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Today as the percentage of single women continues to grow, so do the questions, “Lord, You said you would give me the desires of my heart. Why am I still single?”

It seems that singleness to some is like an invisible cloud that denotes a sense of failure. It is like some type of plague. In our society it seems that a cloak of negativity blankets those who are not in relationships. Even at church so much emphasis is put on strengthening marriages and families—which is needed—that many singles are left feeling like something’s missing until they are married and have a family of their own. It is like they’re in a holding pattern, walking around with question marks over their heads.

As a single woman, I write this chapter from a place of surety. I praise the Lord that, whether married or single, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are [His] works, and that my soul knows very well” (Ps. 139:14). But I understand how a lot of single women feel when people ask, “Are you married?” In their defense I would like to mention a few obvious reasons for the increased numbers of singles today.

First, many people have unrealistic expectations of relationships. In our fast-paced society women are constantly bombarded with images of perfection on TV and in movies, magazines and even on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Thinking this is what it takes to attract a suitable, available mate, women are driven to be the prettiest, wealthiest, most active person around. Some are resorting to plastic surgery to get the perfect figure, as if they are in some type of competition to achieve the perfect body.

Perfect looks won’t bring the perfect man or lead to a perfect marriage. God has given each of us everything we need to accomplish His will for our lives. That means the person He has for you will find you attractive without any nips or tucks. And every marriage goes through difficult times. That’s why the Bible tells us to delight ourselves in the Lord and not in a spouse. He’s the only one who can truly satisfy the longings of our hearts.

Second, there has been a spiritual attack on men and godly manhood. We cannot ignore the painful reality that many men of marrying age are, for whatever reason, unavailable. Disproportionate numbers of African-American and Hispanic men are incarcerated, and a growing number of men are choosing alternative lifestyles. Some men are openly gay while others are bisexual and keep their same-sex relationships and confusion about their sexual identity a secret. By doing so, they expose a potential wife to emotional devastation and sexually transmitted diseases.

Please don’t get me wrong; I have the utmost love, honor and respect for men. Men are made in the image of God. There are secure, handsome, mighty men of God who want to get married. I am simply being honest about the plight of many single women who face a shrinking pool of eligible, God-fearing potential mates.

Driven by the longing for a family and children against the backdrop of a ticking biological clock, a woman can find herself settling for the wrong man and tolerating unacceptable behavior. It’s heart wrenching to watch women endure mistreatment and waste precious time waiting for proposals that will never come.

Scripture tells us that we are complete in Him, whether married or not (Col. 2:10). Many single women today are financially independent and are accomplished in their careers.

They are talented and intelligent, yet they think they are somehow lacking. I thank God that there are polished and intelligent Christian women who have self-respect, moral values, and godly standards. As Proverbs 31:25 says, “Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come.” Those are the very attributes the enemy wants to steal from single women.

It is a plan of the enemy to give the impression that being a saved, single Christian is a miserable existence. Don’t believe the lie. I can honestly say it is an enormous joy serving God and reaching humanity as a single person. The Bible tells us there are benefits to being single (see 1 Cor. 7:34). No matter what state we find ourselves in, married or single, we are to be content (Phil. 4:11).

For those who desire to marry and are wondering when God will bring them a mate, please know this: God loves you and He made a man of God for you who will not play games with your emotions. He will honor, love and respect you. Don’t settle.

If you’ve fallen in the trap of the enemy and gotten involved with the wrong man, repent, forgive those who have hurt you and forgive yourself. Then move forward. Scripture says God has good plans for us (Jer. 29:11). That is true even if we’ve made mistakes.

As born-again believers we must put our faith in God no matter what the circumstances look like. Everything God has planned for us from the foundation of the earth will come to pass, including marriage, in His timing. Be encouraged (see Ps.37: 4-5). Don’t let the enemy overwhelm you with fear, rejection or hopelessness. Focus on God and trust His plan for you, His Word is more reliable than any dating book on the best-seller list.

Spiritual InterventionAdapted from Spiritual Intervention by Kimberly L. Ray, copyright 2013, published by Charisma House. Let this book help you tap into the tremendous power of prayer. In her role as producer of “A Time of Intercession” she has seen thousands of prayers answered.

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Thank the Lord this week that we are complete in Him, whether married or not. Thank Him that He has the perfect plan and purpose for your life and tell Him that you trust Him with it. Ask Him to direct your steps and commit His Word to memory so that your mind would be renewed and your thoughts would focus on all He has done, and continues to do on your behalf, and not on any perceived lack. Continue to pray for those suffering loss from catastrophic weather conditions, fires, accidents, crime and unemployment. Ask God to connect you with those providing help to the needy so that you join with them in being a blessing. Pray for revival in our nation and continue to pray for Israel, the persecuted church, our national and local leaders, the military and their families. Col. 2:10; Jer. 29:11; Phil. 4:11; Ps. 37:4-5.

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