I recently caught up with someone I know and surprisingly, (not), the topic of relationships came up. This person asked me why I am yet to be in a romantic relationship and when I gave her my answer; her response was evident that she was dissatisfied with it. Honestly speaking, I cannot remember my exact words but I said something along the lines of, “At this moment in my life, I am not ready for a relationship and l just want to focus on myself because there are a couple of things that I would like to improve on before I can fully give myself to someone else. Her response was, I don’t think you can ever be ready for a relationship because if you have that approach there will always be something to work on and that means that you will never be in a relationship. Now let just say that I partially agreed with her statement because personally, I believe just like many other people that I have encountered, she misunderstood my point of view; the perspective of self-love in my singlehood (and even throughout all the seasons I may encounter in the future). Therefore, I have taken it upon myself to further explain what I meant.
The most important pursuit in life is to be totally single because singleness is the foundation of all relationship and that includes, relationships between friends, families, students and teachers and wives and husbands etc. In addition, singleness determines the quality of relationships, either, personally, socially or professionally as it does not focus on the interrelationship but rather the intrapersonal relationship. With this revelation, it is fair to say that the most important person you should desire to know is yourself and more importantly, the most important person for me to love is myself.
Now let us look at self-love from a biblical perspective with the help of the book of Matthew. In this chapter, a Pharisee asked Jesus a question on the great commandment. He wanted to know the most important law out of the 600+ laws that were extracted from the Bible by the Pharisees.
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:34-40
Jesus’s answer was that only two commands mattered: Love God with everything in you, and love others like you love yourself. If you do those two things, everything else gets taken care of ( the perfect symbiosis). In verse 39 Jesus means that in the same way we take care of ourselves and are concerned about our own interests, we should take care and have concern for the interests of others. He did not say love your neighbour first. He said to love yourself first. One of the mistakes we make as humans is the fact that we try to love others even before we love ourselves. Consequently, most relationships do not last because we cannot love our neighbours if we don’t love ourselves. In other words; we cannot give what we don’t have. Whenever you go looking for love then people can control you because they can threaten to take it back. Therefore, singleness is being totally in love yourself first. Singleness means that if no one loves you; you are still happy. Singleness is being our own best friend.
When I talk about self -love in my singleness, it means I am taking care of myself by nourishing my body, spirit, soul; either physically, mentally or spiritually. I am building my relationship with God, pursuing my goals and fulfilling my purpose. It means that I am working on my wholeness as a single person and that is only possible with the combination of myself and the Holy Spirit. I believe that actively building myself in the Holy Spirit is what will draw a Godly partner to me (as an asset, not a liability or a deficit) because frankly speaking, “If It ain’t Kingdom, I don’t want it”. I want my future partner to look at me and see fruits not potential and vice versa.