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Feb
14

Single Appreciation Week-Day 5

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:

1. Take every thought captive, make it obedient to Christ, and replace pity party thoughts with God’s truth! (see 2 Corinthians 10:5, Philippians 4:8)

-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!

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  1. Anila says:

    Hey Mandisa! I was so happy (and jealous) to get a cute picture of you and my sister Kelsey (from Iowa!) yesterday.
    I too have battled being single. I wanted to get married so deeply. I wanted (and still do) want babies. Married people ‘comfort’ me by saying, ” The Lord is using this time to prepare you.” ok, seriously! Be quite. The Lord uses any phase of our lives to prepare and use us.
    Another thought that occurred to me is that when that wonderful day of marriage finally comes, I do not want to look back on my single life and think what did i do during that time? I did not want the answer to be that I wasted it pining for the next phase. So I said, “Lord, you asked me to be single, make it an exciting adventure for me.” I traveled without abandon (with Kelsey! back in her single days), got a black belt in taekwando, discovered I have some pretty creative talents to make cards, do Henna, sing, and my personal favorite – COOK! 🙂 Who knew i could do all of that?! I certainly did not.
    When I finally get married, i want to enjoy that phase of my life as well knowing that i looted all the joy i possibly could from my single life! And to do the when i get married.

    1. Asha says:

      Your message is so inspiring!! Thank you for sharing. It helps me with my single walk.

    2. Jasmine Gabriel says:

      Hey you guys how are you?! My name is Jasmine Gabriel :)! I just recently got engaged. I’m black and my fiance is white. I love him to pieces but goodness the looks we get when we’re together. It’s funny to think that it’s 2014 and the looks on peoples faces are just that of disgust. The link that I’m about to post you can see our picture. Joshua and I are going to Peru on a mission trip in July. The 11th-18th. We go to Living Word Ministries in Stanley, NC. A couple of people from our church and from Hickory Grove Baptist are going on a mission trip in July. This page is for Joshua and I. The extra money that we raise will ither (or both) be given to whoever is short on raising money for the trip and/or also be given to Scripture Union, Peru to help with their needs. I’m not asking for much only at least $5.00. Every little bit will help. Thank you. God bless. You can email me at jasminevg95@gmail.com. The link to the site is http://www.gofundme.com/6xu2o8

    3. Quintrell Baltimore says:

      Hey Mandisa, how are you I recently seen you on a talk show just the pass week. And, I appreciate your mission for the Lord Jesus it soo wonderful your music ministry. Also, your mission for health, your drive to lose weight and encouraging others to do it natures way working out. Whenever, you in the New Orleans, La area. I would like to come to a concert or meet you in person thanks a lot. Be Blessed, Quintrell

  2. linda says:

    my husband and I will celebrate with our 3 grandkids we are fostering ages 11, 7 and 1. It will be a day showing our boys how much we love them! Heart shaped pancakes, heart shaped sandwiches and any other crazy ideas granny can come up with to show them how much they are loved! We will discuss the greatest love story and how much God adores them! I will also celebrate my husband who is willing to take in and love my boys when he is up in years and I am sure rather not but for love he does!!

  3. Kelly says:

    I’m going to spend time with my BFF today! God knows what I need and that’s friends that follow The Lord!

  4. Bill trotter says:

    I lost my bride in2013,I’m asking myself what is Gods Will for my life,forward,I am lonely.im reading the bible everyday,Jesus is my friend,please pray I will follow his leading in my life

  5. Kathy B says:

    Thanks Mandisa for your posts this week. I needed this post today. I’m celebrating the day with a group of friends, some are married and a few of us are singles.

  6. Rachel says:

    I’m celebrating by being more helpful around my home. My mom works and goes to school, my brother is out of town, and my sister is working today. I’m the only one off work AND home. So I hope to be able to take this time and help them out, show them my love for them as they have often shown me. I can’t afford much this year, but we were raised as a family to believe that it’s the little things and it’s the thought behind it all that counts. I have been blessed with so much unconditional love this Valentine’s Day from my friends, my family, and most of all, my Lord and Savior. I’m learning little by little to be content with where I am b/c I know God has great plans for me despite what I hope for myself! I hope I can find big ways to spread all this love around!

  7. Amy says:

    Valentine’s Day is what you choose to make of it. As singles, we have the opportunity to give our hearts and lives completely abandoned to Christ. God wants to have our all, not our leftovers from the day. I know God is my Husband at this time, He’s done some amazing things for me and my son. He continues to prove His love over and over to me. I am so blessed to know that the more I become like Him, the more my dreams, desires, life goals, and passions change to reflect His heart and desires for me. Verses that I hold on to when I start getting discouraged are Song of Solomon 4:1,7- 1) You are beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words. 7) You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way. I also go to Ruth 1:9a- “May the LORD bless you with the security of another marriage.”… God knows just what we need and when we need it. I truly believe that when we run toward Him and allow Him to be our everything, He will provide His desires for us. Don’t get me wrong, it gets discouraging at times, but during those times we need to remember that He loves us and has plans for us that are far beyond our wildest imaginations.

  8. Debbie Freeman says:

    I am divorced. I have spent most if my life wanting to be loved by a man. But, God is teaching me that His love is the only love I need. He is to be first in my life. He loves me all the time. While, I was hoping that a man would pursue me, God has shown me that He has always been the one pursuing me!!!! What a revelation for me. I am grateful that HHe loves me! Oh how He loves us!!

    1. Davicia says:

      Your post brought to my mind the promises of Isaiah 54. Those verses of scripture have been such a comfort to me in my singleness. Praise God for remembering those without a husband or children!

      1. Rana says:

        I have never been married and I turned 40 last month. The world tries to make a woman feel like something is wrong with her if she finds herself in my situation. I thank God for my singleness. I didn’t always feel this way and it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be married……it means I’m learning to be content in the state in which I am in and Isaiah 54 is an awesome chapter for singles. We are loved by the best Lover of all!

  9. Dawn says:

    I’m celebrating love today by honoring my mother and father’s 40 year long marriage (they will be married 41 years in May)! I am going to go visit with them, my siblings and nephews to celebrate the love we share as a family.

    I’m 30 and have never been married but I thank God everyday that I got to be raised by a mother and father that loved God, each other, and their children. They raised me to be content with God at the head of my life even if no husband was in my future. I am very grateful that I got to see a good marriage and how if you keep God in the center it all works out in the end. You cant buy lessons learned like that.

    Like you Mandisa, I have learned to be content with life as God’s plan. No matter if I get married or not I will be happy watching my nephews grow up and enjoy being the daughter, sister, aunt, and friend that God made me to be. That keeps me busy enough! 😉

  10. Kaylee says:

    Thanks again for all of the encouragement this week Mandisa! As a college student with many of my friends dating or engaged right now sometimes it can be sort of awkward. However, I’ve decided that Jesus is my valentine today and am trying to show love to others! I took some small valentines cookies to my workplace this morning and plan to spend my evening with my younger sisters! That way my parents can spend this Valentines Day together celebrating their marriage! I continue to pray for my future and also I pray for my friends who are engaged or in relationships. It really helps me to forget about the fact that I’m not in a relationship when I pray for others and their relationships! 🙂

  11. Cathy R says:

    Hi Mandisa- How am I going to celebrate today? Just like any other. It’s the world that gave us Valentines Day and it’s the world that gives us all the expectations that go along with it. Married or single the enemy uses things like this to distract us from what is really important. Jesus died for us and that is the love story I’m focusing on today and everyday because the “troubles” we face in this world are but a vapor in the picture of eternity. So I’m going to celebrate that The Lord gave me one more day to serve Him on this earth and do just that…serve. May The Lord bless everyone with gratitude today because with it none of the other stuff really matters anyway ❤️

  12. Jules says:

    I bought valentines for my niece and nephew whom I will sit today because they are
    Off from school I have a table decorated with all kinds of sweets and goodies. My sister made cookies and chocolate covered berries and pretsels so there is lots of sweets I bought balloons for my siblings and will buy flowers for my mom. God has been so good. I’m single but cannot complain.

  13. Cindy Weatherford says:

    I love the encouragement to take every thought captive, it is too easy to listen to the whisper of Satan of “what if’s” instead of delighting in the joy of what God has given me today. I never thought I would be a single again after divorce but God has redeemed and continues to redeem this season of life. Thank you for your blog of wisdom to encourage us all today

  14. Kristen says:

    As a preschool teacher I would have been spending Valentines day with 24 children running around full of sugar but God had a different plan! Due to the snow storm I get to celebrate Valentines day with Jesus today! My one true love and I’m blessed to say Monday I get to celebrate again with all my children (mind you I wouldn’t have it any other way). But today I get to relax and be in the presence of The Lord remembering that he loves me and the season of struggle that I may be in he’s their right beside me and will turn it into something beautiful. I’ve always longed for a husband and reading this blog helped take the sting out of being one of the only single people out of all my friends. I had never thought of singleness as a gift before but when it comes down to it at this pt in my life it is such an amazing gift. I’ve been so distracted with asking God when and why that I’ve never really stopped and looked around to see the beauty of being single during this season of my life! Thanks for reminding me just how much God loves me and how he knows exactly what he’s doing.

    Kristen

  15. Rachel Palmer says:

    I am having a “Jesus is my Valentine” time later today! I have set aside some extra time today to just be in the presence of the Lover of my soul, and to praise Him for this season of singleness. Being single is teaching me to go deeper and deeper with Him!

  16. Linda says:

    I am spending the evening with my wonderful church family that has Valentines Banquet for singles and marrieds, its supposed to be lots of fun. Having been separated the singles thing is new to me. My goal being single again is to be the best mom to my children that I can be and follow Jesus. If I were to get into another relationship it has to be with someone who is running after Jesus too.

  17. Cindy Murphy says:

    Thank You. I find Valentine’s Day depressing. It means a lot . Thank You for your encouragement.
    Cindy

  18. Veronica says:

    I will be spending Valentine’s Day celebrating with my daughter and her husband on their 14th wedding anniversary today. That is the best way for this single mom to celebrate this day of love…”loving on them!” God is soooooo good! /

  19. Nickie Reagan says:

    Enjoyed your blog all week. I’m going to take my daughter to watch s movie and just spend time together..

  20. Meagan arthur says:

    I must say that four years ago today I gave my heart to the Lord. At that time I was a single young woman in desperate need of attention and love. I was looking for love on all the wrong places. God spoke to me and said that I would need to learn above love from the One who created love. That I would need to trust Him with my heart so He can place it where it belongs. Valentines Day 2010, I gave my heart to God and trusted Him completely. I was finally content with myself and being single. God worked so quick and blessed my obedience to Him. One month after being baptized and becoming Jesus’ bride, I met my husband. Fours later we have a beautifully family and are growing in God together. Remember, that God loves you more than anybody else on your life, and He has already chosen that will love you as Jesus loves His bride.

  21. Jessica Holt says:

    Hey Mandisa! Want to know how I’m celebrating Valentines Day tonight? I’m taking 3 of my single friends with me to see YOU at the Xcel center!! God bless you in all you do. You inspire me and are truly gifted!

  22. kathy says:

    I get to spend my day selling balloons today mostly, but im also going to hang oyt with some really sweet friends and just enjoy each others company and friendship. I plan on blessing them both with something just because they deservr to be blessed

  23. Rana Cooper says:

    I work at an Elementary school as a secretary and I come in contact with a lot of the students at car duty in the morning and lunch duty in the afternoon. Yesterday two boys let me know that Valentine’s Day is also their birthdays so I’m going to surprise them with a small treat to say Happy Birthday and then there is another little boy who was having a challenging day in class so much so that he had to spend the latter part of the day in the office. I told him I would have a treat for him if he has a great day on Valentine’s day…just a little incentive! Then I definitely will have to call my favorite couple at pray for their marriage.

  24. Connie Cox says:

    God bless you Mandisa. I wish you all success in the ministry.

  25. elizabeth says:

    When I was single, 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 made me to think like I don’t wanna marry so that I could serve the Lord with an undivided devotion. But as the year passes by God made me to realize that my calling is not to remain single. It was actually hard for me to accept initially. But step by step God trained/taught me through His word itself. I started to wait on the Lord and He gave me a guy who is God fearing. Now I’m 25 and happy to say that when I look back God was faithful,He is and He will be. Just trust in Him.

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