The Single Life

(Note: This might help married leaders who want to help as well, so feel welcome to read on.)

So the question is, how to pay the bills whilst pursuing dreams?  Wow, I got it.  Let’s match folks online, so we can finally skip that whole awkward meeting in person thing…Wait.  That idea’s taken already. (bangs head on monitor)

Well, I guess it’s back to asking more tough questions…  As churches are trying to figure things out and working out models to minister to singles as well as families, there’s a lot of mystery and teaching is hard to come by.   But it is there if you know where to look.

We’ve had “courtship” manuals with a bunch of rules and we have surfacy self-help manuals.  Some teach to wait for the right one to “just come along”, which encourages passivity among the men, but then hooking up before they’re ready can cause problems as well.  Well, then what’s right?

We do have great books on fighting lust and we also have great teaching books on grace nowadays, for when that doesn’t work.

Typical advice:
“Be yourself.” What about when that doesn’t work?
“Be confident.” And if you have trouble with confidence, then what?
“See yourself as God sees you.” This is really important and I don’t mean to diminish this truth, but we can’t ignore the fact that looks do matter.  I guess the ideal is that the spiritual truth will extend to the physical.

I’m seeing a lot of Christian dating sites, but I’m thinking don’t we still have to deal with the issues we face with the people we already know? Is a dating service gonna give some magical person who we can connect with even in spite of our problems? I’ve heard advice that one should email and chat to get to know their character. Are you serious?

I know some for which dating services have worked and if it works then more power to you. In the meantime, let’s work on ourselves so that our potential spouses can see how awesome we are and we can hook up, fall in love and live happily ever after… hey guys…hello…HEY, imaginative people, please focus…I think you’re daydreaming again on the “happily ever after” part. Back up to the first part of that sentence: “Let’s work on ourselves.” This is the hard part and it’s reality, where we are right now.

How about this purpose thing? I think I tried to read this book about purpose-driven living, but I didn’t really finish it, ’cause I was so bored. I suppose I shouldn’t diss the mainstream books so much if they really do help people, but it’s just not my thing.

How ’bout how to actually meet people, make friends, build confidence, etc? How to overcome fear? Good luck guys. Nowadays more than any other we desperately need to connect in real life away from our iphones, facebook, text messaging, etc.
Being single myself for a long time, I have had to dig deeper. I had lots of questions and so out of a long search I learned a few things that might help and so it’ll be one of the subjects for my blog.  Creative types seem to remain single for a long time, while they wrestle with the deep questions of life and art.

One of things I’ve struggled with is not wanting to putting myself out there. What will people think? What do I have to offer? But lately I’ve learned in studying marketing that one doesn’t have to be an “expert” in a subject to teach it. And since the teaching seems scarce, I thought I’d step up to the plate and share what I’ve learned.

So here’s the first most basic tip. Find your purpose and don’t stray.
Quit concentrating all your prayers on the immediate spouse fix, but pray for God to help you become the individual you need to be and that can attract that significant other in the right time. There are too many singles stuck in depression and not going for their calling. That’s not healthy, and will drive others away. That’s gonna have to change if you want a breakthrough. There’s so many really young guys so distressed about it not happening instantaneously, when I want to tell them they’re free right now, go enjoy life! Sometimes people use their sin issues as an excuse to not go for their calling. I would call that pride.That’s exactly what the enemy wants. And that’s what grace is for. Don’t be too proud to accept grace and work on these issues as you pursue your calling.

Maybe married leaders have told you these same things and you used they don’t know what it’s like as an excuse. Let me tell you now, I’m in my 30s and have been through much and yet now I’m going after my mission and living life passionately.  Pain is real and part of life, but to let that keep you down is not what leads to breakthrough.

“But what if I’m so content, I become single for life?”- Fair enough.  But I will say your relationships will improve and become stronger when you get less dependent upon others to validate you. Trust me on this. Others who know me personally will vouch for this change.  And I don’t mean ignore the opposite sex, I mean be content with who you are even as you interact.

Learn that there’s nothing “wrong” with you as a person single or not, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You might have issues as do I, but it’s okay, let’s get in there and work on those difficult steps.  If other Christians sometimes joke too much, try not to hold grudges, but stand up for yourself and go talk to them.  It makes a difference, trust me.

Next, if you’re not working out, start. Find positive people and cut out the negatives. If you’re not in a church, this would also be a good start.

Young guys, is sitting there video games with your guy friends all the time really going after your purpose?  “Social media” might be fun in it’s place, but it’s not real interaction.  Though I don’t mean to distract your pursuit of that hot warcraft elf living across the country, maybe taking advantage of group outings and starting to take initiative with different aspects in your life might be good for you.  Remember, process of growth over results.  Hard?  Yup, I’m right there with you buddy.  Take the small steps and don’t compare with others, it’s your journey.  And remember, going after purpose will actually help with those pesky lust issues.

As for the ladies, I don’t know as much, but I’ll do what I can. I’ll just say be the best friend you can to your guy friends, because they really need the encouragement. Let go of controlling attitudes and hang out with positive influences who help your self-esteem.

If you want real meat, guys read John Eldridge’s Wild at Heart the Christian book for manly men. It works for married and single. For the ladies his wife wrote Captivated, which I haven’t read, but hear it’s good.

I think that’s enough for now. Seek God, make friends and have fun.

Category: Personal Growth | Tags: , , , , , | 2 comments

  • A says:

    Great insights! Question – re: basic tips. I like the statement about praying for God to help you to become an individual you need to be and timing. I think timing is key. Desire can be there but if you move too soon it can create a mess that wasn’t intended. Sometimes saying things the wrong way or wrong time can do that too! I agree that’s what grace is for. I for one, am willing to humble myself and say “oops!” I need grace, or ask for forgiveness for making hasty judgments in a relationship. If I let my own stupidity and pain keep me down I wouldn’t be where I am today, ready to get up, dust off my knees and try again! What do you think?

    Great website, by the way, love the instrumental song.

  • Josh Taylor says:

    I agree with all that, my friend. I’m going through all that as well, trying to figure stuff out. Humans are fallen and not perfect. But of course we will talk all that stuff over in time.
    Thanks for the thought and I’m glad you like the instrumental.