You’re not good looking enough. There is no one for you. You can’t get the one you want. You’re too fat (insert tall, skinny, short, etc). No one cares. Your church doesn’t care. You’re alone. It’s all your fault. You’ve already messed it up – God isn’t going to send you someone. It doesn’t matter anyway go ahead and. . . .
Have you ever heard any of these in your head? Ever wonder where they come from? What’s interesting is I’ve had a lot of these thoughts (and a host of others) at one time or another and yet that’s the only place I’ve heard them. For example as I’ve mentioned before, I thought part of the reason I couldn’t succeed with women was that I wasn’t good enough looking – but a funny thing – no woman has ever actually told me that.
So where do all these thoughts come from?
There’s whole lot to consider here but we need to step back and get a look.
First off we are wounded in life. Stuff happens. We sin and others sin against us. This starts pretty much the day we are born. And guess what – it affects the way we think about ourselves. This starts with our parents and the messages we receive from them and it just keeps going. We receive a message and then there is an interpretation of that message.
Here’s an example. When I was in third grade I got picked on by some sixth graders. They threatened me on the way home from school. For the first time in my life as a kid, I was scared of injury from another person. I can still see that kids fist in my face.
That’s one event. But in my third grade mind I was now weak. Once you have an interpretation other events begin to get interpreted the same way. In fifth grade a peer straight up punched me in the face as hard as he could. Now I didn’t even fall, but I didn’t fight back. What’s interesting is that I could have thought, “I just took that kids best punch and I’m not hurt – I’m tough.” Instead, I took it as another confirmation that I was weak.
When we get wounded is we interpret it somehow. And friends there is a freaking battle over that interpretation.
There are three voices that come at us. The voice of God, our own voice, and the voice of the enemy – the demonic. Yup, you read that right. There’s a spiritual war. At least that’s what the Bible says. Jesus talks about it, Paul talks about it, and Peter talks about it. So if these guys are talking about it, seems like it might be real.
Now we in the western church like to say it’s real but then we live like it’s not. Which is fairly stupid. Sure once in a while we read a story or a book (hello C.S. Lewis and Screwtape – geesh even Lewis is talking about it, and if he says it’s real. . . ). Now and then we mention it in a sermon. But that’s about it for the most part. It’s like “hey you’re in this war but don’t worry about it.”
We live our life like there are only two people on the stage – us and God. This is not a good idea, and it’s not Biblical.
At any rate, when a wounding event happens, the enemy wants to use it. Now so too does God of course. But the key is, who am I going to agree with? When we agree with the enemy we give them power (a foothold if you will) and they can run with it.
This is why Paul says to take every thought captive. Where is it coming from? Own it.
What does this have to do with singleness?
Well it isn’t a singleness problem per se. It’s an everybody problem. But we are part of everybody and one of our contexts is singleness. So if I’m the enemy and I know that you are single, and all that goes with that, I’m pretty sure I’m using it (in the same way if you are married I’m using that and all that goes with it).
Let’s assume the demonic are real. Think they might care who you date, what you do on a date or who or if you get married? If you are called to singleness do you think they might want to mess with that? Do you think they might want to use it against your relationship with God?
I’ll talk more about this – but for today I want to ask you this question. Have you ever actually considered that the enemy cares about your singleness?
Paul says we fight a battle against flesh, the world, and the enemy. We don’t get to leave any of those out.