Singleness, like any other season of life, is meant to refine and strengthen us in the Lord. Why do we so strongly resist this particular season? Your season of singleness may be short, long, or really long but it should always be fruitful. I know exactly how you feel. I have been there. I used to hate being single; I just wanted to survive it and get through it. That was not the attitude God wanted me to have about being single. It has certainly been a journey, but now I see the benefits of singleness. We often miss our opportunity to bear fruit during singleness because we try to rush through it. Sometimes, we feel lonely, less than, or inadequate about being single. Other times, people try to convince us that we should feel lonely, less than, or inadequate because of our singleness. The truth is that these are all lies from the enemy. We just have to decide not to believe the lies anymore.
Singleness is not a punishment. Let that settle into your soul. God is not trying to hurt you; He is developing you. It is a very private and personal time for you to become deeply connected to God at your core. The more you press into Him, the more equipped you will be to rest in Him. If you allow Him to, He will change your perspective and teach you to produce much fruit in this season.
When you find yourself in a season of singleness, you have a few options. You can sit, you can sulk, or you can serve. The choice is entirely up to you. However, ask yourself this question, which will prepare me for the next season of my life and allow me to be the most fruitful? Sitting, sulking, and serving are three very different ways to experience singleness.
Sitting through Singleness
If you decide just to sit, then you probably spend the majority of your time waiting around for God to send you a husband. You probably stay ‘alert’ most of the time just in case he shows up. Then, anxiety shows up and sits right next to you. You wonder if today is the day he will come, if that is him over there or what you should do if you possibly missed him. Just sitting can be a little stressful.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with desiring a mate. Most of us do desire companionship. Sitting is not bad, and you may even have a good attitude while you are sitting, but how fruitful is it? Is sitting expanding the Kingdom of God and preparing you for your next season? In most cases, God put that desire inside of you. God knows your husband, He knows the details of your relationship, and He knows the exact moment He will move you and your future husband out of your seasons of singleness. Why not just trust Him?
Sulking through Singleness
Perhaps, you are not sitting, but you have had enough of the single life, so you are sulking. You may be sulking because you have no idea what God is doing in your life. You thought you would only be single for three months, and it has now been three years. You probably find yourself depressed and frustrated all of the time. Before you know it, there you are sulking and sinking in despair. God loves you; He sees you and His heart goes out to you, but how fruitful is sulking? The fruit that sulking produces does not expand the Kingdom or prepare you for the next season of your life.
Serving through Singleness
The third way to experience singleness is by serving. Now, I know you do not always feel like serving when you feel stuck, but you will feel better if you just press through and do it anyway. I found out that is practically impossible to sit and sulk while serving. There are just so many things to be done at your local church, through local ministries and organizations and for the Kingdom of God as a whole that there is just no time to sit or sulk! Ruth, from the Bible, gives us a beautiful example of how to get busy serving in our singleness.
When we read chapter one of the Book of Ruth, she had just decided to follow Naomi back to her homeland. When they arrived, it was the beginning of the barley harvest (Ruth 1:22) which lets us know that there was plenty of work to be done. Just like you and I, Ruth had a choice to make. She could have just decided to sit and see what the Lord would do, or she could have sulked because she was uncomfortable and regretted her decision to follow Naomi. Nevertheless, Ruth decided to get busy serving. And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.” Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” (Ruth 2:2 NIV) Ruth saw a need and got busy in spite of her own personal season. Ruth served daily with a pure heart and the right motives. She simply wanted to do what needed to be done.
When you and I decide that we are not going to sit or sulk through our season of singleness, but serve through it, we will be rewarded as Ruth was. When we serve God faithfully, even through singleness, we will find ourselves in the right places at the right times. Take a moment and ask the Lord how you can serve His Kingdom today. You will soon discover that serving through your singleness is quite fruitful.
If you are currently serving through your season of singleness, share with us what helped you to get through the sitting and sulking phases?