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  • Writer's pictureJenni Lien

A Woman’s Desire For Love


You Are You Christian Podcast for women by Jenni Lien of The Yay Project

A heart-to-heart episode for all my ‘waiting for marriage but not because I’m lonely or desperate and anyone will do’ single ladies out there. In this episode, I share my thoughts on dating and relationships, how it has and hasn’t changed going into year four of singleness, what a distraction is or might be, and how God has been reminding me (and maybe you) about his will for love.


Listen to You Are You Christian podcast for women on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Or for my reading-lovers out there (I'm with you!), the transcript is below.


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So the startup I’m working on is in the area of emotional health for young women in the church. If you’ve been a listener of this podcast for a while, this may come as no surprise because it’s perhaps the area where God has done the most transformation in my life.


God made me emotional! I feel deeply. I love deeply. I express emotions deeply. And I used to hurt deeply too, until I realized how unnecessary it is to overdwell on the negative for Jesus has already paid the price and we can repent, receive his forgiveness, and cleansed of all unrighteousness as it says in:


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Maybe you’re a sensitive, deep feeler too. And it’s not that we walk around all day everyday with a sensitive open heart and a vibe that radiates “feeling feelings” (though maybe sometimes and I think that’s cool!). We live in this world and we are often encouraged to be rational and scientific in case people think we’re soft or incapable of real work. Or perhaps we ourselves want to hide away what we really feel, never allowing ourselves to share our true thoughts, because we don’t want to be hurt or rejected.


Just a few scenarios. Whether we’re thinking about this everyday or have already adopted habits that make us feel safe, I think the overarching theme is our human desire to be loved.


And as a woman, this can sometimes look very different than a man’s desire to be loved.


This isn’t an episode that covers this topic from a “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” perspective, to reference that classic dating manual. And this isn’t a “I’ve walked through this already and have lots of clear-cut learnings to share.” But really more of a I’m walking through this, I’m seeing others walk through this, and if you’re walking through this now, I hope this honest ‘this is how I’m seeking God about this right now’ episode will encourage us to seek and continuously seek God in our hopes for romantic love.


You Are You Christian Podcast for women by Jenni Lien of The Yay Project

For the first quarter of this year, I felt really solid in my singleness. Friends, it’s been four years. Four entire years since I’ve been in a relationship. And four years since I’d felt chemistry with someone. It’s definitely been the longest I’ve been single in my entire life. And it’s also the first time that I’ve been doing my best to take God at his word in terms of what he says about romantic love.


Women of Jerusalem, make me a promise. Don’t stir up love. Don’t wake it up until it’s ready.” (Song of Songs, 8:4, NIRV)

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (Ephesians 5:3)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

These four years have been a journey. There were many habits that I needed to unlearn from past relationships, and God has been carefully pruning me in various ways — some of which have been documented in past podcast episodes.


Probably for the first three years though, I wasn’t that happy with this state. I knew it was healthy for me. I was happy to do the work God wanted me to do. But year 1, turned into 2 and then 3… and I realized again, probably many times, that God’s timing is God’s timing. No amount of pleading or complaining to him was going to change the fact that if it’s not his timing to bring love and marriage into my life, then it’s not going to happen.


And this attitude alone is countercultural right.


I’ve mentioned that in this business school season of life, the majority of my friends are my classmates who are largely not Christian. We spend almost everyday together, learning and working together, and have seen each other through many ups and downs and stages, which has brought up conversations about dating and love.


The attitude of waiting on God for marriage, not using apps, putting God before the desire for a relationship can seem totally crazy to some people… especially someone who doesn’t believe God exists right. A reminder for why being plugged into a community with trusted peers and mentors is so key. Community is such a blessing in this walk with God. None of us are meant to do life alone.


I digress.


You Are You Christian Podcast for women by Jenni Lien of The Yay Project

Back to these years of singleness, eventually I got to a point earlier this year where I for whatever reason would be constantly having this dialogue with God in my head. Like,


“God, I really think that if it’s not your will for me to be married, I’ll be OK. I know you’re better. I know Jesus is coming back soon. I know life on Earth in light of eternity is short. I know what Paul says about being able to focus on your work better as a single person. I really think that I would be OK. But… ideally, if you’re asking me what I really want, I definitely want a family. A man who is some combination of David meets Paul! Smart, confident, a warrior, sensitive, good with words, and wholly devoted to you! But… if not… I’ll be OK.”

I don’t know why this was constantly coming to mind. Or why I had so many, largely one-way, chats with God about this. But I did. I was good. Even though this verse came to mind sometimes:


But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust. (1 Corinthians 7:9)

But honestly in the very long absence of being attracted to anyone, after being used to doing life where there was usually always some sort of romantic pursuit in my life, it didn’t feel that hard. I was busy with other things in my life.


And then… the testing began.


You Are You Christian Podcast for women by Jenni Lien of The Yay Project

I won’t list all the ways I’ve been feeling tested, perhaps a future episode, but I hope sharing a section of my journey will help someone else going through a similar stage.


I think my heart started being stirred towards romantic love again when I started noticing some beautiful, God-focused poetry on Instagram. And my heart started to think “Yeah, God, that’s how I feel too.”


I’ve been following London-based Christian poet Devona Fayana for a few years now and really admire how over the past little while she has been so honest and outspoken about her deep desire for love and marriage, and how she is really trying to trust God in this area because it feels really, really hard.


While all of her poetry is beautiful, perhaps the one that stood out to me most contained the line:


"I want to get married. Not because I am lonely, but because I desire to experience the most beautiful and intimate form of human love…"


God designed it this way right? After our relationship with him, the next highest form of human love is in the covenant of marriage as it reflects our covenant with him. Not every Christian woman wants to get married, but if you do perhaps this line hits you too. Like, “Yes, God, this is how I’m feeling. Not idolizing marriage. Not giving it more attention than it needs right now. But if you want the truth, this is still what I want.”


I think Devona is so brave to be so publicly honest about her struggle with singleness right now. Because even within the church, women can still feel ashamed to admit this.


I remember in the past, I remember being placed in a new accountability group within my small group, with some people I already knew well and trusted and with some new people. Of course we were encouraged to share honestly and support one another. And one day I brought up wanting prayer for my future husband, feeling excited about finally having the courage to ask for prayer in this area. And honestly I felt quite judged. There were comments that oh they didn’t feel any need to pray for this themselves. Or comments from people who meant well but their experience was that they’d prayed for marriage after a breakup and then met their husband in 3 months. Or had met their husband young. And didn’t have that same desire to talk through or pray through or really process through the singleness journey.


In the research for my startup, I also came across a LifeWay study that mentioned some churches are paying more attention to the singles in their church as there is a growing number of over 30 singles who have a lack of programming and support that relates to their unique journey. This is awesome, but still not that common and even if there is, there may be some stigma attached that you’re part of a singles group — whatever your age, because whether we’re 16 or 46, many of us have a desire for romantic love — and really desperate to find someone. Maybe there’s truth to this, maybe there’s not, but whether there is or isn’t, we’re just never always OK when we’re waiting on God for an answered prayer.


There are days when we’re tired of waiting.


When holding onto hope seems hard.


When it’s so upsetting to see that so many women we know, in real life and online, are walking in their promise.


When we’ve seen their beautiful testimonies of healing from bad relationships and waiting for marriage, to meeting and dating and then marrying their husband, and seeing them experience so many blessings now in serving together, having multiple children, building homes, and so on.


We’re happy for them, just wondering why it’s not happened to us yet.


You Are You Christian Podcast for women by Jenni Lien of The Yay Project

And you know what the reality can also be? When, even if we think we’re happily single, we meet someone who is wonderful and thinks you’re wonderful and says he’s been looking ages for someone exactly like you and wants to date you but… doesn’t love God.


We have a choice to make. Sometimes we make it cleanly. Other times it gets a little messy.

But ultimately perhaps it all comes back to the greatest running theme in God’s Word: love.


God made us for… love.

God sent Jesus to come to Earth to redeem us because of… love.

God wants us to love one another because of his… love.

God knows our deep desire for love. He knows what healthy love looks like. He knows what his order for love is. And it can be so tempting to fall for or even give up counterfeits. That despite verses and teachings and other avenues that God is using to remind us of his truth, it feels so hard to give up our ways and wait on him.


To end this episode, I want to read one of Devona’s poems in hopes that any woman who feels like her prayers for marriage are unrealistic or childish or a bit embarrassing because they’re too ‘waiting for my prince’ and wonders if she should set her sights lower and settle… if you’ve been thinking any of these thoughts, I pray this poem helps remind you that God knows how he made you. He knows every desire in your heart. He wants you to bring your full self to him and let him protect and guide you.


As a feminine woman, your heart is naturally inclined

To desire the beautiful experience of true love and belonging.

The world may overlook your desires for a loving husband,

But your Heavenly Father truly does not.

For he hears your soul crying out to be adored,

Embraced and admired by the sweetest man

Whose intentions towards you are pure and true.

God sees those rivers of tears soaked upon your pillowcase,

And he cares about your heart and mind that feels empty

After all these years of losing the words to pray.

Though it’s important for you to know, sweet soul,

How dearly God wants to relieve you of this suffering.


Suppressing your feminine desires is not an option.

For they are planted lovingly within you for a reason.

This is your time, beautiful one, to let go of all that you see.

Every formula, every care and every concern,

The picture perfect posts on social media,

The comparison, the hope deferred,

To now bring your heart completely fixed upon God.

For he does not desire for your dreams to be swayed,

Merely by feelings of comparison,

Or the duration of the wait.

You are a woman worthy of love, rich in value,

Whom God has devoted himself to care for:


You carry a feminine spirit that overflows with loveliness

And worth. It is not good for man to be alone,

For two are better than one. And your Heavenly

Father can see the abundance of love that is so ready

To pour out into the man that you are waiting for:

Rest in the Lord, sweet soul,

And allow him to restore the barren places within your life

That they may bloom as beautiful as spring,

Rich as the garden of Eden, not lacking anything.

For he is your shepherd and your devoted Father;

Who supplies your every need out of the fullness of his grace.


So right now, for anyone who is listening and feels like “Yeah, I need some support to wait on God in this area of waiting for God’s best,” may I pray for us. And ask:


Father God, how blessed we are to be yours. We are so grateful for your kindness and mercy, and open arms. Will you grant us strength and wisdom, supernatural support, to see our situations clearly as well as our identity clearly. Help us with our emotional health in this area, give us tools so we can learn to be emotionally healthy. We are your daughters and know you only have good things for us. And right now, in our situations, you can do a new thing. You can right our wrongs. You can awaken dry bones. You can give us fresh hope. I pray we all have beautiful community and that you open our eyes to what this looks like, who we can rely on, and also bring people into our lives who have walked this journey and can encourage us. We really need you and thank you for all we know you are doing even if we can’t see it yet. In Jesus’s name, I pray. Amen.


Love you guys. Until next time.


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You Are You is a podcast for Christian women. Follow along for faith-filled encouragement on emotional health and healing! Let’s celebrate our God-given design, pursue our kingdom calling, and love God 100% ❤️

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