Thursday, October 20, 2011

Well, hello

Here I am, exploring a negative thought pattern. We mentioned in our first post the idea that having a boyfriend is part of the sanctification process; let’s look a bit deeper at that idea.

I have a very strange memory. I can remember reams of facts about plenty of random topics, but not the faces of people I met yesterday. So if anyone ever sat me down and said, “Kelley, one day, if you’re really a Christian, you’ll have a boyfriend,” I have no memory of it. But I’ve picked it up somewhere, and since I’m not the only one, I’m trying to figure out where it comes from.

This is how it works, at least in my case. A girl likes a guy, they hang out, flirt, suddenly they’re dating. If we’re friends, I generally hear something along these lines: “I got my relationship with God right and all of a sudden I had a boyfriend.” This condensing is unhealthy. Would you drink condensed milk instead of regular milk? I didn’t think so.

Here’s the message that single girls often hear: “If you were right with God, you’d have a boyfriend, too.” This isn’t what our friends are trying to say, and if it is, find new friends. The process they’ve been through is incredibly more complex and intense than a single sentence (I’m fairly certain), and they’re probably not aware of the erroneous inferences drawn by others.

Nerd reference: boyfriends and girlfriends are not a level two sword you get when you find all the secret seashells. God’s not sitting in Seashell Mansion with a checklist—I found patience under the rock, and kindness in the hidden treasure chest, so once I get devotion time from the maze I win a boyfriend!

Frankly, it’s a dead end for singles to mess around with this idea. We can’t earn anything real in life. We’re not promised what we want. The gifts are given. Maybe God plans for me to have a romantic relationship. Maybe that gift will be given to me and to whoever. Maybe I’ll get the gift of being permanently single, and I’m not being sarcastic. There are wonderful things about being single. It’s not sour grapes or a consolation prize. Maybe I’ll be any number of things.

I guess this is what so disturbs me. This type of thinking is a limitation of God’s power. Idiotic as it seems to me when I catch myself thinking in this way, I become afraid that I’m displeasing God, that I’m stagnant in my walk with him, because I don’t have a boyfriend.

Life is too open to fret myself in a circle about whether or not I’m “right” with God because I’m single. Dating is not a mandatory step towards holiness. Does God work through dating, engagements, marriage? Of course he does. But he also works through famine and fire and gain and loss and joy and an infinite number of things. God is not limited by our relationship statuses. Let’s stop pretending that he is.


"Thirst is no measure of His faithfulness; He withholds no good thing from us."


  1. lovely post! you're such a good writer Kelley! I love how you phrase things :) thanks for the reminder that singleness isn't sour grapes. I liked that one especially :)

  2. i think it's interesting how many times good intentions aren't enough to keep people from hurting someone else. girls who say they got their walk right with God and then got a boyfriend might assume that it'll work the same way for other girls. we're all subject to the notion that the way we see the world is the way others should see it too. instead of looking through the single girl's lenses she puts herself into the girl's story and assumes she'll get a boyfriend too. at least, I think that's how it could happen some of the time. instead of trying to see God working in different ways in different people (ex: singleness and marriage) we put people in the same category as ourselves.