Tag Archives: relationship

Confessions of a Single Life: Part 2

“You’ll find him when you stop looking for him.”

“God will grant the desires of your heart so just keep praying for him everyday.”

“When you are the woman God wants you to be, He’ll bring you the man you’re supposed to marry.”

And my personal favorite: “Jesus is your first love anyway. He’s the best boyfriend you’ll ever have so just focus on him.”


While there may be hints of Scripture and some truth in each of these statements, they have typically been much more hurtful than helpful. Yes, I know people who met their spouse the minute they stopped stressing and simply started living. Yes, I believe in praying for your future spouse. Yes, I believe in focusing on becoming the fullness of what God designed me to be. Yes, Jesus’ sacrificial love for me is incomprehensible and complete. However, can I just let you know that although Jesus has given me more than anyone else ever has or ever will, he still has never sent me flowers on Valentine’s Day, he’s really hard to cuddle with, and people stare when they see you talking to an empty chair at restaurants.

These statements are hurtful because at the heart of many of them is an implication that a spouse would appear if only I did or said the right thing. There is a subtle message that if only I had more faith or prayed the right prayers or had the right posture towards life then everything would be working out like I want. I spent way too long believing that if I just prayed the right prayer or had the right amount of faith or lived my life in a certain way then God would FINALLY provide a husband. It’s just not true. There is a major theological problem with this – God cannot and will not be manipulated. He is not a puzzle to be solved, a genie in a bottle that will release 3 wishes with the right words, or a magician waiting for the right spell to be spoken.

And though Jesus’ love for me is complete, no, he is not my boyfriend. He is my Savior. He is my Lord. Two things a boyfriend or husband can never be. In fact, according to Courtney Reissig, “Marriage to Jesus while waiting for a husband can often trivialize our Savior in a way that makes him more like a sweet boyfriend who takes us out on dates, rather than the God-man who paid for our sin on the cross. Jesus did not accomplish redemption to marry us individually. He died for the church corporate, of which we are a part. His death accomplished something much greater than simply meeting our deep-seated desires for a significant other. That is what Paul is getting at in Ephesians 5:22-33 when he speaks of the mystery of marriage.”*

So, to all my single ladies (and gentlemen) who deeply long for a spouse, allow me to offer these words that I pray will give hope instead of cause hurt and maybe bring clarity instead of creating more confusion. First, yes keep praying for and about your future spouse. Make your requests known to God! Like any good parent, he does give good gifts (Matthew 7:11), does give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4), and does invite us to persist in prayer (Luke 18:1), However, sometimes what we want and ask for is not in line with God’s plan for our lives. And so like any good parent would, he says no, or not yet. Second, instead of trying to find the magic formula to get God to give you what you want, set your heart and mind on Him (Colossians 3:2), recognize that God’s ways are not your ways (Isaiah 55:8), and trust that God’s specific plan for your life is bigger and better than anything you can imagine and that he will faithfully carry it to completion (too many to cite). Trust. That’s ultimately what it comes down to. Either you trust God is good and His plan for you is better than your own plans, or you don’t. Third, remember that Jesus and many of those early apostles set an example of how to live as a single person. Jesus himself knows what you are going through! Finally, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in all aspects of your life, including your marital status!

And to the “paired up” friends wanting to be helpful, may I encourage you to listen, seek to understand, validate, and empathize with your single friends. May I kindly suggest you refrain from offering advice? (“Have you tried Christian Mingle?” is not a helpful thing to say!) It is also not helpful to tell your single friends about the ways marriage drives you nuts. It is REALLY not helpful to complain about your sex life (at least you have one). It IS helpful to pray with and for your single friends, but ask them specifically how you can pray. It IS helpful to grieve with them, to hope with them, and to go out to dinner with them so they don’t have to keep talking to an empty chair. And it MAY be helpful to introduce them to people you think might be good for them, but do so with their permission and only if they are open to being introduced to someone. If you have someone in mind for a single friend of yours, simply ask, “Are you open to meeting someone I know and think might be a good match for you?”

Married or single, we are all part of God’s beautifully diverse family. We all have a special role to play in advancing His kingdom, in spreading the Good News, and in loving others well in Jesus’ name.  Single or taken, we’re all awesome because we are made, adopted, and loved by an awesome God!


I’d love to hear your thoughts. Share your experience! How can we honor, support and encourage one another regardless of our marital status? Does the church need to do anything differently to invite those who are single more fully into the church? Let me know what you think!

*”Why Jesus Isn’t Your Boyfriend: A Critique of Dating God.” Christianity Today, June 25, 2012 http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2012/june/why-jesus-isnt-your-boyfriend-critique-of-dating-god.html?start=2

Discipline to Desire: The Tale Time Tells

Remember getting a new toy as a kid – a video game, a Hot Wheels, a Barbie – and spending all day playing with it? Even though it had been hours, it felt like mere minutes and you were never ready to put it away when mom called for dinner or when dad said it was time for bed.

Remember spending hours talking to your special someone long after the date was supposed to end? Again, minutes quickly turned into hours as you both lose track of time, lost in the conversation and joy of each others’ company.

Or how about picking up a new hobby? It is effortless to spend hours researching anything and everything related to the new interest and a day spent devoted to enjoying the new activity flies by.


The principle is simple: we spend time, money, and energy on the things that we love.

Which got me thinking…

If I love God more than anything else in my life, why do I spend so much time on so many other things? I spend more time at work, sleeping, eating, watching TV, working out, and even walking my dog then I do with God most days. Now, I’m not suggesting we should quit our jobs, pull all nighters or stop eating! But I am suggesting that in order to have a genuine, life giving relationship with God, I need to spend time with him. If I want to know how God feels about me and my life, I have to spend time so he can speak to me. I’m suggesting that if I love God more than anything else, my thoughts should be consumed with him, I should long for the work day to end so I can meet with him, and I should be longing to say good morning to him as soon as I wake each day!

Spending time with God often starts as an act of discipline and unfortunately it often stays there. My prayer is that discipline turns into desire, that an act of obedience becomes an act of love.

I was reading Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young and the devotion for January 2nd said, “Do not skimp on our time together. Resist the clamor of tasks waiting to be done. You have chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from you.”

May I no longer “skimp” on time spent with Jesus! May my daily discipline to spend time with the Lord become a desire that burns deep within. And may the sweet time spent never feel like enough!

“The one thing I ask of the Lord – the thing I seek most – is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his temple.” ~Psalms 27:4

“As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.” ~Psalms 42:1

Jesus is my friend (and Heaven is my home)


I just returned from vacation. Not your typical vacation full of exotic places, beaches, resorts, or theme parks. No. I spent a week visiting friends – hopping from one guest room to another. And I have to tell you, I have the very best friends in the entire world. Seriously, no contest, it’s not even close. As I reflected on the week with these wonderful people, I realized that there are some commonalities among my friendships that make them so rich and meaningful.

My friendships are full of laughter. Time with friends is always characterized with quick, witty comments and side splitting antics. My friends are fun and funny.


My friendships are familiar and comfortable. The houses have changed and there are now husbands and children, but one thing has remained – I’m at home when I’m in their presence. None of my friends even flinched when I informed them of my intentions of paying a visit. All would have been offended had I even thought of staying at a hotel. The comfort and hospitality  so great that there’s no hesitancy to raid the fridge when hungry and in need of a late night snack.

Capt Sundae's then (with Amy)
Capt Sundae’s then (with Amy)
And now (with Hyatt)
And now (with Hyatt)








My friendships are authentic and honest. My friends speak truth to me, even when that truth is difficult or not what I want to hear. My friends challenge me and sharpen me.

My friendship are full of genuine love, care, and acceptance. My friends have loved me when I wasn’t very lovable and stood by me when I couldn’t stand on my own. My friends have attended sporting events despite a true disinterest in sports, learned more about Iowa than they ever thought possible, and continue to pretend to care about my dog as much as I do.

Sunitha has attended more sporting events than she cares to count with me. And she doesn't like sports.
Sunitha has attended more sporting events than she cares to count with me. And she doesn’t like sports.

My friends know me. My friends are excited to connect with me -whether it’s daily or it’s been four years, whether it’s a text message of a favorite line from FRIENDS or a treasured hand written letter. My friends pray for me. My friends cheer me on and believe in me. My friends weep and cry with me.

Back "then" - Meeting Warren Barfield.
Back “then” – Meeting Warren Barfield.

As I sat in church last Sunday, it was this experience of friendship that led me to realize something regarding my walk with Jesus. My pastor is currently speaking on eternity – the reality and truth about heaven and hell. I often have a longing for heaven, an ache that echoes deep in my soul. However, my understanding of heaven is so vague and lacking. I have often wondered if I simply choose heaven because of a fear of hell. Then it hit me… my longing for home is natural for this world is not my home, but what makes heaven home? I stayed in three lovely houses during my vacation. What made them special was not the architecture or the furnishings, but the people who dwell there – my friends. Heaven is home because that is where Jesus is. And Jesus is my friend.

John 15:13-15 says, “13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

However, what I realized sitting in church made me sad. I realized that I don’t treat Jesus like he’s my friend. I don’t have the same inside jokes, comfort, authenticity, knowledge, or genuineness with him as I do with my earthly friends. Oh, he has that with me, but it is often so one-sided as I rarely reciprocate. No, instead, I tend to approach Jesus like a celebrity I’ve been able to meet. I look at him with star crossed eyes, hoping to get an autograph, and brag that I’ve met him without actually growing close relationally or emotionally. But Jesus is more than a celebrity who happens to know my name.

JESUS IS MY FRIEND! And he longs for me to act as such. He wants to share laughs, inside jokes, and playful pokes. He wants me to know him as intimately as he already knows me. He longs to spend time with me, long or short, silly or serious. He wants me to be most comfortable in his presence and not feel bashful about raiding his refrigerator. Heaven is exciting because I literally get to hang out with Jesus, not as a fan adoring a celebrity but as intimate and genuine friends. Jesus said so himself.


And so my new prayer is that I see Jesus as He sees me, as a friend, and that my relationship with him reflects that truth. Only then will I be able to truly bring heaven to earth and only then will my longing for heaven truly make sense. What keeps you from seeing Jesus as your friend? How do you hope grow closer and become more intimate and comfortable with Jesus?