A Story of Purposeful Singleness by Branden Sewell…
“You always hear stories about young girls dreaming about their wedding day. When we think of young boys, we don’t typically think of them dreaming about their big day. It has been drilled into our minds that boys aren’t the sensitive ones. They dream about being superheroes or being professional athletes.
I personally believe there are actually a lot of young boys dreaming about their future brides; however, the culture has set an expectation for boys to be insensitive and more concerned with how many girls they can get with, rather than being committed to one person forever.
I can remember dreaming about getting married when I was as young as ten years old. I had little girlfriends and hoped that I would one day marry them. George Strait’s song, “Check Yes or No” was my ideal scenario for my marriage. There was nothing I wanted more than to marry my childhood sweetheart.
When I think of my story and how things actually turned out, I wouldn’t change a thing.
My experience with relationships taught me a great lesson about waiting in my singleness and being content. When I finally grasped the significance of my singleness and applied it to my life, things radically changed. I had to get over my obsession with being married on my terms and my desired timeline.
At a young age, I was chasing after love. I couldn’t wait to be in a relationship, and I hated being single. There was nothing worse than being alone. The only problem with that – I just ended up bouncing from one relationship to the next.
Love is an incredible feeling. The passion and exhilaration of being in love is great in a relationship, but too often, relationships get reduced to feelings without true commitment. Not that there is anything wrong with all those amazing feelings; however, love is much, much more than that.
In my teenage years, I had three relationships that were serious and somewhat committed. However, I went into those relationships the wrong way and without any prayer or wisdom. They all ended with hurt and brokenness.
After my last failed relationship, at eighteen years old, I made a commitment to my singleness and seeking God only. I knew that, in order to have a committed, successful relationship, I needed to build a solid foundation for it. Without strong foundations, whatever we build will soon fall apart.
My journey with being single started when I was eighteen. From the age of sixteen, I had been writing letters to my future wife. I wrote my last one in June of 2011. In that last letter, I wrote to God about my wife. That letter stated that I was committing the next three years to being single in order to prepare myself for my future bride.
When I wrote that last letter, I knew that I had to become a man. I had to focus on becoming the man that my wife could trust to lead her spiritually, guide her, provide for her, and protect her. I couldn’t become that man if I was distracted and giving little bits and pieces of my heart away to other women.
For three years, I pursued becoming a man of God and being single with great intentionality. During those three years, I strived to get closer to God. My time was consumed with serving and seeking Him.
My three-year journey can be broken down into 6 simple points to help with getting the most out of your singleness. What you do in your singleness is the foundation upon which you will build your marriage. Build a solid one.
1- Seek God – Take this time of singleness, and devote it to prayer, reading the Word, and serving in your local church. Build a solid foundation in your spiritual life, so you can lead your spouse spiritually.
2- Independence – If you live with your parents, and you are old enough to be on your own, there is a problem- especially if you desire to get married. Move out. Build a firm foundation on financial independence. When you get married, you need to be able to provide. Take this time of singleness, and focus on bettering yourself.
3- Personal growth – When you get married, life will come and challenge your marriage. The fire of life will test it and see what it is made of. Build a foundation of commitment, character, integrity, trust, and honor in your life. Read books that will help you grow personally. It is important to shape yourself for marriage. Your singleness is a time to really focus and become the man or woman your spouse needs you to be.
4- Purity – This is one of the most important parts of your singleness. Your heart is fragile. Handle it with care. During your singleness, stay focused on setting your heart apart and not allowing it to be given over to another. Be careful what you look at, what you read, and what you think about. Staying focused on God will help you to stay the course.
5- Seek Wise Counsel – When someone does come along, don’t be quick to jump into something you will regret. Don’t let your feelings take over. You don’t have to be in a hurry. Seek counsel from the leaders to whom you submit, including your pastor, parents especially, and any others.
6- Friendship – The most solid foundation for a successful relationship is friendship. You don’t have to put the labels on right away. Take time to become friends. Get to know each other in small groups, and refrain from putting yourself in situations where feelings can take over.
When Sammy and I met, I told her that I would not commit to a relationship with her unless I knew that she was my wife. We focused on our friendship until we both knew that we were supposed to get married.
Those six points helped me prepare for my future bride. There were times when my plan for three years of singleness was tested, but I went back to the core of why I was doing it, and this helped me to succeed.
I met my wife in June of 2014, exactly three years after I had written that last letter to God in June of 2011. Honestly, when I wrote that letter, I later forgot I committed three years.
One day, when I was reading through that letter I had written in June of 2011, I started to put together that I met Sammy three years later to the month. That is when God showed me Sammy was the one.
God led me through my time of singleness. That was the longest amount of time I had ever been single. It took commitment and discipline. Those three years were vital to the health and success of my marriage. Sammy and I have an incredible marriage because of our strong foundation – the core of that foundation being Jesus.
If you are single, enjoy it. Find who you are in God. Seek Him with all your heart. Focus on being who God has called you to be, and don’t worry about adding a relationship into the equation. Prepare yourself for an awesome marriage by building a strong foundation in your singleness. It’s okay to be single. Be content in your singleness, and you will be that much stronger when it is time for a committed relationship.”
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