By Guest Post Contributor Sara Fore –
We’ve all known that girl: single and determined to stick it out–committed to waiting for the man that God has for her. But then, something happens. She gets bored, lonely, and sick of waiting (don’t we all at times?). Instead of joyfully heading down the aisle with the type of guy she was waiting on–the one who loves God loves others, and loves his woman–she settled. You pray for her, and you decide that at all costs, you won’t let it happen to you.
If you’re a woman who didn’t plan to be single at this point in your life, you’re in good company. I hadn’t planned on being almost 31 and still waiting for that part of my life to commence. But hang in there sister–don’t throw in the towel quite yet. You don’t have to settle! And while you’re busy not settling, you don’t have to live a miserable life either.
Single and Don’t Want To Settle?
1.) Don’t give in to the lies.
The enemy will try and tell you that you’re single for a reason. He’ll try to trounce on any smidgen of joy and hope that you possess and tell you that you’re not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not nice enough, not a good enough Christian… Don’t give in to it! He comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). Listen to this, and let it sink in: YOU ARE ENOUGH. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
2. )Know that you are wise.
Don’t listen to people who don’t have any idea of what they’re talking about. We’ve all been there: you’re talking to a sweet old lady at church about the weather and BOOM! Out of nowhere, it’s the “Are you still single??” question. Listen, it’s going to happen. People are going to say things without realizing that your heart is already vulnerable and your eyes can spontaneously erupt with tears at any moment. What people don’t understand is that staying single when you desire to be married takes WISDOM. Sure, you could be married to a sketchy guy or a guy who doesn’t really love Jesus if you wanted to, but you’re choosing to hold out for God’s best. And that, my friend, is commendable. That takes integrity, stamina, patience, and wisdom. So don’t sell yourself short! You’re doing a good thing.
3.) Have a strong and deep relationship with God.
In this season of life, you have a lot more time to spend with God than you will as a married woman (see 1 Corinthians 7:32-35). It’s much easier to get alone with Him now than it will be when you’re trying to make dinner and change a diaper simultaneously. So do it! Go deep with Him. Create habits now that will serve you well for the rest of your life. Get in the habit of reading God’s Word and develop an intimate prayer life. Use this time of singleness for His glory, and grow in your walk with Him.
Decide that in this season of singleness, you will use this time to serve the Lord. Get involved at your church. Lead a small group. Become a youth leader. Sing on the worship team. Make the coffee on Sunday mornings. Find what you love to do, and use your gifting to serve in the church. You’ll feel more fulfilled, the church will benefit, and you may inspire others to volunteer.
5.) Don’t put your life on hold.
Don’t think that you need to save adventures and adult life for when you’re married. Live a full, exciting, adventurous life! Buy a house and decorate it the way you’d like to. (It may be the only time in your life you can buy a pink comforter without hearing complaints.) Go on a day trip with friends. Travel and see the world. Last year, I bought a house, and months later, I traveled around Ireland for two weeks. I’m so thankful to have these life-enriching experiences. Don’t put your life on hold. Visit friends. Host dinner parties and game nights. Have fun!
6.) Don’t worry about being the third wheel.
Do you ever tend to shy away from gatherings where you know you’ll be the only single person? Here’s a word of advice–don’t! Hanging out with married couples can be fun, and they can be a living example for you of what it looks like to wait (or not wait) for the right person. And don’t tell yourself the lie that married people only want to hang out with married people. You’re their friend, and it’s YOU they want to spend time with.
7.) Learn to have fun with yourself.
I love spending time with friends. Going out to eat, hiking, and going to concerts are all things that I love to do with friends. But I know that I can’t surround myself with people 24/7. I’ve had fewer times of loneliness once I learned to have fun alone. I remember the first time I realized I could go to the movies by myself–and thoroughly enjoy it! It was a turning point for me. I realized that I don’t always have to have another person with me in order to have fun. Find something you enjoy doing, and try doing it alone! Usually, shop with friends? Try it solo! Know a safe place where you can take a nice walk alone? Do it! Learn to enjoy your times of solitude, and it will make for less lonely moments.
8.) Have standards.
Have you written a list of what you want in a man? I’m not talking about “blond hair, blue eyes, six-pack”. I mean, have you written a list of character qualities you’d like in a man? I challenge you to pray and ask God what He would have your standards be, write them down, and tell a friend! Telling friends that you trust and asking them to keep you accountable is a great way to ensure that you won’t settle. They can also be on the lookout for you!
9. Ask others to pray.
As you’re praying for your future husband, ask those close to you to pray for him as well. The next time some well-meaning person at church asks you when you’re getting married, or why you’re still single, your response can be “I’d appreciate your prayers!” I have so many people at my church praying for me that I’m convinced that when my future husband does show up, half the church will greet him with “Ah, it’s you! We’ve been waiting for you!”
10. Trust God.
Above all, trust your Creator–the One who does exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)! Trust Him, get to know Him through reading His Word and talking with Him, and listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit. He has great plans for you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
Keep in mind that the waiting will not last forever. Hang in there, sister! Someday all of the hoping, the waiting, and the tears will be worth it, and you’ll be glad you didn’t settle for less than God’s best. Until then, get out there and enjoy life!
Related: Check out this article on 5 Marriage Lessons after 5 Years of Marriage that has some great advice for people dating too.
Sara Fore serves as the Ministry Operations Coordinator & Youth Director at Grace Fellowship Church in Shillington, PA. She’s passionate about the local church and seeing people seek God with their whole hearts. In her spare time she enjoys being with friends & family, listening to good music, drinking strong coffee, and spoiling her niece and four nephews.
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