Contentment can be elusive for single people when we just want someone to share burdens with, when we are feeling lonely, when all our friends are happily paired off and we’re constantly the third (or fifth, or seventh, or thirteenth) wheel. It’s perhaps especially frustrating on a day like Valentine’s Day, when romance floats through the air in the form of heart-shaped balloons and pink confetti. On days like today, here are a few examples of singles who, whether fictional or not, inspire me by choosing to be content in their situations.
My friend Sara did something fun last year. She flew alone all the way to Redding, California and attended a workshop for singles hosted by Bethel Church. I am so proud of her! She has such a teachable spirit. She knew she wanted to grow in this season of singleness and let the Lord ready her for marriage one day. She grew while there, made great new friends, and most importantly, stepped into a new level of freedom.
Singleness can be a challenge. Chronic illness can be a challenge. Put them together and you get a gooey, volatile, explosive and, I’m pretty sure, radioactive mound of difficult. But it’s OK, because if you struggle with both of these things like I do, or know someone who does, I’m going to give you all the answers for a successful, happy life.
Just kidding. Actually, I think I’m just here to make you feel less alone, and that’s often more important than untested recipes for success.
Fears of wedding night sex
“Christians come to talk with me, distraught because sex on their wedding night was nothing like they expected… and definitely not what they hoped for.”
My friend Liza Wright, a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in Christian sex therapy, told me this the other day. Many of the women come to her in tears, not knowing how to put feelings into words. They feel disconnected from their body, emotions, and spouse.
Question to discuss:
Where do you feel God might be calling you to step out in faith this year? What will trusting Him in this look like?
Roundtable: Lessons Learned Through Big Decisions
Early last year, we caught up with three young adults who had big plans for 2016. In this follow-up discussion, we discover how the year went in light of their life changes and goals. A new job, new marriage, and new challenge (live on $7/day!) proved daunting but worthwhile.
Question to discuss:
How can you speak for the voiceless in your own spheres of influence? Which aspect of the pro-life ethic are you most passionate about, and which would you like to understand more?
Roundtable: Pro-Life and the Big Picture
Many people hear “pro-life” and immediately think “anti-abortion.” That’s not wrong, but it’s not the whole story. Life at all ages, stages and circumstances is ordained and blessed by God; this means that the unborn as well as the orphan, the elderly, the refugee, the person with special needs—every person on earth has dignity and value, and is worth fighting for.
I turned 37 this year. Ouch.
I’m still single and there are several goals I thought I would have accomplished by now. Sometimes aging is depressing.
Our culture is pretty good at enforcing a negative opinion of aging. At every birthday we hear people grumbling about how old they are. They wish for the good ol’ days, or remember how earlier years were their best ones. And I know that women sometimes deal with this even more strongly if they want to have children and are approaching the later childbearing years.
Question to discuss:
What do you do to ensure the Christmas holiday doesn’t get away from you? How do you slow down, take it all in, and bless others in the process?
Roundtable: What Christmas Means to Me
Christmas can be hard when you’re single. The solution isn’t to get depressed or bitter, but to instead find ways to infuse
meaning, tradition and joy into the holiday. Sometimes this means being extra creative and intentional.
Countless Christmas songs are written about it. Countless videos are posted about it. But not everyone has a home to go to for the holidays. It’s not a good or bad thing. Sometimes, it just is what is.
That’s where I fit in. My father passed away when I was nine, and I have an estranged relationship with my mother. All of my mother’s side of the family is spread out across the country, and I’ve never been super close to my father’s side of the family.
The other day, I was standing in worship service singing one of my favorite worship songs, “In Christ Alone,” and something dawned on me: Singing that song felt different than it had when I sang it years before. When I was single and sang, In Christ alone, my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song … I remember feeling utterly desperate, almost clingy. At that point, I had at least one tangible unanswered hope…the hope of a spouse.