The Single Reality (Part 7)

What are you waiting for?

My dear friends, I hope you are enjoying this series. We will talk about purity, dating, connecting with families, and so much more in the weeks to come. We will have guest bloggers to chat with us. Tonight, I wanted to talk about destiny. Yes, your destiny. Why are you here? Are you sitting around waiting for something to come along or someone to come along before you start living? I hope not. God has so many great plans for you as an individual. You have your own destiny that is tied to Jesus.

I’ve heard single people state they will finally be happy when they find someone. Life seems to be at a standstill until “The one,” shows up. I want to ask, “What you waiting for? Life is worth living today. Be happy today. The sky is the limit for you!” If you are single, your heart and time is unhindered. You can go where God tells you to go and do what He calls you to do without it impacting too many people. If He tells you to pick up and move, you can most likely go. You have a future that is bright…

Here are some things I’ve found that were beneficial in enjoying life as a single person.

1. Ask God why He made you. God knows why He created every person on the planet. He has a personalized plan for each one. He knows the gifts, talents, and skills He placed inside every person. He has a plan for every human being so they shine brightly for Him. Everyone has a divine purpose and it’s worth investigating.

2. Spend time getting to know God. He is better than any gift He gives. People can spend their entire lives going to church and miss truly knowing God personally. He is an amazing Father, friend, and He’s not boring. Getting to know Him is an adventure. Then you have stories to share with others about Him. It’s a journey worth taking.

3. Find what you love to do and do it. Is it music, art, writing/blogging, cooking, sports, travel, missions,….? Find out what you are passionate about and do those things. Life is worth living, as I stated earlier.

4. Let God love you and love yourself. There are so many people in the world who don’t know how much they are loved or don’t love themselves. Love is something we can not give away if we don’t have it. If we don’t love ourselves or know God’s love for us then we will search  for someone to love us and fill that void. No one can fill a God sized void. Only He can.

5. Help and serve others. Life is far more fun when we share, give, love others, and help those in need. Volunteer. Get to know your neighbors. Serve as Jesus served.

6. Be a world changer. You my friend can change the world. Many people say, “What can one person do?” One person can do quite a bit. Mother Teresa was one woman, but she accomplished so much. One person can make a difference. Just tie your life to Jesus and watch your life take flight.

God I pray for every person who reads this blog to have an encounter with you. May they have a deeper revelation of your love and the purpose You have for their lives. Reveal the reason why they were created. Lead them, guide them, and help them to enjoy life to the fullest. In Jesus name, Amen.

The Single Reality (Part 6)

Covenant Friendship

When you are not married there are questions that pop up such as, “Who will be my witness? Who will share my life with me? Who will be my family? Who will care for me when I am old?” Married people have someone who has promised to love them for better or for worse. They have someone who interacts with them regularly. They have a person who cares about the details of their lives. They have a witness. If you are single, who do you have? Of course for believers, we have Jesus. However, there is someone else that we can share our lives with as well. It’s a covenant friend.

What is a covenant friend?

A covenant friend is someone you are committed to love for life.

God has a covenant with His people. He will not break His covenant. A covenant is a promise.

Covenant friendship is a willingness to lay down one’s life for the other person, it involves sacrifice. It is sacrificial love. In a godly context it is a oneness in spirit, a linkage by the Holy Spirit.

Example of covenant friends: David and Jonathan, 1 Sam 20.

Think of David and Jonathan in the Bible. They had a covenant friendship, a promise to love, protect, and be there for each other for life. What were some of the characteristics of their friendship?

1. Loyalty. They refused to betray one another. Jonathan would not surrender his friend to his father Samuel. He chose to protect his friend even with the possibility of being harmed.

2. Trust. There was complete trust between David and Jonathan. They had each other’s best interest at heart.

3. Transparency, Vulnerability, and Accountability. These two men were willing to be vulnerable, transparent, and accountable to each other. They had no fear. They were able to expose their souls to one another and know that the other person would do what was best for them. Not only was there intimacy (transparency and knowing each other), they were willing to hold each other to God’s standards.

4. One in Spirit. They both loved God and were one in spirit. There was no division over who they were serving. They both believed and were committed to God.

5. Mutual Service. David and Jonathan had a relationship of give and take. They supported one another 100 percent. They took care of each other. Even after Jonathan’s death, David cared for his disabled son.

6. Protection. These two men sought to protect each other.

7. Genuine Love. David and Jonathan loved one another as God loved them. They demonstrated their love for one another with patience, kindness, godly affection, support, encouragement, protection, and friendship.

8. Honesty. David and Jonathan were honest with one another.

So where do you find a covenant friend? I would say pray for one or a community of them. You would think that any person who believes in Jesus is a good match. I have found that is not true. Though you may find a covenant friend in your church, God may send you a covenant friend from across the  world. I have a friend who lives in Brazil. We met on a mission trip. As soon as I met her, I knew we’d be friends for life. We pray for each other. We protect each other. We correct each other in love. We support each other. We seek God for each other. She is interested in the details of my life. It’s a give- give relationship. It’s a win, win. God will put us on each other’s minds and we pray. Distance isn’t an issue. I can say I would lay down my life for her. I love her with my life, and I trust her.

I have another friend who has a community of covenant friends. They live like family. They don’t simply hang out and have fun. They point each other to Jesus. They are there for one another. They share resources. If one person is lacking, they as a community will help out. No person is alone or without support. The community has married couples, families, and singles. Together, they are one big family under the parenting of God. I believe the model they follow, is what Jesus intended for church community.

Prayer for you:

Abba I pray for everyone who reads this blog to have a covenant friend or covenant friends. People they can share life with, find support, encouragement, love, protection, accountability, family, and so much more. Knit them tightly with people who will love them the way you love them. If they already have covenant relationships, bless those relationships. Keep them from division, strife, pain, hurt, or offense. Build a wall of protection around them. In Jesus name, Amen.

The Single Reality (Part 5)

Overcoming the Challenges of Being Single

My dear friends. Soon we will have some guest authors submitting posts for you. How exciting! I hope you are enjoying the posts. Here are some of the challenges of being single that I have heard people speak of and some ways to overcome them.

1. What about my needs? I thought we would start with talking about the media’s favorite subjects love and sex.  God made humans with the desire for love and sex. Our media does not portray it the way God intended, but the desires to mate are not sinful.  The problem comes when there is no outlet for unmet needs. People rush to the altar to have those needs met instead of asking God for peace in the current state of being without someone. Should you get married for those reasons? I am not here to judge. To each his/her own. However, if you don’t have someone and want to follow Jesus, then sex outside of marriage is against His will. So, what do you do?

a. Pray. Ask God to calm your desires until love arrives or give you the ability to not be perpetually frustrated. God is able to keep those who want to be kept. Jesus lived without a spouse, so did Paul and many others. It can be done. God’s Spirit is able to calm the fiercest drives. Many have prayed for contentment unless God led them to marry.

b.Pay Attention to What You Read/Watch/Listen To. Our books, music, and movies glorify sex outside of committment. Sometimes they throw a sultry scene in the middle of a movie with no point at all. The same goes for romance movies/books. If you are saturated with scenes, images, etc…of what you don’t have and can’t do, you will be frustrated. What you take in does matter. I am not saying you can’t go to the movies, etc…I am saying if you are struggling, it may not be helping out.

c. What You Feed Grows. What You Starve Dies. Our appetites are tied to what we are feeding. Whatever we indulge in is what we will crave. Those who struggle with lust are not cured by marriage. Lust is a hungry beast that is never satisfied.

2. Married and Engaged Couples. Some of your lovely friends are headed to the chapel. And you aren’t. You are happy for them, but they are not thinking about you. They are thinking about themselves, how happy they are. They say things like, “I am so glad I am not single anymore.” Or, “We need to find you someone.” Or, “Your day will come.” Aside from being a different category, you may notice that you lose friends as they get married. Their focus turns towards their families. So, what do you do.

a. Be Happy for Others and Understand Happy People Can Be Insensitive. I have heard married people say ridiculous things to singles. I have heard them brag, boast, and even talk about their sex lives. Try not to take it personal. It seems in the church the only things people are allowed to brag about are their significant others or children. It’s socially acceptable. Even unhappy people brag and can be insensitive. Let it roll off. If people insist on asking you about your love life or lack of one, limit time with people like that or tell them you don’t want to discuss your personal life.

3. Wanting a Family. For those who don’t have a close family, family members are dead, or want kids, the wait or prospect of not having a family is disheartening. How to deal.

a. Pray. God hears your prayers. If you want a family, pray for one. In the meantime try to connect with a church, others who share the same interests, neighbors, and community service activities. Invest in others. God will send you people who can be a substitute family. If you want people to ask about your life, start engaging with others about their lives. Also don’t limit yourself to people in your church. I have a single friend who met amazing people within a hiking group. There are still good people in the world, waiting to meet you!

b. Kick Your Biological Clock. Today people are able to have children later in life. Heck, in the Bible people had children later in life. God is not limited by time or anything. He called the Universe into being.

4. Social Activities. Wedding invitations are flooded to your inbox and couples are everywhere. You don’t want to go alone or be the third wheel. You want a travel buddy.

a. Make friends with members of the opposite sex. It may be awkward, but men and women can be friends. If that doesn’t work you can always see if another friend you know is available to go. It’s easier said than done, but it’s a way to get over the hurdle of people asking you why you aren’t with someone. You are a treasure and just because someone hasn’t noticed, doesn’t take away from your value. A diamond is a diamond, whether it’s on someone’s finger or perfectly polished on the shelf.

Lastly my friends, no matter what you face God is with you and for you. You are not alone or without help or hope. You are a valued, treasure and God sees the desires of you heart. You are in my thoughts and prayers. 🙂

The Single Reality (Part 4)

Dear friends,

Here’s some mid week encouragement. One of the challenges of single life is sometimes there are seasons of feeling lonely. Even married people have seasons of loneliness.

If there’s no one to ask about your day or invest in your life. If you are without strong community, or are experiencing loneliness, this prayer is for you.

Abba, I pray for every person who reads this blog to have an encounter with You. Fill their hearts with Your love, encouragement, hope, joy, and peace. Provide them with family here on earth, a strong community of people who will love them as you do. May they never feel lonely, outcast, or insignificant. Give them blessings they have no room to contain. Shield their ears from those who speak negatively. Fill their minds with Your words. They are loved, cherished, cared for, and the apples of Your eye.

You are deeply loved…:)

The Single Reality (Part 3)

The Things the Media and Most Married Friends Don’t Normally Tell You

And they lived happily ever after….a simple tag line from most films and the image projected by most media. Marriage is portrayed as the epitome of adulthood. Little girls dream of their wedding day and what bliss awaits when they finally find the one. The one person who will love them forever. The one person they can live life with and have a family. Unfortunately, most of the movies stop at the wedding or honeymoon. Most couples keep any struggles they have private. So, people live their entire young adult lives waiting for that day when they can find true love and no one tells them of the challenges.

The problem with the image of marriage is that it is flawed. While some marriages are filled with bliss, others are like living nightmares. If marriage was always bliss, we wouldn’t have as high of a divorce rate in Christian and non-Christian circles. I don’t want to be negative, I do want to be realistic. Here are some things I’ve witnessed and heard over the years from married friends.

1. Marriage is work. If you don’t invest in it daily, you are likely to have some problems. It’s not like your relationships with friends and family where you can wander off for extended periods of time and not answer to anyone. You must make that other person your priority. Aside from God, you are joined to that person for life. For better or for worse. Your time, body, money, is not your own. It’s to be shared.

2. It’s not always wonderful as people say it is. A well-respected Christian author was telling me how she cried once she and her husband started fighting. There was no turning back. She had to press forward and work through any issues they had. There was no out. She said being married had really great days and really awful days. You just have to make it work. It requires dying to self. You may have a wonderful marriage, but not everyone does.

3. If you get married for the sex, you may be disappointed. Getting married just for superficial reasons isn’t good. You are putting pressure on another person to always be able to satisfy your needs and they may not meet your expectations. Your spouse could get sick or injured and not be able to meet your needs anymore, or they may lose interest in sex, then what do you do? If you married only for that reason, you may be disappointed.

4. Wait until your ready. That darn biological clock that women keep focused on is not a good reason to get married, especially if you aren’t ready. Marriage is a serious committment, more serious than a mortgage. It is meant to be for life. If you do it for the wrong reason, it can be detrimental.

5. People change. As people age, mature, go through the seasons of life, they change. If you are married, you must adapt to those changes and still love the person. You may have a spouse that gains 60 pounds,  or becomes chronically depressed, or unemployed, or fill in blank. They may change into a different person and you must still love them exactly the same. If you marry someone thinking they will always be the same, you may be disappointed.

6. Media portrays the perfect lighting. In the movies people look great first thing in the morning, they age gracefully. They don’t show couples caring for each other while they are sick, hurt, unattractive, or unflattering. Everything is done in the right light. In real life people can be gross. The beauty the night before can be the beast in the morning.

7. Your spouse will not be God. There are so many things that can creep in to take the place of God; a spouse cannot be God. A spouse was never meant to be God. They will have imperfections, flaws, issues, and possibly some baggage.

8. Don’t marry someone you wouldn’t want your kids to imitate or be like. Your children will inherit half the genes of your spouse. They will influence your children.

9. You get their family too. I have a few married friends with great in-laws. I have a few with not so great in-laws. When you marry a person, you inherit their family.

10. It’s not about you! The biggest thing that married friends have shared is that your life is no longer your own. While there are still moments of free time, there is no longer a you versus the world. It’s us versus the world. Which can be a beautiful or challenging thing.

I hope these things don’t shy you away from marriage, but also give you a realistic picture. A famous minister said, “More people plan for a wedding than they do for marriage. It requires work and sacrifice. It’s great, but it’s also not to be taken lightly.” I hope and pray that your eyes are fixed on Jesus. If He calls you to marriage, I pray you lean on Him as the source of happiness so you have something to give instead of expecting your spouse to meet every need. May God always be first. You are loved.