Where Is That One Special Relationship?

Billie Jo YoumansBy Billie Jo Youmans8 Minutes

With 70% of the population “partnered” to another, singles find themselves in a world that caters to couples. Historically and culturally – but not biblically — single life is assigned a second-best status, leaving many singles feeling “less than” or “like a third wheel.” An increasing number of people are embracing the single life for its positives and possibilities, but others still long to know, ‘where is that one special relationship for me?

What does faith have to say to those longing for a special someone?

God gave everyone the desire for love, but He never intended that desire to rule lives. The key to a fulfilled life is finding the purpose behind a God-given desire. There is so much more to every person and to the calling on every life than finding an earthly partner.

God uses the physical and emotional challenges of living single (or married, for that matter) to transform His children into Christ-likeness. Practical matters like finances, car repairs, and a back-up when you’re weak create unique challenges for singles, but for most, the emotional challenges drive the pursuit of a mate. In truth, though, the emotional battles of life – insecurity, fear, frustration, grief, wounds of abandonment, failure, and rejection – aren’t unique to singles. And no earthly partner can solve those pains. Heartaches find healing only in the heart of God.

The Need for Love

The Word of God reveals that living single is not less noble than marriage. In fact, the Apostle Paul advocated for the single life, and other passages reveal singleness is a GIFT from God with many advantages. (Matthew 19:11; 1 Corinthians 7:7). Christ’s gift of abundant life (John 10:10) accomplishes the good plans of God and isn’t partnered to marital status.

We have a need for love BECAUSE God made us in His image, for His purposes. He understands our longing for relationship because HE IS LOVE – and love remains unfulfilled until it is given away! As the source of love (1 John 4:19), He must always be our first love. We have nothing to give if He is not first-place in our lives.

Sometimes the desire for a special relationship reaches such a level of intensity, God gets pushed aside. Anxiously seeking someone who makes you feel special derails you from the love that created you and now powers you. That’s not saying, “Jesus is all you need,” and it doesn’t mean desiring a partner is wrong. God wants you to share and surrender your desires to Him, trusting He’ll provide what is best for you. Above all, God wants your driving desire to be for Himself. Pour your love into God and you will find that one special relationship.

Let’s revisit the first matchmaking story for some extra insight:

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”  Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.

The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man (Genesis 2:18-22).

Verse 18 prompts many to ask, “Since God says it’s not good for me to be alone, why don’t I have a mate?” But God’s proclamation of need was not a statement of Adam’s incompleteness. He had already declared all of creation very good. God is simply acknowledging Adam’s divine assignment required a help-meet to fulfill it.

Note that Adam’s need did not drive what happened next. God didn’t immediately provide a partner. He allowed Adam to discover his own need by involving him in the work ordained for man at creation (Genesis 1:28). When the time was right, God brought Adam’s help-meet from within him, revealing that in the divine plan, earthly partners come from your God-given identity and assigned purposes.

Perhaps most exciting is seeing the solution to Adam’s need described by a word most often used for God’s own activity (i.e., Exodus 18:4, Psalm 33:20, Hosea 13:9)!  Biblical scholars explain help-meet as a combination of two roots which mean: to rescue or save and to be strong. An earthly partner takes on a holy job assignment – occupying such a powerful position in a life that only God can aptly orchestrate the right match. For those without an earthly partner, God remains an all-sufficient help-meet.

Fulfilling Your Destiny

When God crafted you, He placed amazing possibilities within you and before you – the opportunities you encounter in life are all part of His orchestration (Ephesians 2:10). That one special relationship is best found by understanding God’s design of you and seeking God’s plans for you.

Pursuing a partner by exploring the pool of candidates – or presenting oneself according to the market standards totally misses the mark for a precious child of God. Instead, pursue God’s purposes by loving how He made you, by embracing your talents, your interests, and even your weaknesses – and using them for God’s glory.

Strive to be content with yourself as God made you. Seek to please Him by doing what your design and opportunity calls you to do. Contentment and faithfulness show your love for God and bring Him glory. Tell God what you want, without insisting that you know best. Trust He has good plans and purposes for you that He will bring to fulfillment.

And remember, ultimately, both singles and marrieds have the same purpose: revealing the love of God and raising up others who love God.