Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Let Jesus Be Your Boyfriend and Other Glib Platitudes

on March 3, 2015

“Let Jesus be your boyfriend.” I was a freshman in college when these words were first spoken to me. My response was somewhere along the lines of, “Are you crazy? I want a flesh and blood boyfriend who can take me to the movies and hold my hand.”

They were well-meaning words, spoken by a Christian who really wanted to help me. Similar things happen all the time in this world.

A loved one dies and we respond, “At least they’re in a better place.”

We didn’t get the job we really wanted, which leads to: “God said no because he has something better for you.”

Singleness haunts us into our 50s, “You have so much more time for the work of the Lord.”

All of these things are true. We do need to learn to be satisfied in Christ before jumping into a relationship. Our saved loves ones truly are in a better place. God does want better things for us. And being single allows us to devote ourselves to the Lord in ways a married woman cannot.

I’m not condemning people who use any of these platitudes. I have used them myself. Sometimes, in more casual friendships, they are the level of comfort we can provide without being overbearing. But there are times when they really are meaningless. As Christians, we have to learn to go deeper when life is messy. It’s not easy and it takes more time, but it’s what we are called to do.

Years ago, a single friend and I stood on another friend’s driveway one snowy, January night after Bible study. We talked of the hardship of being single and lamented the lack of a spouse to go home to at the end of the day. That night we forged a friendship that was real and honest.

Bible Is 54

Later this same friend prayed the words of Isaiah 54 to me.

“For your Maker is your husband—

the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;

he is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back

as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit— a wife who married young,

only to be rejected,” says your God. “For a brief moment I abandoned you,

but with deep compassion I will bring you back.”

She used these verses to pray for me and my singleness. It was a moment I will never forget. It took more time than a simple platitude, but it meant so much more.

I’ve been listening to myself as I speak to others in their times of need. It really is eye-opening to see how often I slip into the easy way, instead of going deeper in a way that might really minister to someone. As a single person, I never want to be the one who glibly says to another single, “let Jesus be your boyfriend.” It’s just not that easy.

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2 responses to “Let Jesus Be Your Boyfriend and Other Glib Platitudes

  1. rebflections says:

    Enjoyed the read. Well put about the glib platitudes. And I’m with you on that.
    Jesus is not our “lover”, He is my God, and I like Him that way. I trust His wisdom on “it is not good for man to be alone”, and that that is the ideal, but it’s not happening for women, not their fault, just a consequence of flawed humans who sometimes don’t get the relationship we want for a variety of reasons, and it’s no fun to be told it’s our(single) fault.
    I think about the married people who have plenty of arguments and struggle, and I pray for them to overcome those struggles, and I think for many of the singles out there, the false “glib” answers have messed their minds up enough to make them (us) think marraige is scary and not worth it, and somehow Jesus is “the hubby”. God never intended that. And I have heard men use that excuse, but then a month later, have a girlfriend. So it’s sometimes the “excuse” to get out of a relationship rather than the honest answer of “it’s just not working for us”. And the real answers give women more dignity than the excuses convey.
    So…glib really is hurting the dating scene, and the eligible singles do want to see more than just Jesus in their life, and there is nothing wrong with that, and nothing wrong with wanting an earthly love either.
    So, I admit being irritated by “glib” also.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for visiting and joining the conversation. I agree that the glib response to singles has hurt more than it’s helped. I think a lot of time it comes from people who have been married for some time and don’t really understand how hard long term singleness is.

      You are right. God created us for companionship, so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with desiring earthly love.

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