Four Things Every Single Guy Should Be Doing
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…”
I‘ve been married almost a year, so I figure I’m pretty much an expert on marriage by now. Despite all our preparations for effective conflict resolution, Laura and I have actually managed to avoid conflict altogether over these last 10 months. Our secret? It’s remarkably simple, actually: hold hands, go on dates, and look dreamily into each other’s eyes at least once every 20 minutes.
Okay, okay, so I’m not a marriage expert. I’m definitely still a rookie who has a lot to learn about being a good husband. But thankfully, I don’t need to be a marriage expert today, because this post isn’t for married people.
This post is for single guys.
Why just guys? Couldn’t I write something for single people in general? Yes, I suppose I could, but there’s plenty out there for unmarried girls to read. They hear frequently enough that their knight in shining armor will come at just the right time and that contentment is the key to happiness while they wait.
But what about us guys? Aren’t we supposed to be some girl’s knight in shining armor? Aren’t we supposed to sweep our damsel in distress off her feet before riding heroically into the sunset? As men with a God-given desire to lead, singleness can seem less like a season to patiently endure and more like a problem to solve — as quickly as possible.
Your identity can never be found in marriage, and neither should it be found in your singleness.
If this is you, then I’m sorry to say I can’t help you speed up the process of finding your bride-to-be. But this post will help you make the most of your time as a single man. Of course, not all (or even most) of your life as a single person should revolve around the expectation of marriage. Your identity can never be found in marriage, and neither should it be found in your singleness. Furthermore, this advice is given with the assumption that you do want to marry someday and that marriage is in fact God’s will for your life.
So without further ado, here are four things every single guy should be doing:
1 – Say no to recreational dating.
No, I’m not saying you should “kiss dating goodbye” and jump straight to asking her father’s permission. I’m saying don’t waste time with a girl you have no plans of marrying. If she’s not the one, remember: you’ll someday have to explain that relationship to “the one.” So quit texting her, calling her, or asking her out just because you have nothing better to do. After all, your contacts list isn’t an HBO subscription that exists primarily for you to flip through it and be entertained. She’s a real person who deserves more than being led on by someone who’s only casually interested.
2 – Be a man, starting now.
If you meet your future spouse tomorrow, will the first thing she notices about you be your passion for video games? When you merge your finances, will you feel embarrassed by a small savings account? Don’t resign yourself to the thought that marriage is years away and you’ve got plenty of time to kill. Resist the temptation to think, “I’m accountable to nobody. I’m single and can do what I want.” The money you spend, the relationships you maintain, and the reputation you build will one day become part of your marriage. And when they do, they’ll either be assets or liabilities.
3 – Plan ahead.
It might feel like romance is a long ways off, but now is a good time to set specific physical barriers for your next relationship. If you wait until you’ve got a girlfriend to decide what’s off limits, your judgment will likely be clouded by love…and hormones. The specifics about whether to kiss, hold hands, etc., before marriage are 100% up to you, but these two principles should govern every relationship until marriage:
- Never be alone in each other’s homes. Laura and I never spent time alone in a non-public place before marriage. And no, we weren’t one of those couples that does nothing but play Monopoly with each other’s parents. In fact, neither of us had parents who lived close by, which meant spending lots of time at the mall, the park, and our local library. This was an inconvenience at times, but it was one that protected our integrity and our reputation.
- Set a responsible curfew. Again, this barrier is primarily to protect your reputation. It’s not going to look good if you and your girlfriend are out until 3:00 in the morning, even if you’re adults with no parental accountability. You may know you guys were just talking, but others will think the worst. So get her back home at a reasonable hour.
In a culture that accepts and even promotes promiscuity, few people will frown on your leniency in either of these areas. But resist the temptation to compromise and you’ll lay the groundwork for a marriage characterized by white-hot romance.
4 – Pray, then get ready.
As a single man, I frequently prayed for a wife. Actually, I begged God for a wife! So if the loneliness of being single feels like too much to bear, trust God and pour out your heart to the One Who can “sympathize with our weaknesses” (Heb. 4:15). While you’re at it, ask Him for patience as you wait for her, wisdom as you choose her, and purity as you pursue her.
By the way, after you finish all this praying, keep an eye out; God might answer you sooner than expected! You’ve been waiting for the chance to sweep some dame off her feet. When God sends her your way, DO IT for goodness’ sake!