Question about Singles/Families for missionaries:
"Should I, as a single person, go overseas now, or should I first find a mate?"
So I finally decided to go overseas. Mostly it's great, and I don't mind being single. But there are times when what's ahead seems daunting, and a partner to help pursue the vision would be great. But I trust the Lord. He knows whether I can better do what he's leading me to do with a partner or without one. And I believe he will equip me with whatever I need. Look to him alone for your fulfillment.
Knowing I was going into missions, I graduated from Bible school. I also knew that the Great Commission was clear. So although I wanted to get married, I went to Honduras as a full-time missionary.
I found the man God had for me when I got on the path God had for me. He was serving in the same ministry. We met in Honduras and were married there. That was eight years ago. I am still here, serving the Lord with all my heart alongside the man God sent to me as I took the steps to obey and trust his path.
In light of my experience, I offer the following three pieces of advice:
1. Get moving toward missions without waiting around to get married. God will honor your faithfulness and bless you greatly in every way.
2. Keep your eyes open for potential spouses. If you feel that God has not directed you to stay single, then neither give up on getting married nor stop looking.
3. Single missionaries often overlook potential love interests based on a petty, limited perspective about how perfect their potential spouse needs to be. We all have deficiencies that God works out as we grow in marriage. I know of several single men on the field who were a little quirky, but through the tender hand of a loving wife were radically transformed. Don't limit God by overlooking his perfect choice for you because of small things that don't really matter.
Having dated on the mission field, I have one final piece of advice for single missionaries. Dating can feel as if you're in a small town, with everybody having his or her own special opinion about your relationship. The pastor who eventually married us gave us this great advice, "Find one mature couple you trust and can confide in, then tell everyone else to mind their own business."
No easy answers. It's different for everyone. I still mourn a bit not being overseas where I once felt I should be, but I pray and do not regret having met and married the best person ever... even if it meant I am in the States helping but not actually overseas now. Haven't given up. Maybe someday we'll go back.
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