them were reaching to what I feel is the heart of the matter without repeating what I’ve said before defining contentment and telling about surrendering my desires. So, here is Take Four:
Often when we talk this topic, we focus on the single part. We look at our value in singleness and the purpose of singleness (that was Take 2). We look at our feelings and emotions (that was Take 3). But as I’ve been struggling over the last week on how to communicate to you my heart about this topic, I’ve realized that none of those are the heart of the matter. (And in case you are wondering Take 1 didn’t have a cohesive enough point to make it into this list).
Here is the heart of the matter: contentment during our seasons of singleness is not about being single; it’s about Christ.
The summer after my junior year of college was the time that I realized my childhood dream of getting married when I graduated was not going to happen. In light of this realization, I chose to consciously face what was going to be a season of singleness that would last at least a little longer than I would have prefered.
The verse I claimed that summer was Psalm 27:4:
“One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.”
I made this verse my prayer for the summer. The Psalm is about relying on God and choosing to trust Him. Choosing to worship Him, even when we’re afflicted in various ways. Does singleness seem like an affliction to you? Turn it into worship. “And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.” (Ps 27: 6).
Do you hear David’s determination to praise the Lord? This was his focus. This is why his heart yearned for God’s presence; he knew the faithfulness, protection, and beauty of God.
This is how we face our “affliction” of singleness (or anything else, for that matter). We don’t look at the singleness; we look at our God. We fix our eyes on “Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
In the “about me” section of my facebook page, I wrote out Psalm 27:4 when I first signed up after that summer. That verse was what I wanted people to know about me. And in the intervening years, I haven’t found anything else more suiting for my profile. It’s still published there because it’s still my prayer. I want to seek God. I choose to seek God.
This focus on Christ is intentional. It doesn’t just happen. We must seek our Savior through prayer, through studying His Word to us. I have pages of prayer journals filled with my versions of these prayers of David. They tell the struggle and joy of my choice to seek my Savior, to surrender to His will, and to rejoice in His way.
Because I have been choosing for years to seek Christ, to focus on my Friend, Savior, Father, and Lover, I’ve had contentment in my time of singleness. I choose to seek what God wants. I choose to allow Him to point my heart where He wants. I choose to put Him first and seek His will in friendships with young men. I choose to put my value in Christ, not in how many dates I have or haven’t had over the years. I choose to be singularly content in Christ.
As we celebrate Easter this weekend, choose to focus on Christ. Meditate on what Jesus did for you in His death and resurrection. Look at the love He demonstrated through His sacrifice on the cross. Choose to serve the One who gave His life for you. This focus is how we experience contentment.
I encourage you to read through all of Psalm 27. Meditate on this prayer of David. How will you respond to God’s invitation to “Seek My face” (Psalm 27:6)? Will you become singularly content in Christ?