The Gifts of Singleness: How to Honor God in Your Single Years
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For a long time, I felt like my life would begin when I found "the one" and got married. Yikes. That's pretty embarrassing to admit!
But, I know I'm just saying out loud what mannnnnny people are thinking inside. It was soooo liberating when I realized that being single is actually JUST as awesome as being married. Check it out...
"Are you trying to fill a void?" asked a friend of mine after he found out I had a serious boyfriend.
I couldn't keep from laughing! "No, I'm definitely not, thanks for asking" I said, thinking to myself, Jesus has filled that void a hundred times over.
Before I even begin, we need to set the foundation. It's important to understand that a man is never, I repeat - never -meant to fill a void in your life. Without Jesus, we all have it, this void. This ceaseless longing, relentless restlessness, underlying unsteadiness, and desperation for lasting peace. If Jesus is not the Lord of your life, then something else is lording over your life. Our Creator designed us to need Him, so trying to fill that void with anything else will result in restlessness, and will not end in eternity with Him.
So first things first, seek Him. Seek Him out like your life depended on it, because it does.
There's a common misconception, a piece of bad advice, if you will, that our world seems to believe: "life begins when you're married." This couldn't be further from the truth. Marriage is an incredible gift meant for gospel reenactment, a way that we can mirror the image of Christ taking his bride - the Church. It's one of the most special gifts that we have, but it isn't in any way more of a gift than the gift of being single.
I know, it can be hard to believe if you're feeling super, super single right now. But, it's true!
Life doesn't begin when you're married, life begins when you begin to live in an undivided devotion to Jesus.
For 29 years of my life, I believed in Jesus. I loved Him. I went to mass every Sunday. I tried my best to be a good girl and earn His favor. I prayed. He was a part of my life, actually, He was a big part of my life -- but He never had my life. I think it's important to distinguish that we can believe in Him, but even the enemy believes in God. We aren't called to just believe in Him, but to give our lives to Him and to accept Him as our King! :)
Everything changed when I gave my life to Jesus - when I handed over the reigns. Only then did I find meaning, only then did I find purpose.
When I was in the right relationship to Jesus, that's when my life began.
Life definitely doesn't begin when you're married. It begins when you give your life over to the Lord. Being single is the best time to do this because you can give your full, undivided attention to Him! It's seriously crazy exciting when you think about it!! Being single is the time to figure out what gifts you've been given and how you can use those to build the Kingdom. Are you a great writer? Artist? Speaker? Are you awesome with kids? Do you have a knack for serving a certain population? You can partner up with God to do incredible things and make a difference in peoples' lives for eternity!
The gift of being single is that you are able to be all-in, on fire, fully devoted to Jesus.
Although I absolutely LOVE being married, I knew that I didn't want to waste my gift of singleness that I had before we were married. Just so you know -- you're considered single if you woke up this morning and you're not married. This includes dating couples. You're technically considered single still! :) Don't waste this precious gift!
So girlfriend, if you're single, celebrate it! Be in full devotion now, give Him your undivided attention and live intentionally for the sake of the Kingdom. Become the woman who you know God has called you to become! Live out your identity as a daughter of God. We have work to do in this world, people need to know Jesus, and the only way they'll do that is through us - we are His body! : )
It's ok to want to be married. But it's not ok if the desire to be married consumes you more than Jesus. Think about how much time you've wasted trying to control your emotions from going up and down, obsessing about relationships. Don't let the desire to be married rob you of your purpose right now. Don't be known as the girl who wants to be married, be known as the girl who loves the Lord and loves people - who spreads joy and kindness like wildfire, because there's another relationship that's more important.
When I get up in the morning, the first thing on my mind is Jesus. It's not my husband, although I love him so so much! My whole being, direction, all of my thoughts, and everything I do, I pray is consumed by Jesus. Although I'm not by any means perfect, I can say that He has been faithful to this prayer. I'm totally in love with Him, more than anything or anyone. I understand that the only thing that actually matters in this life is building the Kingdom. I love that He uses me to love His children. Boy, do I royally mess up sometimes, but He always brings me back and teaches me how to love!
Think about it, as a Christian, at the end of our lives we're going to die and meet Him, face to face. In that moment, it's going to be a sobering reality of what relationship matters most.
In Corinthians 7:7, Paul describes being single as a gift, "I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that" (Paul was single). In Matthew 19:11, Jesus says it (singleness) is "good for those to whom it has been given."
Girl, I'm going to be honest. Before I gave my life to the Lord, I found my identity in relationships...if I had a boyfriend, I felt secure. If I didn't, I felt like something was missing. That's what it's like when you're living with a void. Fill that void with seeking Him : )
Don't waste the gift of singleness. Ask God to help you see it as a gift and to form this season of your life, it's so good!
BOOKS FOR THE SINGLE CHRISTIAN GIRL
Just a few months before I met my husband, I read a book that seriously helped me to understand what a gift it is to be single. The title is pretty straight forward: "How To Get a Date Worth Keeping: Be Dating In Six Months Or Your Money Back." This gave me an action-oriented plan to start meeting interesting people, getting the confidence to put myself out there, and - the best part - to become more confident in who I was a single woman. I love that the author drops some serious truth while at the same time being incredibly encouraging. Not to mention, I met my husband within the 6 month period...so there's got to be something to it, right?! I recommend this to ALL of my single girlfriends and they have LOVED it.
Another book that I think is really powerful isn't exactly geared towards single women, but it is an incredible book about living boldly, confidently and courageously as a woman who loves the Lord. "The Set-Apart Woman: God's Invitation to Sacred Living" is the book that I'm reading right now, and I have highlights and underlines ALL OVER it. I'm loving it so far, so I needed to make sure to include it here.