For most of my life, I’ve been told to wait for The One.

The one I would someday meet, who will make all of these lonely nights worth enduring. The one who may not be what I’ve wanted in a spouse but would be the best for me. I felt sorry for myself for the longest time, having to endure and wait for this magical person from the future.

I wish I realised it earlier, but my singleness now is absolutely a gift.

If I could only give one piece of advice to anyone struggling with singleness: Take a cold shower and sign up for a six-month missions stint.

It’s what I’m doing with YWAM now. The greatest advantage of being single is being free! If you were married, it might not be possible to just sign up for a mission stint like that. I love Paul’s words to the singles of the Corinthian church.

“I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 7:32-35)

Paul treaded cautiously when he wrote this portion of his letter. He made sure to have the disclaimer, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgement as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy” (1 Corinthians 7:25). It’s the only disclaimer Paul makes in all of his letters because he knows singlehood is a delicate issue.

Not everyone should receive celibacy as a calling, but we should all see the beauty in singleness.

A little historical background research tells us that the life expectancy of a Jewish person during that time was only about 25-years-old. So it would actually make good sense to serve God wholeheartedly in view of a short life. Scholars also believed that Paul’s writings hinted he believed that Jesus would come back during his lifetime. These factors contribute to the rationale of his suggestion.

I have a friend who’s constantly travelling the world. He makes it back to his local church probably five times a year. He’s single and beyond the usual age most people marry by. If he were married, it’d be unlikely that he’d be able to do what he’s doing right now. To me, his life looks a lot like “undivided devotion” to the Lord.

Not everyone should receive celibacy as a calling, but we should all see the beauty in singleness. This is a question I ask myself all the time: Instead of spending time fantasising about the future with our significant other, how can it be better used in serving the Lord now in singlehood?

Singleness builds your character. It’s not some dreadful, meaningless phase of life spent waiting for a slice of the future. It should be joyful and purposeful season where God shapes you to be the one for your one.

I remember just telling another friend yesterday, “You would not be in such a hurry if you saw singleness as an opportunity.” What you sow today you will reap tomorrow. If God is building your patience as a single, you will appreciate Him having built your character when your patience is tested in marriage.

Ask God: What areas of your character can be further improved so that you can be the best one for your one when you eventually meet her? She will thank you and thank God for it.

Don’t waste your singleness. Impatience frequently reveals a lack of trust in God. But He is working for the good of those who love Him (Rom 8:28).

Don’t waste your singleness.

Singleness is a time to date Jesus – not that being married isn’t.

I have to tell God each day, “Lord, not my will but Yours be done.” I struggle too. It’s hard for me too. The heaviness is there in my heart as well. I’m just trying to find out what God wants to do in me through it.

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

There is a special closeness to God that you can enjoy while you savour the bitter pill of loneliness. Seek Him and trust Him. He is good and sovereign. He makes all things beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

If you truly believe that Jesus is the only water that satisfies (John 4:14), then your ultimate desire should be in Him. And there’s good news in that: “Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and His Righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

There is a special closeness to God that you can enjoy while you savour the bitter pill of loneliness.

If you’re waiting for The One, spend the time growing into Christlikeness.

One reason why more and more marriages are failing in the world today is that we keep pursuing The One, while oblivious to the fact that marriage requires the character of both individuals.

Be The One. The only way to do that is to align your heart with Christ, develop your relationship with Him and He will develop your character (James 1:2-4).