A couple years ago, I wrote a blog post called “Jesus Still Likes You If You’re Single” and it was my very most favoritest post I’ve ever written in the history of writing blog posts ever. Ever.
Unfortunately, it incorporated no gifs. Not one! How did anyone even get through the thing? Having a blog post without solid gif representation is like presenting someone with a slice of toast and not offering an array of jams.
Every year since then, I’ve reposted this piece (even though there were no gifs – I know – I am sorry.) And this year, I decided to expand on it. Is it because I like listening to my own voice? Perhaps. Let’s not read into it.
Either way, there will be gifs.
Sweet friend, have you found yourself single this Valentines Day? Maybe this is your first one in a very long time. Maybe this is the way you always experience Valentines Day.
Sweet friend, have you found yourself in a relationship this Valentines Day? Maybe this is your very first one together and you’re about to find out if he’s a “roses and chocolate” kinda guy or a “I thought it’d be romantic if we watch my favorite movie on this couch a dog has definitely peed on before” kinda guy. Exciting stuff.
Maybe you’re six years in and everything’s fine. Just fine. No, it’s okay, we believe you. You’re fine. Everything’s good.
(And maybe you’re in a perfect, healthy relationship and it’s truly amazing but just to be honest, that’s not what we’re talking about here.)
I think one of the biggest lies culture perpetuates without ever actually saying out loud (Christian culture? Southern culture? Probably a mix of both) is that if you are single, you are less than.
You are not a real grown up yet. You are missing something. You don’t know what makes life meaningful. Surely you’re not actually happy.
And I am so done with it. I don’t even think most married couples agree with this mindset. Yet, it is an underlying voice I’ve heard over and over since residing in this southern Bible belt.
Here’s my current problem with being passionate about how single people are loved and led by the Church; here’s what has caused me to hesitate before slamming my open palms on the hypothetical wooden table and shouting in a commanding voice (use your imagination with me here because my real voice holds little to no authority whatsoever,) “ENOUGH!” :
I’ve started dating someone.
And, like, I like this someone quite a bit.
And I’ve been wrestling with this fear that since I like a someone quite a bit, no single people will believe me or want to listen to me anymore.
But I’ve decided that’s silly. And in my head. And if you truly think this way (which, for the record, it is a completely valid thought) please reach out to me (@emfinke on the various socials hayy) so that I can know how you feel and proceed accordingly.
But first, please keep reading, just to the end of this post. And then you never have to read anything I write ever again for the entirety of time.
I believe everything comes down to one question:
Why do we live?
If we live to create memories and have adventures and make money and eventually have a lot of people and stories at our funeral, then you should probably date and get married. No matter what. You should.
Because this route would guarantee a human to hang out with and take photos of you for Instagram and make you feel safer while exploring seedier parts of town and allow you to raise tinier more adorable humans with at least a little help.
But, if we live to advance the Kingdom of God, everything changes.
Because then we have to ask, “Am I able to better advance the Kingdom of God with this person or without him/her?”
If you’re dating someone who’s heart and skills and passions line up with yours in such a way that y’all could do some major wreckage for the Kingdom, go forth and put a big ole shiny ring on it pronto!
If you’re thinking about your current relationship and you’re unsure – pray, chat, seek to be better, surrender it to Jesus, and see how things play out.
If you’re thinking about your current relationships and you’re very sure, but in a decidedly unfortunate way – it may be time to let it go.
Go forth in freedom as the Kingdom shaker and disciple maker God created you to be.
(Disclaimer: woooah there, hold up, cowboy. If you’re married, stay married. We’re talkin’ datin’ here.)
But you see, if you’re single, God has you exactly where he wants you to be. There is not one ounce of pressure on you to find a partner. If there is someone who is perfectly designed to help you impact the Kingdom better, do you think God would hide him/her from you?
No. That would be counter-productive. Duh.
So live boldly and vibrantly right now, confidently knowing that life is big and beautiful and full of purpose, because life is big and beautiful and full of purpose!
Explore new places. Right now. Talk to strangers. Right now. Get to know your city. Right now. Invest in your church. Right now. If there is boy who God puts in your life, go on a date. Right now. Learn a new hobby or skill. Right now. And love, love, LOVE every human you come in contact with. Right now. Tangibly.
You’re in the perfect spot to do so.
Jesus still likes you if you’re single.
Jesus is going to use the heck out of you while you’re single.
Jesus sees you as way more than single or not single.
He sees you as His. He sees you as someone riddled with gifts and desires and a huge capacity to love through his Spirit. And He sees that so much better than you or anyone because he gave them to you in the first place.
Whether you’re single, married or dating, go forth, living boldly and loving well because thats what we were built for: