I’m So Miserable Being Single & Afraid That This Is God’s Plan For The Rest Of My Life

Your article on mysterious attractions was excellent. I have a problem. It is regarding women, as is usual in my case. I don’t even know where to start. It is interfering with my relationship with God and much much more. I have been trying to analyze myself but I have the feeling of being left out by God. He created a woman to be a partner of a man. It makes me crazy how I long for a woman who would love me. It torments me that I was abandoned by God in this area even though I know that God is with me all the time. I have the knowledge of how an intimate relationship should work based on your book and articles. I prayed earnestly to God to make me happy in my singleness to no avail. I was broken by my mother who did not protect me as a kid and probably I’m looking for motherly protection and love in other women and they sense it. Maybe my mother is my “original partner,” not my father. It is a mess how many issues there is. But one thing is outstanding above all, my singleness drives me desperate and demons love it. They scream at me that God has chosen for me the loneliness till I die. God made me read the book of Ezekiel recently, how He took away the prophet’s wife. It terrifies me what He did to Ezekiel. I am so ashamed to write because there are so much worse scenarios in life that could happen, so much more misery that I did not experience. It could be much worse than this yet here I am whining . Even the love of my kids doesn’t help much. When I see any couple from my window I get jealous so much and get angry at God. I am scared of myself what I have become. Kind of a freak. Please give me some advice.

First, I would say that calling yourself a “freak” is quite unfair. Humans have a deep need to pair up with each other and experience the unique benefits that come with a romantic intimate relationship. So it’s not wrong for you to feel this way, nor is it wrong to feel very frustrated and discouraged by not seeing any clear end date to being single. Unfortunately, this is the kind of problem that tends to get solved suddenly and without warning, so trying to see the solution coming far in advance is usually futile. One minute you’re absolutely certain that you’ll be single until you die, and the next minute Miss Right walks into your life through a set of circumstances that you never thought would happen. Meanwhile, a valuable principle for all humans to bear in mind is that when it comes predicting what is most likely to occur in our futures, our emotions are useless guides.

Understanding Emotions

Right now you feel hopeless about ever having a positive relationship with a woman again. But where exactly does that feeling come from? Humans have four elements to their beings (body, soul, conscious & subconscious), and each of those elements has its own set of emotions. When we try to describe our feelings as you did in your question, we usually end up describing multiples sets of emotions all stirred together. For example, it is your soul that feels angry at God for keeping you single. It is both your soul and your subconscious that feel depressed about the idea of never having a future wife. Typically in your situation, your body will also be feeling frustrated by not having an outlet for sexual relations, while your conscious will feel stressed by having so many of its partner elements upset. I know this all sounds a bit technical, but I like to provide people with an extra level of depth when it comes to understanding themselves.

Once we understand that strong surface conclusions like “I’m depressed” or “I’m lonely” can be fueled by multiple elements which are each feeling frustrated for different reasons, it’s easier to identify ways to ease the intensity of that surface feeling. While there might not be a quick way to fully change our sad feelings, reducing their intensity can make them much easier to cope with. In your case, we have two main elements fueling this despair about being single: your soul and your subconscious. Since many single people who can identify with your kind despair are also dealing with sexual frustration, I’ll add the body to the mix as well. That gives us three elements to work with. Let’s map this out to help us better understand the problem.

Mapping things out like this is very useful because now we can get a clearer picture of what’s causing each element’s distress. First we have your soul, which is reacting to some very negative beliefs that it has formed about God and you. To help your soul, you need to look more closely at what those beliefs are and see if you can help it adjust any of them. Any positive adjustments that you are able to help your soul make will reduce its distress. Reducing any single element’s distress will reduce the overall intensity of how badly you feel.

A similar strategy can be used to help your subconscious. Currently it feels that a romantic female partner is the only one who can provide certain needs. But what are those specific needs? If you are able to dig into the details a bit more here, you will likely find that some of the needs you’re trying to fill through a wife/lover can actually be filled through non-romantic relationships. Often in these cases, we get so focused on having a specific type of relationship that we lose sight of how much overlap there is between various kinds of positive relationships. For example, just increasing your level of casual communication with other humans can often help ease severe loneliness. While romantic partners certainly provide certain needs that other relationship partners can’t, there are many other positive aspects to romantic relationships that are also found in close friendships and even casual acquaintances. With Covid isolating people even more than usual, a lot of great online groups have sprung up that offer new ways of helping people connect with each other. For example, I recently came across a website where people sign up to have the materials for a monthly craft project automatically shipped to them. The company then provided an online social forum for its members to connect with each other and share their thoughts about the various projects. It was a great resource for people who enjoy crafting, yet find it depressing to craft alone. Common interest groups are a great platform for launching casual acquaintances that might grow into friendships. You start off talking about the interests you share in common (crafting, reading, hunting, fishing, learning a language, etc.), and soon the conversations wander onto other topics as well, giving a chance for deeper relationships to form.

As a general rule, trying to expand your base of casual acquaintances is a great strategy for combatting loneliness. Serious relationships don’t start off being serious, they start out as casual and then move up the levels of intimacy until they become serious. By seeking out more casual relationships (despite how futile it might feel right now), you not only help yourself gain more human contact, but you also help yourself find relationship partners who have the potential for something deeper.

Body Frustration

Now you didn’t mentioned any body complaints in your question, but for my readers who are struggling in that area, notice how in the above chart I listed the soul as being the main obstacle for the body getting sexual release. This is a very common issue due to the soul having specific moral beliefs that outlaw things like masturbation. In real life, masturbation is not inherently evil, nor is it even a moral issue. Stimulating your own sex organs is as morally neutral as massaging a knot of muscles in your tense shoulders. In its simplest form, masturbation is like eating: it’s a rather straightforward way of taking care of one of your body’s biological needs. And, yes, sex is a biological need for both men and women, with men legitimately needing sexual release far more often than women (for an explanation of a normal vs. abnormal sex drive, see the sex drive chart in Sex In-Depth: A Guide for the Ladies).

Your body does not have a moral code, but it feels outranked by the soul and subconscious. In cases of sexual frustration, it’s usually one or both of these alpha elements that is bullying the body about getting sexual release. A similar process is often involved whenever we see the body refusing to address any one of its core needs, such as in cases of self-starvation where the body refuses to accept any form of food (see Self-Harming: Understanding Your Body’s Dilemma). Understanding that the body will only starve itself sexually due to being coerced by its alpha elements is very important when you are looking for ways to relieve sexual frustration. In these cases, you need to deal directly with the alpha element that is banning sex, and that is usually the soul.

Souls tend to view sexual activities as having very significant moral meaning, with some souls sincerely believing that engaging in a single “immoral” type of sexual encounter can eternally damn one to a Hell-type experience in the next life. When souls have strong beliefs about sexual activities, those beliefs need to be respected and attempts to adjust them need to be gentle and focused on logical arguments that the soul finds valid. Merely pointing out to a soul that sex is a biological need isn’t going to be sufficient if that soul really has a fear about certain forms of sex causing it to be damned by God. In such a case, Divine judgment is going to be a critical subject to address before the soul will change its view of sexual activities, because it sees the two subjects as being inseparably linked.

My purpose in explaining all of that was to clarify that while “just masturbate” sounds like a simple solution for sexually frustrated people, it can be viewed as a very offensive suggestion due to the frustrated person’s personal beliefs. In cases of intense sexual frustration, people feel that they already have a very limited number of options that would even satisfy their personal sexual cravings. A straight man isn’t going to feel satisfied by having intercourse with another man. A gay man isn’t going to feel satisfied by having intercourse with a woman. In addition to having limited options, sexually frustrated people also feel that their access to those limited options is currently blocked. To help in these cases, understanding where the blocks are coming from is important. In some cases of deviant sexual desires where the only form of “satisfying” sex involves doing harm to other people or to oneself, there is always an element of trauma involved which is causing the body’s natural desire for sexual release to be turned into a channel for venting trauma-based stress. Here again, the problem lies with one of the alpha elements–either the soul or the subconscious–and those elements need to be helped directly so that the body will stop being forced to comply with their destructive agendas.

Since the question I’m addressing doesn’t specifically mention sex, I don’t want to spend too much time on this subject. But I do want everyone to see how relieving body frustration in this area would once again help the overall frustration level go down. In some cases of depression over being single, body frustration is one area that can be helped fairly quickly by introducing forms of masturbation that both the soul and subconscious sign off on. In such cases, the depressed person might quickly feel that their depression becomes a lot more manageable. It doesn’t solve everything of course, especially if physical frustration isn’t the main issue. But it can certainly help if that is a piece of the puzzle.

In some cases, physical frustration is the main fuel for the fire. A classic example here would be a man who devotes himself to a religious profession that demands lifelong celibacy. Usually in these situations the term “celibacy” is used to morally ban not only sexual relations with other humans, but also any form of self-arousal. Given the strong biological need for males to have regular sexual release, agreeing to this kind of celibacy is a major mistake, and one that is guaranteed to result in an ongoing build up of immense internal stress. That stress eventually becomes overwhelming, at which point the subconscious and body team up against the soul, express their fury at the soul’s unreasonable demands, and the man finds himself suddenly delving into all kinds of deviant sexual activities that make him look monstrous to himself. The important lesson here is that you cannot cut any of your elements off from their core needs without creating a crisis in the long term.

Soul Beliefs

Let’s now turn the focus back onto the question that has been asked. Negative soul beliefs are clearly a major factor in your personal situation. Whenever the soul is already feeling stressed, demons look for opportunities to amplify that distress. Helping you “interpret” religious texts in a way that benefits them is a classic strategy here, and we see them working that one on you in the way they tried to influence your response to some of Ezekiel’s story.

The Christian Bible is divided into two parts: the larger and longer Old Testament, and the shorter New Testament. Both of these Testaments are collections of documents written by a variety of authors. In the Old Testament, the documents have been grouped by category instead of organized chronologically, which makes things rather confusing. One of the categories invented to group Old Testament documents in is prophetic books. These are books which were written by human prophets. In the case of the Old Testament (which is focused on ancient Jewish society), those prophets were all ethnic Jews. While Jewish society recognized both male and female prophets, the prophetic books were all penned by males. Ancient Jewish society was a male dominated society, so naturally their most prominent historical figures were male.

Among the prophetic books of the Old Testament, there are minor prophets and major prophets. What makes a fellow qualify as major is essentially the volume of written material that he produced. Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah are all very long books which are crammed with three main types of information: comments on historical events (with the personal bias of the prophet who was writing the book), speeches by God (specifically Yahweh, who Christians call God the Father), and speeches by the prophet.

The Prophetic Calling

Now the human race has been cranking out “prophets” for as long as we’ve had written documents. With any self-confident windbag able to attach this title to himself, how can you tell the difference between a false prophet and a legitimate one? It all depends on how you define the term prophet. The only correct definition for a true prophet of God would be someone who accurately relays messages that the real God has instructed them to give. Sounds fun, right? Who wouldn’t get a thrill to have God Almighty speaking through them? Well, in real life, that’s not how it works out. In the first place, this isn’t a calling that you can volunteer for, it’s one that God assigns to you. God chooses who He wants to choose, not who we think He should choose. Often God’s selections surprise us, as they don’t seem to be folks who we would consider “worthy” or “skilled” at this type of work. There are one off prophetic assignments, in which God orders you to deliver a specific message once, and that’s it. Then there are longer runs, where He might keep assigning you messages to deliver over months or years, typically dropping them on you without warning. Then there are what I call “career prophets”, which are folks who receive so many prophetic assignments from God that they are forced to make it their main focus in life.

Once He announces that He has decided to use you as His mouthpiece to the masses, you can either agree and have your life turned upside down, or you can refuse and get on the wrong side of His wrath. If you’re smart and you agree, you then get introduced to the many unique challenges that come with being uncomfortably close to a Being who is quite literally too much for us humans to handle. Actually receiving God’s messages isn’t hard, in the sense that He knows how to make His words crystal clear to our tiny little brains. But passing on those messages without editing them to suit yourself is incredibly stressful. You see, God generally doesn’t use prophets to pass on happy messages. This is because human beings are usually pretty receptive to the happy stuff, so they don’t need a third party to tell them what God is already saying to their souls directly. It’s the not-so-happy stuff that humans tend to get difficult about, and it’s usually snarky, rebellious souls who are pretending not “hear” God’s convictions. Because of these dynamics, God mainly activates prophets to deliver warning-type messages to folks who are in a state of spiritual rebellion. Once you become a symbol of the God to people (which legitimate prophets do), those people will externally respond to you the same way that they are internally responding to God. If they are giving God a bunch of snark on a soul level, they’ll do the same with you socially. This is what makes the legitimate prophetic calling such a nightmare: it basically guarantees to cause a bunch of hostility between you and other humans. That’s if you’re doing it right. If you weenie out and decide to edit God’s caustic messages to sound less offensive to your target audience…in other words, if you shaft God for the purpose of saving your own hide…then you have God’s wrath to deal with. This is one of those callings that sticks you in a very stressful “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” position. That’s the real prophetic calling.

It’s useful to realize that real prophetic messages from God are not limited to being future predictions. While God will sometimes throw in predictions about what will happen in the future, He often focuses more on the issue of curbing mass spiritual rebellion. This means He’ll chew out a bunch of people with snarky soul attitudes, review with them again and again what the correct soul attitudes look like, and toss in some dire threats about what will happen if they don’t respond well to His warnings.

Since there’s no such thing as your soul not receiving a message that God wants you to hear, why does God bother with the hassle of getting some other human to get in your face and repeat a message that He knows you’ve already received? To answer this question, I’d have to explain a lot of mechanics about how God likes to work with humans, and that’s beyond the scope of this post. Suffice to say that God doesn’t need the aid of humans to communicate His will to people (or to do anything else), but He likes to involve humans in His activities for the purpose of cultivating personal relationships with us.

Now every time I discuss the true prophetic calling, someone writes in to say they feel depressed that God isn’t choosing to use them in this way, and they are assuming that being “passed over” like that means God just doesn’t like them as much as His “chosen ones.” No, no no. Don’t even go down that road, because that logic is completely wrong. The prophetic calling has nothing to do with Divine favoritism. It is simply an opportunity to serve God, and we all receive such opportunities. Big or small, any opportunity to serve God which you respond well to will move you forward in your relationship with Him. Getting hung up on the specific details of what God is asking you to do versus what He’s asking someone else to do is only going to get you focused on the wrong things. Yes, there are some fabulous perks that can come with being God’s prophet. But the potential consequences are a lot more severe as well. Representing God to people is a very heavy responsibility, and if you don’t take it seriously enough, He will make you plenty sorry. The demands of the true prophetic calling are so overwhelming for humans that to have any chance of doing it right, you need God to give you specialized training, typically for years in advance of your first assignment. That training is extremely unpleasant. You simply can’t go into this kind of work thinking that you’re all that and a bag of chips. You need God to grind your naturally overinflated sense of importance down to powder before you’ll have a chance of developing the kind of extreme reverential submission that is required for this kind of work. So don’t envy prophets. If God is not dropping this particular grenade onto your lap, you should be relieved, not depressed. If you can be just as successful in God’s eyes without having to go through all of the extra pain and strain that prophets have to go through, then you’re in a sweet position.

Ezekiel

Now Ezekiel was a real life, authentic prophet of God. As you should expect with any true prophet whose prophetic assignments drag on for many years, Ezekiel’s social life was hell. Ezekiel lived during a particularly dark period of Israelite history: a time when what was left of their original nation was completely conquered by the Babylonians. At the time Ezekiel wrote the many documents that make up the book of Ezekiel, the Babylonian Empire was the top dog in his corner of the world. They were terrifyingly brutal on the battlefield, and Ezekiel had the added fun of being hauled off as a prisoner of war during one of several sieges on his homeland of Israel (which was known at that time as Judah). It was after he was forcibly transplanted to the capital of the Babylonian Empire that Ezekiel experienced Yahweh calling him to be His prophet. Ezekiel was one of several human prophets that Yahweh had strategically placed through the Jewish population in order to guide the Jews through the horrific turmoil that He had arranged for them. Through His prophets, Yahweh emphasized over and over that He was giving the Jewish nation a well-deserved punishment. For centuries up until that point in Jewish history, the Israelites had consistently treated their “national God” like garbage. God’s patience is impressive, but it has limits, and the Israelites just had to push those limits out to the max. For many years before all hell broke loose, Yahweh kept warning the Jews that they needed to repent out of their foul soul attitudes and start treating Him with respect or He’d give them one wallop of a spanking, They responded to all of His warnings with mockery and scoffing. After giving them a zillion chances, God finally made good on His threats, and things were just as horrifying, heartbreaking, and hideous as He warned they would be. It’s in the middle of that overwhelming mess that Ezekiel finds himself in his own personal crisis: either go along with Yahweh’s instruction to act as His mouthpiece to the Jews, or attempt to rebel against the same God who was turning Ezekiel’s homeland into smoking rubble. Ezekiel figured obedience was his only option, and he went on to demonstrate a mind-blowing level of obedience as Yahweh stuck him with one mortifying assignment after another.

In ancient Jewish culture, symbolic behaviors were a popular way of communicating a message. The Jews also preferred things to be very dramatic and theatrical. When God talks to a specific human society, He intentionally adjusts His style to align with that society’s preferences. In working with Jews, that meant Yahweh instructed His Jewish prophets to use a very dramatic, emotional style of communicating. He also instructed them to go through a wide variety of specific bizarre behaviors which were intended to symbolically illustrate key points. Now there have been many prophets in Jewish society, and most of what they said and did was not recorded. But in Ezekiel’s case, we have a lot of detail about some of the bizarre stunts Yahweh put him through, such as forcing him to lie on his side in the dirt for over a year while being tied up with ropes so tightly that he couldn’t turn over. Just based on the material recorded in the Old Testament, it seems as though Ezekiel far surpassed his fellow prophets by getting stuck with the most humiliating, uncomfortable, and downright miserable symbolic activities. When it comes to handing out awards for faithfully following Yahweh’s demoralizing instructions, Ezekiel’s closest contender would be the prophet Isaiah, who spent three years of his adult life walking around butt naked to demonstrate a point about the humiliation certain war prisoners would experience in an upcoming battle.

Then Yahweh said, “Just as My servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush, so the king of Assyria will lead away stripped and barefoot the Egyptian captives and Cushite exiles, young and old, with buttocks bared—to Egypt’s shame. Those who trusted in Cush and boasted in Egypt will be dismayed and put to shame. In that day the people who live on this coast will say, ‘See what has happened to those we relied on, those we fled to for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria! How then can we escape?’”.” (Isaiah 20:3-6)

In Isaiah’s case, he was having to symbolically demonstrate something that would happen not to his own people, but to Israel’s greatest ally: the mighty Egypt. In times of strife, Israel was supposed to turn to God for help, but instead she regularly insulted Him by turning to other humans instead. In this symbolic naked exercise, Yahweh is presenting the terrifying idea that soon Israel’s biggest protector–the mighty Egypt–will get mowed over by Israel’s most feared enemy: the brutal Assyrians. The Assyrians were pulling a Hitler move at the time, slowly nipping off more and more territory from other nations and claiming it as their own. Everyone found this very distressing, but Israel figured she was safe as long as she had the mighty Egyptian army to supplement her own puny forces. In response to her insulting behavior, Yahweh has Isaiah go through the naked exercise to make this point: “If you think limited humans are a better resource than God Almighty, you’d better think again.” While there are some great spiritual lessons to be gleaned from that bottom line, Isaiah would have been very focused on the fact that he had to walk out his front door butt naked every morning. The Jews did not smile on public displays of nudity, but they were very efficient gossipers. Talk about God trashing your social reputation in one swift move. But that’s how things work in the world of real Divine prophecy–everything must be considered expendable, even your clothes.

Having God use events in your personal life as metaphors for teaching lessons to the masses comes with the territory for any prophet of God, but especially for those who happen to live in cultures that value symbolic behaviors as much as the Jews did. This is what happened in the case of Ezekiel’s wife. Her death was not seen as just a random, unfortunate event. Instead, God explained to Ezekiel ahead of time that He wanted to use his wife’s death as a metaphor for Ezekiel’s fellow Jews. In Jewish society, when a spouse died, you were supposed to put on a dramatic, loud, public show of mourning. You would wail a the top of your lungs, tear your clothes, spread ashes on your head, and get a lot of your friends to join you in doing the same. This was considered a healthy and right way of processing your grief and to allow others to share in that grief with you. Because this was the normal, expected behavior in Ezekiel’s society, it was quite a shock when God told Ezekiel not to mourn his wife’s passing. Instead, Ezekiel was to just sit there in silence, saying nothing, which was extremely non-Jewish. The purpose of this bizarre behavior was to spark curiosity and get a lot of people to cluster around Ezekiel, demanding to know why he was behaving so strange. Ezekiel was to then pass on the message God had given to him–one that had to do with the all of the horror that would happen as the Babylonians trampled on Jerusalem. Ezekiel’s bizarre behavior was intended to get everyone focused on the issue of Divine judgment–specifically the epic pounding that God was giving the Israelite nation because of her spiritual defiance.

The key point for you to understand here is that Ezekiel was the exception to a lot of rules. He was a man who was living through a specific kind of historical crisis–one that God had publicly predicted for centuries. He was also operating as a legitimate prophet of God–something which is relatively rare. Due to the kinds of messages Yahweh was focusing on at the time (which were mainly about His acrid relationship with the Israelite nation), the death of Ezekiel’s wife was a very useful teaching tool. It’s also useful to remember that we aren’t told the specific details how she died, nor are we told any of the personal comments God said to Ezekiel at the time to help him cope. Given how different Ezekiel’s situation was from your own, expecting there to be significant overlap between his life path and your own simply isn’t warranted. You’re not a war prisoner trying to eek out an existence in the capital of the empire that defeated your people. You’re not taking trips to a local field where God is giving you a bunch of terrifying, mind-blowing visions packed with imagery that is so foreign you can hardly find the words to describe it. God hasn’t stuck your tongue to the roof of your mouth, rendering you speechless until He has something specific that He wants to say through you to other people. You’re not living in a community of your fellow countrymen who are either avoiding you or showing up at your doorstep hoping to catch you going into another of your bizarre fits. This were things that Ezekiel had to deal with, and the fact that he did press on in the face of all of these stresses proves that he was receiving special empowerment from God. Ezekiel was a human, just like you are, and no human can endure the things Ezekiel endured without miraculous aid. Because you’re not being called to deal with the problems Ezekiel had to deal with, you’re not receiving the special help from God that he received, which is why you can’t fathom coping with the things he coped with.

Anytime God gives humans special aid, those humans come across as having supernatural abilities. They don’t really have such abilities, they only seem to because we don’t recognize God’s involvement in the situation. In reality, humans are extremely limited beings, penned in by immovable boundaries that severely limit what they can do, understand, or endure. Anytime those boundaries look as though they are being temporarily surpassed, it is only due to the involvement of supernatural beings. Both God and demons can temporarily boost human abilities by adding their own powers into the mix. For example, a demon can cause a human body to levitate into the air and drift about the room, making it appear as if the human has somehow gained the ability to fly about on his own. In many situations, demons encourage humans to take the credit for powers that demons know they don’t actually have. Demons want us to remain deceived about our own limitations because thinking we’re more capable than we are is a great way to lead us towards the wrong soul attitudes. Since God always leads us towards the right soul attitudes, He teaches us to give the credit where it’s due and not take the glory for the things that He does through us. The key point for you to understand is that anytime you find yourself thinking, “I could never do what that other human is doing,” all that means is that with your current available resources you couldn’t handle whatever it is. But that other human has a different set of resources than you do, and it’s guaranteed that your own resources will change as you go through life. If you should ever find yourself required to do whatever they’re doing, you would also find yourself with a different set of resources to work with. Unless the resources are totally equal, the comparison is meaningless. Since you cannot accurately assess what another human’s resources are, you can never be certain who is your true equal in that regard, and this is why comparing yourself to others is so pointless. Instead of trying to guess what direction your own life will go in based on what’s happening to some other human, you need to accept the fact that you have no idea what’s in your future. Only God knows, and He will walk you through whatever is ahead of you in small, manageable steps.

Practicing Discernment

Historical records always leave out way more information than they include. Trying to fill in those gaps is where we can get into trouble, especially when we’re following the suggestions of demons. Is God really going to have you read Ezekiel to amplify your terror of being single forever? Of course not. In the first place, God is hardly ever going to hand you specific predictions about your future circumstances. While demons are a never ending stream of distressing “what if” predictions, God intentionally withholds future information from humans because He knows we can’t handle it. Even positive predictions like,“You’ll be married by the end of the year” or “You’ll be rich in ten years’ time” end up causing us way more angst than peace. So God refuses to go there. His usual answer to us pestering Him for specific assurances is to give us a general guiding principle like “Trust Me, everything will be alright.” God knows that keeping things vague and positive is the best thing for us, but we often see that a form of malicious toying.

Once you understand that God’s messages to you are always going to have a positive spiritual purpose, you need to rethink this theory that God had you read Ezekiel. Demons are much more versed in the Christian Bible than Christians are, and they love prompting humans to read certain passages just to set them up for despair. If God was actually the One who prompted you to read Ezekiel at this time–which He might well have been–then you need to ask Him to help you identify the positive lesson He was interested in teaching you. “Ha, ha, I’m keeping you lonely till you die,” certainly wasn’t it. So either demons were the original source of your sudden inspiration to read that particular section of Ezekiel’s very long book, or they tried to get you focused on the wife thing in order to distract you from what God wants you to focus on. Either way, the message demons are trying to highlight for you is a bunch of guff and has no basis in reality.

The Gift of Singleness

Does God equip some people to be single for life? Yes. But when He does this, they don’t feel the way you do about being single. God always gives us the resources we need to deal with His special callings. What Christians call “the gift of singleness” is a true release from the desire for an intimate romantic relationship. It can and does happen, although not nearly as often as people think. Most of the folks who think they have this “gift” are actually in a state of unresolved psychological trauma which they are coping with by severely suppressing their body’s interest in sex and denying their psychological need for a close bond with another human. This kind of false giftedness is typically fueled by the subconscious, and is often mistaken as a sign of “higher spirituality” when in reality it’s a sign of unresolved psychological terror. If you had this kind of issue, you’d feel repulsed by sexual relations in general, you never or rarely experience a desire for sexual release in your own body, and you’d behave in a way that keeps other humans at arm’s length. You might be super friendly on the outside, but you would be careful not to let anyone get to know you too well, because deep down you’d be afraid that they would hurt you. Spiritually, you’d probably look at your behavior and decide that you must be of “extra righteous” stock to so easily rise above the “carnal” desire for sex. So you’d be a bit of a judgmental pride puff, too, but probably a well-meaning one.

Rethinking Your Focus

Now you mentioned that you’ve “prayed earnestly to God to make me happy in my singleness to no avail.” When we ask God for a specific kind of empowerment (in your case, making peace with being alone), and He says “No”, we need to change our focus to align with His leading. It would be a simple thing for God to give you peace about this subject, but He’s refusing to do so. Is this because He enjoys seeing you suffer? That’s how demons want you to interpret His behavior, but of course their advice is always rubbish.

What we’re talking about here is a natural desire that God has woven into every human. Pairing up is a good thing in general, and it’s a very common element that God includes in our life paths. Certainly there are cases in which God’s plan for us does not include pairing us up, and if that is the case, we shouldn’t view that as some kind of punishment or indication that we’ve been passed over by Him. Instead, what’s needed is a deeper understanding of how Divine nurturing works.

Nurturing Humans

This has already been a densely packed post and the topic we’re getting into now is extremely vast and complicated. To avoid giving everyone mental burnout, I’m going to try to massively simplify things so we can just get a few key pointers.

God creates an endless variety of creatures. In each case, He first decides what kind of dynamic He wants to have with the creature He is making. He then adjusts that creature’s design to be perfect for that kind of dynamic. In the case of humans, God wants a nurturing relationship:one in which we slowly evolve/mature/develop over time with the help of His constant care. The first essential thing to understand here is that human development is supposed to be a gradual, perpetual process. It’s not something we can jam through super fast, nor is it a project that is possible to fully complete, because our growth is designed to be ongoing as long as we exist. A second key point is that God designed us to need constant micromanagement from Him. We’re not designed to be self-sufficient. We’re not like trees that you just have to fuss over until they get deep enough roots, and then you can walk away while they continue to grow. We’re more like delicate little fish swimming about in an aquarium who are major fusspots about the quality of our water, the cleanliness of our environment, and the quality of our food. If things get a few degrees too hot or cold, we get sick and die. If we don’t get fed just the right amount of food flakes at exactly the right times throughout the day, we languish. If the oxygen level in our water drops or the saltiness gets too high, we fall ill. We need constant monitoring, constant fussing over, and we can never be forgotten about. This is the kind of high maintenance care God designed us to need because it’s the kind of care He wanted to provide. Once you understand these concepts, you can see why the whole idea of God “forgetting” about any human or being “uninvolved” in any human circumstance is utterly absurd. God’s constant involvement with each and every one of us is a given because He designed us to be incapable of existing without it. This is how it is for humans. For other creatures, God could have an entirely different kind of dynamic. We don’t need to concern ourselves with what He’s doing with other creatures, we just need to understand the kind of dynamic He chose to have with us.

When it comes to humans, God is equally enthusiastic about taking care of us and developing us. Humans are designed to continuously grow and change. We don’t reach some kind of peak and then stop developing. There is always the potential for new growth. Again, we’re like this because that’s how God designed us to be. Nothing about us is tiresome to Him because He personally chose every aspect of our design.

If you have a rose bush that grows but never blooms, it’s annoying, right? You want to see the bush reach its full potential by doing what it’s designed to do, and that means forming sweet smelling flowers. From God’s perspective, you have an endless series of potential growth plateaus in your future. You might think of it like riding an elevator up a skyscraper that goes on forever. When you reach floor 49, that’s super exciting after being stuck on floor 48 for so long. But soon you’re eager to move up to floor 50. Why? Because it’s new territory. Because it’s fun. Because it’s enticing. You feel this core curiosity about exploring the unexplored because of the way God designed you. So as lovely as floor 49 might be, you simply can’t remain there forever and stay happy. Eventually you will get bored and want to move on. This is your Divine design kicking in, pushing you on towards the next stage of your personal development.

Now on the surface, our desire to graduate on to the next stage in our development expresses itself in many different ways. Sometimes we experience a positive version of this desire, such as when teens find themselves eager to experience a greater level of independence which they associate with “becoming adults.” Other times we experience a negative form of that same desire to move on. A common example here is feeling frustrated and stalled at where we’re at in life. This is what you’re dealing with right now. You’re feeling fed up with the floor you’re currently on and you really want to get your little elevator moving again. From God’s perspective, your restlessness is a good thing because He is also wanting you to move on from the floor you’re on. This is why He is refusing to give you peace about staying where you are at.

Now it’s a common problem that we try to rush ahead of God’s plans for us. Maybe when we reach floor 25, we immediately decide to push on to floor 26, because what we really want is to break into the 50s. Sometimes we hear about certain levels of maturity that are far ahead of where we are and we start obsessing over them so much that we want to skip through all of the levels that are between us and that “golden floor.” Well, there’s no skipping with God. This is because none of the floors He included in our personal skyscrapers are junk floors. Each and every one of them was designed with a special purpose in mind, and God won’t let us leave them until that we gain the treasures He has stowed on that floor for us to find. Sometimes we collect all of the lessons pretty quickly, so we move on pretty quickly. But some floors are a lot more complex and God wants us parked on those floors for a while, slowly taking in all the lessons that that floor has to offer. Since there’s no way to no ahead of time how long God will want us to stay on a certain floor, we have to look to Him for guidance about this.

Right now you’re clearly feeling restless with the floor that you’re on. At first, you assumed your restlessness was bad, so you asked God to give you peace with staying on this floor forever. That’s a good prayer to pray, because it shows respect for God’s Authority. So it’s great that you asked Him that, but now it’s time to deal with His answer. God is refusing to grant your request to stop yearning for a new floor. Instead of being upset by this, you should take it as confirmation that God sees value in you feeling restless to move on. The fact that He does not want to kill this desire in you right now indicates that He is planning to move you on soon, and He wants you to be ready. If you’re already eager to move on, that will be great. If you were instead feeling very satisfied with your current floor, then you would be upset and resistant when God says it’s time to get back in that elevator. So instead of frustrating you, God is actually helping you by not taking away something that He knows is beneficial to you right now.

The ideal situation is to want to move on every time God says it’s time. That’s a lot better than hating the idea. Of course in real life, we all experience being out of sync with God a lot on this issue. Often we want to go when He wants us to stay, and vice versa. That’s why it’s always a good idea to ask God to help you align with His will in this area, which you’ve already done. You asked Him to help you be happy with staying because you assumed that’s the attitude He wanted you to have. You also assumed it’s His plan to keep you on this same floor the rest of your life. Yet God’s response to your prayer indicates you were wrong in both assumptions. He clearly wants you to keep an eagerness about moving on to the next phase of your journey, and He never keeps any human on the same floor forever. So you see, sometimes “no” can be a very positive and encouraging answer.

The Psych Side

At this point, I wouldn’t advise exhausting yourself about the psychological issues you mentioned. Yes, your subconscious has an “ideal partner” that it’s looking for. Yes, that partner’s qualities are being influenced by your past stresses. But these things are true for all humans. We all have an ideal “type” that we subconsciously seek out when we go shopping for a romantic partner. That “type” changes as our view of our own past changes. This is another aspect of the human design that God put in for the purpose of helping us continuously develop.

Because parents are such powerful figures in their children’s lives, and the first introduction children have to the concepts of gender and emotional intimacy, it’s not reasonable to expect your subconscious to completely ignore parental influence when shopping for a romantic partner. Your subconscious was designed to protect you, and it would be a pretty lousy protector if it didn’t try to glean insights from your past experiences. If your subconscious feels that Mom bitterly failed you in some critical area, then of course it will hope to find a partner who will provide for you in that way. At this point in your psychological development, you can’t just scrub out that line of reasoning. It’s going to be there, but it doesn’t mean you are doomed to keep picking lousy partners.

Let’s remember that you’re not alone on this journey. Your Creator is guiding you through it, so asking Him to choose your next partner for you is the best way to deal with your concerns in this area. Since you are designed to gradually develop over time, you can’t just fix your subconscious’ hang ups in an instant. But you can shift the burden of trying to grow yourself off of your tiny shoulders and onto God’s. Remember that God designed humans to be nurtured by Him specifically, not to self-grow, and not to find sufficient help from other created beings. The fabulous thing about your situation is that you’re already connected with the only Being who is capable of giving you the kind of care you need to keep progressing forward in your human existence. Of course you’re not perfect; perfect isn’t part of our design. In every stage of growth, we will advance in some areas and develop new problems that will then be addressed in our next stage of growth. There isn’t any stage that we’ll be suddenly problem free in, but once you understand that we were designed for perpetual growth, you stop viewing the existence of problems as a flaw. From the Divine perspective, what you call your current set of “issues” are exciting areas in which advancement is possible. Without any issues, limitations, misconceptions, or ignorance, humans would have no room for advancement. So from God’s perspective, both our advancements and our current flaws are necessary elements for succeeding at the ultimate goal of perpetual growth.

This post was written in response to J.

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