BEING SINGLE IS NOT A CURSE!
I know you've heard this before but I really need you to believe it. So say it with me....BEING.SINGLE.IS.NOT.A.CURSE. Before I continue, I hope that that becomes more than just a statement, but instead, it becomes a daily decree in your life from this point forward.
There are a lot of people who are frustrated with their single season. Every time they see someone get engaged or get married, it reminds them of the fact that they are not married or even in a relationship. Why is that? Why are so many people tired of being single as if to say that their life has no meaning without a mate? I believe a lot of people fail at being single because they do not understand the importance and significance of their single season. I am definitely not an expert however in my time of being single, I learned that I cannot expect God to bless me with His best for a husband if I couldn't even manage myself. What we carry into our marriage comes directly from what we carry during our time of singleness.
Being single affords us the opportunity to learn how to be good stewards of ourselves before we join with someone else. Now there are many things that we can touch on regarding managing your single season but for the sake of time, I just want to touch on four areas that will help you in building a strong foundation to thrive in this season of your life.
The first area deals with your faith. The Bible says that "Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen". Now for those that are single, I know you have heard the following statement time and time again, "Just wait on the Lord". That statement can be so annoying sometimes but, to be honest, it does hold some truth to it. I believe that you should allow God to lead you when it comes to relationships but, I do not believe that you can wait without faith because faith is what allows you to wait with confidence in what God is going to do. However, before you can have real confidence about what God is going to do, you first have to deal with what you've been hiding. You have to address the issues that you've kept hidden because what you keep hidden will never get healed. Think about what God has promised you and ask yourself, "Do I really believe that God can do it for ME in spite of what I've gone through?" Before you enter into a relationship, it is important that you deal with your heart. So many people have the misconception that marriage will fix their issues. For those that know my story, I've been married before, and prior to getting married, I thought that the title, the ring, the husband and just being married would fix me but, I quickly realized that an imperfect person can never fix another imperfect person. A year and a half after walking down the aisle, I found myself in court filing for a divorce. Saying "I do" doesn't fix anything, it only provides a temporary mask for what you haven't dealt with. Eventually, the issues will be revealed and could potentially destroy your marriage. Don't allow the fear of time to make you think that if you take the time to work on you then you will miss out on your promise. God doesn't operate by our time schedule. He can make things happen whenever He chooses. Take the time to get to the root of every issue and heal any open wounds, because one of the worst things that you can do is to try and use marriage as a band-aid for the wounds that never healed. Remember, what's hidden never gets healed.
The second area deals with your feelings. During your single season, you have to be real with God and yourself about your feelings. We all genuinely love God but we all have to deal with our flesh. The point of being honest about your feelings is not so that you can dwell in the place of how you feel, but it is so that you can develop beyond that place. Be honest and ask yourself why you want to be married. Could it be because others around you are getting married? Could it be because you're looking for acceptance and love? Could it be because you're just tired of being alone? It is important for you to get to a place where you're able to recognize and assess how you feel versus reacting based on how you feel. You can tell when you're making a decision based on your emotions if the result of your decision is what will please your flesh instead of what will please God. How you manage your emotions is a key indicator of whether or not you're ready to enter into a relationship. If you cannot genuinely say that you are content with or without being married, this is an indicator that you're not ready for ya relationship. You have to be intentional about keeping your focus on God first and let everything else come secondary. Your focus should never be more on the promise than it is on the ONE who is the promise keeper. If your focus is more on the promise, once you get it you will stray away from God because you got what you wanted. Your season of being single is the best time to build your relationship with God. As you build your relationship with Him, you gain the power that you need to stand against your emotions and be led by the Spirit.
The third area deals with your finances. I am in no way a financial expert but I know that this is an area that has a MAJOR effect on marriage. According to a 2017 study conducted by Ramsey Solutions, "money fights are the second leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity. Results show that both high levels of debt and a lack of communication are major causes for the stress and anxiety surrounding household finances." In my previous marriage, one of the biggest struggles was finances. We had no real knowledge or guidance on how to manage finances together so we pretty much stayed in a place of struggling to get by. Now before the marriage, I was good at staying disciplined with the money that I had but, I did not realize the crucial part that money plays in a marriage. Fast forward to now and my perspective has completely changed. Not only have I become more disciplined, but my mindset is more on how the financial decisions that I make now will affect my future marriage and children. The financial habits that you set while you're single are the financial habits that will come with you when you're married. The biggest financial tip that I want to give you is to set a budget. I know that the word "budget" may be intimidating, especially with a low income, but I can tell you from personal experience that it is possible. You have to remember that the financial decisions that you make now can either be an asset or a liability to your future marriage. So, don't worry about what you don't have right now, just work with what's in front of you. In starting your budget, I suggest that you begin with the basics and work your way up from there. Be sure to also include your debt, emergency fund, and savings. You should know what your monthly payments are for all of your bills so that you can set a feasible plan in place. There are a plethora of free financial resources that you can find online to help you start and track your budget however, you want to make sure that you are following credible sources. Personally, I use the free version of the Every Dollar app to set and track my budget. You might choose to use paper and pencil to write and track your budget. Find what works best for you and stick to it!
The fourth area is about your future. Ask yourself this question, "What am I building?" If you're anything like me, you grew up being instilled with the mindset that working for someone else is normal and in fact, encouraged. You're supposed to work to get the job with the best set of benefits and one day you get to retire and hopefully be able to finally enjoy life. Well, here's the problem...while you're busy building someone else's vision, you lose sight of your own and the vision that God gave to you remains dead. Your season of singleness is the best time for you to build. There is nothing wrong with working a regular job but understand that God has a set plan for you that He wants you to fulfill. There are a lot of people just sitting on their God-given assignment because they have the misconception that they cannot build without someone else. Day after day, month after month, year after year they waste valuable time waiting around for someone to come and help them instead of following God's instruction. Not having someone beside you doesn't disqualify you from fulfilling the purpose of God for your life. A spouse is not the prerequisite to the ability to be used by God. So my challenge to you is simple....get up and BUILD!
Your single season is just that...it is a season. It is a period of time that has distinct characteristics. If you think about a natural season, you associate certain things with particular seasons. For winter, we think of snow, cold weather, hot chocolate, ice skating, Christmas, etc. For fall, we think of nature, cool weather, harvest, etc. Not only do seasons have distinct characteristics but in addition, depending on the season, there are specific things that you do to survive. It is not normal for someone to wear shorts in the wintertime or have on a sweater in the summertime. You have to adjust to whatever season it is. So just like the natural seasons, your single season requires adjustment and intentional action. Let go of the idea that you are somehow inferior without a spouse. Marriage is beautiful but it requires you to take action in your single season so that you go into your marriage as the best version of who God created you to be. This doesn't mean that you have to be perfect because that it is not achievable however, it does mean that you take the necessary time to work on yourself. Allow God to do the work that He desires to do in and through you before He joins you with another person.
I hope this blog has convinced you that you are not cursed...you're just single and that's okay! Continue working to maintain your faith, check your feelings, work your finances and BUILD!!
(Image Credit: Women in the Waiting: https://womeninthewaiting.wordpress.com/2017/09/01/being-single-is-not-a-curse/)