It’s good to set goals and have plans, but we can’t be constantly busy. It is good to take vacations, time to rest, even in our desire to build a life together.
God doesn’t want us to be lazy, He wants to see us active and creative. As we read the book of Proverbs in the Bible, we quickly identify this principle. And it’s not just an Old Testament idea, the apostle Paul in the New Testament compares the Christian life to an Olympic sport! “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it” (1 Corinthians 9:24 NKJV). Salvation comes by grace, but the Christian life does not end with salvation. After this great transformation comes our mission. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV).
But God doesn’t want us to burn out either. He knows we have limits. “For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalms 103:14 NKJV). Partly for this reason, He instituted the Sabbath, because we need a time of rest. Jesus does not want us to make rest a religion without compassion either, and this is why He claimed to be the Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8). But even Jesus encouraged His disciples to rest after working hard for the Kingdom of God. “And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat” (Mark 6:31 NKJV). In short, it is important to set goals and work hard to grow the Kingdom of God, but it is just as necessary to take time off.
The same goes for all our projects. We cannot spend 8 hours a day studying a subject. We need to take breaks to allow the information to consolidate in our minds. We need to exercise to build our muscles, but we also need to give them time to rest and allow them to heal and develop properly. The same principle also applies to our search to meet a partner. We have to take steps to find our future spouse, we have to do activities to meet a potential partner, but sometimes we also have to take breaks in our search.
We need balance in our lives and in continually seeking a partner, we sometimes forget to appreciate what we have now: family and friends. If you’ve opened an account on a Christian dating website, after a year it’s good to close it and take a break from your search. Do not see it as a defeat: you will certainly have learned all kinds of things during your membership about yourself, about others, about the values that are close to your heart. So, don’t be disappointed; all experiences can make us grow.
During this pause, think about how you feel about dating. If you haven’t found anyone during a full year of searching, maybe deep down you’re not ready to meet someone. If no one has caught your attention in the last year, maybe you don’t want to be with someone. Being single is not a disease that must be cured. Several biblical heroes were single. If you feel like devoting yourself completely to the work of the Lord, go for it! You don’t have to be married to do this.
It’s also good to take a break from exploring when our hunt becomes an obsession. If you are starting to feel depressed because you haven’t found someone, stop everything. Marriage is not the goal of our life; you are a complete human being even if you are single. You are not a half person because you are waiting for your “better half”. You are a wonderful creature, so go discover life and have fun.
When Ruth decided to follow Naomi, she was not looking to remarry (Ruth 1:11-18). Naomi had been very clear with her that she had no more sons to give her, but Ruth decided to follow Naomi anyway. She wanted to take care of Naomi and follow her God. Ruth had surely decided to forget about the idea of remarrying and starting a family. She was just happy to serve Naomi being a widow. But you know the rest of the story: she married Boaz, and she became the grandmother of King David, an ancestor of Jesus!
We’re not saying to give up on your idea of getting married. But sometimes it’s good to take a break, to put our dreams and desires in God’s hands, and start living to our full potential.