Joyfully Single (Pt.2)
I want to take a look at some of the reoccurring conversations that I have had or have heard between people who are single that can be really hurtful or unhelpful. The bible talks clearly about the power of words, so we need to think about how we can change our conversations…
Something I hear from people a lot is ‘one day you will find him, you just need to wait and be patient, God is still working things in you first’. And yeah, maybe one day I/you will find ‘him/her’ but maybe not and that’s totally ok! When people say ‘one day’ or ‘God is still working on you’, it can make you feel like you’re not good enough alone or as you are right now. These comments are where the lies come in, because the truth is that God is continuously shaping and moulding us but we are created (Psalm 139), we are never alone (Joshua 1v9) and we are chosen (1 peter 2v9).
There is nowhere in those verses that says the terms and conditions are you need to have a husband or a wife. You are all those things first, before any thing you may or may not one-day have. So instead of telling people that they will one day find someone when they are in a good enough place; tell them they are amazing just as they are!; tell them why you think they are great and everything you love about them; tell them truths about how God see’s them and has incredible plans for them, which may or may not one day include someone else. We need to help people see how they are definitely not alone and they don’t need to wait to feel complete - you have access to the fullness of God’s greatness, closeness and joy today.
Another thing that I have struggled with is feeling shame and judgement over dating. People are happy to say you will ‘one day find someone' but don’t go looking for it. This is something which can make people feel bad for wanting to find a partner, for having the desire to be married. The bible says that as long as we are putting God first and desiring Him above anything else then ‘He will give you the desires of your heart’ (Psalm 37v4). It is ok to want a relationship when you're single and to have that longing, as long as it doesn’t go above your desire to be close to God. It says in Jeremiah 29v13 that we need to seek God with all our heart. When we do this, the desires of our heart align with what God is saying is good for us. Dating isn’t a sin, it isn’t something that will take us away from God’s plan, we need to put ourselves out there in order to meet people but we need to do this with wisdom and accountability to protect us as well.
Those who are single we need to trust those around us who are in relationships and married to give us advice (Galatians 6) and to help keep us aligned with God’s best for us. And those who are in relationships, encourage your friends if they are dating, make yourself available for them to come to for advice. Oh and please don’t ask them if they 'like' the only other single person in your life, just because they are single.
Another massive lie that the world definitely promotes is that you will be happier when you are in a relationship. Nope. WRONG! Joy does not come from earthly things but from God. ‘You are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy’ (1 peter 1); ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him’ (Romans 15v13); ‘You will fill me with joy in your presence’ (Psalms 16v11)… in fact the word ‘joy’ appears approx. 218 times in the bible! That is a whole lot of joy that can’t be taken away because of your relationship status.
To those reading this who are in a relationship, one of the most frustrating comments you can make to your single friend is ‘oh I wish I was in your position and could be single again’ be confident in your position as someone in a relationship/married. Show them that your relationship isn’t what makes you joyful or identifies you but your joy is the same as theirs - it all comes from God. And those who are single it’s ok that your friends are happy in a relationship, it's ok their priorities change - focus on your priorities. Focus on finding joy in what God has given you now. The joy God gives you is far greater than what any human can give.
I really hope as you have read this you can see my heart behind it. I do not want to make anyone feel bad for any conversations they have had, I just want to help make people aware that our words are powerful and the conversations we have can be really damaging and unhelpful. As someone who is single I constantly have to go through these conversations over and over again and these are just some suggestions of how we can approach this topic differently.
So again, I want to say I am not broken, I am not less happy or somehow incomplete because I’m single!
It’s time people stop seeing me (and yourself and single people in your life) in that way.