When I was a child, I thought marriage was the ultimate measure of success. That’s what all my little friends and I talked about. We played house and pretended that someday we’d have husbands to take care of and children to feed.
On the playground of the elementary school I attended in Houston, I set up a bed of pine needles between two trees, and I constructed a makeshift kitchen against the playground fence. My friends and I used pine cones and sticks for tableware, and we would invite each other over for afternoon tea.
I can remember wanting to grow up so that I could get married and have children, not because it was what God wanted but because it’s what everyone said was the right thing to do. As I grew and time kept passing and I didn’t have a relationship, I started wondering if I’d done something wrong.
“I was so young. I had no concept of what I was even asking for.”
I even remember praying about it one night, asking God why I didn’t have a boyfriend. It’s laughable now, honestly. I was so young. I had no concept of what I was even asking for.
Years later, when I was a freshman in high school, my youth pastor said something at the Wednesday night service that has stuck with me—that as a child, you have three priorities in your life:
- Your relationship with God
- Your relationship with your family
- Your education
If you try to fit a relationship with a significant other into the mix, you have to let one of the others go. And if you choose to do that, it may not be the end of the world, but it will add a level of complexity to your life that you might not want.
That was the first moment I truly began to understand what having a relationship actually would mean to my life. During that message, I finally grasped what it meant to wait on God and be focused on His plan for my life, instead of trying to rush ahead and plan it myself.
The Bible says in Matthew 6:33-34, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” This is wise advice for everyone but especially for young people. When you get older, you don’t have as many opportunities for God to show you how He provides everything you need.
Patience is a character qualities that nobody is born with. It’s something you have to develop over years and years, through dreams that come true and dreams that don’t. Granted, some people have personalities that lend themselves to being patient, but we all have a breaking point.
“If we want to truly follow Jesus, we have to choose to do what God says is right before we do what we want to do.”
Trusting God with our lives is a difficult thing to do, especially if you like to be in control, but we have to remember that all we can control are our own choices. And if we want to truly follow Jesus, we have to choose to do what God says is right before we do what we want to do.
If you say you follow Christ, you should be focused on God’s kingdom, regardless of whether you’re single or not. And that means you aren’t thinking about showing off for a man or getting a boy’s attention. Instead, you’re looking for ways to be a blessing to others, for ways to serve God in your life and make a difference for Jesus in our world. And all of that takes time.
It may not be the life you want right now, but be patient. Do it God’s way first and don’t worry about tomorrow. God already has that figured out, and He’ll help you get there.