I'm a new Pastor right out of Seminary at a small but healthy Baptist church in the South. I'm 27 and very single. God has blessed me with being tall, healthy, and decently handsome, but this and being single comes off as uncanny in the Bible Belt South. Lately, I've been experiencing great pressure (like borderline arranged marriage pressure) from family and close friends. I know they mean well, but the intensity of it has caused bouts of depression.
I have a naturally sacrificial personality with a passion for helping and caring for people. This is great for my ministry calling, but I easily have sense of failure when I feel that people are dissatisfied. This feeling of failure is triggered by the not-so-subtle hints of my parents wanting grandchildren or the odd looks of my fellow ministers when I reveal that I am single. I love my job, but it is extremely busy. I am the only employee of the church. I work around 10+ hours a day with Mondays off for what most people would be part-time pay, but my living needs are frugal. The thought of adding courting for love to my responsibilities is exhausting and terrifying. Serving God's people is my life, but I am very introverted. At the end of the day, I am perfectly satisfied with a newspaper or book with some jazz and tea. I keep a high disciplined standard of sexual purity and I cherish my virginity very much. The constant texting of pictures of one's single friends, nieces, daughters, etc. is not as appreciated as assumed. I'm very much open to getting married, but I feel as if I'm being "encouraged" for the wrong reasons. However, I'm about at the point where I just want to drop what I'm doing and get this love thing over to make everyone happy. I understand that this may seem like a silly problem, but it has caused hangups in my ministry.
Any advice or insights in moving forward would be greatly appreciated. God Bless!