Tis the season to be jolly…falalala lalalala. Right?! Yet this is also the season where your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter feed, Social Media feed is loaded with family photos, engagement announcements, and babies/kids galore.
It is the season for many men to pop the question and ladies display their bling all over social media. The family is a great thing, so is the start of new families. It is not the only thing worth celebrating during the holidays.
What is the true reason for the season?
Christmas is supposed to be the celebration of the birth of Jesus. He was not born on December 25th, scripture affirms that a birth during winter is the least likely season of His birth. The story of Jesus does not support a winter birth, yet the Catholic church chose it for many reasons. One reason was to take the focus away from pagan holidays.
If Jesus truly is the reason for the season, then unmarried people can celebrate Him without pressure, sadness, or comparison.
Make the focus Jesus, keep the focus-Jesus. If it truly is His birthday celebration, then I believe He should be the focal point-not what we have or do not have. Jesus never encourages comparison or wanting what others have. We are encouraged by Him to give thanks in every circumstance.
Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,~1 Thessalonians 5:18.
The New Year is a time to reflect on all that went well the previous year and look forward to a brand new year. I celebrate the Jewish New Year, so I am already celebrating 5778. Yet I also plan to celebrate all God has done on December 31rst and January 1rst.
You may learn more about the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah here Judaism 101: Rosh Hashanah.
Make God your source…
God is the source of joy, not people, not circumstances, and not family. I believe these things can add another level of joy. If they are the source of joy, it can bring gross disappointment. If having a mate or family is our primary source of joy, then if they are lost or do not meet our expectations it can bring heart pain.
I place all my expectations on God. God never fails. I have met numerous people in my life who are waiting on God to bring them a mate to be happy or do anything with their lives. They are stuck in what could be instead of living in the now. God is in the now.
Comparison is the thief of joy. Jesus is pure joy. It is His presence that gives life meaning. In Him all things were made and have their meaning (Colossians 1:16). Your life has meaning as an unmarried person. You have a purpose sans a spouse or children and that purpose is rooted in Jesus.
Contentment is something we can learn as unmarried people and add value to others. People who are constantly looking for the next big fix or need others to feel good drain relationships. They suck the life out of people. Those who are content add value.
Paul tells us this in Philippians 4:11-13.
Not that I speak from [any personal] need, for I have learned to be content [and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy] regardless of my circumstances. I know how to get along and live humbly [in difficult times], and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret [of facing life], whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need. I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]
Paul’s source was God. He too was an unmarried person who was devoted to following Jesus. The more I learn about Paul, the more I like him. He had a radical encounter with Jesus and he became revolutionary. He was not sitting around waiting for another encounter. He lived out of the overflow of Holy Spirit. We too can live out of the overflow of God’s presence. Scripture tells us in God’s presence is the fullness of JOY (Psalm 16:11).
But everyone else is so happy, am I missing out as an unmarried person…
What you will not see on your social media feed are the fights that happened pre-holiday feasts, the families struggling to hold it together, the parents disappointed by their kids choices, the pretend togetherness to make the world believe all is well, the people sitting in hospital rooms because their family member is sick this season, the grieving widows or families who lost everything in the recent hurricanes. You will see photo after photo of happy families and may think, “Where is my happily ever after?” Please note every season of life has both blessing and challenge.
Steve Furtick said something that rings quite true. He said, “The reason we struggle with comparison is that we compare our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.” Social media is the highlight reel. For the most part, you will not get the bad and ugly in the feed.
It is human nature to want to be seen in the best light. We have apps to help us look better, more airbrushed, and more together. Reality is every person has struggled, every family faces challenges, every married couple and parent has had some disappointments.
I know of no better happily ever after than Jesus.
- Jesus is eternal
- The love of Jesus does not fail or falter-it is constant in every season
- The joy of Jesus is constant
- Jesus can be everywhere at once
- Jesus completes the human soul and makes it whole
- Jesus is perfect peace
- Jesus is the friend that sticks closer than a brother
- The covenant with Jesus is not broken in death like the marriage covenant
- Jesus fills to overflowing
- Jesus is perfection
- Jesus lives beyond time
My encouragement to you this holiday season is to start logging what you are thankful for and give thanks. I encourage spending some time focused on Jesus. Who is Jesus to you? How can you deepen the relationship with Him this season?
I promise God is better than we can imagine.
Papa God I thank you for everyone who is a part of this series. I pray for those feeling displaced this season because they are unmarried or without a natural family. I pray they are connected to a friend family and spiritual family that loves them deeply. I pray for hearts that are content with you. I ask for hopes that are wrapped up in your Son Jesus and filled to overflowing with exceeding JOY! Bless them big time this season. Put them in the hearts of others to be invited in and included. Wash over them with love that exceeds anything they could ever experience in a human relationship. In Jesus powerful name, Amen.
Love in Him,