Hearts and candy and all that pink—since the day after Christmas (the day after!), store shelves and TV ads won’t let us forget that Valentine’s Day is coming. But the brokenhearted want to forget, as do many single women. How about you? Do you take pleasure in the cherubs and chocolate, or do they serve only to intensify your loneliness?
Either way, you can’t avoid it unless you curl up and hide under the covers until the holiday passes. But there’s a better way than hiding or merely gritting your teeth for a few more weeks. It begins with taking fresh hold on a right view of reality.
The truth is, we aren’t single because we’ve failed to be in the right place at the right time, or because we aren’t pretty enough, or because we haven’t yet obtained some great spiritual height. We’re single because that’s God’s call on our life for today. It just stands to reason that if God cares to number every hair on our head—and he does (Matt. 10:30)—he cares much more about our marital status and whom we marry. And not only does he care—he has the power to bring it about. He dictates every detail of our lives. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Prov. 16:9).
Here’s another bit of reality: it’s not singleness that’s the source of our misery; it’s our interpretation of singleness. Life doesn’t begin when we get married. Today, right now—this is our life. Most of us are likely to get married at some point, so what are we doing with these single years? Are we rejoicing in our gifts, or are we so focused on getting out of singleness that we can’t even see the blessings we have today? Prolonged singleness is actually a privilege that very few get, with the freedom it affords to choose where, when, and how we invest our personal resources.
So next time the hearts and flowers assail your soul, consider these tips:
Tip 1: Don’t make room for pity—especially self-pity (Rom. 8:18).
Tip 2: Don’t view singleness as a problem to be solved (1 Cor. 7:35).
Tip 3: Recognize the unique blessings of singleness. (1 Tim. 6:17).
Tip 4: Realize that singles are vital to the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:18–26).
Tip 5: Face the loneliness factor head on (2 Cor. 12:8–10).
Tip 6: Reexamine your view of marriage. (Eph. 5:22–33).
Tip 7: Hope in the Lord and trust his power and goodness (Ps. 37:3–4).
Finally, don’t hide from Valentine’s Day this year; instead, run straight at it. Give chocolate to someone who is more alone—or lonelier—than you. Plan something hearts-and-flowery for your single friends, perhaps a Valentine’s brunch. And above all, remember that in Christ you are never alone, and you are greatly loved. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? . . . For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:32, 38–39).