Single. A word that most women hate to hear next to their name. A word that is often filled with anger, sadness, and resentment. I know those feelings well. I’ve believed the lie that being single is not a gift from God, but rather a punishment. And I know many other women who have believed the same lie. I have a friend who when asked what she likes about being single laughed and said, “Not one thing.” Her words saddened my heart. We can find joy and contentment in singleness. We can live full lives for God as single women.
I know that seems impossible right now, but have hope that you will see singleness as a gift. In the past — the days when I fully embraced the gift of singleness were the days I felt like I was truly living for God.
Singleness allows us to use our gifts and time to bring glory to Jesus. If I wouldn’t have spent time being single, I wouldn’t have felt the need to reach college women for Jesus. If I was never single, I would have never known the hardships this season can bring and also the joy that can form.
If you are single, I want you to know that God can and will use this season of your life for His glory. He will make beauty from the ashes. You have to lean into Him and trust Him that His love is the most satisfying love in the world. If you don’t discover this now as a single lady, marriage is going to be a whole lot harder. Your husband will not complete you and cannot fill every need in your heart.
Only Jesus will fill the desire in your heart to be completely known and completely loved.
I’ve noticed that there are two common problems in the hearts of young single women. The first was mentioned above: not finding contentment in Christ during singleness. And the second is misplacing your identity in singleness instead of in Christ.
As women, we want to protect our hearts. We’ve been hurt and our hearts are bruised. So sometimes instead of placing our identity in Christ, we embrace singleness in such an extreme way that our identity in being single takes over our identity in Christ.
I spent a few years identifying more with being single than with being a daughter of the King. I know this is true because I spent more time thinking about being single than thinking about being God’s daughter. I spent more time praying for a husband than praying for a way to serve the Kingdom.
Friends, I thought I would be single forever. I thought I would be one of the last of my friends to get a boyfriend. The heart of the issue stemmed from self hate. I spent so many years hating myself. Hating my body. Hating my past.
There are so many issues here, but the biggest one is a misplaced identity. My identity was in being single and thus, all my thoughts were about being single. Imagine if I had lived out my identity in Christ. Imagine if I had lived out the belief on a daily basis that God’s love was enough. Imagine if instead of finding my identity in being single, I trusted God to meet the desires of my heart. Imagine if I turned to self love, instead of self hate.
When you find your identity in something other than Jesus, and then that thing goes away — you have an identity crisis.
God wants us to embrace singleness, but He does not want us to find our identity in singleness. Don’t take a ‘good’ thing and turn it into a ‘god’ thing.
Your identity is found in your position in Christ.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)
Your identity is found in your likeness to God.
“And to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:24 (NIV)
Your identity is found in God’s love for you.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:1-2 (ESV)
No matter if you are struggling to find contentment in singleness or if you’re misplacing your identity in singleness, know that there is never shame in Christ. Psalm 34:5 states, “Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” As we look to the Lord, our misplaced shame and identity in singleness can be replaced with the radiance of His love.
Questions to ponder:
- What are places other than Christ where you are tempted to put your identity?
- What is a step you can take to begin placing your identity in Christ?
Sarahat (7 years ago)
What an amazing article!!! I really needed to hear this!! Thanks Joy!! 🙂
joypedrowat (7 years ago)
I’m so glad Sarah! Glad to have you in this community.
Jennaat (7 years ago)
So good! Thanks for allowing the Lord to outpour His truths through you. Thankful for your heart!
joypedrowat (7 years ago)
Thanks Jenna for the encouragement! We are so glad to have you as a part of this blog community.
Ashleyat (7 years ago)
It is so difficult to find the balance between crying out to God to fulfill our deepest desires, and thriving in this season when we can truly have an undivided heart for the Lord. Let’s cling to Psalm 84:11 “No good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless” but ask for complete acceptance in our soul of the truth that true joy can only come from the Lord.
Thank you for the perfect reminder that He will make beauty from the ashes. Praying for you through the boldness of sharing this message with so many of us single women who need to hear this. In the words of Annie Downs, “After I write a piece that makes me feel super vulnerable and exposed, the next day I feel like I have the flu. Call me crazy, or call me normal, but that’s what happens. I lay on the couch, I sleep late, I pretty much just want to watch Netflix and pretend I have NO FEELINGS WHATSOEVER. So. Vulnerability hangover. It owned me. But I hope it’s worth it.”
Please know, my sweet friend, that your vulnerability was totally worth it. We needed this.
joypedrowat (7 years ago)
Hi Ashley, Thanks for bringing truth and encouragement to this post. I love Annie Downs and isn’t that feeling the truth! Vulnerability hangovers are legit. I’m praying for you to find that balance and find satisfaction in the Lord.