A certain article about finding love has been blowing up my Facebook newsfeed.
(link to the article: http://www.readunwritten.com/2015/03/10/im-only-22-i-dont-want-someone-else-to-be-my-whole-world/)
A young woman describes her desire to pursue her own dreams while she still can, instead of relying on a man to complete her. She has chosen to become whole and complete on her own, while she is still waiting for her true love to come along. Excerpt: “I don’t want a better half. I want to be whole. I want to consider myself and my happiness as more important than a relationship I will ever be involved with. Does this make me selfish? No. This makes me able to know that I can and will be happy alone, no matter how many heartbreaks will come my way”
I’ll admit, at first I was skeptical of this concept. I’m a hopeless romantic and believe firmly in loving one another well. As a Christian college-aged student, it seems like the world puts so much pressure on us to marry young and find “the one” so fast. But when I really let her words marinate, I realized that this chick has figured out the trick to finding security. In order to feel completely adequate and find acceptance with oneself, you must first discover yourself. It is extremely difficult for anyone, man or woman, to give complete, Biblical love to another without first understanding:
1) How to love ourselves and know ourselves
2) How to accept the love that Jesus offers to each of us individually
The concept of knowing oneself seems so mysterious and frightening. So often, we learn about ourselves from mistakes instead of being intentional about discovery. In order for anyone to find complete fulfillment in a partnership with another imperfect human, it is imperative to try to understand oneself. What makes you tick? What makes you so happy you could cry? What brings you joy? I’m very inconsistent about really taking the time to think about myself. But I’m learning that thinking about oneself does not have to manifest through selfishness. In fact, in a relationship it is selfless to identify one’s own needs before they manifest in an unhealthy way. It is healthy to consider your own future, and take the time to find your own identity, whether that journey occurs in the midst of a relationship or without one.
I often hear my peers complaining about being single in college, and I find myself wallowing sometimes in loneliness too. It can be so difficult to thrive without a partner in a culture that is so focused on glorifying sexuality and finding perfect love. However, we must stand firm, and trust that God is still good despite the aching loneliness at times. We must pursue God first and foremost, so that He is the only factor directing our desires. We must pray, and seek guidance before walking into a new relationship, and ask Jesus to align our desire with His perfect will.
We must learn to apply 1 Corinthians 13 to our own selves. “love is patient, love is kind…” When was the last time you were patient with your shortcomings or kind towards your body? This passage is not just designed to represent romantic love, it can truly paint a picture of how we are supposed to love our own crazy, broken selves through the grace-filled blood of Christ.
Jesus gave himself to us by dying a horrific death, so that we may look at ourselves and feel satisfied holding hands with just Him. God designed us to walk with Him, talk with Him, commune with Him. While He created romantic love, He wants us to seek Him first and foremost. Only Jesus knows when we are ready to find a partner, and sometimes that takes wading through many heartbreaks and life lessons. But it will be worth it. Looking around at all of the Godly relationships I’ve been blessed to witness, I am encouraged by their pursuit of Jesus and each other.
Accept your journey to self discovery, and please understand that it’s okay to pursue yourself. It’s okay to still be in waiting for that person that God has planned for you. It’s okay to be content in a season of singleness, and it’s okay to enjoy it.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2Corinthians 4:3
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28