Singleness can be defined as simply “living without a spouse.” We are single for many different reason—some by choice and some through circumstances. One thing I have found to be true with many of the singles I have spoken with, is that single does not have to mean lonely or that we are living without purpose. Just because we do not have a spouse or partner does not mean that we have to be trolling the bars looking for love or sitting home alone with nothing to do.
We come to our singleness from many pathways. We are the young who have yet to meet that first true lasting love of our life. We are the never-marrieds who are desperately hoping that God will provide a mate for us. We are the divorced, weather by our choice or by someone else’s actions. We are the widowed who love our spouses and are content that we had that “one great love.” And some of us are single by choice—the ones who have dedicated their lives in service to others with no strings attached.
For many of us singles, the day-to-day world can become overwhelming. We manage our lives by ourselves. Some of us are fortunate enough to have great people in our lives who share our walk as friends. But when we crawl into bed at night, we do it alone. There is no spooning or hitting someone snoring with a pillow. This is the time our single life is all that more apparent and these are the hours in which our friends miss our real tears and cries of loneliness. These are the moments we question God’s plan for us and why he has failed to provide us with a partner to share our sorrows and our joys. Here we ask: what is my purpose anyway?
No matter how we have come to live a life of singleness, we must never forget that God is with us in this season of our life. We may struggle at times to understand how our singleness fits into God’s plan for our lives. Rather than focus on what we are missing, maybe we can focus on this extraordinary stage of our life and the incredible opportunity we have been given to be in service to others. If we are willing to look for opportunities, we can find ways to use this gift of oneness to come alongside others. You might start by asking yourself these basic questions to help the thinking process about singleness and purposeful living:
- What hobbies, skills, and activities do you enjoy that you might share with another? It could range from helping with a youth sports team, to reading someone a story, or just helping another single with some household project.
- Which friends do you know who are already involved in their community? How might they help you to begin to give back in your neighborhood or surrounding area?
- Who can you talk to about this need for change in the midst of your singleness? Who can guide you through the thinking process and help you take that first step forward? Who can you ask to pray with you as you discern God’s plan for this time?
I believe that as we step out and become more others-focused, many of our feelings of aloneness will dissipate. By coming together with others in service we will build new relationships that not only encourage others but also build up our broken spirits. You may not find a new partner in this process, but I promise you will find a new sense of purpose as you seek to use your God-given gifts for the good of others.
Let me know how it goes.