Why the Christian dating culture is broken - but not beyond repair
As a single woman in my mid-twenties, the number one question my parent’s church friends and relatives will ask at gatherings is:
“Do you have a boyfriend?”
No question on how my career is doing, if I am enjoying life in London or how the marathon went I ran that year.
Just one simple question about my relationship status. As if there wasn’t more to life.
Now here is why this happens: most Christian denominations have glorified marriage above anything else, especially over the past 30 years.
At the same time of the sexual revolution reaching its peak, we see a generation of Jesus-loving disciples unable to connect and form healthy relationships without the pressure of the church, their families and actually themselves.
This means you will find yourself wondering: Why am I single? Should I be single? Is there a godly plan for us all to be married at age 30? Why 30? Why even marry, no one wants to marry these days?
But there were sooooo many posts on my social media feed of people I don’t even care about and their weddings look awesome!
I understand how frustrating all of the above is and you are probably still reading because this resonates with your current situation.
Here are a few guidelines for you to reflect on singleness as a normal part of life and not an issue you have to explain to your family:
1. Being Single is fine in ANY stage of life
You may have never even spoken to a member of the opposite sex, you may be divorced, you may have just joined the church and think – what in heaven are they all going on about?! And that’s all okay. Singleness is just a state of life, not your identity. It does not say anything about you as a person, it is simply you just being you, with yourself and with God. Which is an amazing period of life to explore your faith more and learn about the values important to you – may it be in friendships, your career, your family, the list goes on.
2. Being single means sacrifice – but so does being married!
Do not get me wrong, we are all relational beings longing for warmth and connection. However, the way that marriage has been portrayed in the past few years has just gone way overboard. Divorces in Christian marriages are now at the same rate as non-christian ones. How’s that? It’s simply because we have romanticised the idea of a massive party with a super romantic life after the wedding. Yes, weddings are fun and married people are amazing, but equally fun can be a celebration of your next career milestone with friends and travelling the world. We should celebrate in all stages of our life. And we should stop thinking that a marriage will fulfil us. Because hard truth – it won’t. If you start working out the person you’d like to be AFTER you got married, chances are, you will be in a covenant relationship with someone that you may not be compatible with.
3. Jesus wants to be connected with you – single and married!
You may have blamed Him for your singleness, for feeling lonely and for not delivering the perfect spouse at your front door. But trust me, if you have a desire for a spouse, for a family, this has been given to you. God created it, just let that sink in for a second.
He created you WITH your longings and desires so He can fulfil His promise for you! He does not want to torture you while you wait for something to happen. He actually wants you to let him into these places of hurt and work through them – so let Him in!
I feel your pain because I personally was in a weird and hurtful headspace for a while myself, thinking I needed to be married as a young woman. God has transformed my view on this massively and there are so many amazing people out there who are starting to see the change in their life by focusing more on Him and less on their relationship status.
I’d love to see you come alive in your full God-given potential!
Be part of the change that is so desperately needed in Christian dating culture and we may see a new generation learning how to connect with others and create a healthy space for singles and married people alike!