It's that time of year again...mushy gushy Valentine's Day. A day for lovers to express love. It's all good...if you like that sort of thing. But what if you're single?
While I wouldn't want to Un-Valentines the day, it seems fitting to also show some love to those who are single too.
My thoughts have been circling this week around how my life has personally been enriched by the single people we know and fellowship with. There are many ways, but here are 5 ways a godly single person might enrich your life.
1. Show you what an undivided heart looks like
The apostle Paul was single minded in his life's purpose. He sought to know God and make him known. The scriptures speak to how marriage and family ties you to the cares of this world. It becomes an added challenge to submit those relationships and our behavior in them to the Lord. Paul and many others in scripture serve as examples of what an undivided heart to God looks like.
I am thankful for the single women I know who seek to serve God with undivided hearts. It reminds me to store up treasure in heaven and not love the things of this life more than the things in the next. I don't pretend to know what this will look like, but Matthew 19 says we will not be given in marriage in heaven. Single people who put their sole trust in God will have been well-versed in trusting wholly in Christ when they reach heaven's door. We can observe and learn how to better do this from our godly single friends.
2. Offer you powerful marriage and parenting advice
Sometimes it must seem to singles like others are filled with advice and tips for them. On how to get married, what parenting is like...how they will understand "when they get there". But spend some time with a single person,and you will soon learn they already have wisdom and good advice to offer though they may not be in the trenches of these relationships.
Singles were children once. They are sisters. They have nieces and nephews. They are daughters who grew up under a marriage, watching their parents for better or worse. They often make keen observations about child-rearing and the culture at large. They may have great insights about marriage as they likely have dedicated time in preparation for it themselves.
Often their advice will be objective and a little less emotional than your friend's who is in the thick of it right along with you. This is a unique perspective that is valuable. It helps keep an eye on the prize of God's glory and that this too shall pass.
3. Help appreciate life with fresh eyes
Bringing a single woman into the fellowship of your family will be useful in your life and her's. Many women love children, even if they don't have their own. Sharing my children with those who love kids has been a rich blessing and help to me and I hope to them also.
Asking a single friend to take a trip to the zoo, join your family for a few days on vacation, or come over for Euchre and pizza with the big kids might be ways that you can spend time together. In addition to enjoying her company, it will be helpful to see her watch how your family interacts. She will be a fresh set of eyes into your world. She can help you see some blind spots in your parenting--if you ask. And she can help you appreciate the blessings you have.
And you may be helping her out here too. She may return home grateful for the time spent together but also grateful for the quiet, clean, lack of crazy that she gets to return home to. :)
4. Teach you more about service and purposeful living
This undivided life--where the duties that come with marriage and children--is not a factor allows for a different type of service.
Talking to a single woman about how she serves or what she is studying in scripture can be very challenging. She is sure to expand your view of service and giving beyond your every day. The time and energy she puts into scripture study can be motivating as well. Even if you aren't in her same season of availability, she can serve as an example of what you want to shoot for someday.
5. Have a lot of fun
We have had some serious laughs playing games and talking with single friends. They have been times that are very relational. Perhaps because much of their time is spent differently than those with spouses and children. When these friends are spending time with people, they seem more intent on being with people, undistracted. This is a breath of fresh air and a reminder to me to enjoy being with people when I am with people.
Just wanted to end this post with a talk called "The Lady in Waiting". It was given by Lisa Twining at our re:garding Him Women's Conference this past October. I include it for those who are single and needing to hear a word of encouragement. As well it is a practical help to all women to learn how to better love those who are single in our lives.
In Christ's love,