No little girl grows up dreaming of going to bed every night alone, living by herself in an apartment. No little boy grows up dreaming of always washing his own clothes and cooking his own food. Regardless of whatever else we dream about, most of our childhood dreams include getting married and building a family.
Sooner or later that dream is often somewhat spoiled, broken, or misdirected. Parental divorce, domestic violence, addiction, or our own experiences of broken love may cloud the rosy dream of marital bliss. But for most of us even if that dream is buried, it’s still alive.
Then when marriage doesn’t happen it’s easy to become discouraged. Or perhaps marriage ended and you’re single again. You question, is there something wrong with ME? Where have all the good girls (or guys) gone? Am I doomed to be alone forever? Why doesn’t God answer my prayer for a mate?
I was single for 48 years. Then God brought a wonderful man into my life, and we are very happily married. But I know what it’s like to live year after year alone, wondering why it never happened for me. And I know what it’s like to finally completely give up on ever getting married.
Living alone for all those years, I did learn some very important things about the single life. Whether you’re still single, newly single, or temporarily single, there are some real benefits to take advantage of:
- Opportunity for concentrated growth. Without a spouse to take care of and please, your energy can be devoted to improving yourself. You can work on getting past your own hangups without the additional concerns of how your changing will impact a spouse. Take an honest look at your personality, your family history, your level of emotional maturity, your wounds. If you need to get some help to grow, now is the time! If there IS marriage in your future, any “growing up” you do now will pay off in more happiness then.
- Responsible only for you. Of course you may have responsibilities to job, church, or perhaps children. But there is a certain freedom in being able to eat what and when you want, go to sleep when you desire, and live where fits you best. Making decisions is simpler and quicker when you’re the only one you have to answer to. That reality may not leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling, but it’s worth enjoying while you can!
- Understand intimacy with God. No human being can supply the needs of the human heart like God can. Having no one to turn to but God in your loneliness can actually be a good thing. In your desperateness and aloneness you may learn to experience God’s closeness in a unique and special way. However busy you may be, as a single you have more time to hear His voice and learn His ways. There’s nothing more valuable than that!
Yes, I’m happily married now. And I believe God’s plan was for man and woman to be together in marriage. But if you don’t learn how to be happy as a single person, you won’t be happy married!
I wish I could take each single person who reads this, look you in the eye, and tell you, “You’re going to be OK!” Learn how to let God meet your needs. It’s the most valuable thing you can learn whether or not marriage is in your future.
Your turn: What are you learning as a single person – about life, about God, about yourself? How are you handling the lonely times? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
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