Live a Whole Life without a "Better Half"
- Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Society often gives singles the message that they’re missing out on the best in life. But you don’t have to be married to experience complete fulfillment. Singleness isn’t a curse; it’s a gift God wants you to open and use to its fullest. You can be whole without a “better half.”
Here are some ways you can live a whole, fulfilling life as a single person:
Cultivate contentment. Recognize that God’s ideas are better than yours. Trust in God’s infinite wisdom, realizing that He can satisfy the deepest desires of your heart in ways that go beyond what you can imagine. Know that God always plans the best for you – whether or not that includes a spouse (and if so, who the person is, and when you will meet). Acknowledge that God is sovereign and that His will is sufficient. Understand that the level of joy in your life doesn’t depend on your circumstances. Rather, it depends on how close you are to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you become content and experience true joy.
Be proactive. Decide to quit living in limbo, waiting for marriage before you live to the fullest. Commit now to use your talents, take risks God calls you to take, and give your all to living a passionate life of faith. Know that your time is precious and meant to be used well so it’s not wasted.
Let your suffering grow your faith. Don’t let your unfulfilled longings destroy you; instead, respond to them in ways that can strengthen you. Release your dreams of marriage to God so they don’t become idols for you. Decide to trust in God’s plan for your life, as He reveals it, one piece at a time. Believe that your life will be more fulfilling in God’s control than if you try to wrest control of it yourself.
Persevere. Press on with determination, trusting that God is good and that His promises are true. Build a close relationship with God through prayer so you can get to know Him and trust Him better. Ask God to show you how you can use your singleness as a platform to bless others and how, free of marital responsibilities, you can channel your extra time and energy in positive directions.
Let the pain of loneliness draw you into God’s presence. When you experience rejection or feel sad about being alone, remind yourself that God always loves you and is with you. Know that you can count on God to provide companionship and everything else you need. Ask God to give you the courage you need to take risks with dating and friendships so you can try to move closer to others. Surround yourself with a faithful group of friends who will support and encourage you as you do the same for them.
Resist the urge to meddle. Realize that God doesn’t need help to accomplish His plans for your life. Be patient and trust that God will do the right things at the right time for you. Remember that God often does His greatest work while people wait. Focus on your present life and trust God to lead you bit by bit in the right direction toward your future.
Commit yourself to a local church. Rather than getting upset about how small your life is, focus on how big God is. Seek to grow closer to God through worship, and closer to others in the family of believers. Make at least one trusted friend there and promise to talk regularly and honestly and hold each other accountable. Join a Bible study to learn more about God. Look beyond yourself to serve other people and widen your perspective.
Make God your love interest. Respond to God’s deep, unconditional love for you with a passionate commitment to Him. Make pursuing God your top priority. Appreciate God more for who He is than for what He can do for you. Delight yourself in getting to know Him better.
Choose trust over fear. Whenever you feel threatened, focus beyond the situation to the One who ultimately controls it – God. Remind yourself that His both all-knowing and all-powerful. Place your trust in Him.
Let go of your pride. Accept the fact that your life isn’t going the way you’d planned – but that’s okay. Rather than letting bitterness and envy consume you, give in to God’s greater plan for your life right now. Know that by doing so, you’ll remove obstacles for God to work in your life, bringing you many blessings you hadn’t anticipated.
Don’t look for love in all the wrong places. Realize that only God is capable of ultimately fulfilling you. Don’t waste time and energy trying to find love and significance based on your achievements or relationships with other people. Instead, be secure in the knowledge that your position as God’s beloved child is all you need. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your motives so you can better understand yourself. Focus on Jesus, your eternal Bridegroom who loves you more than any earthly spouse possibly could. No matter what, remember that you belong to Him.
Adapted from Living Whole Without a Better Half, copyright 2000 by Wendy L. Widder. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.kregel.com.
Wendy Widder graduated from Cedarville College, Cedarville, Ohio, and has worn six bridesmaid dresses. She has taught the fifth grade, served on her church staff, and been involved in the singles’ ministry at her church for more than 10 years.
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