We Are Mad At God

When I was in college and right out of college, ok until I was 32 or so, I spent a lot of time (and I mean a lot of time) praying to God about getting a spouse.  It was a focus, I would now say an idol.  I wrote songs about it. The songs were about hurt, pain and angst.  Haha. I can laugh now but it’s what I felt.

I think it’s really easy as a single to become bitter.  You watch others have something that you want and you don’t have it.  It’s in your face – especially in the Christian culture. We desire to be with someone and we aren’t.  That seems like grounds to be upset.

For me I feel like my anger really started as a teenager.  I just wasn’t good with the ladies. But I never saw what I did wrong, what I saw was that I couldn’t get the whatever girl I was currently obsessed with.  College was ok, but then after college I fell into the trap of bitterness again.  It’s understandable, but it’s not a very good path.

Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to write about the people we get mad at as singles.  For today I want to focus on the main person we are mad at – God.  That’s right. We might not say it, but really that is where a lot of our bitterness and anger comes from.

Why God?!  Why can’t you bring me someone?!  I remember one day in my late twenties walking out of my office on a beautiful fall afternoon.  I looked at the day, my work (which was going extremely well), the opportunities I had in ministry.  I looked at the car I was driving and I thought about all God has provided for me.  But I also felt confused.  Why could God bring me all of that but not a wife?  I would think, “Come on God, I’m trying to follow you.  I’m doing your work.  I’m trying to live a pure life – when is it my turn.” Can you hear the entitlement?  Does God owe you a spouse?

Look I think it is good to be real.  If you are frustrated then you might as well take that to God.  But it’s dangerous as a single to stay there.  It’s so easy to let our focus slide to what we don’t have, what we want so much and what we think we are missing out on.

It’s one thing to share my frustration but it’s another to live in bitterness.  

It’s bad because I begin to view the world around me through that lens.  It changes how I view my married friends.  It gives the enemy a foothold to work with.  Can you just hear the enemy’s voice, “See, God doesn’t deliver on the stuff that you really want.” or, “God could do it but He doesn’t want to.”

In one sense it puts the focus squarely on me.  It becomes all about what I want, what I don’t have and I’m mad about it.  It’s all about me.  It also affects me because it makes me way less attractive to the opposite sex.  No one wants to date the mad, bitter, feeling sorry for themselves person.  I see this in my single friends a lot.  I know it because I’ve lived it. Ladies, no guy wants to date the girl who is whining about being single.  We are scared of the desperate chick.  Trust me.  And gentlemen, no girl, and I mean NO girl, wants to date and angry, depressed, focussed on what’s wrong guy.

This leads me to another key problem.  When we make it all God’s fault we tend not to deal with the parts that are our fault.  I wish I would have had less people who fed me spiritual platitudes about God’s timing, God’s preparing someone for me, and God’s got stuff to teach me, and more people who would have told me how I was doing it all wrong.

We all have wounds that mess us up in this area, are we working on those?  Maybe we date all the wrong people – is that God’s fault of something from inside me that I need to figure out?  Maybe I need to work on my appearance or my approach – is that God’s fault?  Maybe I want every girl to like me too much and have a huge approval idol.  Is that God’s fault?

There’s a flip side here and it’s important – it’s not all my fault.  I’m going to get to being mad at ourselves later.  But the first person we are usually mad at is God and we need to get that worked out.

So are you mad at God that He doesn’t have you married yet?  Have you spent time being bitter?  How has that affected you and your relationship with friends, the opposite sex, and most of all God?

29 thoughts on “We Are Mad At God

  1. True, I have a friend who is in his 30’s, and still looking, but I know he’s also mad, he swears a lot, so there’s no way I’m dating him, even though he’s an incredibly empathetic person for an Aspie, and I myself, am in no position to date because I don’t have my life together, but I wish I did, because then I’d be more open to what God may open up for me. But until He does, I don’t really need to date.

  2. Also, just wanted to let you know, what you’re doing with this blog is truly incredible. And you’re right about the confidence thing. It doesn’t matter to a guy how a girl looks, but if they are confident in who they are. Do they care about themselves enough to try. Which is something in itself, if we don’t try, then we can’t succeed. But like I said earlier, some people He prepares and molds faster than others. Others are stuck, or just aren’t prepared for it yet, so that’s where we need to grow as Christians and grow at living life.
    You’re awesome, thanks for posting these blogs. 😀

  3. I think for me, the most dangerous effect bitterness has is in the way I start viewing the church. It is easy to see all the ways in which churches are catering their services, time, and energy to those married and/or with children and begin to feel left out as a single person. The feeling of being left out grows from sadness to bitterness and it becomes easy to begin to turn the criticism on the church and possibly even give up attending all together. Now granted, there are plenty of things the church should be working on and ways in which marriage and children can become a dangerous idol to those who have them, not just for us “have nots”, but ultimately I am called to love the church, to love my fellow mankind, to love the life God has given me, and its really hard for love to thrive where bitterness abounds.

    • My church once had a pastor who kept glorifying marriage. He even hosted a breakfast event that was for married people only! One time at a fellowship meeting he got us into a discussion about how everyone met their mate and I walked out of the room upset.

  4. Justin – AWESOME post! It is so easy, especially in our culture, to feel entitled about a lot of things.
    The biggest obstacles I see with wives who email me on my blog is the attitude, “But if I submit to God and my husband, when is it MY turn? What about ME? What about what I want?” And – to me, when I see those questions – it is a huge red flag. If I am focusing on what I want – I am not focusing on what God wants. Having Christ as my Lord means I have to die to self and live for Christ.

    When I focus on God’s will – I am content AND because I have given up all anger and bitterness, I can have the power of God’s Spirit in me – filling me with His supernatural peace and joy. When I focus on what I want – I am full of anxiety, discontentment, fear and loneliness.

    Thank you for so eloquently describing this battle in this particular arena of life. We definitely can’t move forward when we are bitter and angry towards God. Beautiful job!

    • Another thing about bitterness. It’s like a plant that grows into a tree. If you get to it esrly enough, you can pull it out by its roots by hand. If, on the other hand, it gets a chance to grow deep roots, it’ll take heavy machinery to pull it out. That’s why we have to relentlessly allow God to get rid of every seed of bitterness.

  5. “It’s one thing to share my frustration but it’s another to live in bitterness.” – Yes! There’s nothing wrong with voicing your emotions, but dwelling on them and rehashing them and failing to move forward…that’s not healthy.

    “Ladies, no guy wants to date the girl who is whining about being single.” – This made me laugh, because it’s true…but it’s also interesting because so many times I’ve heard, “Oh, you’ll never get a guy interested in you because you’re too self-sufficient. You act like you don’t need a man.” So there’s a fine balance — don’t be too desperate, but apparently don’t be too independent, either. 😉

    • Thing is, if you’re looiking for a friend in a partnership, which is what marriage is, wouldn’t you be entering it as an independent person? I mean, it’s another thing to be not self-sufficient enough to date or be in a relationship. You need to love on your own before marriage, and be comfortable in God, be comfortable being alone with God, comfortable being alone without crying. Working, and not worrying at home worrying if he’s going to come back every day… You can’t be too reliant on the guy for support.

      I have a guy friend who actually is a very good friend, but even though he’s independent, I don’t know if he works, he smokes, and he has problems with anger where he swears. Granted, he is extremely emotionally connected and easy to relate to, but I know well that I wouldn’t date him. He’s more mature, which is what I look for, and he’s starting to grow in Christ, but it’s not the right time for either of us. If it ever will be. It’s entirely possible to just remain close friends, but would a future husband consider him a threat to a marriage?

      • Oh, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being independent! It’s just funny how many people think they have the answer as to why a person is still single, and how that single person needs to change to stop being single. 🙂

        (Of course, I’m also happy being single, which isn’t the case for every single person in the world.)

  6. Amazing. As a single (not by choice) Catholic woman, I’ve read any number of posts on this topic, almost entirely written by women. They didn’t really move me. Ran across this one in a Google search for something else entirely …but I have to say, boy, you nailed it. NAILED IT. I have all sorts of new things to think about now. WOW. Still not content being single (despite the complaints of my married friends, who haven’t realized the grass is brown on both sides) but rethinking my anger at God about it.

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  8. Pingback: Quit Beating Yourself Up | More Than Don't Have Sex

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  12. Single 34-year-old Christian guy. I don’t want kids, so my prospects for a mate are quite limited. Sometimes I just wish God would take me home. The thought of doing it myself occurs more often than it should.

    • Chris, Although I don’t know you, I can empathsize with the feeling that this earthly existence isn’t always what we want it to be. But what we view as limited prospects may be us not seeing the whole picture. As a 36 year old single myself, I know the waiting can seem unnecessarily cruel, but I would encourage you to seek out a community that can help speak truth into your life, truth about your real value as a child of God that has nothing to do with having kids or a spouse. I will be keeping you in my prayers.

      • I agree, often, we never see the whole picture, but God does. And sometimes He has better plans for us. His desires for us are to be pure, to be love and light to a hopeless world, but He also sees the larger picture of our lives. Sometimes He says wait, other times He says a no answer. But with His answer, He gives peace and security. Growing in faith and trust in Him is never the easiest path, but waiting on Him leads to fulfillment of the cross and fulfillment of the resurrection in our lives, even fulfillment at the Rapture. He fulfills all of our desires on His own, at the Marriage of the Lamb, any relationship is a true reflection of Him as it is meant to be, but unless both people involved are reflecting Him fully and are mature individuals, sometimes it’s better to wait.

    • Hey Chris

      First off, I just want to say that I’m sorry you’re hurting. I’ve been exactly where you are at different times. My hope and prayer is that you have people to walk with you in it. And that you know that God does care about you and that you belong to Him first.

  13. It is so hard for me to feel anything but bitterness, anger, and despair toward God on a consistent basis, and a big reason for that is my being single at 33. I went through one failed relationship that lasted on and off for over a decade, but this void still exists in my soul. I’m so tired of hearing people say I’m making mortal love an idol, or not trusting God enough…because neither are among my highest aims at all. I want to love and trust God, the way I know He does for me…but most times, it just doesn’t seem possible on my end. I keep thinking about Adam, who had daily personal visits with God Himself, yet was still empty (and I assume frustrated) because he didn’t have anyone to share his life with. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve told God in prayer, “Please, I can’t stand this anymore. I need my Eve.”

    • Bitterness and anger toward God, and sometimes the church, can actually come across in daily interaction, with people. I’ve seen that particularly with one person I know, and it’s hurtful for women to be around a guy that’s bitter/angry, because we are emotionally driven. But I think that you’re one the right path, in not placing it as an idol. Just a woman’s perspective.

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  15. I feel like if we aren’t proactive about it we might be missing on any new people. Is focusing on God too much to where you’d miss that special someone or new people in your life?

  16. This hit the nail on the head. “He doesn’t give you what you really want.” I may have fallen down and am broken, but life shows and experiences is EXACTLY that. True or a lie

  17. Resonated with what the person said about being mad at the church. Unless you have kids or are getting married, you’re one of the extra people — especially if you’re single and childless past your 30s. You’re not getting baptized or baptizing anyone, you’re not getting married, and you’re not catechizing kids. Other than being expected to be constantly available for volunteering — what, you have something better to do? — the church just doesn’t have a reason to take an interest. Its energies are expended elsewhere. Considering the importance of raising families, it’s understandable, but it also sucks.

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