Pastor Jim provides advice for Christian singles, stating that finding a ‘true, cherished, valuable friend’ is very important even before searching for a romantic relationship. Build Christian friendships that are ‘mutually rewarding, and then move to romance.’ His full Christian advice column is below.
It’s Not Being Single but Alone
Being single as an adult is not the challenge, it is being alone that breaks us. It is not whether or not you are in a romantic relationship, but if you have a relationship with others that makes the difference between enjoyable living and misery.
God created us to relate to Him and to others. This is as fundamental as having breath or blood. Our systems were not engineered to isolate and take life alone. To do so is to step outside of God’s plan and try to make it on your own. At best you might find enjoyment for a moment, but without relating to others you will soon grow inward and isolated from both people and reality.
I see this as a huge challenge for single adults. When life is not shaping up the way one desires, the temptation is to withdraw and put up guards against being hurt directly or indirectly. Soon the only voice one hears is their own and it becomes self-defeating and depression sets in.
You must connect with others in an authentic and real way to maintain physical, emotional, and mental health. This relating must be with someone who genuinely cares for you and will tell you the truth, in love, before you get into a perspective or way of moving that will take you on an unfulfilling journey.
I am not speaking of romantic relationship. In fact, I do not believe that a healthy romantic relationship can exist unless there are other relationships that are genuine and caring. The measure for a romantic relationship comes from experiencing real friendships.
The type of relationship I speak of is found in a friend, a true, cherished, valuable friend. A friend that is as they say closer than a brother – or sister. This type of friendship takes time and effort to find and build. Yet, it is more essential to your future than your job or your education.
Before you set out to find a romantic relationship set out to find and develop a real friendship. I find that friends of this type are of the same gender and tell it like it is because they want the best for and out of you. Finding and building this kind of relationship is a key also to you learning how to be a great partner when the time comes for a romantic relationship.
Build a healthy life for yourself by first focusing on building friendships that are mutually rewarding, and then move to romance. Not only will it be less lonely, but also you will make fewer mistakes and find new ways of seeing and moving in life than you ever experienced before your friendship.