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Monday, February 12, 2018

Single, Valentine's Day, 2018

I'm supposed to be sad, but I'm not. Nor do I exult in my supposed "freedom." I have an interesting take, I hope, one that doesn't get a lot of hearing out, especially not for us men: Suffering and joy can co-exist. Of course we know this. We might know it even better if we're struck by a car, let's say, and spend most of 2017's warm months in a hospital trying to recover. I digress. The point is this, my brothers: it's OK to say that your heart longs and aches for something you don't understand. It's OK to say that you've cried about it. It's more than OK to say--if you want to--that you've dreamed about the day, that you've seen your beloved's face, even if you don't know who she is. It's acceptable to say that you are in some sense incomplete, even knowing that the deepest desire is for union with God. The great mystery, the great truth, is that Contentment is not a great blanket that covers the loneliness and desire for companionship. Contentment is in fact the resolute conviction that God has loved me, and will never stop doing so, and the firm determination to continue acting in accord with that conviction. I can cry and sorrow and hope and dream while that remains true. When I have begun to firmly believe that desire and peace are not opposed, I'm on the way to understanding contentment.

You're not going to trick God into sending you someone. If God's timing and purpose is so inscrutable that history's greatest minds cannot even begin to articulate them, why do we continue to believe that this state has some root of fault in ourselves? Self-improvement is great, but if there's too much analysis and self-criticism here, we'll go crazy.

You may not get married, ever. You may not have sex and children. God may not answer these prayers. I don't know, and neither do you. If there is anything in me that still knows I am lovable and loved, then I am content, and to that degree. Allow me by God's grace to cultivate that awareness of His presence and friendship, God's abiding fatherly care, and I can love others in that power, even while tears for unrequited love also abide in my soul.

The dragons of Jealousy and Despair are not unknown to me. Yet if I know that God alone grants this gift of nuptial union, for the purpose of His Kingdom, if I know that no other man can claim any virtue for himself in matters of love, then I can rejoice when my brothers begin to receive the gift, because the mystery of this blessing has only begun to unfold, and he feels no more worthy to receive the gift than I would.

Don't bother wasting any jealousy on the wicked and their sexual conquests. If you desire marriage at all purely, you exceed any alleged great and virile man. Women are not to be conquered, but loved. We know that to love a woman is infinitely greater than to be sexually satisfied in her body, even if God has seen fit not to entirely separate the two.

Who am I, and who am I to be? Continue to ask and answer this boldly, and this Day of Love will not trouble you. You are made for greatness, in every state of life, and every season. Rejoice in Christ, His great victory over the powers of darkness ringing in your hearts! May His great love song be our song as well.