Releasing a book about how to break the cycle of unhealthy relationships, find restoration and learn how to build healthy relationships, always invites the question ‘Have you married yet?’. People look straight at my wedding finger for evidence and I reply ‘No, not yet’.

Like my inquirers, I once thought that walking the journey to wholeness would eventually ‘reward’ me with a great relationship and without realising it, I felt under pressure from both myself, the media and the women I met, to prove that doing things God way would ultimately reward me and others with marriage.

Fact is, God did not save me for marriage, He saved me because He loved me and wanted me to be free from broken relationships and that is the message He wants all of us to understand. It is a bit like the Spiritual Prosperity message promoted in some denominations, if you are following God you will be blessed in your finances – as long as you pay your tithes and give to the church and if you are struggling there is something wrong with your faith.

Fact is when we do good, we sometimes suffer for it, in fact we are called to suffer for Christ. Jesus said we would have trouble in the world but to be of good cheer for He has overcome it. So while I walk with Christ, I do suffer in my flesh when my longings for a companion are not yet fulfilled. I suffer when I choose to wait rather than choosing a sexual relationship or dating someone or staying with someone that is not right for me. That hurts and I suffer for doing good, yet the rewards from God are far greater. I am blessed for doing things right and I trust God that everything He chooses in my life is for my best.

My last thought on this is that there are lots of safe and fantastic singles who have not been through abusive relationships and haven’t met Mr right. A healthy background doesn’t guarantee a partner, so lets not assume that following the steps I outline in my book, means we will be rewarded with marriage. There are thousands of Christians who haven’t met the right person yet, and even with all my healing and blessed wisdom God has given me to help other women, I too have not met the right person – yet. In fact, all of my dating relationships (and one engagement that didn’t lead to marriage) since I have been saved, God has used to help me grow and learn and become more like His son.

Doing this work has not saved me from disappointment or heart break from a relationship not working out. That is the reality of living in a fallen world and being a woman saved by grace. What it has done is saved me from a life a continued abuse, living without hope, destroying myself and the people around me. It has let me know how loved I am by God, that I have value and something to offer others – a life with God. That has been the rewards, which far out weigh my desires for marriage.