Single for a Season – Trusting God in romantic relationships.
Guest post by Bob Waruszewski
We have all heard the question, so, are you dating anyone yet? This is asked as if singlehood is a disease and dating is the magic cure. While dating relationships are fine, many times, good Catholics spend so much energy trying to find their future spouse that they forget to trust God and allow him to use them in the present moment. Too often in my own life I have seen people miss out on great opportunities to build their faith on mission trips, retreats, and conferences because their significant other or someone they were trying to date could not attend.
God has a great plan for each of us, but sometimes we squander these opportunities through premature dating relationships. Instead of trusting solely on our own power to make marriage a reality we need to lean on God’s promises. A practical way to develop this trust in God is to set apart some time in life to be single and postpone romantic relationships. As Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens”. For many, there is a time to be single and a time to be married. A set period of singlehood is a beautiful time for one to grow into the person that God has called them to be.
An essential part of growth during singlehood is a solid prayer life. If a person wants to be a good spouse they must know and love the Lord more than their spouse. The more one loves God, the more they are then able to love others While single, it is imperative that a person begins to spend consistent time each day with the Lord in prayer and truly develop a deep relationship with him. If God is at the center of our lives, then everything else will fall into place, including our vocation, though prayers for one’s future spouse don’t hurt the cause.
Another beautiful opportunity available for singles is wholehearted service. As a single person, it is rather easy to pour one’s self into God’s ministry in various ways. Whether that service is leading Bible studies and retreats, helping at soup kitchens or tutoring children after school, service is essential during the single life because it teaches one to put others in front of themselves, a skill very useful in the married life. Who knows, one may meet their future spouse while serving the Lord.
A third way for men and women to develop during singlehood is to cultivate a strong understanding of what it means to be a man or a woman. Our culture is very confused about the identity of each gender. Singlehood offers a person a chance to grow in understanding of their own identity as a person and not just brother x’s girlfriend or sister y’s boyfriend. A man learns the ways of manhood by being with other men just as women learn the essence of womanhood by being with other women. This does not mean that while one is single they should avoid the opposite gender, after all how can you date someone if you never talk to the opposite sex. However, simply setting aside “man time” or “woman time” to develop a better understanding of one’s gender can be very fruitful. How much more will a man or a woman be able to offer their future spouse if they have spent time growing into the roles that God has called them into through their respective genders.
These are by no means an exhaustive list of ways to grow during singlehood. There are many ways to grow in this special season of one’s life so one can become ready to date in God’s time. One need not fear singlehood because God loves us and in his time he will provide us with the opportunity to meet, date and marry our future spouse if it be in his holy will.
Bob Waruszewski is a 22 year old cradle Catholic from Pittsburgh, PA. He recently graduated from St. Vincent College with a bachelor’s degree in both mathematics and economics. Currently he works for a bank in the Steel City. In his free time he enjoys sports, hiking, reading and chess. His favorite Saint is St. Joseph.