Tag: preparation

With Great Expectation: Christmas Hope for Singles

With Great Expectancy, Some Christmas Hope for Singles

14140_10151927346899245_829737775_a 

I LOVE CHRISTMASTIME! It is by far my favorite time of year. I love snow, I love watching children play in it. I love to hear people yell out “Merry Christmas” to one another. I love all the seasonal drinks at our local coffee shop. Seeing friends and loved ones, hearing carols, singing carols, singing carols with friends. In fact the whole season of what the church calls “Advent” is and always will be my favorite time of year.

However, with all the Christmas cheer in the air this year I face a challenge I have never faced before. What is that? This will be the first year that I am not home in Ohio, nestled up in the room I grew up in waiting to go and unwrap our living room in the morning. This will be the first Christmas I am not with my family and it has reminded me of terribly lonely things can seem during the Holiday season. It has been hard for me not being in a the house with my sisters and brother, mom and dad. Watching Christmas movies and attending Holiday Gatherings. Yes, I have attended my share of Christmas gatherings, two in the last week, both of them were at work, both of them were fun and I was blessed by so many. No, I will not be alone at Christmas, one of my longest and dearest friends has invited me to spend Christmas with her and her family.

But even so I still find myself at times, struggling with being single at Christmastime, or single in general. I said in a post earlier this year entitled “Brutal Honesty about being a Single Christian” that: “I have this desire, I have this want, I’ll even call it a need to have someone close to me, to have a young woman in my life who loves the Lord and who loves me.” This desire has not lessoned any since I wrote that particular article, it is just as strong today as it was then. But as I was walking home from a website consultation today I began to think about Advent and the expectancy we have for Christmas and for Christ and I thought: “Well, God sent his son to save the world, why should I not wait with expectancy for him to fill this desire as well.”

Expectancy and Preparation:

 

I also talked in my previous article that part of the purpose of being single is to prepare ourselves for our future spouses. To prepare ourselves to be men and women who serve and love God first and one another as an outpouring of that love, by grace we are able to do this. But this is not easy, we want the end goal, we want the prize now, the Wedding, the last first kiss, the Honeymoon, the kids playing in the yard or the living room on a snowy day. We do not want to be patient, so we try to rush the process while God is saying “my son, take it slow, she is precious to me as are you, I want you to be at your best for one another.”

 

It is easy to forget that God is also preparing our future spouse. We can sometimes get the rose-colored illusion that our spouses will be perfect and that our marriage will be perfect. But God is working on them as well, do you really want God to rush that? Two people who place God at the center of their lives will find each other. That person is not a savior, they are not perfect, they will not cure all our problems, only Christ can do that, but they will be the person God needs them to be for us.

 

And there is the hope my friends. As we wait in Abstinence, deepening our relationship with God and learning how to be in relationship with others, for the coming of our future spouses we should do so with expectancy. The person you are going to marry one day is a gift from God, not a treasure you have won, a precious creation of the most high for you to cherish, to build one another up and to walk together through this life with.

 

And so it should be with all those lessons and trials and joy that help us to grow to maturity as Christians. Those things that draw us closer in our relationship with God (like Marriage should), and our relationships with others, we must wait with great expectancy for the promises of God to be fulfilled. After all, Simeon (Luke 2:25-35) was promised he would not taste death until he Saw the Christ and he got to hold the Savior.

 

Psalm 37:4 tells us: “Take Delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” The reason Simeon got to see the Christ who would redeem Israel and be the Savior for all mankind is because he was “Righteous and Devout” (Luke 2:26). We are not told that Simeon desired to see Christ, but being a Jew we can be fairly accurate in saying he was waiting for the Messiah. So he waited, and God fulfilled that desire, to see the Messiah as a baby and prophesy over him.

 

So should we not wait for the fulfillment of God’s promise to fulfil our desires if we delight in him with expectancy? We should! Why? Because when we find joy in knowing God, we find Joy in the things of God and that includes his promises. Promises that can be approached with great expectation as we prepare to enter the covenant relationship that Christ as set aside. Are you preparing to be the husband or wife God needs you to be for your spouse? If so do it with expectancy, are you struggling with being single? Take it to God with great expectancy, Delight in God, in prayer bring your needs before him. For He hears the prayers of the Saints, all the Saints, and He loves fearsomely all His creation and is looking out for the needs of His people.

 

So let us hold tightly to the promises and trust that God will fulfill them in His time. Preparing ourselves by the work of the Holy Spirit inside of us to first be men and women of God, standing firm in the word of Truth, for we are His and He is Love. And always in the coming year may we walk together with great expectancy and faith in God.

Brutal Honesty about being a Single Christian

14140_10151927346899245_829737775_a

 

Brutal Honesty about Being a Single Christian

 

            Loneliness can be like a flood.

Here I am, just out of college, I’m living with a professor from the college I graduated from. I’m working for the college I graduated from. Trying to find a job in ministry, trying to keep 10:31 running, trying to find my own place and learn how to pay bills. And as exciting as all of this can be at times there are times when I am just lonely.

Some might say that this is wrong of me, some might say that I have no reason to be. I do have incredible friends who I get to see on almost a daily basis, but most of them are in relationships or getting married and those that are not, are not looking. But I have this desire, I have this want, I’ll even call it a need to have someone close to me, to have a young woman in my life who loves the Lord and who loves me. Again, some might say “you’re young” or “why do you want this?”

My Answer

Because God made me this way dang it, and until the day He fills the void that He left for my other half I will have this desire and am meant to have this desire. To be a husband and a father who leads his family to love and glorify God.

Now this sounds like complaining I know, and I’ve heard it all. “You should be content,” or “It’s when you stop looking that God brings the one.” I’ll be honest, there are times when I just want to give up, to resign myself to loneliness, but God did not intend it to be that way. He did not intend me to be that way. I wish I could have the peace and serenity that one of my brothers in Christ has, (he is called to be single), but I don’t anymore. I am no longer content like I once was, now it feels as though something’s missing and I believe God is allowing me it to be missing.

And to my dear friends who don’t believe God would allow that consider how long He allowed Jacob to remain single and then the years of work he had to do to finally get Leah, not Rachel who he’d originally bargained for. God Himself said “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Yes, this is in reference to Adam at creation, but it seems to be true to this day.

Yes, being single and out of college can be a struggle but there is a flip side to this that must be discovered too.

 

THIS IS A TIME OF PREPARATION.

I cannot mention my discontent without mentioning what I have learned from this time. I have learned to love God with all my heart, soul and mind. I have learned what it is like to have no significant other. I have learned how to heal, how to love others deeply. How to build up my friends and love them as part of the body of Christ. I have learned how to do minor household repairs, I have been reminded of the centrality of the word in the lives of believers, how to persevere, how to come out on the other side of heartache and how to resolve conflicts.

So for all the struggle there is a very positive side. I am in much better shape, have a better work ethic and am much closer to God then I was even a month ago. Most importantly though I have learned to walk by faith and lead others in walking by faith.

See, in becoming a man of God there is an honest truth, one must take time to evaluate himself before the light of the throne. Then, upon that evaluation we must change what scripture tells us to change By grace we do this, because of Christ’s death on the cross we get to do these things. But preparation is hard, it is difficult and it can be offensive. There were attitudes and still are attitudes that I needed or need to get rid of before I can lead a family. I have to work a minimum wage job that isn’t very glorifying to learn to glorify God with everything.

So let God deal with me as I will. Yes I struggle with loneliness but who hasn’t at some point. Yes, I struggle with my single state, but I have a body to raise me up and encourage and pray for me. I know she’s out there, I know God’s working on her and making her awesome (if I don’t know her already and don’t already think she’s awesome) I just have to get there. I have to seek and let God prepare me. Not be girl crazy, but be crazy in love with God. Then in the middle of my lonely state I can look ahead to the things that have been promised. God’s grace, love and mercy and the fulfillment of our desires for His glory.

 

Jonathan David Faulkner is the director and founder of 10:31 Life Ministries