This one’s for the (single) ladies…but you men can read it, too.
It’s not difficult to pick up on the fact that many single women really struggle in this stage in life. It can sometimes feel like we are stuck in this black hole of waiting. Now, I know there are some single men that struggle with this as well. But, for the most part, men have a lot more freedom and ability to actually do something about it. Women, we have to wait to be pursued and that can be downright grueling some days. As a single woman, I know how hard and frustrating it can be to wait for a godly man to come along. It ain’t easy. Some of us have the great desire to be a godly wife and mother, but instead we have to do something else that definitely is not our passion in life. However, I’ve learned that continuing to wait without doing anything else is not healthy and actually adds to the issue. The Lord has taught me a lot over the past months and weeks about the importance of not wasting my waiting. I wanted to share some of what He’s been telling me.
*Disclaimer- I am no expert in this area. I still have a lot of work to do. Also, I still have days of real struggle and frustration and pity-partying. Below are just some things the Lord has been teaching me that I have to work through day by day. A lot of these things are based on personal convictions of the Lord. I’m just hoping that some of what I have learned will be helpful for others that are in the same place. [Also, I’m sure there are some grammatical errors. So, try to over look those. 🙂 ]*
One thing I’ve learned during this season is that maybe there is a reason the Lord has kept me single for this long. So, I have to ask myself, “is there any part of my life that needs some growth? Is there any area of how I am living that would cause me not to be the godly wife I should be?” We really have to pray and seek the Lord on what areas of our lives He is still working on. For me, I really struggle with patience and grace with people. I’m pretty sure these 2 things are really important in a marriage where both people are sinners. So, I’ve had to really focus on these areas in my life. I read scripture that speaks to these issues and pray that the Lord would teach me how to grow in them. (I’ve even started this ‘game’ in my car of how to react patiently and graciously when someone cuts me off or drives a little slower than I would like. Of course, I still have a ways to go. But, I will say that the more gracious and patient I am with other drivers, the more at peace I feel during the day. It’s amazing how my attitude as I drive in the car can really effect my whole day.) What areas in your life may the Lord be calling you to surrender to Him so that He can help you grow? Ask Him to reveal these to you and then diligently seek to grow in them. Singleness is the best time to really grow in important areas and also learn what it means to be a godly woman. Once you get married, it will be that much more difficult to take the time needed to do this and you are adding another sinner to the mix. Now, of course I’m not saying once you get married you don’t have to grow anymore. Sanctification is a process that lasts through life, single or married. But, it is definitely much easier to do some serious growing when you are the only person you have to care for. Single ladies, let’s not waste this perfect opportunity to really grow in our character and learn what it means to be godly women.
Another thing the Lord has taught me is to find something to pour my time into. Is there anything I am passionate about other than wanting to be a godly wife and mother? If so, how can I get involved with that right now while I have an ample amount of time? If not, I need to spend time praying that the Lord will lead me to a ministry that I can pour my life and time into. If there is something you really like to do, find a ministry that caters to that and really dig into it! We have a great opportunity right now to serve the Lord with our whole hearts. We have a lot more time on our hands than we would have if we were married with children. Let’s use this time to further God’s kingdom and minister to others. It’s not only a blessing to other people. It’s a huge blessing to us, too, and helps us get our mind off of the waiting. When we are filling our time with ministering to others, we are living for the Lord AND limiting the time we would have to sit and dwell on our single status. I have been there and done that and really it just makes me want to dig a hole and crawl into it. Not fun. Let’s be a blessing to those around us, and ourselves, by leaving our pity party and really doing something beneficial with our time.
Third, during this time of waiting, what kind of characteristics should I be looking for in a godly man? I think it is important for us to know what a biblical man looks like so that we can determine a right man from a wrong man. I will not go through an exhaustive list, but there are a few characteristics that should be at the top of the list. The most important characteristic of a man is that he whole heartedly love the Lord and keep Him first in every aspect. There are a couple of questions to ask to determine if a man is really surrendered to the Lord. 1- Is he really involved in a church or does he just attend one? There is a huge difference between men that are involved in a church and men that merely just attend. A man that truly loves the Lord will be an active member of a local body of believers. 2- By the end of the first date, can you confidently say he loves the Lord? You don’t need to know every aspect of his spiritual life on the first date. However, if his conversation doesn’t at all refer to the Lord, that should be a red flag. We talk about things that are important to us, so our relationship with the Lord should definitely come up a couple of times. A man that truly loves the Lord is going to talk about Him, even without being asked specifically about it.
Another important characteristic is that a godly pursues. Ladies, listen carefully. If you are having to maneuver and manipulate and initiate conversation to get a guy’s attention, stop now and step away. Pursuit is a characteristic given to men by God. It is their responsibility to step out in confidence and take initiative. Men are to be leaders as husbands. If a man isn’t strong enough to take a risk and pursue, you can pretty much guarantee he will not be strong enough to lead a wife and kids. Now, I know pursuit is one of those things that’s quickly dying out in men. It’s rare to find these days and so hard to wait for, but hold out for it. A man worth waiting for is one that will pursue you and show he is capable of being a godly leader. The last characteristic I’ll mention here is that a godly man will be respected by others. Women, sometimes we can be blinded to some huge flaws in men because of their charm and sweet talk with us. One way to know if a man has good character is to see how other people perceive or act towards him. Now, of course I realize not everyone is going to like a particular man. However, if you only hear negative things about a man you can bet that he most likely is not that respectable. A respectable man is going to be well received and positively talked about by wise people in the church and those outside, as well.
Ladies, I know this time of waiting in singleness can be extremely difficult. But, I think we need to start looking at this time as a gift from the Lord. We can use this time to focus on growth in the Lord and what it means to be a godly women. Let’s be wise with our time and pour into the lives of others. May we be active in the furthering of our God’s kingdom. May be also take time to learn what a godly man looks like so that we do not end up with anyone less than God’s best for us. And, also, let’s be an encouragement to men around us. May our godly character as women strengthen and encourage them to the godly men the Lord is calling them to be. “Let no corrupting talk come of of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
Listed below are some more passages that will hopefully be really helpful and encouraging.
-I Corinthians 7:17-35; 10:23-33
-Colossians 1:9-14; 3:12-17
-Ruth (whole book)
May the Lord be glorified in everything we do!