September 19, 2016

Hi Esther,

I have written to you once before about my feeling unworthy of God and am pleased to say that the Lord has gotten me out of some bad mind spaces in recent years. I have grown in my faith with him and am trying to still live out His will for my life.

I write to you for advice now because I have recently had a heavy heart concerning the lack of love in my life, and I really am desiring it. I have wanted to be married and be a godly man since I was a young teen, but no relationship ever seemed to materialize.

I am a millennial, but I reject the modern sinful notions of sex and cohabitation before marriage and embrace the godly notion of marriage between a man and a woman (preferably Christian).

I understand the reasons why God allowed my initial attractions to some women to never materialize into a commitment to marriage before (lack of maturity, not a right match etc.) but recently I am afraid that nothing of the sort will ever come to me. I keep being afraid that God will never allow me to marry due to the times in which we live.

All of the women I know whom I count as friends and relatives each seem to have a trait that attracted them to go into a relationship with the men they chose. Almost all expressed a desire to be there for their man, to be supporting and loving; but their lives do not reflect such dedication from their partners.

I do not wish to sound prideful, but most do not even look into the best interest for their loved ones over themselves as Christ commanded. I would love for a woman to feel that way about me and I about her so we can have a marriage that God says works. A marriage of submission one to another. But no woman has felt this way toward me.

God has blessed me with a lot of opportunities and growth for my business lately, and I pray he keeps but it feels shallow and empty alone. The social situation I am in now as a start-up is worse than it was when I was in college. I went from being around women and friends to being around no one at all.

I have no social life, church life (though I do have online connections to a church group), and all I do is stay at home and work. I do not consider myself that attractive and am afraid to go out and meet others (though I do not have a hard time making new friends).

My biggest fear is that the Lord does not will this for me at any point in my life, or that it will be such a long suffering wait like Abraham and Sarah for their child that I will give up before my time has come. In the grand scheme of things, what is my love life?

All I yearn is to one day exclaim for joy like Adam did when he saw Eve and say “This is flesh of my flesh and blood of my blood.” Nevertheless let God’s will be done regardless of my desires.

Thanks for your time,

The Lonely Young Christian

Dear Lonely Young Christian,

The best years of your life may very well be ahead of you. If the Lord rapture’s His Church soon, the concerns you have will not matter. If he tarries, then your heart’s desire to have the wife of your dreams with whom you can share your life could be on the horizon.

I get the impression that in due time, as you continue to grow your business and grow spiritually, if you are meant to be married—God will bring the right woman into your life. It is natural to desire a mate, but timing is not always as we want for any number of reasons.

Or sometimes the Lord calls us to serve Him without a mate. Consider the apostle Paul. In time, as you continue to seek the Lord for His will for your life, whatever is best for you will become your heart’s desire. At this time, without a doubt, your heart’s desire is to share your life with that special someone.

As you say, “It is so important to reject the modern sinful notions of sex and cohabitation before marriage and embrace the godly notion of marriage between a man and a woman (preferably Christian).

I would remove the thought “preferably Christian” and change it to “only Christian.” Far too many people get themselves into unequally yoked marital situations and live to regret it. A divided house cannot stand. You are better off remaining single than getting involved with someone who is not sold-out for Christ, regardless of how nice that person is. The Lord gives this warning for good reasons:

“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-15).

It is admirable that you understand that the lifestyles led by those who cohabitate and engage in premarital intimate relations is wrong. Hold onto that precept and never compromise. You will be glad you did when the right lady appears in your life.

Sometimes we can create unnecessary limitations by placing barriers in our way. You are a child of God and in His strength you can get up the nerve to meet new people.

When we take the focus away from ourselves and truly place God first in our lives all kinds of wonderful things can happen. Loneliness is not so acute when we are busy serving the Lord. But you should never go into ministry work with the idea of doing it to meet a mate. Do it all for the Lord and He will bless you. Surely you can find people who get together and study the Bible. Look around in your community. Genuine Christians will be happy to fellowship with you.

To fill the void in your life please find some creative ways to reach others for Christ. Out of your devotion to Him, you will not feel so alone. We all need a sense of belonging and we also must trust the Lord to do what is best for us. I can tell you from the many letters I receive most marriages are in trouble. Some (many) are in serious trouble.

If you would reconsider how you perceive your situation, you might just find that you are more blessed than you realize. Outside of your business obligations you can give all of your time to the Lord. You are in the perfect position to spend time taking your faith to a deeper level, delving into steadfast Bible study, and reaching others for Christ.

A godly woman who loves the Lord is attracted to a man who is devoted to Christ; a godly woman desires a man who is well-versed in the Scriptures. Could you lead a future wife in Bible study and devotions? Are you prepared to place God first in that relationship?

Dear friend, the Lord Jesus understands your heart more than anyone else. Pay attention to what He might be trying to communicate to you. Do you trust Him? Do your really trust Him? No one can replace the love of Christ. The church at Ephesus comes to mind:

“But I have this against thee, that thou didst leave thy first love. Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent” (Revelation 2:4-5).

Even though that church had many strong believers who fought the good fight (1 Timothy 6:12), some slowly fell away and left their first love—the Lord Jesus. Eventually that church closed its doors. Never allow yourself to place anything or anyone else before the Lord. Use this time as a single man, wisely.

Be sure you are sold-out to your first love, the Lord Jesus—and trust Him to guide you and create the reality in your life that honors Him. Give the Lord your all first, and only get involved with a woman who loves the Lord and places Him first in her life. The best marriages I have seen are those based a mutual love and devotion for Christ, while working together in some sort of ministry for Him.

If you are living day-to-day thinking you have lack in your life, you will struggle with discontent to your own detriment. Faithfully mediate on the Scriptures and you will be strengthened. Accept Christ’s gift of deep abiding fellowship and walk with Him in a new more determined way. He can renew your mind and change you perception from the lack you feel in your life and fill that void with His abundant joy.

You sound like a very wonderful young man with a lot to offer the Lord and to the world. Ask Him to guide you and pray for wisdom and patience. You still have plenty of time to get married. Resolve to trust completely in Christ for your life’s purpose and yield your will to His will for you. We know that God sovereignly works all things according to His will:

“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:11-12).

The Lord also sovereignly planned what shall come to pass and he carries out His plans:

“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’” (Isaiah 46:10).

You are in an ideal situation. You have not corrupted yourself by getting involved with relationships that would take you away from Christ. You are self-sufficient with your business and you are healthy. You are blessed!

Count all your blessings and always be grateful for everything the good Lord has given you. In this country sometimes we forget just how blessed we are, and take our lifestyles for granted. An attitude of gratitude is so important; it shows our Lord how much we appreciate Him.

Hold on to your virtue and trust that whatever the Lord has in mind for you is His best. Let Him be your best Buddy and think of your life as a great adventure with blessings upon blessings. Give Him your all. Start your day with praising the Lord and get excited about even the smallest blessings.

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17).

Dear friend, I wish you the very best. Please keep in touch and let me know how you are doing as time passes, and always keep this Scripture in mind:

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

In God’s love,

Esther

“Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it” (Proverbs 37:3-5).