For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven…
There was a time when Malachi only wanted to watch Curious George. I got to know the episodes pretty well. There is one episode where George (the monkey) plants a carrot garden. He plants the seeds and waits for the carrots to grow. The problem is George is a little impatient and before the carrots were ready he yanked them out of the ground. One after another he pulled out and the carrots were not ready. They had not grown or matured. They had not been in the ground long enough. They had not been watered long enough. They had not been given enough time to grow.
We live in a relationship saturated society. Songs are written about relationships. Television shows are produced about relationships. Magazine articles are written about relationships. And with the development of social media, relationships are plastered all of the place. Social media is full of huge bouquets of flowers, elaborate proposals, exotic vacations, expensive dates, and humongous smiles.
And if you are single sometimes you feel like Curious George and you wonder “When will your carrots grow?” It may seem like you have been watering your garden for so many years and it your garden should have already been cultivated, yet the carrots have not grown. Frustration can set in and you may feel the need as George did to pull the carrots to early, because maybe they are ready.
Okay enough with the analogies, let’s just talk. Desiring marriage is healthy. Desiring to spend your life with someone is healthy. Desiring to grow old with someone is healthy. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging that you want to be in a relationship that will ultimately lead to marriage. I give you permission to vocalize that desire. And while I realize I do not really have to give you permission to do that, society has shoved two lies (well a lot of lies) in our face. One of those lies is that relationships are everything. This lie leads a person to sometimes feel bad if they are single. The second lie is that you cannot openly acknowledge that you want to be in a relationship. This lie forces a person to put a smile on their face and say “I am okay being single” when they really want to say “I am okay being single, but I desire to be married one day.”
Yet while all of that is healthy, the danger is that we can fall for another lie that society tells us. Society tells us it is okay to date around. Shop around until you find the right one. But that is contrary to the word of God. We do not see people in the Bible shopping around for the right spouse. Nor do we read Bibles, where God instructs us to do just that.
So this is where our trust in God really comes into play. The Bible tells us “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5). That is actually a very hard verse to live by. It is hard because when your heart is telling you that you are getting older, God is instructing you to completely trust in him. It is hard because when your heart is lying to you and telling you that you will never find someone, God is instructing you to completely trust in Him. It is hard because when your heart is lying to you and telling you it is okay to settle, God is telling you to trust Him.
You need to trust that God loves you. You need to trust that God has a plan for your life. You need to trust that God does not need you to orchestrate things. You need to trust that God has a timetable for your life. And if that timetable does not have you getting married until you are in your 30’s or beyond you need to trust in God.
And you need to make sure you do not “pull the carrots to soon.” It is so easy to do this as a single person. You might think that you are ready for a relationship but you may still need to water your garden some more. Everyone will enter relationships at different stages, but as I end this blog, I want to encourage you to not look at your time as a single person as a curse. Our number one focus and priority should be to develop an intimate relationship with God. We need to cultivate our spiritual gardens, before we can cultivate a relationship garden. We need to develop a prayer life. We need to develop spending time in the Bible. We need to get involved in our church. Our spiritual walk is so important. In addition, we need to allow God to heal us if we have any pains, scars or hurts from our past. Those can destroy relationships. Are there things you have not healed from? Are you holding on to wounds from the past? If so, ask God to help you release those.
Curious George pulled all of the carrots too soon. They had not developed. His impatience overtook him. Sadly, a person’s impatience in being single can also overtake them. The danger of settling is too scary. It is far better to “water your garden a little longer” than “pull your carrots too early.” I know so many analogies, but that is how my brain works. In other words, it is better to be single for a few more years than to settle for someone less that God has for you.
And as I end this blog, I want to encourage you that God has not forgotten you. It may seem like that at times. You may see friends around you entering relationships and you wonder when you are going to be noticed. You might see the countless pictures on social media of dates, flowers, presents, and you wonder when will it be your turn. One day you will have that wedding. One day you will stand across from the person you love and you will begin that journey of a lifetime. One day your social media will be filled with flowers, presents, romantic dates. One day... But until then "keep watering those carrots."