How do you deal with longings of the Heart?

(Vili) #1

Hi all

Currently going through a season of singleness. I’m 18, and have never had any relationships prior, since I’ve seen (in my experience) about how relationships in my age group tend to be full of unnecessary drama, and at the same time I REALLY want to be able to get to know Christ (Currently taking notes on “How to Read the Bible for all it’s Worth” by Gordon Fee, but getting impatient at the same time, however I feel that after reading, it will definitely be worth it).

All being said, every now and then, my heart tends to ACHE for a girl and having a relationship. I know it’s okay for me at this stage, but I wanted to ask, how do you deal with this?

(LaTricia J.) #2

Thank you for candidly sharing @AlphaOmega. More people go through this than is probably spoken of, especially since most societies place a high value on being partnered and such.

I’m not going to give you any of the typical talk that we usually hear in church to address all matters of singleness. The fact is, most of us long for companionship. We have a longing in our hearts to share our lives with someone; to have inside jokes; to experience love with; to be intimate with; to grow old with; we desire to have someone that we can share the ups and downs with, someone who’s not only our partner but our best and closest friend. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I’m older than you, and it used to be that I thought it was noble to be single or to deny having a desire to be in an well bonded relationship with someone. But, it’s not. When I came to Christ, I had to get real honest about that, my desires and that longing. When I look back over the years after coming to Christ, I can’t say that I’ve never again experienced that longing, because I have. But I always take that longing to God in prayer. It sounds a little hokey, but it wasn’t until now that I realized that’s been the primary way that I have addressed my singleness and all that comes with it. Without fail, something happens within to ease it.

I also use my time of singleness to get to know me and better understand what I desire in a husband should I ever get to the point of marriage. I do live a rather busy life; I have ambitions to work towards; an ailing and aging mother to care for; the gym; church; social activities. But the biggest lesson of being single and in Christ has been learning to enjoy my own company. If I don’t enjoy me and have contentment in my alone time, I can’t possibly expect anyone else to enjoy me and my company either.

Please note, drama doesn’t go away with age. LOL Maturity isn’t about age so much as it about learning and gaining wisdom over time. I look at people in their 30s and over and sometimes give thanks for being single. :rofl:

(SeanO) #3

@AlphaOmega Put your hands to the plow :wink: Being single is a unique opportunity to gain skills and knowledge - to focus completely on seeking the Lord and gaining skills necessary for a career. Those longings are completely normal, but until you are in a place to be in a relationship I think it best to surrender those longings to God in prayer and to channel that energy into becoming a mature, Christian man who can one day provide / guide a family. I think those longings provide a great opportunity to ask some big questions:

  • what is my theology of singleness? What does God say about singleness?
  • is my identity fully rooted in God? Or am I hoping someone else will fulfill me?
  • has God called me to be single? If not, how should I prepare to have a family?
  • how should I use this season of singleness to gain skills and grow in maturity?
  • who is God calling me to be?

When I asked a friend to preach to our youth about relationships, he used a great illustration. He said that a marriage is two people pursuing common goals together with Christ as their Lord and Savior - colaborers for the Kingdom. So while you’re single, you learn about your own gifting and grow in wisdom / ability. And when the time is right find someone who has a common vision for life - how many kids, giving, missions - and is also mature enough to begin that journey of family.

Here are some great talks on how to understand singleness and get the most out of it as long as it lasts. Christ grant you wisdom :slight_smile:

Tim Keller - A Theology of Singleness

Sam Allberry - Sexuality and Identity

(Kathleen) #4

Hi, @AlphaOmega! First off, thank you so much for posting so frankly on here. As someone who is single, I very much respect the struggle you’re going through right now. But I wanted to ask, what do you want out of having a girl/a relationship? That is, what is it your heart is longing for? ‘Being in a relationship’ means something different for everyone, and I’m curious what you think you will gain by being in one (or, alternatively, lose out on by not being in one)? :slight_smile:

(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #5

Hello @AlphaOmega !

As a fellow single 18 yr old, I know what you mean. I can’t say that I’ve had the same ache for as you have, but I do know what it’s like to observe it as I have a sister who is a year and a half younger than I am and definitely see the same ache in her heart (she has a boyfriend, but even now I still see it in her).

I agree 100% with @SeanO and the points he made plus I’d like add a link to a podcast by Dr. Tony Evans on singleness. He does amazing work on what real Christian manhood looks like. This podcast is more gender neutral, though, but I suggest you look him up on YouTube. Here’s the link:

Secondly, I would like to suggest an amazing book that I have read on dating by Gary Thomas. This is my go-to book on dating and I suggest you get a copy and study it. It will be so worth your while, believe me!

Here is Dr. Thomas on focus on the family’s podcast talking about his book:

(Vili) #6

Hi KMac

What I want out of a relationship is really that companionship, the closeness that seems to come with it, to the point where that person will really understand you. However, I know that that’s something that I can find in Christ, but lately, I haven’t been able to get that (which is why I’m taking notes from “How to Read the Bible for All it’s Worth”).