My loves, and others, but especially the single ones,
Today is Valentine's Day, and I would like to address it with something I previously wrote in response to a prayer request on ask.fm months ago.
A person requested: "Please pray for me. I'm entering my 12th grade year and I have never had a girlfriend. Please ask the lord to guide me to finding the right girlfriend the will be pefrect for me."
My response was: "My friend, I would be happy to pray for love in your life.
If I can give you some guidance, I would strongly advise you to make our Heavenly Father and your education your top priorities. When you aim to serve God, and pursue an education and productive career, you will have an abundance of opportunities for a girlfriend. Improve yourself physically (that's exercise and healthy dieting), mentally (that's education and attaining wisdom), and spiritually (that's your relationship with God). However, don't do this for the benefit of getting a girlfriend. Do it because improving yourself honors God, and you. First be content with yourself, and with where God has you now, singledom. Whatever you do, don't go looking for love. God knows our hearts and our needs. When the Lord is ready, He will bring someone perfect into your life. It could be today. It could be tomorrow. It could be five years from now, assuming His kingdom hasn't come by then. If it is the Lord's will for you to have a girlfriend, it will happen. Have faith and be patient.
God bless you, my friend."
This is one of my favorite bits of advice; because I always have to remind myself that I have to keep my eyes trained on the Lord. That is the advice I give. That is the advice I shall walk by. No distractions. No shallow attractions. Only through Jesus is there salvation, happiness, peace. Only through Him, may I find wife, if it is the Lord's will. The Lord is the end goal; the rest are gifts along the path.
Paul's first letter to the Corinthians inspired some of that, especially these verses:
"I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife." - 1 Corinthians 7:26-27, ESV
"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, ESV
Now, Paul speaks of acceptance of one's present state. We are in the state we are in, and should not covet marriage if we are single. We should not covet singledom if we are married. "But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another." (1 Corinthians 7:7, ESV)
I say all of this to express a point, that though I love love, as has been repeated numerous times, I am not grieving my single status, and neither should you, my brothers and sisters. It has occurred to me that the Lord has me single for a reason. The Lord has us single for a reason. As is mentioned in verse thirty-two, the unmarried man (me) is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. I know the Lord has a job for me. Right now, in my single status, the Lord has something He wants me to accomplish. It is something I might not necessarily accomplish in a relationship, because I would get distracted or, as a sister of Christ phrased it, fall into idolatry (idolizing the person of your affections, and placing him/her higher than God). My interests would be divided.
In the past, I have proven it. My eyes grew wide and I drifted off course chasing after a mirage, pursuing someone of zero substance. Only to find myself kissing sand. I propose the Lord might have said, "See, see. Now you have wasted time, and are lost. You are stumbling in the dark and not fulfilling the works I have set out for you."
There is work to be done for the Lord before I am graced the gift of marriage, if it is the Lord's will. I will bear no regrets. It is my hope you will not either. Let us be vigilant in our work for the Lord, be it work on ourselves or utilizing the talents (read Matthew 25:14-30) our Lord has blessed us with. Valentine's Day is an absolutely great time to read the Word, pray, and privately convene with the Lord our God as to what His plans are for you, what tasks He has set aside for you, and then plot a course to finish the work He has prepared.
The implication of Valentine's Day is that you spend time with the person you love or are in a relationship with. Do you love the Lord? (read Matthew 22:37-38) Are you in a relationship with the Lord? The Lord comes first.
Remember this today, on Valentine's Day, that the Lord was and is your first love.
May the Spirit of our Lord fill you with faith, hope, and love, and drive away all discontentment that comes from singledom, all resentment if the person does not live up to your expectations, and all fear of losing the person you have or not ever having anyone.