The first time I fell in love was at the age of 7. Her name was Katy. Dark hair, brown eyes, cute smile. She was maybe a year younger than I was at the time, and I’m pretty sure she melted me into a puddle of butter from the very first time we met.

Out of that first “romance” grew a heart-felt desire to get married. I knew, even in those early years, that one day I would have to get married, settle down, and have a family (and, of course, Katy was going to be that perfect wife one day when we got older).

Now you might think that having a strong desire for marriage from such a young age would lead to getting married young. But time has unfolded a bit of a different story for me. At nearly 31 years old, I’m still single (Alas! Katy and I did not tie the knot). But if you’re wondering whether I’m discontented in where God has me in this season of life, the answer is no. There are some very valuable lessons that He has taught me along the way that have been life changing and have really helped me to grow into a more well-rounded person. 

Lesson 1: God is central. God has shown me in this season of singleness that my relationship with Him has to be central. All other relationships come second – friends, family, and spouse. And it’s actually because of this relationship with Him that these other relationships have the opportunity to flourish. Without His life-giving relationship with me, all other relationships will crumble. 

Beyond this, God is showing me just how fulfilling relationship with Him really is. Walking closely next to Him has not only brought a source of real joy and peace, but it is also where He has shown me His faithfulness, His love, His strength, and His protection. What a place of contentment this has been (and what an sense of solid identity this has brought)!

Lesson 2: God’s ways are perfect. There is a profound verse in the Bible that talks about God’s ways being “higher” than our ways. They are better, more perfect, more just and righteous, more holy, and more logical than any plans that I can come up with. Of course, His ways don’t always make sense to me, but He has continued to show me that the way He decides to work is always the best.

In relation to this point, I now know that the past relational hurts and disappointments that He allowed me to go through will work out for good. He truly is sovereign, and His plans for me will always be for good.

Lesson 3: I need Godly family. This revelation has become particularly evident as I’ve lived and worked here at CTCI. One thing that I love so much about the way God moves in this ministry is how He speaks to me through the family that I have here. His voice often comes through leaders and friends who have an open door to offer me advice, to correct, to admonish, to listen to, and to encourage me. This is one of the key elements of this place that makes it effective for practical and spiritual growth. No longer do I have to rely on myself for advice, wisdom, and know-how. God has placed these wise and loving individuals in my life that can offer guidance in these areas. This will definitely be a valuable take-away for the rest of my life.

So I’m enjoying my singleness for now (still hoping for the day – if God so chooses – to bring me a spouse), but knowing that the lessons He is teaching me along the way will definitely make me a better husband, father, and follower of Christ.