Lies lead to discontentment, discouragement, and disappointment in our singleness because they ultimately have us believing that something other than Jesus is the source of our contentment.
Let’s take a look at some of those lies about singleness and contentment, along with the truth about what it means to be content in singleness:
1. Becoming content in singleness means you no longer desire a relationship or marriage
This lie is based on a definition of contentment that isn’t biblical: that being content means we don’t have any needs or desires.
When we see contentment spoken about in Scripture, we see joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment even in the midst of unfulfilled desires.
One of these places is in Philippians 4, where Paul says he learned to be content whether in want or in plenty. (v. 12)
Paul had to learn contentment in both circumstances. This means contentment doesn’t automatically come in plenty, when we have all we want. And it means we can have contentment when we are in need and still have wants.
Contentment isn’t about whether or not our desires are fulfilled, but about abiding in Jesus as the Source of our fulfillment and joy. (John 15:9-11)
2. Being content in singleness means you can’t pursue a relationship
This lies says that maybe it’s okay to want to be in relationship, but if you’re truly content, you’ll be okay with sitting back and waiting for God to bring “the one.”
And maybe you are okay with that - and that’s okay!
But maybe, you’re afraid that pursuing a relationship, actively seeking out dates, putting yourself out there to meet other singles, seems desperate. Maybe it seems like the opposite of trusting God’s plan and waiting on the Lord’s timing. Maybe it means a significant other has become an idol in your heart.
But just as being still is an act of trust in God’s ability to make a way, going after the dreams God has placed on your heart can be a step of faith in God’s ability to lead you in His ways.
We can idolize the idea of a significant other just as much when we “patiently wait” as when we “actively pursue.”
It’s about our heart. The Holy Spirit will convict us of idolatry, and we need to be obedient in that conviction.
Paul said this to the church in Corinth when giving instructions about choosing to marry or remaining single:
“I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.”
Our decisions of how we live in singleness, how we date, how we wait, how we pursue our dreams, shouldn’t be based on fear. They should be based on our devotion to Jesus.
Being content in singleness doesn’t mean not pursuing a relationship; it means pursuing from a posture of trust in God’s character, rest in your identity in Christ, and obedience to the Holy Spirit’s conviction.
3. Once you become content in singleness, God will bring your future spouse
I’m sure many of us have heard some form of a story about a person was discontent in their singleness, but then they decided stop idolizing marriage, focus on their relationship with Jesus, and enjoy being single.
And that's when they met the person they are now married to.
After we hear such a story, it’s easy to get this idea in our heads that if we just become content in our singleness, then our singleness will finally end. We’ll meet our future spouse. God will bring “the one."
But this thinking will just lead to more discontentment, because our motivation for seeking contentment is off.
We’re trying to be content so we’ll get what we want. We’re manufacturing contentment as a way to manipulate God. We’re missing the point.
Contentment is about learning to abide in Jesus, finding our true joy and ultimate fulfillment in who He is for us, to us, and in us.
Our Savior. Our Friend. Our Love. Our Light. Our Healer. Our Provider. Our Rock. Our Refuge. Our Defender. Our Comforter. Our Helper. Our Guide.
Jesus doesn’t promise me a husband.
Nowhere does the Bible say if we’re a content or generous or patient or faith-filled or humble or good enough Christian then all our dreams will come true.
Jesus does promise to be with us. (Hebrews 13:5) He does promise to be all those Names listed above. (2 Corinthians 1:20) He does promise that when we engage in relationship with Him, walking in step with His Spirit given to us, living in us, working through us, then He will bear fruit in our lives. (Galatians 5:16-26)
4. Once you’re content in singleness, you’ll never again feel discontent, sad, lonely, disappointed, frustrated, confused, hurt, discouraged…
This lies tells us once we’re content, we’ll always be content; we’ll never experience the hard stuff of singleness. Or if we do, it won’t bother us because, well, we’re content.
But contentment isn’t static. It’s something we have to nurture and cultivate, learn and re-learn, hold onto and even fight for.
Contentment isn’t static because our relationship with Jesus isn’t static. It’s not about arriving at perfection, but about abiding in Him day by day.
In my own life, I’ve had to work through various layers of discontentment. I’ve gone through seasons where I’ve easily been content in my singleness, and I’ve gone through seasons where the loneliness, disappointments, and rejections have been overwhelming and heartbreaking.
These hard seasons are opportunities to become more rooted in Christ, learn deeper contentment in Him, and grow in Christ-likeness.
So here’s the truth about contentment in singleness:
You can be content in singleness and still desire a relationship. You can pursue a relationship and still be content in singleness. You can be content in Christ even if you never get married. And you can grow in contentment even in the struggles and heartbreak of singleness.