Some Christian singles are perfectly content remaining single, which means they are probably called to a life of singleness. While we should all find our ultimate contentment and joy in Christ, it’s okay to not want to be single as long as your ultimate joy is in Christ. Marriage is a blessing for those who want it.
So if you are in a season of unwanted singleness, here are 5 negative thought patterns that could be keeping you single which God wants you to reject.
1. “There Are No Godly Singles Out There” Is a Negative Thought that Will Keep You Single
One of the most common complaints I get when people reach out to me for help to find a godly spouse is that there are just no good options out there. Ironically though, people all of all ages and from both genders say this. If more than one godly single person says there are no other godly singles, this disproves the statement.
My point is, everyone feels alone in this world at times. Even married people feel alone at time. Despite our feelings, we must always realize there are people out there just like us. Elijah was a man just like us. He was a mature follower of God, but he had these negative thoughts of loneliness that were based in lies. In 1 Kings 19:14 he said to the Lord:
I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”
This felt true to Elijah, but it wasn’t. 1 Kings 19:15-18 states:
And the Lord said to him, ‘Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.’”
Elijah was chosen by God to follow him, but he was not the only chosen person to follow the Lord. We too can feel alone at times, but others are a part of God’s plan too. Not only were there seven thousand others like Elijah who did not worship Baal, God was actually about to give Elijah a close assistant in his ministry named Elisha as can be seen in 1 Kings 19:19-21.
When we apply these ideas to our questions about relationships, you may think you are going to be alone forever, God could just be preparing you to meet someone he has planned for you.
2. “I Need to Have It All Together Before I Can Date Someone” Is a Negative Thought that Will Keep You Single
Perfectionism always leads to pessimism. Why? Because when we expect perfection all we see are endless flaws getting in our way. Perfectionist are often some of the most self-critical people because their ideals always clash with the messiness of real life. It’s okay to aim at perfection, but you must rely on the grace of God when you fail, because you will.
Even if you would not consider yourself a perfectionist in most areas of your life, it’s really easy to have this type of mindset when it comes to relationships. We can often think that to have a godly relationship, we must be perfect and we must also find a perfect person. This unrealistic goal of being flawless and finding someone as equally as flawless leads to long seasons of unwanted singleness.
You will either be too afraid to even start a relationship because you are so focused on all that is not perfect, or you will always be breaking off relationships because the smallest problem will cause you to think this relationship could never work.
While we should seek to grow and mature, while we should look for someone with biblical qualities, and while we must express our faith through obedience to God’s laws, we must also have a healthy dependence on God’s grace. As the Lord told Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” The only thing perfect in this equation is God’s power.
3. “I’m Undesirable to the Opposite Sex” Is a Negative Thought that Will Keep You Single
People will often feel about you the way you feel about yourself. What you project to others about yourself has a profound shaping effect on their perception of you. People will see what you show them.
It also helps to look at all the people who are married in the world. Short people have gotten married. Tall people have gotten married. Big boned people have gotten married. Slender boned people have gotten married. Every race, every country, people of different economic levels – there are people in all of these groups who have gotten married. There is not one “type” of person that has been unable to get married.
Yes, certain individuals struggle to get married, but it’s too simplistic to blame your unwanted singleness on the opposite sex’s lack of appreciation for you. Maybe God leads you to change your diet and start exercising. Maybe he doesn’t. But regardless of your physical appearance, marriage is possible.
But a bad personality will always keep you single though. Thankfully God’s grace can humble us and change us so we can be kind and enjoyable to be around rather than antagonistic or judgmental.
My point is, if you believe that everyone from the entire opposite sex finds you undesirable, this negative thought pattern will keep you in an unwanted season of singleness. We must embrace what God says about us. As Psalm 139:13-14 states:
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
4. “Bad Things Always Happen to Me” Is a Negative Thought that Will Keep You Single
Bad things will always happen to you during this lifetime, but bad things will always happen to all people on this earth because things are broken and are not as they should be. When you think you are especially unlucky, you end up creating a self-fulfilling prophesy. This negative thought pattern will cause you to focus so much on the bad that you will blind yourself to the blessings God is giving you.
Nobody wants to be around a negative person. People who complain about being lonely and having no friends actually keep people away because who wants to be around a complainer? The more you focus on something that is bad, the more life you give it. Yes, you may be lonely. You may need new friends or more friends. You have experienced trauma. But your life will not improve if you let yourself focus on all the bad when there are also blessings in this life too. Psalm 23:4, 6 states:
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. . . . Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
David does not deny there are dark days, but he also focus on the comfort God brings. He knows that though life is hard, God’s “goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
We have to make the choice to be grateful people who enjoy the gifts God sends us. There are rainy days, but there are sunny days too. It’s our choice which days we will let define our life. We must be honest about the pain in our lives. We don’t want to deny it and pretend it’s not there. But we also must be just as honest about the good too.
5. “I’ll Only Be Happy When I Finally Meet The One” Is a Negative Thought that Will Keep You Single
If you believe that you can only be happy once you find the one, you will never find the one because when you are dating you will be unhappy because you won’t know if that person is the one. In other words, if you will only choose to be happy once you get married, your unhappiness in singleness will prevent you from ever getting married one day. The pressure we put on others to make us happy makes them pull away from us.
No one knows our flaws like ourselves. We know we can’t make others happy. We know we are not perfect. So when someone comes to us to find that happiness they lack, we know we will let them down if they really got to know us, so we run because of the pressure. Likewise, people will run from us if we think they are the perfect person we’ve always been looking for because they will know they are not that person and will not want the pressure to be perfect.
All that to say, you have to let go of the negative thought that you can only be happy once you meet the one. By becoming a more whole and happier person yourself in singleness, you are much more likely to meet someone you will date and then marry one day.