Finding comfort and purpose in God’s plan for your singleness.
I know it is not always easy to love the so-called “gift” of singleness you have right now. The loneliness. The unfulfilled dreams. The third wheeling. The jealousy that creeps in when another friend gets married. The thought that something is wrong with you. The questions for God of “Why are you not changing my relationship status?” And the fearful whisper that asks, “What if I am single for the rest of my life?”
If you have had any of those feelings. You are not alone. They have been my very familiar companions as well. I was a few months away from getting married when my wedding was called off, and I was thrown back to the place I never wanted to go: singleness.
I struggled for years with all of the hardships and difficulties of singleness, but then God made me realize something. Every single day I had a choice. I could either let the hardship of singleness run my life, or I could trust that God had me in singleness for a reason and decide that I wanted to make the most of that time.
Just like me, you have the same choice every single day. If you want to wake up with joy in your circumstance, rather than bitterness, then here are the top 4 things that helped me choose to love my single life:
Understand Your Identity
There have been so many times when coworkers and friends have asked me about my relationship status, and I have immediately felt ashamed. “I’m single” was my response, but it felt more like admitting “I’m unloved, I’m not chosen, I’m alone.”
As singles, it is easy to view our worth through the singleness lens. To think we don’t matter because we are single. But in reality, this is the furthest thing from the truth.
Our identity is not that we are single. Our identity is that we are loved by God.
That means that the most powerful Being in all of existence chose us and wants to spend eternity with us.
God is always with us (Matthew 28:20).
He loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).
Even though we may not see them, He has plans for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11).
We may feel stuck in this season of our life, but God cares about every moment and emotion we are experiencing, and He is working things out for His greater plans. That means that none of our negative associates with singleness are true. We are chosen. We are loved. We are whole through God.
Understand God’s View of Singleness
If you pay attention to your day, how many times do you get messages thrown at you claiming that being in a relationship is superior to being single? From advertisements to songs on the radio to comments from friends and family, the message is constantly floating around us.
However, God gives us a very different message.
God views singleness and relationships as both being important. One is not better than the other.
In 1 Corinthians 7:8, Paul says “…it is good for them to remain unmarried, as I do (NIV).” And as we open up the pages of the Bible, there are so many amazing examples of single people: Jeremiah, Hagar, and even Jesus! Joseph’s entire journey in becoming second-in-command of Egypt was when he was single.
God has used single people in incredible ways. He can use you in your singleness too because singleness is just as important as being in a relationship with God. God has a reason for you to be single right now.
Be Intentional with Your Community
Community is important, but especially for singles.
You can either surround yourself with people who constantly talk about your relationship status and try to “help” you change it, or you can surround yourself with people who care about how your day went.
People who encourage you in your growth, dreams, and goals.
People who see you as a whole person, not someone who needs to be “fixed” with a relationship.
Pay attention to the people who you are closest to—your inner circle of people—and ask yourself if they help you be content in singleness or make you feel that something is wrong with your life. It is normal and ok to have both groups of people in your life, but when you are struggling with singleness, go to the people who will encourage you to be content. The people who will fill you up with God’s love and promises in your struggles.
Proverbs 27:17 (NIV) says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Make sure to surround yourself with people who will sharpen you with God’s love in singleness.
Pursue Your Purpose
Singles have a huge opportunity to be a light in the world showing God’s love. So many people think that you need to be in a relationship to be happy.
If you are single and happy it is going to shock people, and they are going to wonder what you have that they don’t have.
This has been one of my favorite surprises about singleness. If this seems like a hard place to get to, ask yourself this question, “What would my life need to look like so that it wouldn’t matter if I was single or in a relationship?”
What are the dreams, goals, volunteer opportunities, missions, or ideas that float around in your mind? If you start pursuing the talents and ideas God has given you, it will help you take the focus off of being single and start making you excited about the things you are working toward: the people you are helping and the impact you are making in your community with the time you have in singleness.
You Got This!
Being single comes with its own special set of difficulties, but remember, God loves you, He is always with you, and He can help you build a life that you love as a single.
Hannah Schermerhorn lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her cat, Fritz. She is an electrical engineer who has worked in legal, business, and global marketing. Hannah enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her nieces and nephews. Most recently, she authored A Single Life To Live.