Experience they say is the best teacher. How true! The experiences we go through in life afford us ample opportunity to learn, improve and develop.
Being single is an interesting and at the same time challenging experience. It is a period that if you aren’t too desperate to get married, you can learn a lot about yourself, people, life, and God. One thing I can say I got to appreciate and understand when I was single was the statement made by Jesus that “the devil is a liar” (John 8:44). The devil is truly a big, fat liar. Unfortunately, because he is so cunning in his ways, quite a number of singles’ fall for his sham.
Here are three lies I discovered Satan wants as many single people as possible to believe:
Lie #1: Your life would be so much more fun and fulfilling if only you were married
Marriage is good, marriage is of God, marriage is something to be desired, but marriage or anything else under the sun, can’t satisfy and fill the hearts longing for fulfillment. If you want to meet a person who believed he could find fun and fulfillment from relationships, ask King Solomon all about it. Solomon at some point in his life must have felt a kind of emptiness in his heart. He knew something was missing in his life, but he didn’t know what it was. So he embarked on a long journey of discovery; a journey to discover what or who could fill the void in his heart and bring him true fulfillment.
He started with knowledge. He read, studied, acquired skills and information on every topic you can think of. But this was what he discovered at the end of his pursuit for knowledge, “For with much knowledge comes much sorrow, the more knowledge, the more grief” (Ecclesiastes 1:18).
When acquisition of knowledge did not do the trick, he moved on to wealth and riches. And was he rich or what? This king was swimming in wealth. But with all of his wealth, there was no fulfillment. After undertaking great projects, building houses, acquiring a fleet of chariots, an array of male and female servants, and silver and gold to the extent that everything in his house glittered with gold, hear what he had to say about wealth, “whoever loves money never has money enough, whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 2:11).
Then he began to think the way a lot of single people think. What I really need is to get married and settle down. When I achieve this, the search and quest will be over. I will be complete and fulfilled. But guess what? Even that didn’t do it. Solomon, the richest man on the surface of the earth in his time, discovered that no one can acquire enough possessions or have a relationship with someone however close that can fill an empty life or give lasting joy and fulfillment. Your worth, significance and fulfillment in life comes from a deep and real connection to Jesus Christ.
I think God created the human heart with an invisible hole. People try and fill this hole with possessions, qualifications, relationships, activities, you name it. But the more you put these things into the hole, the bigger and wider it grows. This is because that space or hole in the heart of man has been specially created for Jesus Christ and until He fully occupies your heart, you will never know true fulfillment. This was why Solomon could declare after having seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines that “here is the conclusion of the matter, fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
How I wish more and more singles’ would learn from Solomon’s experience as well as from the experiences of many married people who have discovered that marriage won’t give you peace, joy and lasting fulfillment. Certainly, marriage will bring may positive changes to your life, but for you to believe that marriage is the ultimate; the missing piece in the jig saw puzzle of your life, the end to all your problems, the doorway to eternal bliss and happiness, the thing that will give you significance and security, then you have clearly fallen for Satan’s bait and if you don’t get out of that lie, you are going to meet with a lot of pain and disappointment when you get married.
Lie #2: God will give you what you want, when and how you want it
Don’t ever forget that the devil is a master at twisting scriptures. You know what he does? He comes and whispers into the ear of some single lady, ‘if you desire to get married this year, tell God that by April this year I want to be settled in my own home with my own partner. It is as simple as that. After all, didn’t God say ask and it will be given to you? Doesn’t the Bible also say He will give you the desires of your heart?’ So the lady goes to God and tells Him to settle her by April and naively expects that God will make everything fall in place for her to get married in April.
January comes and goes and nothing has happened. February comes and goes, still nothing has happened. April comes and April quickly goes. Sadly, nothing has happened. Before she knows it, a whole year has come and gone and she’s still single.
Ironically, it’s the same evil fellow who made you feel marriage is as simple as just picking a date and you will get married on that date, who comes back to you when nothing has happened, to start telling you things like the reason why it didn’t work out for you is because of your sins, or your looks, or your past. For some singles’, in the process of addressing any or all of these suggested reasons why they aren’t married, they may get solutions, things may turn around and they get married. But for some others, even after trying everything they know how to, their names are still on the singles’ list. So now they are in a state of total confusion and frustration.
I want to add lest some people begin to think I am undermining the place of faith that in some rare cases, there have been people who started the year not in a relationship and who believed God that by April they would be married and actually got married in April. But this is not a general rule that applies to all singles’; it’s not something that may work for all singles’. When it comes to the issue of when, where and how a person gets married, there are really no general rules. Singles’ get frustrated because Satan wants them to believe that what happened to ‘A’ will and should happen to them the same way it happened to ‘A’. Forgetting that each person is a unique individual, who will have unique experiences in the process of fulfilling a unique destiny.
It is a big lie that God will give you what you want, when you want it and how you want it. Now, I’m sure someone will say how can that be a lie? After all, the Bible says that God will give me the desires of my heart. Yes, God gives you the desires of your heart, if those desires are aligned to His will and timing for your life. Talking about God fulfilling the desires of your heart, you need to understand and appreciate the place of divine timing. Divine timing has a lot to do with expectations being met and fulfilled. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that God makes all things beautiful in His time. Did you hear that? God has a time. So when you say God will give you the desires of your heart, know that such a statement isn’t absolute. It is subject to God’s will and God’s timing for each person.
God does not exist to just do your bidding; to give you what you want, when and how you want it. And you know why I’m glad that we don’t always get what we want, exactly how and when we want it? Because sometimes the things we want and desire so much, are nothing but trouble. Thankfully, God can’t be manipulated into doing everything we want. He is wise and loving enough to save us from some really big trouble; from some people who if you end up marrying, may bring you nothing but pain. Of course, most times we don’t see the trouble. What we see is some tall, dark and handsome guy, or some beautiful, sexy looking lady.
Understand this: the fact that you desire that husky looking bloke in your office doesn’t mean God will give or meet that desire of yours, especially if God knows that underneath that hunk is a wife batterer.
Lie # 3: A Little Kissing Won’t Hurt
Have you ever met a single lady or single guy who fell into sexual sin and the person said that prior to that time, there wasn’t any form of physical contact or intimacy between them? They never held hands, hugged, or kissed. They just woke up one day and found themselves having sex. No! It isn’t possible.
One of the biggest mistakes most singles’ make is thinking that when God says wait until you are married before you have sex, what God means is wait until you are married before there is penetration. Every other thing like hugging, kissing, necking or petting is okay. It is when there is penetration that there’s a problem; that you have committed sin. In fact for some people, Satan takes the lie much further. He makes them believe that even if there’s penetration, so far as you two are serious about yourselves and have intentions of gettting married, you haven’t done anything wrong. It is when you have no intention whatsoever of marrying someone and you have sex with that person that you have done something wrong. But that’s a lie, a big lie. Here’s the truth: “it is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honourable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God”. You want to hear more of the truth? Listen to what 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 says, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body”.
Songs of Solomon repeatedly tells us not to arouse or awaken love until it so desires (Songs of Solomon 2:7, 3:5). Simply put, until you are ready, until the time is scripturally right; until you are married and are free to go all the way, don’t toy with sex. The truth of the matter is that hugging, kissing, necking and petting all have the potential to arouse or awaken sexual desires. These little acts which you may consider as nothing, all encourage you to want to take a step further, to go a little bit more deeper, and before you know it, the deed has been done, you have had sex with someone, you have fallen for the sin of fornication.
God promises that “no temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so you can stand under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). The first step to overcoming temptation is to acknowledge when you are being tempted and enticed into sin. If you believe that so far as you don’t do the final and actual act, nothing is wrong with a little kissing and necking, then you are very likely to one day find yourself fully engaging in premarital sex, which God frowns at. Besides, you are no super woman or man. How can you be so sure that it won’t go beyond that? How can you be so sure that you will be able to control yourself from doing anything more than kissing? For the first two, three, or four times, you may be able to draw the line, but as passion intensifies, you can be taken off guard; you can fall.
If you want to live a victorious life as a single believer, if you want to daily walk through the door of escape God provides for every temptation that comes your way, stop listening to and believing the lies of the devil. When you start having thoughts like a little necking won’t hurt, it is okay as long as your clothes are still on, or don’t worry I won’t do more than this, you need to watch it. You need to recognize that somebody is playing tricks with your mind; somebody is trying to lure and entice you on a path that if you are not careful, you may fall and not be able to retrace your steps. Don’t fall for the devil’s sham. Refuse to be deceived by the great deceiver.
Tesh Njokanma is a lawyer by training whose heart is in writing. She is a prolific writer with over 15 years experience as a magazine Editor. She is a pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God with a prayer and teaching ministry. Tesh is married with children. She is based in Lagos, Nigeria.