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Feb
12

Single Awareness Week-Day 4

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I am a true believer in gaining wisdom from people who have walked the path you hope to walk. Many singles don’t necessarily want to get married…more on that tomorrow. But for those of us who have that desire in our hearts, there is a lot we can learn from our married family and friends.

I asked several of my married friends a question: If you could speak to your single self before you got married, what would you say? Here’s a sampling of what they said:

“Marriage is a sweet gift. It is also a lifetime of refining one another in love. It is the absolute opposite of self. Marriage is a denying of yourself to love the one you’ve been called to love, the way they need love. Before being married, challenge your fears and insecurities. If there are things in you that are off limits to talk to the Heavenly Father about, then there will be things you won’t share with your spouse and that will eventually cause a wedge in your relationship.”

“My one piece of advice… I would have told my single self to avoid distractive relationships, attraction and conversation that take away from productivity, zap emotional energy, tug on healthy personal boundaries and play with your heart. I could have saved a bit of time, realized more God dreams and helped a whole lot more people.”

“The most important common thread between single life and married life is this: Jesus is all. My wife and I are only in our best marriage groove when we are walking strongly and confidently in the things of the Lord as individuals. I wish my single self would have pursued the things of God with more passion and while being more fully awake. Sometimes I regret the laziness I see when I look back at moments of my life when I had less accountability. Bottom line – Jesus is all. So treat your life – your priorities, your time, your resources, your relationships – accordingly. That goes across the board, whether you are single or married. When we finally come to understand the truth that Jesus really is everything, then we understand because of that that no one else owes us anything. And that sets us free to let people off the hook. That is a great thing to understand in marriage. Marriage is a whole lot of letting one another off the hook.”

“I would tell that 22 year old girl. God has created you fearfully and wonderfully… You are whole and complete lacking nothing, with limitless possibilities. God is everything you need but He also knows who He’s prepared for your life. Seek Him and in Him you’ll discover everything you need.”

“I’d tell myself to let go of my idea of the “perfect” Christian guy. I grew up believing that the only strong men of God that were husband material were the ones who would lead me by taking my spiritual walk under his wings & would initiate every single spiritual aspect of our married life (ie: leading me in Bible study everyday;). While there are those types out there, there are also those who lead more by his life’s example and less by his managerial skills. One isn’t better or more Godly than the other. I think being married to the latter, I’ve come to realize that the man most complimentary to me all along is the man who, for example, teaches me what it means to be humble by humbling himself first, not telling me how I need to be humble. Less words, more action. So I’d say, ‘be impressed with the walk, not the talk.’ ;)”

“I guess it would be to realize I am already completely loved and accepted. There’s nothing I have to do or say to earn that. Oh, and I wish I would have really grasped how lesser choices made in a moment would affect the relationship I have today with my hubs. He doesn’t love me less, but I had a ton of stuff to work through. Counseling rocks!!!”

“I would encourage myself to wait on The Lord and not try to make things happen.”

“Run as hard as you can after Jesus and if someone catches up introduce yourself. Make sure you don’t look to get your happiness from a potential spouse. Be sure it’s in Christ. Don’t look to your spouse for your entire happiness and fulfillment in life! God is seldom early & never late. Don’t rush into marriage out of striving. Wait on the Lord’s best! Don’t create an Ishmael out of fear. Marry your best friend! Take time to get to know each other even when you believe the Lord has said someone is ‘the one’. Time spent can confirm. One more thing: The Lord is an excellent communicator! He will confirm.”

“Be patient. God’s best is never too late. Enjoy the season you are in.”

“The quicker I lose my right to be right the less strain/ unnecessary frustrations I would bring into my marriage. Pride can tear down a relationship and erect walls. In simpler words.. Don’t sweat the small stuff! Laugh it off and spend more time creating incredible memories. You never get the time back so use it wisely!!!”

“Well if I could go back and talk to my single self, I would get all of God I could possibly get and give God all I could possibly give Him!! Because I can clearly see how giving God all and receiving all that He has for me makes my union with my husband sooo much better!!! Loving God first makes loving your significant other incredible!”

“If I could go back and talk to my single self, the one piece of advice I would give myself is this…I remember when I was single I would have dates with God. I would clean my apartment, get dressed and prepare my heart to spend an evening with God…I’d light a candle, softly play worship music in the background and wait for a visitation from God…. Those moments were so powerful and sweet to me. It was during those times that He began to smooth out all the many rough edges and heal my heart.. I learned that I could be at ease with who He created me to be… If I could go back and talk to my single self I would tell her to do MORE OF THAT….. Those moments are far and few between now:)”

“Talking to my single self…It’s worth it to wait in every way for a man who makes you want to be a better person. The worst kind of loneliness isn’t to be alone. It’s to be in the company of the wrong someone. Ask people wiser than you to help you see what young love can sometimes blind you to. And listen. Falling in love may happen in the heart but staying in love very much happens with daily decisions in the mind. Chose wisely with your heart and mind. And then bring abundant grace and crazy love to that relationship every day.”

Single friends: As you read these comments from some of my married friends, what is the biggest take-away you found? If you feel like you will one day marry, do you have any married couples you can ask this question to?

Married friends: What other advice would you offer to your single self?

Today’s giveaway is a sermon series from one of my favorite preachers, Andy Stanley. It is called “The New Rules on Love, Sex, and Dating“. In my opinion, a must-see for any single person desiring marriage. Leave a comment below and I’ll choose one of you to send it to!

125 comments

2 pings

  1. Jess says:

    I am currently single, and thankfully, I’ll have my very best friends to look to for marriage advice when that day does come! They’ve been married almost 6 months, and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen 2 people so in love! They’re a great example of a couple that truly puts God first in their marriage, so I know they’ll be there for advice when I do actually get married! God is my main focus at this point in my life! I do want to be married someday, but I know God has his own timing, and I’m trusting Him in that. I’ce learned patience in this journey. God is not gonna send Mr. Right if we’re not ready for each other, so I’ve been solely focused on The Lord, and I know that if I just stay focused on Him, everything will work out the way He says it will! I’ve tried to rush finding love, but I learned the hard way that it’s not something that should be rushed! So I’m putting all my faith and trust in Him and just praying for my future husband every day until God says it’s time! 🙂

  2. Kimberly says:

    The biggest thing I have learnt on this life journey of mine so far is that being equally yoked is something to take seriously. It is easy to think you both believe in God, want kids etc. It is a very different picture once married and your faiths are very different, goals, ambitions, priorities. I hope one day to find my best friend who is on the same page as myself to give us the ability to go forward in life easier.

  3. Rebekah Leigh says:

    Wow! I have been looking for that “perfect” Christian guy who will lead our relationship in the spiritual direction. Must admit, kind of thought that if the guy couldn’t be that for me then he wasn’t a strong enough Christian. I’m now adopting “be impressed by the walk, not the talk” as my relationship motto. I also really see eye to eye with the person that talked about the distractive relationships. I am in constant prayer for God to remove those types of people, whether it is a friend, family member, or guy, out of my life and bring in uplifting and encouraging people. Thanks for today’s blog! Very eye opening.

  4. Mollie says:

    Wow, that is some fantastic advice!
    I would tell myself to slow down and not rush. I had a messed up childhood and I thought that finding a good man and getting married would make it all better… it did, but not in the way I expected. I would tell myself that the only man capable of fixing me is Jesus, and that I don’t need another person to make me whole. I am blessed (and so overwhelmingly grateful) that God stuck with me over the years and used my husband to teach me these things, but the struggle of learning it “the hard way” caused a lot of pain to us (I would mention to myself that God can and will heal all wounds, if only I let Him). I would tell myself that it is FAR better to do things God’s way, on God’s time, than to charge off headstrong, thinking that I know best; I don’t know best. I am not nearly as smart or as clever as I seem to think I am!
    I would also tell myself that love is an action, not a feeling; it is something you give, not something you receive. I spent a lot of wasted time expecting others to love me, when what I was really craving was the love of God and to go outside myself and love others!

  5. Godsglory says:

    Reading all these encouraging words definitely inspires and encourages me to keep pushing and driving on. I love these words especially because it’s as if the speaker is speaking directly to me; I can never ever reach a point in my walk with God where I’ve run so hard to pause <3 🙂
    "Run as hard as you can after Jesus and if someone catches up introduce yourself. Make sure you don’t look to get your happiness from a potential spouse. Be sure it’s in Christ. Don’t look to your spouse for your entire happiness and fulfillment in life! God is seldom early & never late. Don’t rush into marriage out of striving. Wait on the Lord’s best! Don’t create an Ishmael out of fear. Marry your best friend! Take time to get to know each other even when you believe the Lord has said someone is ‘the one’. Time spent can confirm. One more thing: The Lord is an excellent communicator! He will confirm.”

  6. Lynn says:

    Note to my single self: First love yourself. Jesus died for you . Stay in God’s love everything else is fake. Your worth is far above rubies. You are a virtuous woman. Set your goals and keep God first. Everything will happen in God’s appointed time not your’s. Pray without ceasing.

  7. orpha says:

    Don’t try to change him. I married the perfect man…. but I still had to live with him when the honeymoon was over. We ended up in counseling (not a bad thing! ) and it was an EYE OPENER! I was spending more time “fixing” him than I was being his wife. We madethe decision together to do it God’s way: God first, husband second, wife third Chain of command. I wish I could go back to that girl and tell her everything she missed. And I wish I could tell her sooner that counseling is all good! * as long as its a christian couple providing the counseling!

    1. Jennifer B says:

      So glad things turned around for you!!! Priase God!

  8. Karen says:

    I needed to heal the little girl in me before I could be a godly woman or a wife….I didn’t do that so my first marriage, to a porn addict, ended in divorce. My children have suffered greatly from my mistakes.

    I continued to make bad choices until about 4 years ago when a man I had let into my life brought me to rock bottom….

    http://youtu.be/a5bVnAwP7pY

    Today I am healed and remarried to a Godly man I met at church. We are in children’s ministry together. He also encouraged me to use Gods gifts and I officially joined our worship team last September .

    It’s never too late to turn things around….but how wonderful things could’ve been if I had been obedient from the beginning. Save yourself some pain……God has great things for you.

  9. Jennifer B says:

    I would tell myself that no man is worth sacrificing my morals and my values my believes God comes first family first. our Heavenly Father has his own plan for each one of us.I am so overjoyed and excited for what I could have had had I not taking my own earthly fleshly desires into action. If I would have help my standards higher and waited. The right man comes when you least expect him to. Great things will then fall into place. You will then know it is true….whole….right. God will have blessed you beyond your imagination. All in all….be the best you that you can be….strive to be more like Him. Learn more about our creator. Be happy. Do not let the pits of bad relationships suck you in and pull you down and away from what you are destined to be.

  10. Leigh Ober says:

    Don’t become complacent. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you stop taking care of yourself and pushing yourself to be more like God (and don’t stop exercising, it’s easier to maintain than makeup-the same goes with your walk with The Lord). When you commit to being married and chose the verse “Iron sharpens iron” don’t be surprised when it gets difficult and never stop sharpening.

  11. T Page says:

    I would tell myself two things. First, stay strong in what you know is right. Small steps can lead you farther than you realize, and regret is not a fun compliment in a marriage; it only causes problems and division. Secondly, remember that you are still who Christ created you to be as an individual, that it is OK to take time to enjoy things even if your spouse may not. This is not all the time, and should be done in a godly way and with precautions to protect your marriage. For example, if you like to write, find a special time every week or month for when you can do that. At the same time, take time to enjoy with your spouse what he likes to do as well. This includes after having kids. Your spouse married you for who you are, so remember who you are in Christ.

  12. Linda Scott says:

    Thanks for the encouragement. I am newly single after 23 years of marriage. God has showed me that it truly wasn’t a good marriage or a marriage based on Him. Its been a long road, but I know God has got this, I don’t know that I will ever marry again, but I do know that if God has someone else out there for me, he will have to pursue God to find my heart. Thanks again.

  13. Laura says:

    Jesus is everything- married or not! What a powerful, encouraging message! I’m complete in Him!

  14. kelly hovious says:

    i would tell myslf to love hard, to soften my heart. always and i mean always be able to forgive. without the abilty to forgive you will not be married long. i would remind myself that this is going to be a lifetime commitment. and i would say, if he follows God, that is great, but if he does not, i will in his presence. i will teach him that God is the only way.

  15. Jennifer says:

    I would tell my single self that the whole inside of you crying to be filled is not from the lack of a romantic relationship. It is from a lack of relationship with the Father. You cannot find yourself until you find yourself in God. Then, He will bring you to the man you were meant to be with. My husband is the perfect one for me. Is it always easy? No!! But, I have learned to never take the little moments for granted. There was a time when I could only be with my husband a weekend or two a month. I know I am blessed to have him with me to do daily life with. Always remind yourself of the blessing of your spouse, even when it is harder to see. :

  16. Rachel Hall says:

    I would tell my single self to not be afraid to be alone and to use the time wisely. Grow closer to Jesus so that you take an even better person into your marriage relationship. Work on you so that you carry less baggage with you when you become a duo!

  17. steph says:

    I would tell myself….. “you know all that stuff that you think you have all figured out? Well, you dont! But neither does anyone else – so just love God with all of your heart and hang on tight…. because He’s got this” (I didn’t like my husband when we first met…. married him 6 months later. 17th anniversary last week – you never know what God is up to!)

  18. Felicia says:

    Marriage is beautiful and the time together is priceless. But continue to seek
    God and focus on your relationship with God. Marriage does not fill the
    void in your heart. Only the love of Jesus can do that. With marriage you certainly
    can enhance each other. And just enjoy your single life in Christ life abundantly. Don’t be hard on yourself and if you desire to get married don’t let anyone tell
    you that you can’t or won’t. Hold on to what God told you. And when
    you do get married enjoy it even after the children come. Just enjoy life as a
    single and when married. Focus on the love of God.

  19. Lisa Wilson says:

    Compromise, compromise, compromise. Never demand your own way with God or your spouse. Be willing to humble yourself and learn. Be willing to try new ways of looking at things. Soften your voice, face and body. Listen more than you speak and pray about everything.

  20. Nina says:

    One of the things I am taking away from this is to embrace “loneliness”. You are not truly alone. Spend time with God and His Word. Cling to Him. He has someone out there for us single women who know in our heart that we are not meant to be alone.

  21. Leah says:

    I look back on my single life as time where I wandered in the wilderness…I was unsure of myself, my worthiness, and couldn’t understand what God could possibly have planned for my life. Some of the best times of learning about who I was in Him was during the wilderness periods. If I had not had those times of loneliness, I could not have listened to who God was telling me I was and who I could be. Open yourself to those hard but essential revelations! Without my single life I would never have been ready for my husband. He is my perfect partner, my helpmate who brings out God’s best in me.

  22. Candace says:

    I have seen a lot of women take the first man who came along. They were willing to compromise for the sake of not being alone. They always regret settling for anyone because of the fear of being alone. Pray about every man you date. If God isn’t first in his life, he is the wrong man for sure. If he doesn’t treat you like a princess and an equal to him, he is the wrong man. If he doesn’t work hard, he is the wrong man. God called the man to be a leader for his family. If he is not someone you would allow to lead because he is selfish or childish, run away. God will send the right one when you trust Him in His timing.

  23. Parianne says:

    God should be first in foremost in any relationship!! Going to church together/as a family is what has brought my marriage to where it is today!! The Lord continues to bless our family!! Love your spouse…marriage should mostly be about sharing everything…being married to your best friend!! Knowing that God is the center of your marriage/family he is the mold to our family!!

  24. Stacey Clark says:

    1. Be equally yolked
    2. Tell your mate what you need: they are not mind-readers
    3. Be quick to forgive

  25. kathy says:

    Wow is about all i can say. In my opinion like those above is that God and Jesus are first and foremost and if thats not there then its time to rexamine the relationship and pissibly move on. True relationship can only be healthy if its about God first and everything else second. Thank you mandisa for these wonferful thoughts this week

    1. kathy says:

      By the way i love being single

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