Why Are You Single?
- Kris Swiatocho The Singles Network Ministries
- 2012 15 Mar
“I know why I am single. I'm selfish,” said one of the folks at my last speaking event. It was a Friday night in Salisbury, North Carolina. I was speaking at a church on Jesus, Single Like Me material.
Before I speak, I love to sit with folks during the meal time to get to know them better. As usual the questions come up of where I am from, who they think I might know, if I have been married, do I have kids and so on. Then out of nowhere a new question came up. “So Kris, why are YOU single?” I was like, “What? Why am I single?” Hmmm, I had never really thought of that question. I mean, I do hear from the various older ladies at church, friends who have gotten married and of course my mom at times of why am I STILL single, but never the general question of "Why I am single?"
So before I answered the question of an anxiously awaiting audience at my table, I turned the question around and ask them first. I was simply amazed at the answers they came up with. As I listened to each person, I knew I needed to share their answers. I don't think I realized there would be so many and they would vary so much. Maybe their answers will help to answer your own. Maybe their answers will affirm what God is doing in your life. Maybe their answers will convict you of what you need to be doing. So you be the judge. . . .
“So why are you single?” I asked.
Susie: “To be quite simple, I am selfish. I like to have my way about everything, and a man just does not fit in my life. I know it’s not the greatest attribute, but it is simply where I am right now.”
As I was listening to Susie, I could not help to think of what had happened in her life to make her so selfish. As a child or even adult had she had things taken from her? Was it just old-fashioned sin? I mean, as a Christian, how could she be OK with her answer? How could she not want to work on this area of her life? Or perhaps, her selfishness was used as an excuse or barrier to form true and meaningful relationships. Nevertheless, I continued to listen and interceded with prayer.
The Lord tell us how important it is to turn our hearts and our lives towards him. That as we focus on him, and value others above ourselves, our relationship grows stronger with the Lord. As we grow stronger in Christ, we are able to deal/reject the junk, the pain, the hurt, and the sin that comes our way.
Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain (Psalms 119:36).
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves (Philippians 2:3).
Joe: “I lost my wife to cancer. I hated being alone. I was so lonely. I started to date but I guess I expected too much too soon. I was rejected over and over. I think it’s best for me to just stay single and not get hurt anymore.”
As I listened to Joe, I knew firsthand what he was saying. Even though I had not lost a spouse or have had a divorce, I had two engagements to end not to mention other broken relationships. I know what relational pain is and how it can keeps you from developing new relationships. My concern for Joe was how quickly he may have started dating after his wife's death. Maybe the rejections were due to how others perceived him. Perhaps they could tell he was still grieving. Joe needs time to heal, to rest in the Lord. He needs to focus on building friendships of all kinds, allowing God to tell him the next step. He also needs to be involved with serving others so the focus is on others versus himself. I know the more I am working for the Lord, surrounded by my Christian friends, the less lonely I feel.
God tells us in his Word the value of taking the time to rest, to heal before moving on. We can't get clear direction or peace if our vision is foggy. We also cannot pour out of an empty vessel. We have to go to the source that gives us the strength to endure whatever God has allowed us to go through—strength that will eventually allow us to pour into others again, to have the relationship God wants.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help (1 Timothy 5:5).
Tom: “Because I know no one would want to live with me.”
I started to laugh. “What do you mean, Tom? You seem like a nice man.” “Well, if you really knew me you would understand. I am thankful to these guys here at church who have learned to put up with me.” Everyone started to laugh. I said, “OK Tom, spill it. What do you mean?” Tom went on to say he loves to talk politics, religion and sports. But not necessarily in that order. I was like, “Yeah, I think I hear my phone ringing. Just joking Tom. Seriously Tom, politics, religion and sports. Yeah, I just love it. I am a big Fox network fan. So what do you think of Gingrich? Umm, Tom, I think I really do hear my phone ringing. LOL. OK, I see what you mean. So, your passion for these topics runs most folks off.” Tom went on to say, it was more than his passion. He said he can sometimes be argumentative and overly opinionated. Well, at least that is what he has been told. I said, “Tom, do you think you need to make some changes? That perhaps what you are passionate about is not the problem but it’s how it comes out of your mouth?” He thought about it and said, “Well, you might have a point.”
I think a lot of folks struggle with what comes out of their mouths. Years ago I prayed that God would take away my personality and make me a meek, quiet woman. Then God said to me, “Kris, I made you an extrovert with a big mouth. I just want you to use that mouth for me, to glorify me, to bring others to me.” Praise the Lord right now for how he made you but realize he made you for him. And because he made you for him, all that we speak and do needs to be for his purpose, his honor and his glory. Being right in the Lord is much more important than being right for us. Don't let your mouth keep you from being approachable by others.
Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise (Psalms 51:15).
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29).
Donna: “I like my independence and prefer to be alone. I can do what I want and go where I want. I love it.”
“I hear you, Donna,” I thought to myself. “I am right there with you girl.” I have always loved living alone, too. I know a lot of folks hate it but I loved it like her. I also love not having to ask any man if I can buy this or that, tell them what time I will be home, where or when I am traveling somewhere, etc. But with this lifestyle CAN also come a lack of accountability. As I listened to Donna, I wondered if she is using this independence to do more for God or was it more about control?
I personally had gotten to a place in my walk with the Lord that needed to grow yet again. I had become somewhat stagnant. My independence was beginning to look like dependence on Kris versus God. I also knew there were areas which I needed more accountability. I needed to be a better steward of my money, my time and my stuff. So I started to pray and ask God to go to the next level with him. I was hoping that meant a husband. Someone who would challenge me in areas of self-reliance and self-focus. Someone who I would have to learn to share more of stuff with. Someone who would be able to hold me accountable to my time and money. I got my prayer answered but it wasn't a husband, it would be my mom. LOL.
Two years ago my dad passed away, and my mom hated living alone. So long story short, we decided to buy a home together. We both agreed it would be a great solution as we could split finances, holding each other accountable and sharing life's burdens. Well, I have be honest and tell you it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. I have had to make a lot of sacrifices. I have learned like Susie and Donna, I am very selfish. This selfishness leads to blindness, blind to others’ needs. Even though there are days that I remember my "independence" and want to back there, God also reminds me of how much better off I am to stay. I am growing closer to not only my mom but also to him. And that was the goal in all of this, right?
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms (1 Peter 4:10).
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.Do not be conceited (Romans 12:9-16).
Sonya: “I have not met the right person yet.”
I love Sonya's answer. She didn't appear to be in any rush. She said she was waiting on God to bring the right person along. She shared at the table that she had tried dating sites (and got discouraged), had friends set her up, and even tried speed dating. She said that being a single mom with three kids doesn't help either. Most men are not interested in an instant family. Each time she ventured out on her own, God brought her back to just him. So now, she says she has stopped looking. She is just enjoying her time at church with her single and married friends. “Now, don't get me wrong,” she said. “I am keeping my eyes open. I am just allowing God to bring him to me versus the other way around.”
Sonya gives us great direction in how all of our life should be, seeking the Lord first. As we seek the Lord, all things will come to us as he wills it. Sonya also reminds us of how important fellowship with others is. Our purpose in life is a relationship with the Lord that glorifies him and out of that relationship, a relationship with others to bring them to Christ. So everything we do in this life needs to align to that purpose. So every new person you meet, ask yourself and God why he brought them into your life. Perhaps it is to lead them to the Lord, to edify and encourage, to just be a friend or date for marriage. As we seek and stay in his light, God will direct our paths.
But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The LORD is great!” (Psalms 40:16).
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
Lucy: “I am not ready yet.”
“What do you mean?” I asked. “Well, I am not ready yet. I have some junk to work out in my life. There are some things I think God wants to change in me to help prepare me for marriage. So until then, I choose to stay single.” I went on to ask about what things. She didn't go into too much detail other than to say that she was working on her health and finances. While in her twenties, she didn't take care of her money or her body. She said she wasn't following the Lord then. She partied, ate whatever she wanted, and charged the limit on several credit cards. Now that she is older she wants to settle down. So she started going to church, got saved and prayed for God to help her work on herself in some particular areas. She said she wasn't there yet, but was getting close.
Wow, I am so proud of her. She wants to become the right person before marrying the right person. Of course she nor I am saying you have to have it all together. But if you know you have a ton of debt or bad credit or anger issues, addictions, etc., getting married doesn't make them go away. It can actually make them worse. So the fact that Lucy is aware of some of her issues and how it could affect her future marriage is awesome. Even if she never marries, the the fact she is working on some of these issues will only draw her closer to God, as he heals and transforms her into his image.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies (1 Corinthians 16:19-20).
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
Betty: “I can do more for God. I believe he called me to be single.”
“Really?” I asked. “Well, Paul talks about being single and how you can serve the Lord more. I think I really can. I was once married when I was really young. I have now been single for over 25 years. My son is also all grown up and has a family of his own. I love that I can do whatever God wants me to do at the drop of a hat. I especially love going on mission trips. So for me, it is where I choose to be. If God wants me married, I am open to that but I seriously think he has not. I really do enjoy where God has me.”
Praise the Lord, Betty, that you have found this miraculous place called "contentment." If only the world would get it. If so, there would be no more fights, war, greed . . . well you get the idea. People would simply be happy where God has them until he moves them somewhere else. And if this is where God wants them, then what are we doing about it. I love how Betty has learned to serve and do for the Lord where she is. This contentment has also brought a quiet, calm spirit in her because she doesn't have to be anxious about anything. She can just "be," knowing God will provide the next step as he wills it.
But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content (Psalms 131:2).
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances (Philippians 4:11).
So I guess it’s finally my turn to answer the question. I am single because I have chosen to be. When I was younger, I was like most women in that I wanted to get married. I have dated and been engaged a couple of times. However, through all the relationships, it was God's relationship that I seek most. Now do I feel called to be single forever? No. I still desire to have a mate one day, however, the focus on my daily life isn't looking for a man. I have never speed dated or browsed the personals. You would never catch me online dating (too much pain and rejection there). I am just old-fashioned in that I believe God will bring him to me. So while I am waiting, I am living life to its fullest, to abundance. I am serving, growing, ministering, and sharing my life. I have learned the joy of being content like Betty. I am called to be single until he moves me somewhere else and I love it.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).
So . . . why are you single?
Kris Swiatocho is the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is the author of three books: Singles and Relationships: A 31-Day Experiment, co-authored with Dick Purnell of Single Life Resources; From the Manger to the Cross: The Women in Jesus' Life; and the most recent, Jesus, Single Like Me with Study Questions (includes a leader's guide and conference/retreat of the same name). Kris is currently working on her fourth book: FAQ's of Singles Ministry coming this fall 2012.
TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries helps churches, pastors and single adult leaders evaluate, develop and support their single adult ministries through high-energy speaking engagements, results-oriented consulting and training and leadership development conferences and seminars. Click here to request a FREE "How to Start a Single Adult Ministry" guide.
FromHisHands.com Ministries is Kris' speaking ministry. If you've ever heard her speak, you know that Kris is the kind of speaker who keeps the crowd captivated, shares great information and motivates people to make a difference in the lives of those around them! She speaks to all church audiences on everything from "first impression" ministry to women's topics to singles and young adults. She can speak on a Sunday morning, at a woman's retreat or for a single adults conference. Bring Kris to your church today!