While singleness and dating mean different things when it comes to relationship status, one component they both actually have in common is they bear a root called perspective.
Tell me, what’s your perspective of your current dating status?
Are you wrestling through being single?
Are you wrestling with a relationship God has made clear you need to let go of, but find yourself in denial and holding on for a miracle of hope?
Do you find that you’re forcing yourself through opportunities to feel seen in the dating scene?
Do you find that you’re forcing yourself to hold on to a relationship you know isn’t life giving?
When we think about forcing something, the driving factor is because whatever we are doing or waiting on is not working — drastic times call for drastic measures, right?
Maybe you’re convinced if you just hold on, or make a plan to find that person on your own, it will eventually become something fruitful and something that can grow.
But tell me, would God say it’s so?
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful... If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:1-3, 5-7 (NIV)
I've learned that singleness and dating are both part of a growth process. Part of that process is allowing The Lord to work His pruning. While it may be painful, there’s a reason He’s asking you to let go because pruning is what makes room for thriving healthy growth.
When vines are not pruned they end up spiraling out of control and can actually inhibit their growth because they choose whichever direction they please. When we defy the direction The Lord is calling us to grow into, we lose our way and can become trapped and entangled by our own hearts’ desires. As the scripture says, if we don’t press on to remain in Him, which means including in His time and His ways, we will wither away.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs 14:12 (ESV)
If you are pursuing a relationship or trying to fight off disappointment of singleness in ways that don’t glorify Him, does it even give any life then?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness” Galatians 5:22 (ESV)
Sit down, in a quiet place, and in prayer ask Him to reveal the root of your perspective in your season of dating or singleness.
Where’s your heart?
Is it entangled in fear of being alone?
Is it entangled in the idolatry that keeping or gaining a relationship will allow you to become happy?
Maybe, He’s calling you to surrender by laying down the shears you’ve been gripping for life to; so that He can pick them up to prune you -- to grow into a healthy place or even protect you from what may break or burn you if you forced it. We cannot bear a fruitful relationship without our branches first secured and submitted to Him.
My prayer and challenge for you is that your heart will find perspective that just maybe your “no” from Him is to encourage you to grow within.