Monday, December 31, 2012

4 Tips for Enjoying Your Single Years - Christina Martingano

As a professional 20 something Christian, is it easy to feel lost in between the world’s view and the Church’s view on marriage. In the world, I was told by older “wiser” co workers to date, have my fun, and don’t even consider marriage until I was older. However, I found all my Christian friends getting engaged and married before the age of 25.

Personally, I wore my first bridesmaid dress at the age of 22 and was a part of 5 wedding parties before the age of 26. Besides that, the stack of wedding invites on my dresser far exceeded the number of potential suitors I had. When you are in an environment where it seems like everyone is dying to start a family ASAP, it’s easy to feel like a freak for not looking to run down the isle. However, I would never trade my single years. I learned more about my God, others, and myself and experienced things I never could have if I were married. I challenge all the singles out there to take a moment and appreciate your solo selves. I also ask the married folks to support and cheer on their single friends.

Invest in God.
1 Corinthians 7 is about marriage, but is a very pro single chapter. Paul says singles are free from concern and able to focus only on pleasing the Lord. He goes on to say the single life allows undivided devotion to the Lord. How dare we see it as a curse or burden? How dare we use our single status to wonder what is wrong with us? God ordained that time as a period to focus on him. Join a bible study, find a new devotional, and enjoy this time of unburdened service to the Lord!

Date a little.
The Christian literary market is littered with opinions and theories on dating. There seems to be a huge divide between those who think dating is wrong and those who think it is an important part of life. My personal opinion is that we don’t spend enough time going on dates. As long as you keep it pure, it is OK to share some coffee and a few dinners with someone and decide to remain as friends. It is also OK to start a pure relationship with someone, and maturely decide it isn’t working. It is important to meet members of the opposite sex and decide what traits are compatible with yours. You can do this through your guy friends, but sometimes the only way to know what you want in a husband is to find out what you can’t tolerate in a boyfriend.

Learn your non-negotiables.
We have to know where to be flexible, but it’s even more important to know what our non-negotiables are. Yes, we can let some of the superficial stuff go, however we need to know what we 100% cannot tolerate or accept in a mate. 2 Corinthians 6:14 tells us not to be yoked to unbelievers. No matter how cute and charming the person, it is foolish to date a non-Christian. After that, the rest of your non-negotiable are based on your personal preferences. Take this time to do some soul searching and decide what you will not compromise on.

Find some adventure.
I spent a good amount of time convinced my life wouldn’t start until I had a husband. I realize now that was time I wasted that I should have been using to actually live. I have a single Christian best friend who loves to travel and plan trips and vacations. Together we have been to Spain, England, and Scotland. I spent four months learning about Italian literature in Milan, and she has studied in Australia and visited Greece and a lot of Italy. We both have Master’s degrees and have thrown ourselves into careers we love. I’m not saying these things are impossible to do once you are married. However, it is a lot easier when you are single and only have yourself to worry about. So pick an adventure and make it happen! Travel with a friend, go on a missions trip, learn a skill, volunteer, and make your single time more then just a waiting room.

If you happen to be a single that stumbled along this site, I encourage you to enjoy your current calling. To the married folk out there, encourage your single brothers and sisters! Waiting to meet your spouse is harder then you remember.

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