Single-Focused: Nine Tips for Singles
Singles make up a huge part of American society. We all have been—and may again be—single. According to the 2012 census, over forty-four percent of all U.S. residents ages eighteen and older are unmarried. With that in mind, here are nine tips for single Christians from nine different authors:
1. The key to experiencing contentment, a full life, and abundant joy as a single is to discover and embrace the plan and calling of God for my life.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss wrote about this in Singled Out for Him.
"In the will of God, singleness is an incredible gift, to be received with gratitude and to be used for the glory of God . . . Over the years, I have come to realize that contentment is a choice."
"True joy is not the result of having everything I want, but of gratefully receiving exactly what God has given me... The fact is, if we're not content with what we have, then we will never be content with what we think we want."
2. God wants me to model femininity, no matter my status or occupation, but also to learn skills for ministry.
In Single and Satisfied, Audrey Lee Sands wrote about her arrival on the mission field and trying to figure out how to function there as a single woman. She discovered that while she had to be under authority and ladylike, she was also expected to be independent and more self-sufficient than the wives at the mission compound. She wrote,
"You don't have to be masculine to know how to do a few things. Being feminine doesn't mean you are helpless and have to make a nuisance of yourself."
3. I need to get radical about not "awakening" love until the appropriate time.
In her book, Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl, Paula Hendricks shares how she got radical about beating temptation in her own life and then encourages teenage girls to do the same.
"While you and I have to expect temptation, we sure don't have to feed it!"
4. God expects me to maintain personal purity, whether I am single, married, or widowed.
Joy Jacobs and Deborah Strubel wrote a book titled Single, Whole, and Holy: Christian Women and Sexuality. While acknowledging women's struggle with emotions, the battle for sexual purity "is a battle of the mind," they say, "our thought choices determine our feeling choices and our behavior choices."
5. My desires are a means to my holiness and greater intimacy with the God who loves me.
In her powerful book, Thrive: The Single Life as God Intended, Lina Abujamra writes,
"Your desires are not meant to defeat you. Your desires are a gift that God has given to you to draw you into greater intimacy with Him. The road to greater intimacy with the Lord is called your sanctification process, and it is evidenced by an increasing holiness in your life."
Younger singles, especially, may view holiness as archaic or boring; Abujamra understands.
"Right now, you're too cool to be a holy roller. Holiness gets a bad rap. Who, in their right mind, wants to be holy? Can't we settle for just normal?"
Yet she assures readers that holiness, properly understood, is God's plan for every single Christian, "and it's His goal for you if you want to thrive," she said.
6. I will embrace the potential power and influence of my femininity, not only in my ministry, but especially in my relationships with men.
In Answering the Guy Questions, Leslie Ludy writes,
"As women, we have a far greater power over the course of masculinity than most of us realize. We can use our femininity to influence men toward strength or toward weakness."
7. I will not settle for less than God's best regarding a potential mate.
Renee Fisher wrote about this principle in Not Another Dating Book. In the devotional titled "More," she reminded women that waiting on God is never futile. Waiting for His best is never foolish. (On the other hand, while we are waiting and learning how to recognize God's best, we also need to remember that we are all frail-and-failing flesh. A perfect Prince Charming simply does not exist. The only perfect man was Jesus.) Trust God instead of leaning on your "own understanding" . . . "don't be wise in your own eyes" (Prov. 3:5–7).
8. I will not put my life "on hold" waiting for a man to fulfill my life. My deepest needs—especially for love—are only satisfied as I focus on Jesus Christ.
Lydia Brownback explored this truth in her book, Fine China Is for Single Women Too. She wrote,
"Life doesn't begin when you get married. This is your life! You will never find contentment in living for what you hope tomorrow may hold."
Brownback quotes Joshua Harris:"Don't do something about your singleness; do something with it." Fine China is not just for married women, she says, and neither is a purpose-filled life. Every single woman can seek God for the unique contributions He has ordained her to make for the Kingdom and to serve others.
"If you actively pursue a Christ-centered focus in all you are and do, you will find your mind and heart being transformed to desire Him above anything else."
9. I will get lost in the One who loves me most!
Dannah Gresh's book, Get Lost: Your Guide to Finding True Love. She tells girls to be so "lost in God" that a guy will have to seek Him to find her. Gresh wrote,
"My own unholy desires began to fade, and I was tamed by God's desires for me. I was able to approach this whole guy/girl thing with incredible certainty and joy that the God of the universe had a good plan for me, and I needed to stop messing it up with mine."
Each of these authors have far more to share than I posted here. If you are single today, you are not alone, though you may sometimes feel lonely and confused. God wants to draw you close to His heart and enlist you in the great adventure He has planned for you. All He asks is that you are single-focused on Him.
What lesson stood out to you? What is God teaching you as a single Christian?
By Dawn Wilson
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