Hey guys, this post is a little different for me as I don't usually write about marriage or relationships. As a rule, I tend to avoid writing about these topics because I'm not the most knowledgeable about this type of stuff (I can barely manage being in a relationship on a good day 😅) and I think lots of people tend to have very strong views and opinions as it's a very personal and sensitive topic. Having said all of that, I've spent enough time being single to be able to share some of what I have learnt over the last few years. I will try not to generalise too much as I know everyone's journey is different and unique so cannot (and should not) be compared. It's ok to be inspired, but don't copy what someone else might be doing because you think it's the standard. As always, I caveat this with the ultimate motive being to follow the leading of God in everything.
Ok, so first of all, being single at any age is a blessing. Yes, a blessing. We tend to attribute blessings to marriage but marriage has it's own challenges too. Ask anyone who's married or has been married. When God brings you into a season of singleness, especially after the end of a relationship, don't see it as a punishment or setback. Try not to focus on what society expects - this is one of the biggest challenges singles have to face. "OMG, you're still single at your age?" Banish those thoughts and rebuke those comments right now! I know people who felt so much pressure to be married that they settled for the first person that came along and ignored what God was saying. Big mistake. A period of singleness is THE perfect time to really get closer to God and understand what He's leading you to. In order to fully commit to following God, you need to reach a state of acceptance. Accept that even if it isn't what you want, God still has plans for you. So how do you make the most of your single period?
Do not be ashamed: being single is nothing to be ashamed of, no matter how long or short that period is. Deal with any thoughts that make you feel inadequate because of your marital state. When Paul writes to the Corinthians and begs them to consider the nature of the war they fight, he's very specific about "..bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ". When those thoughts come, send them back to where they came from. There's so much more to your life than whether you're married or not.
Make up your mind: ok, when you've dealt with and are now able to expel negative thoughts, make up your mind to serve God. This is something we should do whether single or married but when you're single, you do so much more. Your attention is not divided so can be easily dedicated to the things of God. Make up your mind to follow God wholeheartedly. Paul says in 1 Corinthian 7:34 that an "...unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord..." and so does not spend time worrying about how to please her husband. Having a husband means your attention is divided. God instituted marriage and is also a jealous God so any time He has you to Himself, you have to make the most of it.
Serve the Lord: if you're still with me so far, this part is so very important. Serve the Lord! It's easier said than done, I know, but when you follow steps 1 & 2 above, it's easy because the Lord Himself will lead you in how to do this. I'm not just talking about being an usher in the church. I'm talking about doing what God has called you to do. Years ago, I had a prophecy and wrongly believed that prophecy could only be fulfilled if I was married. I lost precious time and energy in pursuing marriage when that prophecy was meant to lead me into my calling. Luckily, and ironically, I didn't figure this out until I was in a relationship. God showed me exactly what He wanted me to do and I started to do it.
Develop and prepare yourself: I'm sure we can all recount mistakes we've made in past relationships because we lost control or just didn't know better. Now is the time to really understand yourself better (& not be distracted by being what someone else wants you to be) and be the best version of yourself. We're not perfect, sure, but we strive for perfection daily and as we do so, the Holy Spirit leads us to make choices and decisions that allow us to be who God has created us to be. During this period, you can also prepare yourself to carry out whatever role God has called you to, including the role of a wife and mother.
Live your life: being single shouldn't be boring. I'm not the authority on living your best life whilst single - I definitely did not do that because I was too busy with my career and being introverted 🙃. If you're reading this, you probably know how to have fun so leave some comments for the introverted sisters who struggle with this! That's all I have to say on this 😂
Be expectant: finally, once you're in a good place with all the above, be expectant if marriage is still your desire and you know God has not called you to be single. Marriage is a beautiful desire to have and you shouldn't feel bad for wanting this. God is a loving Father and wants the absolute best for us, including the best spouse who will draw us closer to Him. If you do all the above, you'll very easily come across the right man for you and when they come, even if they're not what we (or others) might expect, they will definitely be God's best for you. The circumstances that led to Ruth's marriage to Boaz are not what you'd expect or even wish for (Ruth being widowed before meeting Boaz) but that is the circumstance God chose to eventually bring His own son into the world.
It's scary when you feel like it's not going according to plan but remember that God work by human logic and when you follow His timing, everything will be way more beautiful than you could ever imagine. Let go of any mistakes and choose to start living your best single and purposeful life today!