November 19, 2012

Single Christians, What to Do Until Love Finds You

American sub-culture indicates that there are more single, widowed, and divorced women in the United States (US Census, 2010). Thus, singleness is an anomaly, yet most women desire to be married. 

Now, I imagine if I were still overcome by my flesh, I'd be in some pretentious marriage and living vicariously through reality shows.  Yes, I was married once for less than a year. That marriage failed because it was based on pure emotion and God was nonexistent.  I was never one for divorce, but as I said before, I did not know God and if you don't know the author of love, how can you "love" someone? Divorce aside, I am single - as single as the last leaf to fall from a tree in the autumn and despite what I feel, I am content with that.

Now, allow me to be "REAL" for a moment - to be honest, my heart has an occupant as I am healing from a past "something." It was too unofficial to call it a relationship but I can say I fell in love with a friend. I'd known him for years - met him in church when I was 17 and reunited with him last year, devoted almost nine months to getting to know him and fell in love but sadly he did not feel the same. We parted ways by his omission - not mine. Why, I'll never truly know, but what I do know is I'll love him forever despite all that's happened because it was him who led me back to Christ before my birthday accident solidified my decision.  I just pray he finds love and lives happily ever after. That's how I am. I always want the best for someone, even if it's not me they end up with. That's life, I suppose but I just wanted readers to know that I am far from perfect; I am human even though I am saved. Saved people still get hurt and rejected, too, but by the grace of God, we bounce back. So just how do you "bounce back" and rejoice in a season of singledom?  You have to:

  • Heal from Past Hurts - Confess and repent of sins from previous relationships. This will help break soul ties that can bind and hinder future relationships. Talk with a Christian who can show empathy or journal out your feelings. Do not allow past hurts to disrupt your life, as they leave feelings of abandonment, rejection, fear, anger, shame, insecurity, neglect, and violence. Allow God to restore and heal you. He works best with the broken.
  • Pursue Purpose -  Focus on living for God. But "seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need" (Matthew 6:33).  God has a master plan for us all as he plans to "prosper and not harm us" (Jeremiah  29:11).  Pray, fast, keep a journal, have date nights with God - intentionally. Make God priority in your life. Become intimate with Him. Depend solely on God. Grow in God and make Him your best friend. Seek His purpose for your life and then get busy doing it.  I learned a long time ago, that the best way to deal with hurt is to work with other hurting people - mentor a troubled teenager, volunteer for a women's shelter, visit local orphanages and read to the children, work on your cooking skills (because you plan to marry eventually, right), pursue a degree, or be active in your church's ministry. Just GET BUSY working for God and I promise you'll forget your solidarity.    
  • Avoid temptation! - When it comes knocking, RUN! Pray before you even consider giving out your phone number or make the decision to court (Christians court first, then we date).  Avoid being alone with the opposite sex. Guard your heart and make sure you stay Holy and righteous. If you are vulnerable, regretful acts can occur.
  • Travel/Enjoy Life -  Get a GPS and travel the US and if possible, the world. A single friend of the same sex would be ideal for such an adventure. Experience new cultures and their food. Engage in conversation with the new people you meet.  Share Christ everywhere with everyone you meet along the way. Go skydiving, bungee jumping, hiking, kayaking, skating, etc. Leave the house instead of wallowing in pity. Who knows, your future mate could be in the midst of all the fun.
  • Embrace the Single Life, Yet Prepare for Married Life -  Make sure your financial situation is stable (career, credit score, investments, credit card balances, spending habits) and indicate you are ready for what marriage entails. Though money isn't everything, a sense of stability and responsibility in this arena is pertinent. In this process, act like a woman who wants to be married. Be wise and vigilant as you work on improving the spiritual, emotional, financial, and personal aspects of your life.

With all that aside, I am aware of the loneliness this season brings, but it is simply that -- a season (though some women/men feel they are called to be single for a lifetime -- that ain't MiMi). As Ecclesiastes 3:1 notes, "For everything there is a season ..." Don't focus on your loneliness; focus on the progress you can make to enrich yourself as a single.  Peruse the Bible and find verses that you can say to yourself or reflect on when you are tempted, weak, upset, jealous, etc.  Because "[i]f you desire to be married, if in your deepest of hearts you desire a mate, then God will satisfy that desire" (Psalm 145:16). Here are some verses I use to make it through:

Psalm 84:11 - For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. Did you read that ladies and gents? The Lord will withhold no "GOOD" thing from you if you are in His will. That's amazing and alone I can sustain off that scripture. It's now a matter of trusting in the Lord and His timing.

Galatians 5:22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. What kind of fruit does your tree sprout? Whatever we soweth, so shall we reapeth. If you possess these qualities then you will attract someone of the same caliber. 

Romans 8:28 - And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. If God said it, then He'll do it. He is faithful. We just have to trust His perfect plan and timing.
Pssstt.... Let me tell you a secret: A lot of people who are married are not married to the "right" person because they were impatient in their season of singleness.  They lamented the season instead of rejoicing in it. Don't end up like that.  Do not ruin God's chosen mate for you because you are too desperate or lonely. Allow God to write your love story and he will orchestrate it when it is time. Until then, fall in love with Jesus, then share him and wherever you go, take myriads of pictures, laugh too much, cry little, travel often, volunteer relentlessly, and desire to leave a prominent effect on all you encounter along the way.