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On Being Single

The world provides conflicting views on singlehood. People’s perspectives are based on their experiences and circumstances.
By LARYNETTE NDAH-LINK
Read Time: 4 minutes
To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up. (Eccl 3:1-3).

AND yes, a time to be single. The world provides conflicting views on singlehood. People’s perspectives and the camp they ultimately rally around are based on their experiences and circumstances.

In the age of swiping left or right, where the world is at our fingertips, the possibilities are endless and yet feel impossible. Singlehood is not one-size fits-all; thus, this article will focus on young people who are single and have never been married, but not exclusively on them.

There is a right way to live life as a believer in Christ. 

Most people experience being single at some point in their lives. Being single is part of God’s plan in life’s journey; thus, it should be regarded as a time to plant. With the help of their parents or guardians, children spend their formative years learning, growing and planting, hoping to build a life that is fulfilling and rewarding.

The process continues into adulthood. The difference is that as adults, we have to make all the choices and follow through with our actions. Figuring out life on our own requires intentionality — Welcome to Singlehood 101. There are no rules of engagement — we make our own and learn the hard way that some choices have grievous consequences.

We must get good at making the right choices and learning from our mistakes fast. Thankfully, the Bible is full of guidance to help us navigate this path. The Bible has many examples of faithful men and women who dedicated their lives to the service of the Kingdom of God. The Lord Jesus Christ is the epitome of a life lived in service to God, and his example is our standard.

However, Jesus did not become who he is overnight—it took preparation and a clear choice to be about his father’s business even at the age of 12 (Luke 2:49). We need to decide early which path we want to follow. Singlehood is a time to put first things first—securing our shot at eternity by defining/redefining our values and aligning ourselves with God’s purpose.

Redefining our values to align with God’s principles takes learning. This process brings change that is difficult but rewarding if we choose to stick with it. The world does not make good on its promise—only God does. Doing this stage the right way is critical to ensuring that we reap the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith (Gal 5:22).

These are essential for our journey to the Kingdom. There is a right way to live life as a believer in Christ. The Bible provides lampposts to guide us. We are not perfect, we will fail, but the grace of our Heavenly Father abounds abundantly. We must constantly place our values against God’s standards to see how we measure up—and make changes accordingly.

Our values and principles guide every decision we make in life, the paths we choose, how we live our lives and select our tribe. Being single does not mean being alone. However, friendship and partnership are different in 2021, compared to what older generations may have experienced.

The ties that bind us continue to be loose and feeble; it takes effort to maintain and grow our friendships and partnerships. Let us do the work to find our tribes—at work, ecclesia and communities. This is also a time for us to be clear about our principles and values. As believers, we cannot be unequally yoked (2 Cor 6:14).

The Bible provides lampposts to guide us.

Thus, we must pay attention to the people in our circle of life; they should encourage us and help us live a life that leads us to the Kingdom of God. Being single is a time to build new bonds with friends, family and those in the community of believers and a time to strengthen old bonds.

It is hard to live a fulfilling life if we do not already have things in place to ground us and people in our corner to support, encourage, correct us, or provide what we need to serve God’s purpose and wait on Him. Waiting is hard. Waiting in singleness is harder. We all have different plans for our lives and waiting to fulfill our desires is more difficult as we age. This is partly because of the world’s expectations, and partly because of the expectations we place on ourselves.

Waiting sometimes brings a lot of confusion into our lives, especially if we have our hearts set on a particular outcome. We must understand who God is and the role He plays in our lives. Too often, we sit and wait and expect God to sort the confusion for us. God is not a God of confusion; He has given us the power to bring clarity into our lives—the power of choice.

Waiting well involves action. Everything will not go according to plan because God’s ways are not our ways, neither is His timing. However, sometimes God requires us to act. This does not always mean traveling the world or to different cities to serve. Traveling to minister where we are needed is a blessing.

However, we get paralyzed by inaction if we believe there are no opportunities around us or that “all the good ones are taken” if we are searching for a partner.

Mary and Martha served in their city of Bethany, where Jesus met them (Luke 10:38); Rebekah served in her City of Mesopotamia, and God brought Abraham’s servant who was in search of a wife for Isaac right where Rebekah drew water (Gen 24).

God has the power to use us where we are. Know when to move and when to be still. Being single comes with blessings and challenges. But the life we have now is the one God has blessed us with. God did not put us on the planet without a plan to give us what we want and need.

If Christ remains away, threescore and ten years is all we have to make the right choice (Psa 90:10). Thus, we must number our days; we must choose to remember the LORD in our youth; we must choose to surround ourselves with people who will help us serve God’s purpose; we must wait on the LORD.

We must decide to trust God to do right. Because God cares about what we want and need. God has a plan for our plans.

Larynette Ndah-Link,
Moorestown, NJ

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