A number of people I know and serve with at The Porch have gotten married recently, and several others are engaged.
I think that’s great, and I love celebrating with them. Of course, I’m married myself. I know that for some singles, wedding season is not always seen as an encouraging thing. That can especially be the case if you have multiple friends all getting engaged or married at once.
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride? Wonder why you’re the “best man,” but somehow not the one getting married?
You don’t have to let it get you down. Here are some important things to remember when it seems like everyone’s getting married except for you:
1. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you.
There’s something wrong with everyone, married or not, because we are all sinners. But you’re not necessarily still single, and your friends now married, because you’re somehow not as good as they are. Being single doesn’t make you a failure; if it did, Jesus, Paul, and Jeremiah would all fit in that category.
Ephesians 2:10 says that you are God’s handiwork or masterpiece. Psalm 139:14 says that you were wonderfully made. You are made by God, and have great worth. That truth doesn’t change based on your relationship status.
2. God’s not punishing you.
The Bible does say that a spouse can be a good thing and is a gift from the Lord. However, there are probably just as many verses about how having the wrong spouse can be a bad thing, or how any marriage comes with its share of troubles.
So don’t look at marriage as some kind of reward that you can earn, or see singleness as a sign that God doesn’t love you. When a promising relationship doesn’t work out, it might be because God does love you and is sparing you from a bad situation.
3. Don’t settle.
Speaking of bad situations, it’s important that you don’t become so focused on getting married ASAP that you settle for something less than what God desires for you. Most specifically, if you are a follower of Jesus, don’t marry someone who is not.
I know that the numbers of godly single women and godly single men are not equal, and that means some people would necessarily remain single. So, if necessary, remain single. Being single is far better than being married to the wrong person.
Also, don’t settle for the “pretend marriage” of living together. Since there is no real commitment involved in living together, the odds are that you’ll eventually break up—and experience many of the real emotional consequences you’d get from a divorce. And even if you do end up married, studies show that you’ll most likely be less happy than if you hadn’t lived together first.
4. You’re not being left behind.
When a friend marries, it doesn’t have to mean you are losing that friend. Married people don’t disappear into some alternate universe where single friends aren’t allowed. They don’t transform into a new person who no longer likes the people they used to like.
Yes, they’ll have some different priorities now, and it’s quite likely that they won’t have as much time to hang out with you. And if we’re talking about a friend of the opposite sex, it’s probably best that you not be close friends after marriage. But for close friends of the same sex, you can and probably should stay friends. Your friendship will look different, but you will both still be the same people with the same interests and history as before. Be understanding of their new commitment to their spouse, but don’t abandon them.
5. You’re not alone (or you don’t have to be).
Single people should not be alone. I don’t mean they need to get married or be dating someone; I mean they shouldn’t be alone as singles.
If you’re not already, I would strongly encourage you to get involved in a community group, or a close biblical community of believers. They can help you grow in faith, make wise decisions (including dating decisions), and overcome struggles or roadblocks in your life. They can also become close, lifelong friends, until they get married and leave you forever. (Just kidding! See #4.)
Also, get a roommate. It will save you money and train you to possibly be a better spouse someday.
6. You’re not missing out.
Marriage is awesome. But you know what else is awesome? Being single. One’s not necessarily better than the other; they both have big benefits and disadvantages. Don’t waste your single years because you’re too bummed out about being single. Here are some cool things you can do instead.
7. Rejoice with those who rejoice.
That’s a quote from Romans 12:15. Part of loving a friend is to celebrate when they have reason to celebrate, or (also from that verse) mourn with them when they have reason to mourn. It may be a selfless sacrifice sometimes, but so is love.
I’m not saying you need to go to every wedding; just that you should try to be happy for them rather than being jealous or bitter.
Just curious: how many weddings have you been to this year? How have you handled it?