Have you ever received a gift from someone which created the desire to “return to sender” or re-gift to a more suitable recipient? Be honest, we’ve all been there!
For awhile, singleness was one of those gifts for me. After opening it when I entered adulthood, I wanted to put it back in its packaging and throw it in the bin. Growing up, I had a plan for my life and that plan didn’t include being single past the age of twenty-five. I turn thirty this year and I’m as single as they come! And you know what? I’m grateful that I’m currently not dating or married. I certainly wouldn’t have said that 7 or 8 years ago. God has taken me on a journey of significant growth in singleness and relationships that has enabled me to be content in my current season.
But wait...singleness as a gift?! Yes, my friend, singleness is a gift from the greatest gift giver of all - God. Whether or not you call yourself a Christian, your season of singleness can be a blessing if you embrace it.
When many may view singleness in a negative light, how can we view it as a gift and a blessing? Well, I have a few thoughts to share on this topic. If you don’t see singleness as a gift by the time you finish reading, then forgive me and seek God for His perspective!
Okay, I’m ready to rise up to the challenge. Here are 5 reasons (in no particular order) a season of singleness can be a blessing...
Reason #1: Being single allows you to get to know yourself
I know being alone can be a scary thought for some but being alone doesn’t have to mean feeling lonely. In fact, spending time with yourself is healthy! And the single season is the best time to savour those moments alone.
Personally, when I’m spending time alone, I’m left with my own thoughts. Now, I’m an introvert so though I may not say much, at any given moment I have an endless amount of thoughts circling my mind. It can be chaotic up there! My alone time allows me to order those thoughts and process with no interruption. I often emerge from my solitude with a better understanding of what I want, what I don’t want, my goals, dreams and desires. In being aware of these things, I grow to know the person God created me to be.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalms 139:14
Reason #2: Being single is a chance to deal with your stuff, just you and God
There’s nothing that makes you feel more “behind” in the stages of life than when you watch most of your closest friends tie the knot and there you are, still single. You smile and keep tight lipped in response to well wishers who assure you that your time will come, that God has only the best for you or even from some, that maybe your standards are too high. What?! On that last one - if you’re single as you read this, please don’t settle when it comes to the person you plan on spending the rest of this life with! You’ll save yourself a lot of struggle and striving down the track.
Think of it this way, maybe this single season is an opportunity for you to deal with your stuff (insecurities, disappointments, worries, unforgiveness).
Maybe God is protecting you from the heartache of entering into a marriage prematurely before healing and restoration takes place.
Maybe God wants to use this time to prepare you in ways you never considered for a marriage that will far exceed your expectations.
Reason #3: Being single sets you up for success in future relationships
The more time you get to know and accept yourself, the more you learn to love yourself. You’ve probably heard it said before, when you love yourself for who you are, you’re better able to love those around you. Now that sounds like a good start for successful relationships! God created us for relationship. His desire is to see us succeed in the relationships in our lives. Perhaps a purpose of your current season as a single person is for God to equip you with what you need to maintain healthy relationships.
What does a successful relationship look like? Here’s a little peek:
Having realistic expectations of the other person’s role in your life. Just like love, when you learn to give yourself grace, you’re positioned to show grace to others.
Favouring opportunities to give to rather than receive from the other person. A season of singleness and gives you the time for guilt-free self-centeredness (to a reasonable extent) as you focus on yourself. Watch your relationships thrive as you are able to be fully present when around your loved ones, co-workers, community, maybe even strangers!
Open and honest (timely!) communication. I have found that the more confident I became in who I am, the less I sought approval from others. This freed me to be open and honest with the people in my life. Communication is key!
Reason #4: Being single creates space to focus on Jesus
Being in the church, you can be constantly confronted by your singleness. You see families streaming into the building on a Sunday, doing church together. You get asked the question of whether there is a special man or woman in your life (yes, His name is Jesus). You congratulate yet another couple on their engagement. You’re single and you know it!
On the flip side, this is the perfect opportunity to focus on Jesus!
“and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:34
In the above scripture, the apostle Paul shares wisdom from his experience with singleness. Paul never married but that didn’t seem to be of any concern to him. Why? Because being unattached allowed him to focus on his ministry. It was Paul’s singleness that contributed to him being as effective as he was in building the early church!
“But Paul remained single, I don’t want to be single forever!” All my single friends out there, I hear you! You and me both. What God has helped me realise, after much dialogue on this topic, is that it’s not about how long this season lasts but about what you do with this season. When we let go and leave it in God’s hands, we will eventually see the remaining pieces of the puzzle fall into place.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
Reason #5: Being single allows you to pursue dreams and desires with greater freedom
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
This is the time in our lives to dream and live audaciously!
The time to go on that spontaneous adventure.
The time to start that new endeavour
The time to quit that unfulfilling job to follow your passion (if that’s where God is leading you).
Without another person to consider how they will fit in the picture, the possibilities are endless! Enjoy the “freedom” of this season in which God has placed you. You’ll ask yourself a whole lot less of “what if...?” questions in seasons to come!
When you do enter the season of “I Do”, then you can dream and scheme together with the absence of the feeling of missing out/being limited.
So, how did I do? Has your perspective of singleness shifted? Please share your comments below!
Maybe you already viewed singleness as a gift to be embraced. Whatever your view may be, my heart is that we would recognise the value of every season we walk through and live it out to its fullest potential.
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