My church is currently doing a series called “What Happy Couples Know.” At first I was discouraged; after all, I’ve been single for nine years now. I don’t have any prospects of a relationship or marriage. I’m not saying that door is closed, but at this moment I’m seeking happiness as a single Christian woman approaching 50. I’m seeking to be secure in who I am in the Kingdom.
While I was discouraged at first, I’ve gained some important concepts that I can apply to “What Happy Singles Know.” If couples can be happy while applying these concepts, then singles can too. Not just in romantic relationships, but also with coworkers, friends, family, etc. We can find happiness in our singleness. And our happiness will give us complete freedom.
Here are some some concepts I’ve gotten out of this series so far:
God needs to be first and foremost in our life.
We need to build a strong relationship with Him before seeking any other relationship. Think about it: If we can’t have a successful relationship with the One who created us, how can we have one with others? Matthew 22:37-38 (NIV) says, ”‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.”
Being humble and submissive means putting others’ needs before our own needs — completely unconditionally.
1 Peter 5:6 (NIV) says, “…. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another …” God honors those who are humble. We don’t have to give others everything, but we should strive to know and understand their love language. Knowing what makes them happy is an act of love and submission. Maybe it’s eating at their favorite restaurant or giving them space for quiet time. Don’t expect them to change themselves without being willing to change yourself as well. To love others first, we need to be acting with selfless love.
We need to know ourselves and be secure in who we are and whose we are.
As proclaimed in Galatians 4:7 (NIV), we are each a child of God: “So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” We can be confident and secure in who God created us to be. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV). Our confidence will shine as others see us as God created us to be. Know our happiness doesn’t come from others. Expecting others to be the source of our happiness will lead to disappointment. When we stop expecting others to fulfill our happiness, we learn to rely on making ourselves happy.
Personal expectations are usually brought into any relationship.
Perhaps we are setting our expectations too high or being unrealistic. Evaluating our own expectations can increase our happiness while being single. We may need to evaluate our expectations for ourselves first. For example, are we too hard on ourselves? Do we have low self esteem, perfectionism, etc.?
I once told my daughter that I was ready to date but didn’t know where to find someone to date. I made up my mind that the bar scene and online dating were out, but “church” was filled with married couples. She said, “Go and do the things you love and that make you happy, and the right person will be there doing the same thing.” Profound, right? Not bad for an 18-year-old.
We shouldn’t fear rejection.
Rejection is hard and happens to everyone. Rejection from anyone or anything we are trying to accomplish can break us. Jesus faced the worst rejection ever! He was rejected and put on a criminal’s cross, yet Jesus said, “But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation” (Luke 17:25 NIV). We need to stop wallowing in our self-pity of rejection from others because they don’t accept us. Release this rejection to God. They didn’t accept Jesus, and yet He still fulfilled His purpose. He knew God was in complete control. All I know is I want to be rejected by the wrong people and be saved to be accepted by the right people.
Extending forgiveness is necessary.
Not just forgiveness like “I forgive you but I won’t forget what you did or said.” True, unconditional forgiveness. A friend once said to me, “How dare you think or believe Jesus died on that cross for only your sins?” And she was so right! Who am I to hold on to anger and bitterness when Jesus washed us ALL clean — not just me. Letting go of grudges and bitterness can bring overwhelming freedom to live in happiness. “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13 NIV).
Being single can be meaningful and happy. We don’t need others to complete us. We need God to complete us. God completes us the day Jesus gives us life. The number one thing that brings me happiness in my singleness is knowing happiness is not here on earth, but it exists in eternity. What is one thing that makes you happy in your singleness?
Stacey Stevens grew up in a small town on the coast of Maine. Her passion for writing started as a young child as a way to escape loneliness. Through the years, she’s used writing as a tool to overcome various life circumstances. Her love for volunteering led her on a mission of facilitating a Christian Single and Parenting class. Her hopes, dreams and desires are to empower single parents through God’s love, mercy and grace. She now lives just outside of Dallas, Texas, is single and is a mom to two adult daughters.