Happy Valentine’s day! Any interesting plans? From experience, I know that one of the sadder ways to enjoy valentines as a single is to use it to sign up to a website… No, I’m not talking about ordering an escort for the evening! I’m referring to romantic “introductory” websites, like the ones many of you are currently signed up to and have bookmarked on your browsers! Yes, the stable of eharmony, match.com, and Christianmingle. The used car showroom of romantic possibility. Many of you will have explored this avenue and know exactly what I’m talking about.
I coined a new phrase today, inspired by valentines I call it “Premature e-lack-ulation”:
The premature pursuit of “e” romance and relationship born out of a sense of incompletion and a lack of contentment with ones current single situation.
I remember it well, sitting in front of my computer joining my site of choice, filling in the all-important specific requirements; those characteristics that would be most appealing in my search for a Proverbs 31 woman. I was unhappy with the romantic landscape of my life. Under no circumstances would I want the wrong body shape, height or eye colour to filter into my bespoke future partner criterion and tarnish the possibility of my meeting the perfect lady.
We take great care to complete our profile perfectly, even photo-shopping that unforgiving mound of puss from our snapshot lest it put of the woman or man of our dreams. We pour our hopes into a computerised algorithm believing that this is what will successfully pair us with our future “soul mate”. We have faith that we will be connected with a person who will bring a sense of fulfilment and completion into our current disjointed reality. I’ve certainly been there! I have dipped more than a toe into the online romance pool. And I know the benefits and pitfalls of it. I am not denying that for many people it works.
But what does the bible say about “eharmonising” and “Christianminglisation” and indeed the entire relationship search culture? I’m glad you asked!
The bible says in 1 Corinthians 7:27
“Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife”
Am I currently free from a wife? The answer to that question is Yes! I am not tied into a relationship I have no romantic connection whatsoever with any lady!
The bibles advice for someone single like me is “Do not seek a wife!” This advice is revelatory and starkly counters the culture of our time. In my opinion, this is the right way to approach singleness and valentines day for a Christian.
Singleness on valentines day should not cue the ultimate online or inter-church campaign for a potential spouse. The solution to that lonely feeling you so frequently experience, that e-lack-ulation, was never meant to be found and resolved through the filling of a romantic relationship vacancy, it was always meant to be found first and foremost in the presence of God. For what it’s worth here is my advice, let go of the search for a relationship altogether, and find the contentment you need in Jesus.
“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
I firmly believe that the way to become ready for a partner, is for us to loosen our grip on control when it comes to our romantic future, when we have done this. I mean when we have really let go! God wheels out exactly what we need!
It is not that love romance and marriage is a bad idea, far from it! But to disproportionately and unsuccessfully invest years into the search for a partner shows little confidence in Gods ability to present you with his choice. The unsuccessful attempts that I have made historically evidence the reality that his choice, is better than mine.
Here is my closing statement. And I believe in it!
Until we are confronted clearly with Gods choice, we should be focusing on something other than the search for our own personal Miss World.