By Lindsay Snyder, Crosswalk.com
God is not absent-minded, He didn’t forget about you. He has so much more for you than just marriage. I know it’s hard to believe, but ask your married friends. Marriage is a gift, but it is not the only gift.
Are some called to stay single? Yes, the Bible does refer to that, but is that the path for most of us? No, so stop worrying and enjoy life.
I recently entered my forties, and I am still single. I do hope to get married someday. But I have also learned that while we wait, we can live life to the fullest and learn a lot along the way. Here are just a few suggestions:
1. Learn what you love.
Once you are married, you are no longer your own; you now have another person to consider in all things. God made us all so different with different desires, different things we like and dislike. The truth is our future husbands may not like those same things.
In my 20’s I thought everyone probably liked what I liked. I didn’t realize that I had things about me that were unique to me. There are things I love that not everyone around me does, and that is not only ok, it is wonderful. It's a gift to learn what we enjoy before we meet our mates.
2. Travel by yourself.
Yes, yes, yes, I can’t say it enough. Travel on your own. I just went to London by myself for six weeks, and it was life-changing. You get to do what only you want to do. It's not selfish; it's an opportunity of a lifetime that not everyone is afforded. You will meet the most interesting people, as it is much easier to strike up a conversation when you are alone.
And the truth is you are not alone; it is like a trip with you and Jesus. An added bonus: people will give you free stuff when you are by yourself, probably because they feel sorry for you; but who cares!
3. Fall madly in love with Jesus.
I know, I know, you might be rolling your eyes, but this is the best love affair we will ever encounter.
No matter the amazing man God has for your future, that man will never give you the love that Jesus has for you. No man on earth can fulfill the deepest desires of your heart. Frankly, they were never meant too. They were meant to represent God’s love for you, but never to replace it.
So start with Jesus. Learn to love Him and receive His love. Enjoy Him; because when you get your love from Jesus, your spouse becomes a gift rather than a necessity.
4. Learn to love yourself.
Scripture says the first commandment is to love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and then to love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27). Scripture also says we love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19), so learning to receive God’s love is step one. Learning to love ourselves so we can love our neighbor is step two.
Have you ever tried to give away what you don’t possess? It doesn’t work that well. So, learn to love who God made you to be!
5. Pursue Jesus every day.
This one is my favorites because, after 10 years of a chaotic search for love, I ran right into Jesus. It took another ten years to realize He could fulfill all my desires.
If we were married we would want to spend quality time with our spouse, so why don’t we enjoy quality time with our Jesus?
I am not talking about a religious duty. I am talking about carving time in your daily life for intentional time with God. I like to take my Bible and my journal with me while I’m out and talk with Jesus, just like I would a spouse.
6. Enjoy dating.
I am bad at this, but I am getting better. Dating is to get to know guys, not a frantic race to find one. So let’s take a breath and enjoy it.
We must be cautious to look for our acceptance in men. I recently had a crush on a guy, and as I was praying, the Spirit of God said to me, “Lindsay, it doesn’t matter who chooses you, it won’t make you feel pretty, you have to see that in yourself first.” It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was in a hurry for someone to pick me so that I would feel beautiful, so I would feel chosen, but that wasn't going to work.
So, let’s enjoy dating and bring Jesus with us. He is so interested in our dating life; He created marriage.
7. Have male friends (yes, I said it).
I know, I know…it can be messy and slightly confusing, but it can also be very healing. I had a mentor once say to me, “Lindsay, look at every man as a brother until he says otherwise.” That helped me just to get to know guys instead of wonder and wish "is this the one" every time I was around a guy. Enjoy the men in your life but never assume what God is doing.
8. Enjoy girl time. It won't be the same once you get married.
Godly girlfriends are a gift, and according to scripture, they are our sisters. We need to enjoy doing girly stuff with them, going on trips, nail dates, mission trips, Bible studies, just dinners on the couch. Girlfriend time will drastically change once we are married, just ask a married friend.
Enjoy this time in your life. Don't waste it. Get to know yourself, and get to know God and His desires for your life. The desires of your heart were put there by your God, so spend time with Him learning about the God who made you. You are His masterpiece, learning who you are in Him is an adventure of a lifetime.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Eye-for-Ebony
Lindsay Morgan is a native of Ohio who moved south 7 years ago where she met Jesus head on at age 31. Ever since then, she has been fascinated by His tangible presence and real love. Her writings usually include the grace, the struggle and the expectant heart of a moment by moment surrender to the God who created the Universe! Find more at www.PuttingthePencilDown.com.