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In John 15:15, Jesus said, "I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you." As we share all things with Him, and He with us, we practice the type of intimacy we will enjoy with our future mate. And if a mate never comes, we will have deepened the quality of our most important relationship.

3. Clean house. Paul, in his second letter to Timothy, wrote: "If anyone cleanses himself…he will be a vessel for honor" (v. 21). Single or married, our ultimate calling is to holiness and sanctification.

Imagine that your body, soul and spirit are three individual balloons. When we came to know Christ, we began to blow air into our "spirit balloons." As we heard good Bible teaching, dug into the Word ourselves and worshiped with a grateful heart, our spirit balloons became larger and larger, until they crowded out the balloons called "body" and "soul." Eventually, body and soul become dethroned, and our spirit, led by the Holy Spirit, becomes king.

Yet many of the spots and wrinkles we acquired while our flesh sat on the throne remain. Scars from the past can keep us from knowing our Lord in certain areas, and from receiving the blessings He has for us.

Christ longs to remove all the barriers to our knowing Him, but we must first acknowledge that they are there. Spending time with Him in personal retreats and times of consecration with extended fasts will help sharpen our sensitivity to His voice.

Then the Holy Spirit will point out our past hurts, reveal the people we need to forgive as well as the past sins for which we need to repent. This inner cleansing is a crucial step toward going into marriage whole.

Remember, you have the responsibility before God to walk in holiness and purity. Whether or not the church you're a part of appropriately addresses your issues, you can go to God and seek His wisdom for your life.

Whatever you do, allow the Holy Spirit to transform your thinking about your single life, so that you no longer see yourself as incomplete, but as a whole vessel—fit and prepared for the Master's use.

Pamela Toussaint is the co-author, along with Christopher Burge, of His Rules: God's Practical Road Map for Becoming and Attracting Mr. or Mrs. Right (WaterBrook), from which portions of this article were adapted.

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