Today is Valentine’s Day, and with that people often become more aware of their singleness than normal. Sometimes this causes people to be more depressed than usual, or sometimes it causes people to be more resentful at the happy couples. Being a single man myself, I would find that this day would remind me of my loneliness, but I think this is the wrong mindset to have. We must remember that we have already received the greatest love possible: “God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8). Of course you know this as a Christian, but do you meditate upon this truth? If you are not greatly moved by this love, then something is wrong.
Often times we feel like we need to be with someone in order to feel valued. We are angry or depressed because we desire and we do not have. We do not have because we desire it in the wrong way. Sometimes we treat the opposite sex as an idol. That has to stop. The first step to overcoming this problem is to recognize the root cause of this problem: you are valuing a relationship too much. Frankly, relationships are overrated. As someone who has been in a few (not many), I have to tell you that it is hard work and it can be very hurtful. That does not mean that it has no value, but we should not place too much value on it. Recognize that with relationships you both bring your brokenness into it. So when you feel so desperate to be valued by the other, you become insecure as a result.
This is just not the way that we should have a relationship. Believe me, it always ends in ruin when we place too much of our happiness in another. It is not wrong to have happiness with another girl, but you should only ever have your happiness in God. If you feel like you are compromising on your values, if you see yourself spending more time with the girl than God, and if you see yourself becoming spiritually weak, then this girl has indeed become an idol for you. Since God disciplines His children, He will either bring pain in the relationship to point to the root cause of this problem, or He will destroy that relationship.
When you are with a girl, no matter how great you are together, you must always be prepared to lose her. The moment you are not able to lose her is the moment you know that you are in idolatry. It is perfectly okay to mourn over her, it is perfectly okay to not want this to happen, but if you cannot function without her, then you are not ready for a relationship. Relationships are complimentary add-ons to who you are, they are not the means of your fulfillment. I truly do understand the pain that comes with this, but God instructs the afflicted by their torment (Job 36:15-16). Embrace your torment and turn it over to God. Be at a point where you could say this, which I wrote about a year ago:
Perhaps I can be alone, perhaps I can endure it. Surely if God wills it then I will submit. It doesn’t mean I won’t want to be with someone, it doesn’t mean it won’t hurt, but it means I can endure it just as Christ had to endure His pain. In this life you don’t always get what you want because it teaches us who we really need: God. I’m willing, but not ready. Able but not invincible. Sad but not without joy. Without a companion but not without love. Lonely but not forsaken. Broken, but not destroyed.
Make this your resounding cry to the Lord! Let your loneliness move you to seek His love even more! Because it is only under the refuge of His wings that we will truly find peace. Are you able to say with Paul, “I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Philippians 4:11)? If not then you know that there is a spiritual problem that you must desperately seek the Lord to repair. Paul was able to find contentment even when he was imprisoned, naked, and abandoned by other believers! How little is our pain compared to his! But the Lord gave Paul grace that was sufficient to overcome it. Will not the God of Love do the same for us?
Remember what you have. The friends and family who love you, but more importantly the most important being who loves you even while you were in your worst state. Imagine just being covered in blood, feces, and filled with disease. Would any girl want to be with you? Surely not, and yet that is exactly the state that God found us in! He rescued and died for wretched creatures like us because of His perfect love. Can a love of a woman compare to this? Never! So rest in this truth, and know that in God, we lack nothing (Psalm 23:1). You are loved no matter how ugly or worthless you think you are. God proved His love on that cross. It is a historical fact as much as it is that Alexander the Great existed.
Will you dare call Him a liar? No? Then fully accept His estimation of your value! Do not linger in despair but bathe in the glories of His love!