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thoughts on singleness…

March 3rd, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

thoughts on singleness…

Let’s face it. We’re a bunch of people who want to do life well. So whether it’s dating or marriage or college or kid-raising, we could all use a few pointers, including especially myself.

The conversation about dating and relationships will continue inevitably in the blogosphere, church, and around dining room tables, but I wanted to include some words on the season of singleness with life, hope, and a focus on thriving in every season.

My friend Jared from church needed someone to share their testimony or story about being single and surviving. To my [non]surprise, he couldn’t find anyone to talk about the subject with authority. [I mean really, who wants to get labeled the 40 year-old virgin and stand in front of 500 people admitting they are waiting for God’s best?]

That’s where I come in!

So I’m married and obviously not single anymore. However, for 30 years I survived sans a wedding ring or a life partner. After my dysfunctional three-year dating relationship with Satan ended, I realized I need to make some healthy changes moving forward. I could get bitter or I could get better.

Around the age of 25 when most Hispanic women are already married off with children, I was in graduate school. I was serving in full-time ministry in an unpaid position in youth ministry, when most people were encouraging me to find a singles group. And I was consciously aware that I could end up a BitterBetty because most single women I spoke to complained incessantly about the lack of spiritual leaders in the church.

I had to decision to make.

  1. I could sit on my spiritual laurels and wish, hope, and pray for Prince Charming to read me Songs of Solomon and refer to me as bone of my bone.
  2. I could put my head down, do some work, and keep my eyes open for a Godly man who is doing the same.

Some of the best memories and moments in life were not on the arm of a man, but reaching for the hand of the One who knew me far greater than anyone else. Of course looking back on my singleness is easier than being in it, but I will say perspective changed my attitude.

Contrary to popular belief, there are worse things than not being married. Like being married to the wrong person. Or having a sixth toe. Both are tragic.

For those who are married or in dating relationships, here are some things you can do to be supportive in all seasons:

  • If someone tells you they just broke up or are single, don’t wince, sigh, and say, I’ll pray for you. They don’t have a terminal disease, for crying out loud?! Instead, open your house or your calendar to make time to spend with them.
  • ThreeDogNight said it best, One is the loneliness number that you’ll ever hear. If you have a single friend, be available. I know, I know, it’s hard to make time. But do it.
  • If you’re single, mingle. Don’t be a hermit or spend another night watching FRIENDS with Ben and Jerry. Get out! Meet people! Have fun! Use exclamation marks!
  • If you’re single, maybe it’s for a reason. Are your expectations too high? Are you mean? Are you bitter? Do you smell? Ask a married friend to be honest with you and trust them to tell you where you need to change. [Yes, ask a married person. If you ask your single friend if your expectations are too high and she says no, maybe that’s why you’re both single. Jasmine always kept it real with me, You’re single because you cRaZy!]

That’s my two cents for what it’s worth. If you’re single, what’s you reason? If you’re married, what advice can you give to those in a party of one?

Bianca Juarez OlthoffBianca Juarez Olthoff is a writer and teacher passionate about life change through the power of the gospel. She spends her week working as Chief Storyteller for The A21 Campaign, an anti-human trafficking organization, and shares about true freedom for those who are in bondage.

Passionate about God’s word, she teaches around the globe and blogs about life, love, and the pursuit of Jesus. Whether discussing topics about justice or pop culture, Bianca has spent over 10 years dedicated to mobilizing God’s people to action inside and outside of the Church.

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