don’t make promises

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God doesn’t promise single women husbands. He doesn’t guarantee single men wives. What He does promise is our salvation. He promises us forgiveness of sins. He promises us that He will love us, fill all our needs, and be our rest. He promises us comfort, joy, an eternity with Him in heaven. He promises to hear our prayers and even perhaps to change His mind because of them.

That’s why it’s largely (a) unhelpful, (b) untrue, and (3) really annoying when Christians promise a single that God has just the right person in store for them. If you are a parent or friend or random stranger off the street who tells singles that their day is coming or the right one will show up, please stop. Don’t make  singles promises that our Lord Himself isn’t even willing to make. Don’t tell single Christians that they’ll find a spouse as soon as they quit trying or trust in God more or stop looking.  Don’t tempt them to believe that you know God’s good plan and purpose for a single person’s life better than He does.

“Maybe you’ve already forgotten how much more stress we single ladies live with,” someone recently texted me. The statement wounded me, even if it was offered as a half-joke, because the truth was: I hadn’t forgotten. For 29 years, it’s been my identity. But I also realized years ago in my singleness that I had a choice: I could choose to be Eeyore, perpetually down, gloomy, frustrated and annoyed. Or I could acknowledge my cross—suffering in the dark moments and rejoicing in the bright ones—while remaining thankful to God for all the gifts He has chosen to give, the ones He’s actually promised.  But it was sure as heck going to be a lot easier if my church family was there with me: pointing me back to Christ and His promises and not their own made-up ones.

Instead, let’s bear with our single friends. Listen to them be frustrated. Hand over Kleenexes when they are grieving that which they want but aren’t given. Tell them you’re sorry that it hurts. Explain to them that you understand how difficult it can be to be lonely. Remind them of the One who suffered all so that He could suffer this along side them. Make them mindful of their Baptisms. Help them remember that their value and worth come from Christ, not from a spouse.

Do that. You know you can, and I’m praying you will.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “don’t make promises

  1. As a single person and one who has heard that tired phrase over and over and over, I really appreciate this. Thank you Ms. Dorr; God’s blessings to you and your soon-to-be husband.

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