29 years. I spent 29 out of 29 years of my valentines alone. Okay, so that might not be a completely true statement. I had a few in high school/college that were not alone, and then the year before me and my hubby got married, we got to celebrate Valentine’s Day (even though we were states apart). However, I spent more Valentine’s Day’s as girl’s nights, Jesus Date nights, and trying not to focus on my single state.
When I was in my younger 20’s, right out of college, a lot of my girlfriends started getting married. For about 6 years, I had a wedding once a month. I was IN a wedding once a year. I was living the “always a bridesmaid, never a bride” – or maybe I could have even been the actress in 27 Dresses! I was so happy for my girlfriends. I had prayed for them to find the man God had for them almost as much as I had prayed for myself. I struggled with why God was answering their prayers before He answered mine. I started looking for areas of sin in my life. Why was God holding out on me?
The longer I waited however, the more I felt like God was using my singleness. Instead of getting bitter, I used that time to serve. I began to work with teenage girls in my church. I went on several mission trips. I began to study my home churches “in-house” seminary program. I focused on Psalm 37:4 and begin to delight in the Lord. Here is some of my thoughts….
Here are three tips for being single, and staying focused on God this Valentine’s Day:
1) Spend More Time With Jesus- The more time I spent studying God’s Word, and praying- the more I began to keep my mind focused on things that are above (Colossians 3:1-3). When we delight in the Lord, our hearts begin to line up with the desires of HIS heart .Many people take the verse in Psalm 37:4 and think that the more time the spend in the Word of God that God will give them what they want. However, the truth is, the more we focus our hearts on Him, the more we are focused on the eternal and things above.
2) Guard Your Gates- In the Old Testament, God often told Israel to guard their gates – to not let the enemy catch their gates vulnerable to attack. We have gates that can be vulnerable as well. Our eyes, ears, mouths, hands and noses can all be access points to our brains and our hearts. It is important- for married AND single people – to make sure we are not setting anything before our gates that can cause the enemy to get a foothold in our lives. When I was single, I was unable to listen to a lot of secular music, or to read romance novels. They took me to a place of discontentment. We need to know our weakness, and be proactive in protecting ourselves from falling. Memorizing God’s Word over these areas was a way that I was able to help write God’s word over the gates of my lives.
3) Accountability- We need relationships. None of us were meant to walk alone, even if we haven’t been given spouses yet, or have been called to be single. Make sure that you have accountable relationships in your live that will ask you the tough questions in your life about where you are at in your walk.
Lastly, and this isn’t really a step, but pray for your future spouse if you feel like God hasn’t gifted you with singleness. I wrote letters to my husband before we were married – and I still write letters and cards to him today!
A song that was really encouraging to me when I was single was “While I’m Waiting” by John Waller. This song was used in the movie “Fireproof.” I saw this movie as a singe, and was impressed. When it got to the song in the movie, I understood its connection to the movie, but I really felt like the song connected to where I was at as a single. While I was waiting, I wanted to serve Jesus. No matter what wait you might be in – remember to serve Jesus and to worship Him with your life.
Worshiping with my life,