“Single” feels like a dirty word this time of year.
I always get the “don’t worry, it will happen when you least expect it”; or the “I don’t understand why you’re alone”; Or my personal favorite… the “you just have to put yourself out there!”
I’m not quite sure where “there” is. I’m a very practical person, so some GPS directions would be appreciated.
When you’re surrounded by hearts, balloons, and roses, it’s hard to not feel like there’s an exclusive club that you aren’t apart of. You’re just the one that wasn’t invited to the party, staring longingly through the window at the happy people.
Being single can feel like a stigma. It becomes this giant scarlet letter that everyone is blatantly aware of and, boy, does everyone have an opinion on it. They want to set you up with anyone and everyone they know that’s single… just because they are also single. Apparently, the simple fact of being single is the most important quality for compatibility.
Ruth is often the cornerstone story for single women. I love Ruth. She’s my favorite character in the Bible, but not simply because of her relationship with Boaz.
Ruth was devoted to her mother-in-law – Naomi. After the death of her husband, Ruth had a decision to make. Naomi wanted Ruth to have the opportunity to move on with her life after the death of her husband. She wanted Ruth to find love again. Ruth’s decision was driven by love. But it was Ruth’s love for Naomi, not her desire to find another husband. Instead, she gave her life to serve and care for Naomi. To follow her wherever she would go.
This story can get lost amidst her love story with Boaz. Girl got a whole book in the Bible! So, there’s more to it than that. My favorite part about Ruth does come from Boaz’s own words, though.
“I’ve heard all about you—heard about the way you treated your mother-in-law after the death of her husband […] God reward you well for what you’ve done—and with a generous bonus besides from God, to whom you’ve come seeking protection under his wings.” Ruth 2:11-12
Her dedication did not go unnoticed and her faithfulness did not go unrewarded. Her intention was not to find a husband. Her intention was to care for Naomi. Her life was blessed with Boaz. He was a “generous bonus” due to Ruth’s faithfulness to the Lord.
How different might we feel if we dedicated our lives to embracing the present like Ruth did instead of constantly longing for the next stage of life? No expectations, no ulterior motives, no desperation.
Some singletons are called to a life of dedication to the Lord. Some are called to a life of patience. Then there are some who need to step outside of their comfort zones to receive the gift that God has waiting.
I love love. I enjoy watching this extraordinary gift that God has provided this world to mirror just a sliver of the love He has for us. I believe that if I “take delight in the Lord, and he will give [me] the desires of [my] heart” (Psalm 37:4). I also know that sometimes that begins with finding peace in my current circumstances. It begins with rejoicing in the gifts that He’s given me now, rather than lamenting the things that are yet to come. I want to clothe myself with contentment and peace rather than loneliness and desperation. I want to wait patiently on the Lord for fulfillment.
And maybe as a generous bonus down the road, God will send a Boaz my way!