#4 – When you learn to be content that’s when someone will come along
One problem with this piece of ‘advice’ is that it sends people into an unhelpful spiral of working for contentment so that they will find someone to marry. This creates a works-based understanding of God’s grace, which is unhelpful because it’s wrong. Here is a quote from Carolyn McCulley’s book ‘Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye’?
I’ve often heard married people say to singles that we won’t get married until we are content in our singleness. I’m sure that it is offered by well-meaning couples who want to see their single friends happy and content in God’s provision, but it creates a works based mentality to receiving gifts, which can lead to condemnation. The Lord doesn’t require that we attain to a particular state before he grants a gift. We can’t earn any particular gift any more than we can earn our own salvation. It’s all of grace. However, we should humbly listen to our friends and receive their input about cultivating contentment. We just shouldn’t attach it to the expectation a blessing.
I think its also important to remember that singleness is not the only thing that leads to discontentment. Married people also struggle with contentment. In fact I would go as far as to say that discontentment and marital status are unrelated. It’s actually about God.
I’m pretty sure I have no authority to speak on the secret of contentment. But here are some words from a man who does –
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12 – 13
Paul (who was single by the way) learned the secret of contentment. And he never married.