I read this post this weekend called What Not To Tell Single Girls (And some things you should do). There are six quotes the writer deems as offensive to single women: 1. “I know the Lord has someone so special for you.” 2. “You’re just so great; guys are just intimidated by you (or your [some quality]).” 3. “The Lord’s just preparing both of you.” 4. “Oh, he’ll come just when you least expect it.” 5. “Enjoy this season of singleness. You have so much freedom to just adventure and find out about who you are.” 6.”Enjoy this season of singleness. It is such a special time with the Lord.”
To be honest, this post made me quite upset, I don’t use all of these statements, but a lot of them do describe how I walked through singleness to where I am now. I think the writer is attacking what she sees as cliché, but I think she left out the wisdom behind those statements.
In response, I’ve come up with my own list of things that I think single ladies need to also keep in mind when discussing those who are in a different season of their life.
1. Do not say ‘they don’t know what I am going through.’ I know how easy it is to fall into the trap of thinking that you are the only one who knows what it is like to be single. I do think you are the only one who knows how you personally feel, but you cannot forget that every woman has experienced a season of singleness. Just because you are the same age as a married woman that does not mean that you two are walking the same road in life, and comparing yourself to those girls is where discontentment comes from. If a single Christian woman cannot take advice from another non-single Christian woman without breaking down into tears, her actions would show that her focus and goal in life is not to have a stronger relationship with Christ and rely on Him, but it is to be in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship.
2. Do not assume that they are living a fairy tale life. Singleness is hard at times, I get that, and I’ve been there. But I also know that just like there are nights where you lay awake crying because you’re single, I have had nights crying because of the stress and trials that being in a relationship causes. My man and I have good days and we have bad days, we have days where we encourage one another, and we have days where we fail to encourage one another; we have days when we remember to be selfless, and we have days where we are completely consumed with our needs, desires and wants. Relationships are hard. It is two incredibly broken people coming together to try to do life together, but let me assure you: two broken people do not come together to make two whole people. Only God can make us whole.
3. Do not ask for advice and then ignore it because it does not match with what you wanted to hear. For this, I want to reference one of the points the writer made in her article:
“Oh, he’ll come just when you least expect it.” – For me, this is something that rings true. It’s not about forgetting that you desire to be with someone; it is about being 100 percent content with where God has placed you, in this instance, in being single. It does not mean that you will only have to be content for one day; it could be more than one year. But I know that for me, I was pursuing God, and my man was pursuing God, and that is how me met. We did not meet by pursuing each other. God brought us together because we were whole heartedly pursuing Him alone. Until both you and the man God has prepared for you are seeking Him alone, you will be disappointed in your relationship because you will try to find your contentment in the man and not in God. I agree that the desire to marry should not be suppressed. I love the way my best friend described that feeling. She said it was the way God gave her a peace when she was single. Why? Because she knew that desire was given by God and that He had a man for her. Living life content in Christ is not about ignoring the feeling of desire for a man; it is about overcoming the feeling of loneliness the devil poisons single women with.
4. Do not look for encouragement outside of God. I love to encourage and to give compliments. But I do not want to be a crutch for any of my single lady friends. I am not perfect, and I cannot outdo God. He has provided us with everything we need, and He is willing to love on His Bride. If I were to always look to my spouse for encouragement, I would not be encouraged as much as the writer indicates. Yes, my man works hard to encourage me and push me to reach my dreams, but I cannot be reliant on him to encourage me daily, because there are some days that I don’t get as much as I think I need. Instead, I need to find my encouragement in God alone and that is what I want for my single friends. Yes, God can use people to affirm what He has told you, but faith is not about seeking others first, God second. Faith is about trusting God is up to something you can’t see and giving Him all your worries, fears and heartache.
5. Prayer and worshiping the Father are powerful. The writer concludes with telling her married readers to pray for and with those who come to them struggling with singleness. I agree whole-heartedly that this should be our response. To meet with God and acknowledge that woman has a plan and purpose for that season in her life. And worship Him. God is in control and knows what is best for His daughter and His Bride. But I also want to say that single women need to be able to pray for their non-single friends without bitterness about where they are in their life. Relationships on this earth will fade, but a relationship with the Father lasts forever. How beautiful is that?