Tag: singleness

Surviving the Solo Season

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by Amelia Glenchur

“Maybe your standards are too high.”
“Aren’t you depressed? You’re still single.”
“Is there any guy you know that could potentially be ‘The One’?”

These questions keep ringing in my ears from recent conversations about my status of being single. I remember being surprised at these remarks stating I was “alone.” In my head I was thinking, God, why am I single? Silence. At that point my prayer changed to Lord, help me survive this.

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What’s the Best Thing About Being Single?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Single” is often considered a depressing label. There seems to be a gray cloud looming over the term, as if deserves sympathy or consolation.

But everyone is single for a season, some just enjoy that season longer than the others. And being single has its perks!

  • You don’t have to schedule your activities according to anybody else’s schedule
  • You don’t have to share covers
  • You can have your room any temperature you want
  • You can travel anywhere at any time
  • You can give EVERYONE something on Valentine’s Day
  • You can decorate your room any way you want… and then not clean it
  • You don’t have to worry about rough marital seasons
  • You have the time to deepen relationship with your friends
  • You have the time to serve the church
  • You have the time to deepen your relationship with God

Obviously, all these things are not exclusive to singles, and these things depend on your personal situation. But really, singleness is a great season. Take it from a recovering codependent woman: there is no relationship on this earth that is going to fulfill you. Our souls were made for God and His Kingdom, and they will always be restless until we are home. Marriage can give you intimacy, love, and fulfillment, but Jesus gives us those things bigger and better than any wedding vows.

So now it’s your turn to comment: What is your favorite thing about being single? (Or what was your favorite thing about being single, if you’re married now?)

My favorite thing is the freedom I have to be completely spontaneous. I’ve learned how to fully enjoy going just about anywhere by myself, and sometimes I dread the thought of never being by myself again! I want to be married more than anything, but that doesn’t mean I can’t live it up while I’m single. After all, if you’re waiting to start life when you’re married, then you’re not really living.

Media Spotlight: When God Writes Your Love Story

wgwylsWhen God Writes Your Love Story
by Eric and Leslie Ludy

Target audience: Singles

Everyone loves a good love story – God included. And God is willing to write a beautiful love story for us if we are willing to give up the pen.

In When God Writes Your Love Story, Eric and Leslie Ludy discuss what it looks like to give your love life up to God. Using their own love story as an illustration, the Ludys encourage not only emotional and physical purity before marriage, but also faithfulness to your future spouse before you even know who they are.

 

Topics Covered:

  • Dealing with temptation and holding out for something better
  • Surrendering all areas of your life to God
  • Committing to your spouse before and after marriage
  • Emotional and physical purity before marriage
  • Guarding your heart before marriage
  • Singleness with a purpose
  • Keeping your standards high
  • Learning to love well before marriage
  • Moving forward when purity hasn’t been kept
  • Trusting Jesus will give you courage and strength in singleness and marriage

Available at Lifeway.com
Available at Christianbook.com
Available at Amazon.com

Have you read this book? What do you think of it? Write your reviews below!

The Reason You’re Not Married

weddingbouqetfinalSummer is the season for weddings. And it appears I have now officially reached the age where I get to watch all my friends get engaged and stroll down the aisle into marital bliss. There is are mixed feelings between my other single friends and myself;  happy for our friends who are starting a new chapter of their lives, and yet wondering when we’ll reach that part of the book ourselves. Some of us even suffer from periodical anxiety, questioning why the years go by yet we haven’t met someone to share our lives with. That kind of anxiety brings up horrible questions. Questions like, “Why doesn’t anyone want me?”, “What’s wrong with me?”, and “What do I need to change in order to be loved?”

These questions unnecessarily burden our hearts. Our imaginations attempt to come up with the answers, creating paranoid chaos. We conclude with, “I’m not attractive”, “I’m too messed up to get married”, or “There’s nothing loveable about me.” Some of us even decide that God doesn’t really care about our love lives, and that He probably deems our dreams of marriage as silly.

But these conclusions are wrong. Here’s why.

The Reason You’re Not Married Isn’t Because You’re Not Lovable
Psalm 139:13 says, “For you [God] created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” I want you to remember this truth for the rest of your life: God created you. And when I say “create” I don’t mean “mass-produced.” The Creator of the universe took the time to design you, inside and out. He passionately loves you despite the brokenness within you. And if God Himself loves you, there is not one person who can stand before you and tell you that you’re not lovable. That argument won’t stand in the Holy courts. If you want to read about God’s love for His people, just check out Isaiah 43:1-7. If you’re looking for someone who is willing to do anything out of their love for you, this passage will tell you Who that Person is.

The Reason You’re Not Married Isn’t Because You’re Messed Up
Here’s another truth for you: everyone is messed up. It doesn’t matter how perfect they seem on the outside, everyone is sinful and falls short of perfection. (Romans 3:23) Married couples will attest to the fact that messiness exists before and after marriage. There isn’t a hidden spiritual clause saying that once you get yourself together as a single person God will bring you a spouse. That’s not the way marriage was designed. Marriage was designed to be a picture of God’s love for His church. We don’t become the bride of Christ after we stop sinning or stop screwing up. Our salvation was not based on a reward system, and neither is marriage. Marriage would be a poor example of God’s love if we had to be perfect before we walked down the aisle. God loved us while we were sinners – your future spouse will too.

The Reason You’re Not Married Isn’t Because God Doesn’t Care
I’ve suffered from the delusion that God isn’t incredibly interested in my romantic life. I’ve pushed my desires aside, labeling them as silly, and telling myself that God cares more about my relationship with Him than my marital status. And there is some truth to the last part of my logic – God wants my greatest love to be Him, not my spouse. But God takes marriage seriously. It is the witness of His love for His church. If anyone thinks marriage is important, it’s God. He invented it, He has a purpose for it, and most of all, God is a crazy romantic. I can only imagine Him carefully piecing together every love story, excited at His glory revealed through every relationship. Sooner or later, His glory will shine through your marriage. Right now, however, He is showing His glory through your single life. God is just as excited about this part of your story as He is about the later chapters.

So what is the reason you’re not married? I can honestly say that I don’t know. Only God knows, and He may not tell you the reason until later in life. But I do know that God hears every heart, and can see your desire to be married. He won’t forget you. As your friends change their Facebook relationship statuses, rest in the hope of God’s romantic and passionate nature. And remember, you all ready have the greatest love there is: His.

Throw a Singleness Party

singlenesspartyA singleness party is not to be confused with a singles party. A singles party creates an environment where single guys and gals can get together and mingle, possibly leaving with a new crush by the end of the evening. A singleness party is all about celebrating being single and creating friendships with others who are in the same season. Here are a few simple ideas for your next singleness shindig.

Gift Bag

Give your guests gifts that enrich their singleness. Here are a few gift ideas:

  • A daily devotional book
  • A journal for them to write to their future spouses in (to be presented to their spouse on the honeymoon)
  • A Bible study relating to singleness
  • Stationary sets
  • Gift items from non-profits that give back to the community, such as Thistle Farms, C28, any fair trade website, or even a local store in your town that donates to charitable causes. You can check out different gifts for different causes at Shop With Meaning.
  • There are also singles gag-gifts you can pick up at various online stores, like Zazzle.

A book on singleness, marriage, or dating is also a great gift idea for your guests. Here are a few suggestions:

  • The 10 Best Decisions a Single Can Make by Bill and Pam Farrel
  • When I Get Married by Jerusha Clark
  • Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot
  • Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll
  • Sacred Sex by Tim Alan Gardner
  • Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge
  • Wild at Heart by John Eldredge
  • Wide Awake by Erwin Raphael McManus

Food

For a singleness party, any type party food is acceptable. Feel free to do fancy appetizers, a potluck, or a tasting party. If you want to add a spin on it, try adding a theme, such as “a dish you want at your wedding”, “a food your children will be eating often”, or “the dish that will win your spouse’s heart.” Have fun with it!

Activities

Questions and Answers
Sit in a circle and ask questions to each individual on their singleness. Try some of these questions:

  • How the Lord has used your singleness for good?
  • What is one thing you love about being single?
  • What is one thing you would like to do before getting married?
  • What is one trait you would like in your future spouse?
  • What is your biggest struggle as a single?
  • What was your biggest relationship heartbreak?
  • Do you believe in love at first sight? Soulmates? True love?
  • What do you expect marriage to be like?
  • What is better: dating or courtship?

Asking these questions in a group setting brings about great insight and discussion. It also lets your single friends know that they’re not alone in their fears and desires as singles.

Apples to Apples
Play this popular card game with a twist: whatever cards you win are the adjectives that describe your future spouse.

Create For Charity
Create something to give to others. Make food baskets for shelters, make packages to send over seas to troops, make scarves or quilts for the homeless. Contact local charities and see what they accept for contributions. You can also have your guests create gifts for family members or special people who have spoken into their lives. If you don’t want to create, donate! Have each of your guests bring items to donate to a cause or charity.

Get Prayer Partners
Have all guests put their name in a jar, then shake up the names and create prayer partners or small prayer groups. Have the prayer partners sit together for 20-30 minutes, discussing their fears, concerns, and desires for singleness and marriage. Tell everyone that they should contact their partner(s) once a week with updates and concerns. Encourage prayer partners to pray for each other at least once a week for wisdom and guidance concerning their singleness, marriage, and future spouse.

Letter to Your Future Spouse
Give each person a sheet of stationary and have them write a letter to their future spouse. Encourage them to write about how they want to serve their spouse, what marriage means to them, what romantic gestures they like, favorite Bible verse, words of wisdom, how they are praying for their spouse now, and any other information they want to share with their future spouse.

Book Spotlight: Who Has Your Heart?

whohasyourheartWho Has Your Heart
by Emily E. Ryan

Target audience: Single women
Good for both group studies and individual study

What would you do if you found out that you would never be married? How would you respond? How would you live your life?

Author Emily Ryan searched the Bible for the best role model of female singleness and stumbled upon the story of the Jephathah’s daughter. Even though this young woman only takes up a few verses in Judges 11, Ryan brings her full character to life, using her as an inspiring example of a single woman of great character who sought and obeyed the Lord after her father made a foolish promise that resulted in her never marrying.

Ryan doesn’t tell you how to approach dating, how to find a spouse, or how to kill time as a single person until God brings you a husband. Who Has Your Heart focuses instead on the beautiful character of God, and the hope and joy that comes when a woman seeks Him above all other relationships.

Topics covered:

  • God’s grace and extending that grace to others
  • The importance of community and support groups
  • Taking action as a single woman
  • God’s character and His will for His people
  • Facing grief in your walk with the Lord
  • How to cultivate a deep relationship with God

This book includes questions at the end of each chapter for discussion and reflection.

Available at Amazon

Available on Christianbook.com

 

Settlers

settler2

 

“In that day so few men will be left that seven women will fight for each man, saying, “Let us all marry you! We will provide our own food and clothing. Only let us take your name so we won’t be mocked as old maids.” –Isaiah 4:1

…Desperate much?

It’s amazing what we compromise in order to not feel alone. We crave more than anything to feel wanted and love, so when it comes to dating we lower our standards, we negotiate, and we forget the foundational things that are incredibly important to a relationship. Everything becomes negotiable.

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Are You Making the Most of Your Singleness?

full2Are you living your single life to the fullest?  Take our quiz to see.

How busy are your weekends?
A. Empty
B. Somewhat busy
C. Ridiculously Busy

How good are you with kids?
A. Very inexperienced
B. Some experience
C. Highly experienced

Can you balance a checkbook?
A. Can I do what now?
B. I know how, but I don’t actually do it
C. Yes, I’m actually pretty frugal

How well do you cook?
A. I’ve memorized many fast food menus
B. I can cook the basics
C. I can cook just about anything

How close are your relationships with others?
A. I’m not really close to anyone
B. I have a few very close friends, but not a lot of friends in general
C. I have a really close community group

What does most of your time consist of?
A. Daydreaming
B. Working or playing, but not both
C. Working hard, then playing hard

How often do you travel?
A. Almost never/very little
B. Occasionally
C. Whenever I have the chance

How involved are you with the community or ministry?
A. I don’t do anything related to either
B. I do some volunteer/ministry work
C. I donate a lot of my extra time to community/ministry work

How are your professional skills?
A. I can write a résumé . That’s it.
B. I have the basics covered, such as customer service and some minor skills
C. I’m great with personal relations and I have a solid skill set

How often do you work on your hobbies/talents?
A. I don’t have any hobbies or talents
B. I work on them sometimes, but not as often as I could
C. I spend a lot of time on my hobbies and explore new things often

Tally Your Score:
Mostly A’s – Singleness Slacker
You aren’t utilizing your single season at all. Where are you directing your focus?

Mostly B’s – Intermediate Single
You’re doing pretty well in your single season, but you still have room to live your singleness to the fullest. Don’t be afraid to do more.

Mostly C’s – Singlestar
You’re doing great in your single season of life! The skills you have now will definitely be of service to you in your marriage.

Your single season of life has three major benefits: it gives you time to serve your community or in ministry, it is the best time to create lasting relationships with others, and it is a time to prepare yourself with the skills you’ll need for marriage. Can you do those things after marriage? Of course. But with the demanding attention that a home, spouse, and a family needs, doing these things proves to be more difficult in a married life than your season of singleness.

Singleness is not a curse, although your aching heart might think it is. It is the only time in your life where you are free to explore your talents, passions, and interests to the fullest, without any heavy responsibilities and distractions hindering you. Marriage is indeed a magnificent blessing, but it also causes you to sacrifice a lot of time and energy to keep it thriving.

The idea of singleness is not to take time to focus on yourself, but instead develop yourself. If all you’re doing in your single season is spoiling yourself or obsessing over nothing but your own needs, you’re going to find that your single season will end up feeling empty and will render quite fruitless. But if you spend your single season developing yourself by serving others and gaining skills that will serve you greatly after you are married, your single season will be fulfilling. And when your single season is fulfilling, there is a better chance that your married life will be also.