Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Single. And why I'm not.

I have no clue why I'm ruminating on being "single" tonight. I'm the sort of person that thinks the more you think about being single, the more likely you are to be discontent about being single. So most of the time I ignore it. Which probably disqualifies me from giving any advice. So this isn't advice.

Here are some things that I tell myself...

1. Be thankful. Of course, that's so easy to say but not easy to do. Thus the second step.

2. Pray proactively. Don't wait for the moments of despair to wash over you to reach out for God. Pray before you are tempted. Pray when life seems like it's humming along and you don't feel like you need to pray. When you don't feel like you need to pray, that should be huge flashing lights going off in your head. PRAY.  Pray for faith, joy, peace, patience, etc. Take responsibility to ask God to help you keep your cup running over.

3. Don't identify yourself by singleness. It's so easy to start feeling sorry for yourself when the world becomes single vs. married. Find your identity in Christ surrounded by believers. If someone told me to list out words to describe myself, I'm not sure that it would ever occur to me to say "single". Because, I'm not. I have a family, and you should too. I'm not saying that you have to live with your family, but you should have someone there as backup and counsel. If you don't have family, then find some. Do like my friend Rebekah did and adopt a wise couple at church to be your family.

4. Don't feel badly about not feeling fulfilled in life. Women were meant to be completed by husbands and bearing babies. It's okay that your job does not completely fulfill you. And it's a lie that it should.

5. Continue to work on being selfless. Because no one wants to marry selfishness. Find areas to serve others and try not to live by yourself. It's easy to fall into the trap that you're perfect if you have no one else to disagree. This may mean living with your family and you know what, you won't die. At least I haven't yet. Or it could mean living with friends. Just make sure you choose wise friends. :)

6. Appreciate things that are easy to do when single. Shopping and traveling are two that spring into my mind. It's much easier to go shopping without having to unstrap and strap three carseats at every stop. And traveling is much easier and cheaper! So think of things that you enjoy and go out and do them. Because one day you probably won't be able too. Or it will involve a potty stop every 20 minutes.

7. Enjoy not having to change dirty diapers. Especially at 2 am.

8. Interact with kids. If you didn't grow up around kids, then find ways to interact with them now. Take advantage of this time when you can interact with kiddos without having to be responsible for them! Especially babies. ;) Plus, if your husband has nieces and nephews, you'll be a better Auntie for it.

9. Be prepared that every time a friend or sibling starts dating, and you're not, you might feel sad. This hasn't happened every time for me but it has happened sometimes. It is okay to cry for a moment, but only for a moment. No pity parties. God has you exactly where he wants you. Just remember you don't want to marry that guy anyways. Or if you do, I guess there might be bigger issues to work through....

10. Remember that God is never early and He's never late. This was driven home to me during a family camp on marriage. God will not move you into marriage until you can do more good serving his kingdom married. And His kingdom is all that really matters.


Leah V. said...

Wow! This was good, Sara, very good!
Lots of important points for all of us to remember, actually. Number 2 especially!

Amanda Evans said...

Women were not meant to be fulfilled by being wives and mothers. That means that they will not automatically feel fulfilled when they become wives and mothers. If you are having problems being content as a single person, that temptation will not go away when you get married. You will just be waiting for a baby, or a house, or a pay raise, or whatever is the next best thing. Basically, you still need to work on 1 through 5 even when you're married!

Amen to 6 through 8! If you spend your single years dreaming about being married, you will spend your married (and parenting) years regretting that you didn't use them more wisely and creatively! This of course is an attitude you will have to deal with. We would all be much more happy if we would live fully in the moment for the glory of God and His kingdom!

Number 9 can continue to be a problem if you idealize the married state. Marriage is work and when your friends get to that mushy, romantic stage you can be tempted to wish you were there again.

And number 10 is of course true for every area of life!

Thanks for this excellent advice (or thoughts, or whatever it is you want to call them!). Your whole family often reminds me about the power of prayer and to pray proactively and I really appreciate it.

SallyS said...

Very wise words, and beautifully put. And I echo Leah and Amanda in saying that these are things we should all be working on!

Sara The Farmerette said...

Thanks for your good points Amanda! :)