To conclude our series of blogs celebrating our singleness, I wanted to highlight a couple of my friends who are single, content and living abundantly!
If you have ever seen Luci Swindoll speak, you know the wisdom and joy she possesses as a vibrant never-been-married woman in her 80’s. Luci has never really desired to marry, so like Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, she has an undivided devotion to the Lord.
“I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord. ” (NIV)
Paul considered singleness as a gift (1 Corinthians 7:7); So does Luci. Here’s what she said:
“When I was about 12 years old I knew I wanted to remain single. I remember writing down my goals–never marry, see the world, sing professionally, study other languages, get a college education. With all that I figured I wouldn’t have time for marriage and a family anyway. Primarily though, I believe the secret to being content as a single is to define who you are, w/o somebody else in the definition. Actually, I believe it’s the secret to bring a contented person in general. When we learn to be happy in our own skin, w/ the personality God has given us…apart from family, friends, mentors, teachers and employers…I believe we can be content. In other words, as long as I spend my time being the best me that God made me to be, and nobody else…I’ll be content–single OR married.”
Funny…sounds similar to what many of my married friends in yesterday’s blog shared. Ok, Lord! Contentment and fulfillment comes from You! I hear You! 😉
Luci has lived an extraordinary life! Her house is like a museum of sorts; artifacts from countries she has visited, more books than I could even count, beautiful photos & art, plus journals of amazing experiences she has had. I gotta say, she makes living single look good!
I do, however, feel a yearning to marry one day. And while I believe it is a desire placed in my heart by the Lord, I recognize that I can be wrong. That is why I am learning to lay that desire at the feet of Jesus. If He has called me to a life of singleness, I am willing to follow wherever He leads.
So is my friend, Lisa Harper. When I asked Lisa to share her thoughts on being content with her singleness, she said this:
“I never thought I’d get my AARP card before I got a blingy diamond ring to wear on my left hand ~ and heck, it could even be a fake cubic zirconia diamond-wannabe! I just thought by fifty some man would be passionate about winning my hand in marriage. But alas, while I’ve been on more blind dates than Stevie Wonder, there’s been no one special enough to commit to for richer for poorer, in sickness and in death. But it’s not the dramatic crash and burn I felt as a single 40 year old when I was tempted to stick my hand in a blender on Valentine’s Day. Nowadays, contentment is edged a little deeper in my soul. I’m learning to live in light of God’s promise to be a husband to the husbandless. I’m learning to trust in both His sufficiency & affection. So you don’t have to worry about hiding your blenders or sharp knives from me this Valentine’s Day…in fact I’m actually looking forward to buying lots of pink stuffed animals & V-Day happies for my soon-to-be-here adopted daughter! Mind you if God dropped a Jesus loving man in my lap who felt called to be a Haitian 4 year old’s baby daddy, I will celebrate with unprecedented delight & gratitude! When you crave time alone with your Messiah more than you daydream being Mrs. Somebody from Match.com or Eharmony, I think you’re cruising in the right direction. Follow hard after Jesus…in due time you might find yourself colliding into the love of your life who’s running hard toward Jesus too!”
Amen! Lisa desires a husband, but more than anything, she desires Jesus. That seems to be the most important word of advice from all of my friends; married or single.
So on this “Single Appreciation Day” I want to encourage all of my fellow singles out there to join me in doing these things:
-When you recognize “I’m so lonely” and “why not me” thoughts, replace those with God’s truth on the matter. You can find some of those in Isaiah 54:5, Jeremiah 29:11, and Proverbs 19:21 to start with.
2. Focus on celebrating God’s love for you. Here’s a little “Love Songs to Jesus” Spotify Playlist I created to help me do that today.
3. Find ways to show love to others today.
-Do you know another single person you can surprise with a card or flowers?
-Maybe call some married friends and leave a voice mail praying for their marriages. -Live out Matthew 25:35-40; Pack some healthy “Valentines”, deliver them to the homeless, and remind them that God sees them and loves them very much.
-Grab some gift cards to a restaurant and hand them out at a local college campus with a note about Jesus satisfying our hunger and thirst (Nehemiah 9:15, Isaiah 49:10, Isaiah 55:1-2). Be creative!
Leave a comment below sharing how you will celebrate love today. I’ll choose a winner to receive Luci Swindoll’s “Doing Life Differently” and 4 copies of Lisa Harper’s new “Hebrews: The Nearness of King Jesus” Bible study so you can grab 3 friends and do this amazing Bible study together! We were made for community, so let’s lift one another up today and appreciate the gift of singleness we’ve been given!