By Liz Lampkin, Crosswalk.com
Single, never married, married, divorced, separated, it’s complicated, married to Jesus. Relationship statuses change daily for different reasons. Shifts in emotions, family issues, infidelity, and many other factors cause relationships to change. So, why are relationship statuses so important in a world where the state of love connections can turn around in the blink of an eye? Or better yet, why do people often define who they are based on that status? Many people believe that having certain relationships can increase their worth from a social aspect. Family and friends often pressure others to believe they can only find happiness if they have a significant other. While there are different reasons people use their relationship status to define themselves, there are many reasons not to. If you’re someone who struggles with characterizing yourself based on your relationships, take a look at the list below to discover why you should change your mindset.
1. More Than a Relationship Status
Understand that being single is more than a relationship status. It’s a lifestyle filled with endless opportunities. It’s a season of freedom to find and become the person God wants you to be for His glory. It’s a gift that’s often overshadowed by false images of what being single truly is. Your habits, morals, values, and attitude shape the type of single life you’re currently living. Do you spend a majority of your time loathing in the fact that you don’t have a mate? Do you constantly focus on having a relationship? Do you believe marriage is the key to your happiness? Think about it for a moment. If you answered yes to these questions, stop and do the following:
• Take some time each day to reflect on the positive side of living single. Make a list of reasons why being single is a blessing. As a bonus, add things you most enjoy about it. No matter the status, everyone has moments of weakness. Taking time to think about the good in every stage of your life will help you appreciate where you are
• Be grateful for your relationship status. Many people wish they were currently single or could relive their single life. Thank God that He has created you and given you a distinct purpose for this season. Be grateful that He is preserving you for the relationship He divinely designed for you. Be thankful that God has kept you out or delivered you from unhealthy relationships. Be grateful for the relationships you’ve had. Count it all joy for the lessons each of them taught you.
• Create your own joy. Discover things that make your heart consistently smile and indulge in them on your own. While it is good to interact with others, spending quality time with yourself is also good.
In order to appreciate this stage of life, it’s important to realize how you’re living. Live single on purpose. Doing this will keep you focused on living life instead of living for a relationship status.
2. Define Singleness for Yourself
More often than not, singles define themselves based on the beliefs of others. To many, being single is defined as being without a mate, unattached or unmarried. However, it’s so much more. If you’re unsure of how you should define singleness, look in God’s Holy Word to understand who you are. As a child of the Highest, you are loved (John 3:16), you are cared for (Matthew 6:25-26), chosen (Jeremiah 29:11), you are kept in peace (Isaiah 26:3), you’re never alone (Isaiah 41:10). These and many other bible verses let you know that your existence is more than a relationship status.
Take some time to define singleness for yourself. Take a minute each day to write down one word that describes singleness in a favorable light. These words can be placed in a journal, on your mirror, or you can create a word wall in your home. Be sure the definition you create uplifts your spirits and expound on the beauty of singleness. If you find yourself struggling with defining the positive aspects of singleness, seek help. Begin by praying to God and asking Him to clear your heart and mind of any negative thoughts about living single. Ask Him to help you see singleness as He sees it. Tell God about your internal battle with this season of life. Ask Him to give you inner peace with your relationship status. Ask Him to help you define singleness as He wants you to. Defining who you are begins with a true discovery of whose you are. As you continue this journey, be intentional about determining who you are. Learn about whose you are and who you were created to be. Doing this will help you define who you are.
3. Understand Your Individual Worth
People tend to react negatively or be judgmental to those who are single. Many singles have negative reactions towards themselves. These responses come from traditional expectations that have been placed on singles. In order to avoid believing the pitfalls of societal presumptions of how singles should live their lives, singles must first know their worth. Understanding your worth begins with singles taking the following steps:
• Know who you are in God. In order to truly understand your worth or even know who you are, you must know who you are in God. To know who you are in God, you must have a relationship with Him. Communicate with Him daily through prayer. Read and meditate on His Holy Word and listen for His guidance.
• Know what you deserve from life. As a child of God, you deserve the best. Take some time to discover the things God has for you and go after them!
• Discover who you are in the present and work towards who you want to be in the future. Spend time in prayer with God to discover the woman you are right now and ask Him who He’s developing you to be.
• Release expectations others have of you. Clear your heart, mind, and spirit of the plan others have for you and tap into the plan God has for you. Understanding and following God’s expectations for your life will open doors you never knew existed for your benefit.
Knowing your worth is vital to your existence. It will shift the way you view your relationship status. It’ll also give you the confidence you need to walk proudly as a child of God.
Existing in a world where living single is often viewed in an unflattering light can be difficult. However, as single Christians, it’s essential to know that relationships do not define the person you are. You are more than enough as the individual God created you to be. Knowing who you are will strengthen the purpose of all of your connections. It is my sincere prayer that you find peace with being single. I pray that you define yourself as God defines you. I pray that you understand that your singleness is a relationship status that is a gift, not a curse. I pray that your heart is filled with God’s expectations for your life. I pray that your definition of singleness is one that you can be proud of. Never define yourself by your relationship status, no matter what it is. You are more than who you are associated with. Walk boldly in this world as the individual God has created you to be. Live the life He wants you to live.
Photo credit: ©Unsplash/Helena Cook
Author Liz Lampkin is an experienced writer, teacher and speaker. She is an advocate for singles who encourages them to live their best life God’s way. Follow her on Instagram @Liz_Lampkin.