A year ago I wrote a post about why my single friends needed not to be depressed. Later that evening I started dating my wonderful girlfriend (a story for another day) and obviously changed my mind, right?
I still agree with what I said last year. Valentine's Day is cool and it doesn't help yourself or anyone else to be gloomy about it. What I said last year still stands true (we don't freak out about not being able to celebrate Secretary Appreciation Day, 100% of married people were single at one point and singleness does not define you) but I think a couple other things can be said as well....
1. Marriage is not the epitome of the Christian life. Christopher Yuan, author and professor at Moody Bible Institute spoke recently about why Christians are losing the Gay Marriage debate and he argued that it was because we've made marriage the ideal state of being. It is cool and it should be held in high regard by the church... but it shouldn't be held in TOO high of regard. Marriage is not the ideal state of being, righteousness is.
2. There's always another goal to pursue. People, for the most part, seem wired to want the next step. Single people who aren't dating want to be like their friends who are. People who are dating and actually like the person who they're dating eventually wish that they were like their married friends. Married people who don't have kids eventually wish that they were like their friends who do have kids. There always seems to be something else.
It's not romance and family for everyone. For some it's a job, a car, a house, money, prestige, respect or power. In the end, none of this provides fulfillment. Christ provides fulfillment.
Everything (including relationships) on this Earth is temporary. Our relationship with Christ is eternal. It's why He deserves the place of most importance in our lives. Not because He'll help us endure until we get what we most desire, because He is the most valuable thing we could ever desire.
And that is why even though this year I'm not in the same place relationally that I was last year (at this time of day, at least) I can still relate to and think about these things. I'm extremely humbled and grateful to be dating a dedicated follower of Christ but the temptation to continue to want to be at the place of life where other people are and the temptation to find fulfillment in these things is still constant.
So it's on this Valentine's Day that I remember that it's ok to be at whatever stage of life we're in because Christ offers us something we can't fully find in any other person: