Things I Appreciate About Singleness + Thoughts on the Desire of My Heart

Hello! I’m back with another post at last. Friends, it’s hard to keep up a blog schedule without having my own laptop, but I’ll attempt to do better! …Because I have so many things on my heart and thoughts running through my head that I just want to share with you all! *hugs*

So let’s talk a little bit about singleness … and marriage(!) … today.

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BENEFITS OF SINGLENESS:

  • Time to Grow Closer to God

Not that I’m planning to not put my relationship with the Lord first when I’m married, have children, etc., but I think singleness provides me with extra time to pursue wisdom and intimacy in my walk with Jesus Christ. For example, when all my friends are hanging out with their boyfriends/husbands on a Friday night, when they’re busy with their little babies, when I feel alone in a crowd because everyone else has their special someone … I can start a quiet conversation with God right then and there and talk about how I’m feeling. Or anything. It’s a beautiful thing to have someone who belongs to you and you to them in this life, but when you’re in a season of singleness and often find yourself alone it’s the perfect chance to realize God’s constant, powerful, tender Presence. And are not quality time and conversation how you grow closer to someone? He’s always there for me. I really think singleness has helped me become more acutely aware of that. I find myself talking to the Lord all throughout the day. I can always go to the Lover of my Soul – my Father in heaven. And that is a rich truth that perhaps many people never realize because they never allow themselves to be lonely on this earth.

  • Opportunity to Develop Close Friendships with Other Women

I have loved seeing how, as I surrender this single season to God, He brings lovely women into my life, and reminds me what a blessing the opportunity to get to know them while I’m still single is! I am a very relational person, and it has occurred to me that my loneliness probably won’t go away once I get married. No, I’m still going to need other people in my life – particularly close female friends who I can trust. If I never make an effort to develop friendships with other women while I’m single, I may find myself lonely for an even longer time in marriage. I imagine as a newlywed you’re busy learning how to be a wife and wanting to spend every spare moment with your husband … and maybe it’s even harder to make the effort to find friends. Even when you really need them! So I think these friendships I’m growing in now as I’m single will be invaluable to me someday when I’m married, learning to be a wife, and realizing for real that my husband can’t be my everything and fulfill every relational and emotional need. And, I mean, he’ll probably have to be gone several hours a day, working. *laughs* 😉 Anyway, yes. I meet other women – making new friends and reconnecting with old ones – and I can’t help but wonder if I would have made an effort to get to know these beautiful individuals better if I was dating right now. Maybe I’d be too busy hanging out with him, getting to know him, talking on the phone with him, thinking about him, etc., etc. Those are all good things in God’s good timing. *winks* But right now God has put dear women in my life that hopefully I can pour into and grow close to.

  • Opportunity to Encourage Other People in a Season of Singleness

Tying right into the last point, I was struck by how particularly wonderful it is to be friends with other single women. I love my married girlfriends and girlfriends who are in relationships dearly, but being friends with other singles gives us a chance to connect with and encourage each other in a unique way. I remember meeting with a new friend the beginning of this year and just feeling a thankfulness that I wasn’t dating right then! She was struggling and I was struggling and we had the chance to speak right to each other’s hearts … to share deeply and know that the other understood. Now, married girls can understand as well! After all, they were single once, too. But it’s different to be experiencing a season together with a sister in Christ. Maybe God still has me in this season of singleness because He wants me to be there for some of His other single daughters. Yes, Lord! Use me to touch Your precious daughters’ lives. And I know I am so blessed in the process as they touch mine.

  • More Quality Time with Siblings and Parents

If I had gotten married even a couple of years ago, I would not be near as close to my siblings as I am now. Is it hard, sometimes, as a twenty-one-year-old woman to live with my parents and six younger siblings still? Yes. I won’t lie. But at the same time, I cherish their close presence in my life and the unwavering, loyal relationships we have forged – especially in recent years. We may have a hard time understanding each other at times, but I truly count them as friends and they are some of my biggest supporters. They have my back, and I have theirs. I’m sure I can’t describe how deep my love is for each of them, and I wouldn’t wish away the time I’ve had with them. My older brother moved away a couple years ago and there is an empty place in the household. I miss him and him being here at home! Yes, life moves on and people start lives of their own, but it reminds you to cherish the time you do have living together!

  • Choice to Live Where I Want

You know, if I get married, it’s possible that my husband will move me away from my family at some point. It would be okay, though hard; but right now I’m happy that I have the choice to settle near the people who I’ve been with my entire life.

  • Freedom to Do What I Want with My Extra Time

I can devote all my free time to writing, reading, blogging, and pursuing other passions, ideas, and hobbies. I can decide to go on vacation here or there to visit friends without worrying about my husband’s input. I can spend however much money I feel is appropriate on books … hehe. 😉 *laughs* I live with my parents and siblings, but for the most part I can do what I want with my free time without having to get someone’s opinion or confer with someone else’s schedule. I can go shopping. Randomly go relax and write at a coffee shop for a few hours. Go to Chick-fil-A and book shopping. Watch a girly movie. Really anything I feel like on a week night or weekend without worrying about my husband or small children. If I had a husband I might rather do something with him. Or he might want to have a quiet evening with me after a long day at work, and I would want to give that to him. Or he might feel we should visit someone or do this or that … None bad things! But I have to remind myself to be thankful for the opportunities more unique to this season! 🙂

***

As important as it is to pursue gratitude in the season you’re in, there’s also nothing wrong with desiring and hoping for marriage, I believe! And being excited! So … here’s my second list. Just for fun. 😉

THINGS I’M EXCITED ABOUT IN MARRIAGE:

  • Having a Best Friend

Someone to do life with. To share all the moments – good and bad – with. To laugh with.  Having someone who loves me despite my imperfection. Someone who understands me heart and soul …

  • Someone to Pursue God with

Having a true best friend means, in my case, having a forever partner in this life who I can serve and glorify our King with! I can’t wait to seek the Lord together with my husband. To do ministry together. To love people together. To answer God’s callings as a team. To combine passions and dreams and encourage each other to live life for His honor. I’m so excited. My deepest desire is for Jesus, and to share that desire with the man I’m supposed to be one with sounds powerful.

  • Reading the Bible Together!

Studying God’s Word. Discussing Scripture. I can’t wait to talk for hours and hours about our awesome God with my husband. Have someone to go to with my questions. I know he won’t always have answers, but just having someone you know you can be so vulnerable with … Going to church with my man! Committing to and connecting with a church and having that community of brothers and sisters in Christ with my own little family.

  • Praying Together

I’m a little self-conscious about praying aloud, but I believe in the power and beauty of prayer and can’t wait to pursue a deep prayer life with my husband. Baring our hearts and souls before God as one.

  • Belonging to Someone

Having someone who I belong exclusively to sounds lovely. Just being able to walk into a room, go straight to his side and feel safe and at home. *beams*

  • Leadership

Having a leader. Being his helpmeet. Being his missus. I think God’s design for marriage is so BEAUTIFUL and POWERFUL and I’m excited about the chance to grow into a godly wife and be a support and joy to one of God’s sons. Having the purpose of that!

  • Someone I can Hug whenever I want 😀

I’ve talked with several different ladies about how women often crave affection from the men in their life. When a trusted man gives a big bear hug, there’s something about that that makes us feel so secure and protected and cherished. It’s a special thing. But at the same time there are certain boundaries and barriers and brokenness in certain situations … so I look forward to having my own guy who I can get hugs from a lot. 🙂

  • Taking Care of My own Household

Cleaning and organizing how I want. Cooking for my husband. Hosting. Being a stay-at-home-Mommy. #enoughsaid

  • Having Someone Who will Listen to My Endless Chatter

Okay, maybe he won’t love listening to me talk for hours – but let me dream while I’m still single. *laughs* But truly, I look forward to having my own someone who I can talk to each day.

  • My Wedding Day

I am really looking forward to my wedding day, I must admit. 😉 Sharing a very wonderful life event with my dearest family and friends … celebrating together the joining of my life to some special man that God chose for me. Ah. I love family and laughter and fellowship … and weddings are such joyful, intimate affairs. I’m excited for that if it be in my future. 🙂

***

I’m coming to a place of accepting the season I’m in and desiring God’s will and to glorify Him above all else.

But I will admit that my heart aches oh so much as I write this. It’s not exactly a bad ache. It just tells me how very much I desire this.

I think that desire maybe reflects something bigger. Like a deeper hidden desire in my soul that longs for God and to be home with Him.

In the end, I was created for Jesus.

So my desire for marriage teaches me something. If I let it, it leads me to quiet reflection about the ultimate Lover of my soul. Everything points to Him.

If I get married someday, I hope earnestly that my marriage points to Him. ❤ This is something that I pray for.

Right now, I let myself ache if I need to and know that the Lord holds my heart.

I also know that if He has marriage in store for me, He knows the man I will one day marry! With a desire for marriage, I choose to bring my future husband before God in my prayers in faith that He knows my heart and will continue leading me.

So, future husband, I’m praying for you!

***

A little note of encouragement for the guys out there:

Your role as men, leaders, pursuers is incredibly powerful and important. You don’t know how much we appreciate it when you live out God’s design for your masculinity, your strength, etc. I don’t know that we, as women, have the words to describe how we feel when you purposefully pursue a woman, gently woo her, and tenderly cherish her heart. We see a glimpse of Jesus Christ when you are willing to go to all lengths to win her heart – to prove to her she’s loved by you. When you call her beautiful when she feels anything but.

Men, your role is amazingly special. And we deeply treasure what you do. It’s invaluable. Your masculinity. Your strength. Your leadership. Your protection. Don’t let the world tell you otherwise – it almost takes my breath away to see a man acting like a man and a woman acting like a woman, as God designed, displaying a beautiful relationship that reflects a beautiful Storyteller’s love for His creation.

I am not worthy of a good man’s love, but if a man stepped up and loved me and cared for me despite my faults, I know it would remind me of my Savior who gave it all for me and for you.

So, men, we appreciate you. We are grateful for the responsibility you take on as the head of a household. We appreciate the role that God created you for. We feel deeply honored if you choose to pursue in a godly way (even if a relationship doesn’t work out or even come to fruition in the end). The world tries to mess up gender roles and call masculinity toxic and distort God’s amazing design for men and women to be different, but WE WANT YOU TO BE MANLY MEN. When men act masculine, we feel feminine. And that’s just lovely. 🙂

***

Anyway, before I ramble on forever, I’ll end this post. Please comment below and let me know your thoughts!

SINGLES, WHAT ARE SOME THINGS YOU APPRECIATE ABOUT THIS SEASON?

MARRIED FOLK, WHAT’S SOMETHING YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING MARRIED?

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Hey, Singles …

Ah, that dreaded word.

Singles.

Actually, it’s not all that bad. 😉 When I stop thinking about “single” as a label that defines me completely, I began to stop worrying, fussing about, and dreading hearing it.

Now, I still do sometimes have a problem with how some people treat unmarried people … “When are you going to get a boyfriend?” “Why aren’t you married yet?” “You’re being too fussy.” “Aw, you poor, lonely thing!” “You’re not making yourself available enough!” Like, how about encouraging us to thrive where God has us instead of making us feel incomplete, behind, or lacking (as we already tend to struggle with feeling like!)?

But that’s a whole different post.

I’m glad to say that I’ve been doing much better with accepting my place in life right now and learning to blossom. Last year around this time I was feeling really down and just wishing I could be married and having children like (almost) all of my friends and cousins were.

I feel like God has done a lot of work on my heart since then.

I still have a deep heart’s desire to be married one day.

But, I’m finding joy in other things that God has given me and actively pursuing life right now as an unmarried woman.

Today, I want to present a few points – things that are helping me get to this place of excitement and passion and contentment. I’m still a work-in-progress! But God is ever teaching me. Oh, how faithful He is. We just have to stay humble and pressing into Him and His goodness.

1) Don’t be Single, be in a Relationship with Jesus Christ

Friends, I know the loneliness can feel excruciating. Numbing. Depressing. Especially in some seasons of life where other negative things are going on as well. I can’t give a perfect solution to take the loneliness away. So here’s my advice:

Let your lonely heart drive you to Jesus.

Your loneliness, your broken heart, your confusion, your hopelessness, your unmet desires, your fear, your shattered dreams … instead of letting them crush you, let them push you toward God.

I know it’s hard. But open your hands. And surrender. Again, and again, and again.

As you grow closer to Christ, you’ll begin to realize that this is what you need. Him. A closeness with God. A dependency on Him. Hope and joy and peace in Him. Because this is the lasting stuff! These are the things that will never let you down or let you go. Because our God is faithful.

And He is love.

On those days when being single feels very hard and very solitary, guess what? God can meet you there. And He will, if you allow Him.

If you’re too busy surfing the web, checking Facebook for the hundredth time and stalking cute boys, watching movie after movie … anything to fill your loneliness … (anything but God, that is), then you’re going to miss His gentle, awesome Presence.

But if you aren’t desperately scrambling to fill the void of a boyfriend/husband, you’ll start to realize that God is always there beside you. Waiting to hear your voice. Your whisper. Your cry.

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He walks with you. And in the moments when you feel rejected or lonely or sad or just down, you can talk to Him and share your whole heart.

I love the idea that I can go to God with my feelings at any moment. Anywhere. I love that I am His and He is mine. I love that my life is one exciting, beautiful love story with Him.

Yes, sometimes the ache for a human companion and best friend is nearly tangible.

But God keeps reminding me that He is here and He’s taking care of me and providing me with all I need.

And in that is incomprehensible peace, joy, love, and passion for life!

If you don’t have a close relationship with Jesus Christ, your life is going to be fraught with loneliness, unmet expectations, and discontentment – whether your married or single!

You have to come to this place of emptiness where you feel like all you can do is cry out to the Lord. And then, wow, let Him fill you up.

Psalm 23:5

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.

2) Realize there are a lot of Mr. Wrongs out there

Okay, so I know there’s a lot of controversy surrounding “Mr. Right”. But that’s not what we’re talking about today. We’re talking about all the “Mr. Wrongs”; and they are out there, let me assure you!

So let me explain. There have been times in my life where I’ve been like, “I just want to get married! Why does this have to be so complicated? I’ll just find a nice, Christian guy and we’ll fall in love and live happily ever after.”

But listen, ladies. There are a lot of nice, Christian guys out there that aren’t right for you.

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They aren’t pursuing a close relationship with God like you are. They don’t have the same passion for glorifying God in everything and living out His plans for their life like you do. Maybe they don’t have a love for Jesus like the one you feel in your heart. Maybe they aren’t actively working through struggles and hurts in their life because they don’t trust God enough yet. Perhaps he’s a great guy, but he has such different convictions, passions, and ideas about life. Maybe he doesn’t have hardly any convictions or passions at all.

Just because he goes to church and believes in God doesn’t make him the right partner for you, dear Christian woman.

I’m not saying you’ll find a perfect man. Because you most certainly won’t. (And if you think you will, you’re going to fall a mighty long way from cloud nine.)

But if you’re desiring to live your life for God’s glory (and this is His will for you!) then don’t you think God wills for you to have a man who’s deeply desiring the same thing?

If you’re going to be partners, don’t you think you need to be moving in the same direction?

I don’t know about you, but I want my husband to be my soul mate. By that I mean, I want him to understand and share the deepest parts of me – heart and soul. My relationship with a very real Creator God. My love for Jesus Christ, God’s Son. My firm belief that I’m God’s daughter by Jesus’ blood and my faith in Him. My belief that the Bible is absolute truth. My hunger for Him, His Word, and prayer time. My desire to live my life for Him, use my gifts (which He gave me for a purpose) for His glory and people’s good, raise children to know and love Him … !

I’m not perfect. But as I desire and seek … and over and over again find God and His will as my central desire … why would I bind myself to a man who can’t understand & share in that?

It makes no sense.

So, as I grow in the Lord and realize that I do have very specific desires when it comes to a husband, and not all the guys out there are going to meet those standards, it helps me in some way.

To be patient.

I so deeply desire a godly husband that I know I’m one-hundred percent willing to wait as long as it takes!

It perhaps helps calm my anxious heart that worries as all these guys pass me by. I say to myself, “I’m seeking God’s will for my life and I’m not willing to settle for a man who’s not desiring the Lord like I am. I can’t just dash out there and find a suitable guy in mere seconds because my standards are high. Therefore I must surrender and trust God to work out my earthly love story if He has marriage in store for me.

I let go … and I find peace and joy.

3) Find a Community. Build Relationships. Look for ways to Bless and Serve People!

Love people and live life! ❤ Don’t let singleness stop you, folks. There was never any reason that it should!

So come out of that dark hole. Press into the Lord and realize your standards – what you want in a husband … what God would want you to choose/seek!

Next, find a community. I believe when God speaks of alone-ness in Genesis, He’s not just saying marriage is good. He’s saying people being with people is good – family is good and friends are good and community is good.

Genesis 2:18

18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

We should be doing life with other people whether we’re single or married. We should have close friendships and wise mentors in our lives. We should be looking for other people to bless and mentor!

Now, there are some seasons where we’re just alone. And God uses this. Most times to draw us to Him! (That’s what I’ve found in my life. In that way, being alone can actually turn out to be a beautiful thing … when it draws us to the Lover of our souls.)

But we’re not meant to be without human companionship forever. So find a church community and make friends! 🙂

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For myself, I’ve been visiting different churches! I like the church that my family goes to – the teaching is solid and encouraging. However, I’m having a hard time getting involved. So I’ve been visiting different churches, looking for one that has great fellowship and I can really be in community with. It’s been fun, trying out new churches! I get a little nervous at times, but I love meeting new people! (If they’re the ones to introduce themselves and strike up a conversation, haha!)

I’ve involved myself in Bible studies. Even started one for my younger sister and her friends. Now, we haven’t been able to do any study nights recently, but I’m hopefully we’ll be able to again soon! I’m plotting and planning and toying with ideas of going through this book or that book. 😉 And I might try out the Wednesday night Bible study at the new church I’m going to currently.

I’m grateful for the chance to grow closer to siblings, family & relatives, and long-distance friends. Yes, sometimes it’s hard because my life can be so monotonous. And then I start feeling down and don’t feel like putting any effort into building old relationships.

But, that’s why I’m trying to get into a community and try new things. Keeping a spark of excitement in life helps me to remember the people already around me and how I shouldn’t let this stage slip by without growing close to them!

One thing that continues to be really hard is not having any friends my age. I have a few long-distance friends, but we don’t get the chance to talk very often.

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Do you all have any advice for me? 🙂 Besides looking for a church family to get involved with, what can I do to meet new people and make friends?? Haha. It’s been difficult, but I’m thankful for my siblings and their friends, aunts, my mom, cousins, etc.

Last night I went to a disc-golf course with my thirteen-year-old brother and seventeen-year-old sister. We enjoy disc-golf! Well … my brother loves it. I enjoy it. 😉

So there’s another tip … look for ways to hang out with your younger siblings (or cousins or something.) Look for ways to invest in their lives. Mentor them, maybe.

That’s been helpful for me. It pulls my focus off of just me and my life and my struggles and my hurts, and starts investing my heart and emotions in other people. So I can find hope through their lives. I can feel joy for them when good things come their way. I can pray for them. I can help them through the hard times. I can rejoice when they succeed. Grow. Receive their dreams.

So whoever God has in your life right now, find ways to serve and bless them! Get involved in their lives and journey together! Share emotions, hopes, hardships, and dinners. 😉

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4) Pursue your Dreams. Invest in your Talents. Don’t wait to do what you feel like God is calling you to.

Y’all, what is God calling you to? Don’t be deceived … if your heart is beating, you have a purpose! Don’t miss out on this wonderful thing because you’re too busy waiting to get married.

If you can break away from the depression that comes from a broken heart and the listlessness that comes from shattered dreams and the hopelessness that comes from lack of trust …

You will realize that there are beautiful things out there within your reach, but you’ve been so consumed with one beautiful thing (aka: marriage) that you’ve been blinded to all the rest.

What was it you always wanted to be when you were younger (for me, it was an author!)? Or what opportunities do you see around you that tug at your heart? A younger person who needs a mentor? A group of young people who would be blessed by a Bible study (ladies, you could start a girl’s Bible study using Love Defined!)? A Crisis Pregnancy Center that could use some volunteers? Maybe your church is going on a mission trip and you have a heart for overseas missions.

Ponder it. Dig deep. What do you have a passion for? What do you feel God might be calling you to? Maybe He is calling you to marriage … someday. But right now there are other opportunities available while your future spouse is out of sight!

As for my personal life, there’s a chance I’m going to have a full-time job very soon. (I’d appreciate your prayers!) Meanwhile, I’ve been novel-writing quite a bit and absolutely adoring it. I’m remembering that God gave me a passion and a gift for writing and I should definitely be pursuing that and using it for His glory! ❤

1 Corinthians 10:31

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

So yes, I’ve gotten excited about that once again. I have a desire to publish more books – stories that I hope will touch reader’s heart for God. I know that I have a few loyal fans out there and they remind why I love writing. I’m not exactly sure what God has in store for me, but I’m trying to use my time wisely and write whenever I can. If He wills it, I want to publish again soon!

I tried my hand at making soap and it was a good experience! Not as hard as I thought. Though I was a little scared about mixing the lye. Good news, it all went well and I didn’t splat any on myself or my sister! :p So we have a beautiful batch of charcoal soap that smells of lavender and tea tree oil stacked on the top of my sister’s bookshelf. We’re hoping to make some more this coming week.

And yeah. Blogging, booktubing, Bible studies, and more! I’m trying different things and just seeing where God takes me.

I hope you all will too! Pursue God. Trust Him with your life. Take steps of faith. Enjoy life! Try some new things. Do what you love, all for His glory. ❤

Matthew 6:31-33

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

***

That’s what I have for today. Hopefully it wasn’t too long-winded! Happy Saturday, readers! I’m probably off yard-saling while you all read this post. 😉 Hope you enjoy your day – breathing in God’s love and looking to Him to direct your life.

Live loved, dear fellow singles, and live to the fullest.

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Ladies, Stay on God’s Path for You

Have you ever stopped to ponder that fact that God has a plan for your life? That He knows and is ready to be involved in all the details (if you but surrender to Him)? That He has a path set out before you, and you should be seeking Him in regards to each next step?

Ladies, stay on God’s path for you!

Men, this is for you too.

As children of the King, we have a constant Hope and Guide. If He is truly our Father, Lord, and First Love, then we should be inviting Him into every day, every event, every moment, every detail. We should never go somewhere that He isn’t.

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So let’s talk about romantic relationships. Speaking of this, are you going somewhere that He isn’t? Have you surrendered this area of your life to God? Have you invited Him in? Talked to Him about your hopes and dreams and ideas? And then listened? Are you trusting Him to work out the details of your love life, meeting your “special someone”, and your future marriage?

Listen, God is so in control and so able! I believe that if we but surrender our love lives to Him, He can and will lead us in this area! He can and will write our love story. He can and will bring us the right person in the right timing.

Psalm 31:19

19 Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!

Psalm 32:8

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.

Psalm 33:15 & 18

15 He fashions their hearts individually;
He considers all their works.

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope in His mercy,

So I want to challenge you.

Don’t settle for anything less than God’s best.

What does that mean? Surrender. Surrender it all to Him. And trust. Trust that He is directing your path. And stay. Stay on His path. Don’t veer off without His permission because you catch a glimpse of potential romance.

Proverbs 4:26-27

26 Ponder the path of your feet,
And let all your ways be established.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
Remove your foot from evil.

Do you have enough faith – do you trust God enough to completely surrender this to Him? To give up your fears of never getting married; of still being single when you’re thirty; of missing out? To give your heart wholly to Him and let Him lead you? To open up your hands and allow Him to take the bad,  but also give the good? He knows what is good. He knows what is best for you. And He knows He can sustain you through anything.

Job 1:21

21 And he said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

First point – KNOW THAT MARRIAGE IS NOT THE GOAL IN LIFE.

As Christ-followers, getting married should not be our ultimate goal in life.

Growing in the Lord. Falling more in love with Jesus Christ. Glorifying God. Sharing the good news of the Gospel. Making disciples. Loving. Living in community. Making much of His name. Friends, our purpose here on earth is to know God and to make Him known.

Matthew 28:19-20

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

If marriage is all you think about, all you desire, all you work toward … If you lacking marriage is making you miserable, sad, empty, purposeless, and inactive, then you have made a good dream an idol. You have forgotten—or perhaps never intimately known—your First Love.

1 John 5:21

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Revelation 2:4

Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

As powerfully beautiful as marriage can be, it has no power to fulfill you. Without an intimate, personal, thriving relationship with Jesus Christ and a solid knowledge of what you true purpose is as a Christ-follower, you will always grapple with emptiness and feeling unfulfilled.

Matthew 6:19-21

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

So before you start searching for a spouse, search for Jesus. He’s waiting. He says that those who seek Him with all their hearts will find Him! Before you step into making a choice as important as who you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, build your relationship with your Father and Lord. Know and believe His love for you – find your worth and purpose in Him.

Psalm 130:5-6

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning—
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.

1 John 4:16

16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

Jeremiah 29:12-14

12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord,

Find your place in the Body of Christ. Become a part of a community of believers. Start living for His glory – pursuing life with courage, joy, and peace.

Psalm 133:1

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!

Hebrews 10:24-25

24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another,

Romans 12:5

so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

Acts 2:46-47

46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

Pursue Christ, not marriage. As awesome as marriage is, it is better to be single than to be married outside of God’s will.

Second point – DETERMINE ONLY TO MARRY A PERSON WHO DESIRES TO/AND IS PURSUING CHRIST LIKE YOU ARE.

The more I grow in Christ, the more I realize that He is everything. He is my only Hope. He is my joy. His Word is my truth. Apart from Him I am utterly empty inside and, in reality, I have nothing.

So, my dear sisters and brothers in the Lord, it makes absolutely no sense to join yourself to someone who does not realize this the way you do.

I believe passionately in having close relationships and being intricately involved in a community of fellow believers. I believe that God made us to be relational creatures, because He is relational! I believe He made us for community – to connect at a soul level with other people. And I also believe that marriage is one of the closest, deepest relationships of connection and community that a human being can have. It symbolizes Christ and the Church. I think it can also represent the Trinity and the close relationship that God wants to have with His people.

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Ephesians 5:23-25 & 28-32

23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

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Isaiah 62:2-5

You shall be called by a new name,
Which the mouth of the Lord will name.
You shall also be a crown of glory
In the hand of the Lord,
And a royal diadem
In the hand of your God.
You shall no longer be termed Forsaken,
Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate;
But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah;
For the Lord delights in you,
And your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a virgin,
So shall your sons marry you;
And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So shall your God rejoice over you.

Marriage is—should be—the connecting of two souls.

So you should never consider connecting yourself to an unbeliever. In all honesty, how can you? If your soul is connected to Christ, how can it also be connected to a person who does not know this Light?

2 Corinthians 6:11-18

11 O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections13 Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”

17 Therefore

“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”

 

And, to go even deeper, we shouldn’t just be looking at the surface – is this man a Christian? But: Does this man follow Christ? Does he know and believe God’s love for him, and show that love to others? Can/will he lead me and our future children spiritually?

1 John 4:19

19 We love Him because He first loved us.

Do you think you will be able to run after Jesus Christ just as passionately married to this man as when you were single?

If not, I don’t believe you should marry him. If anything is going to hinder your relationship with the Lord—including romantic relationships!—then you should part from it.

Proverbs 3:5-8

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.

Do you not realize? NOTHING is as important as being close to God. Following Him with all your heart all the days of your life. What use is it to you if you gain the whole world—the love of your life, the job of your dreams, houses, careers, passions, vacations, things—but lose what really matters? Deep down, you will always be empty and looking for the next thing unless you let God completely and radiantly fill you up.

Psalm 63:1-5

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

Mark 8:34-37

“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

If a nice young man who attends your church wants to get to know you, make sure you know who he truly is before you let your heart get involved. What is he living for? What is his heart’s deepest desire? What does he want out of life? What is he pursuing?

Matthew 7:20

20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Think about this. Do you want to be married to the man whose house stands firm? Or the man whose house falls?

Matthew 7:24-27

24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

If you strive to glorify and honor God in all you do … Read the Word and pray daily … Dream of doing some sort of ministry with your husband … Have a strong desire to raise your children to know God’s love and serve Him …

… But this young man has hopes and aspirations to make good money, have a nice house, marry the woman of his dreams, raise a couple kids and get them off onto their own with good jobs, retire and enjoy life … oh, and go to church on Sundays, of course.

Well, he might be a very nice Christian man! But please, ladies, don’t get involved – just let him go. Don’t let him dim your passion for Christ. Don’t let him stifle the joy you have in the Lord. Don’t let him pull you away from the ministries the Lord has put on your heart. Don’t let him entice you to settle for a mediocre life when you could have one of thriving in the Lord! (Either single or married to a different man who understands/shares your desire for God.)

Luke 10:27-28

27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’

28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

Proverbs 4:23

23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.

Do you know how many married women long for their husbands to lead them spiritually? Do you know many women have a love for the Lord that longs to grow passionately, and their husbands—whom they’re supposed to be connected at the soul with—just don’t understand? Do you know how this hurts these ladies? Do you know how many women have a deep need and desire to raise their children in the Lord, and their husbands just don’t care about it? –Not only do they not step up and lead spiritually, but they don’t even support their wives in this very important desire!

Not, ever, to say that there is no hope for married women and families in these situations. There is always hope! God is merciful and compassionate. A good and tenderly loving Father. Marriages that started out foolishly, selfishly, or rocky can blossom into strong, godly marriages when the individuals seek God. And if only one individual turns to God, He is faithful to tenderly care for that person and their children, even if the marriage continues to be hard.

Joel 2:25-27

25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.

But single women, I implore you, don’t set aside your heart for God while you look for a man. It is not worth it. You don’t know the struggles and heartache it will bring!

Follow Jesus Christ with all your heart! He is truly all you need.

And if, one day, you see a man following the Lord the same way you are, ask God about him! He won’t be doing everything you are, of course. But when Christ is the true desire of both of your hearts, you will connect on a deeper level and know, with time and friendship, that you are running the same race. Desiring the same things. That you would make a great team in seeking after the Lord together!

Waiting for a truly godly man is WORTH IT.

Waiting for a man who will run passionately after Jesus Christ with you is beyond worth it. Waiting for a man who will stand for righteousness. Who will preach the gospel to you. Who will truly strive to love you like Christ loves the Church. Who will pursue you selflessly. Who will lead you spiritually. Who will long to raise your children in the Lord just as you do! Who will get down on his knees and pray with you. Who will open God’s Word each day. Who will continually point you and your children to Jesus.

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This is the man to wait for. So wait for him. And focus on falling in love with Jesus Christ and becoming the kind of woman this man will desire as a wife. Become the godly wife that he should be waiting for! 🙂

And if the years are just going by and you’re not meeting this man … don’t worry. Just fall in love with Jesus. He is your heavenly Bridegroom. You are His bride.

Psalm 84:10-12

10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.

12 Lord of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Third point – BELIEVE THAT GOD’S TIMING IS PERFECT.

As I journey through life, currently in a season including singleness, I am learning that God knows all and has His own timing for things. For all things. And each season has purpose.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

Life is about what, friends? As Christ-followers, it about knowing God and making Him known! So, in every season, that should be our goal.

We passionately pursue Christ. And we surrender our desires to Him, trust His timing, and delight ourselves in Him and the season He has us in.

Consider this. Perhaps you are *still* single because it’s simply not God’s timing yet for you to be in the season of marriage. Maybe your future spouse isn’t ready for marriage at this time. Maybe he doesn’t realize his worth in Christ – doesn’t truly understand how loved he is by God. Maybe he hasn’t learned how to be a spiritual leader yet.

Instead of fighting this season and struggling against God’s plan, why don’t you give it time? Why not consider that your spouse might need to be in a season of singleness a little longer? Why not commit to praying earnestly for him/her? Why not take a good look at yourself. Are you ready for marriage? To lead spiritually as the head of the family? To be responsible and provide as the man? Or to support, respect, and encourage as a godly wife? To raise children in the Lord? To tell and show them how much Jesus loves them by living in a way that shows you know you are loved by Him?

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.

I’m not saying you have to be perfect. Seriously, no one would ever get married then! 😉

But it’s always good to evaluate ourselves and our lives and our relationship with the Lord. Be serious. Be intentional. And stop freaking out about possibly getting it wrong or missing out on your last opportunity to get married because you were too picky or some such.

Psalm 139:23-24

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;

24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Do you trust God?

With even this?

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Just seek and love Him with all your heart. Run passionately in the way He shows you. And trust that He will write your love story—work out the details—if it is, indeed, His will for you to marry.

1 Samuel 2:30

for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.

He is God, is He not?

He is able.

Psalm 37:23

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.

Another thought about your season of singleness. Perhaps there is work to do, or a ministry you need to have, while you’re yet single. Maybe you’re not married yet not because you’re not “ready” or you’re making marriage an idol, but because God still has work for you to accomplish in this vital season of life. Maybe your future spouse has a ministry that he/she needs to be involved in as a single person right now! Don’t hinder them in that. Don’t hinder what God’s trying to do in and through you in your own season of singleness.

Ecclesiastes 3:5-7

A time to embrace,
    And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
    And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
    And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
    And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
    And a time to speak;

1 Corinthians 7:32-35

32 But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. 33 But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife. 34 There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband. 35 And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.

Not at all to say we can’t serve God or do ministry as married people. I passionately believe that marriage and family are beautiful, God-given ministries – ways to serve God! And you can get involved in additional ministries together as a family.

But there are also ministries or specific things that are easier or better to do as a unattached person. When you don’t have the crucially important and big roles of being a wife & mother/husband & father. So embrace this season of singleness and do all that God has put on your heart! Maybe you will never get a chance to do it again in any other seasons of life that are coming up! Live this season to the fullest. All for His glory! ❤

Psalm 23:1-3

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

So. Stay on the path that God has for you. Because it is truly the best. Don’t get distracted by romance—by bad men or good men! Only open your heart to that person who doesn’t distract you from God, but pulls you closer to Him! Trust God with His timing. Strive to glorify our King and live life for Him in every season. Singleness is beautiful. Marriage is beautiful. Raising children is beautiful. Using your God-given gifts is beautiful. Pursuing a career you’re passionate about is beautiful. Over-seas missions are beautiful. Mentoring your siblings is beautiful. Every season and passion and opportunity is beautiful as long as we are inviting God fully into our lives and following where He leads.

Ecclesiastes 3:10-13

10 I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

12 I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives13 and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.

Psalm 92:12-15

12 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
15 To declare that the Lord is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Follow His path. Live loved. ❤

Book Review: Savoring Single by Shelley Black + Thoughts on Waiting

Good morning, my lovely readers! Today I come to you as part of the blog tour for Shelley Black’s beautiful book, Savoring Single! I truly enjoyed reading this unique book which explores the topic of the season of singleness, and I have my personal review of it below!

Plus a giveaway!

But first, I want to share some of my own thoughts on “singleness”, being in a “season of waiting”, and all such things.

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For those of us who have a heart’s longing to be married, the topic of singleness can be a hard one. We don’t necessarily want to read books and listen to sermons on singleness, as they often force us to feel like single is all of who we are. We tire of hearing all the questions of: “So … are you dating anyone yet?” and the onslaught of well-meaning but counter-productive comments and advice.

It can be hurtful. Frustrating. Even embarrassing. It can make us feel “behind” in life. Lacking. Missing something. Not complete. Not part of something. Not belonging. Or it just makes the painful “wait” even more painful, because we truly have a God-given desire for marriage and a family of our own.

I had a thought as I pondered this one day. You know, perhaps we’re going about it all wrong when we call ourselves “single” as if our relationship status defines who we are. And “in a season of waiting” as if once we get married, we’ll have arrived.

I don’t like “single” to define me, because it often is associated with negativity. The truth is, my identity is child of the King. Adopted daughter of the perfect Father. Beloved of my Savior, Jesus Christ. Bride of the Lamb.

Beautifully made by the Creator. Chosen by the one true God. Accepted by the Holy One, by grace through faith.

Loved. Wanted. Accepted. Beautiful. Chosen. Belonging. Complete. Secure.

I am not married, but “single” and “still waiting” doesn’t/shouldn’t define who I am. I shouldn’t feel looked down upon, not enough, or not part of something – not having yet “arrived”. I am part of God’s eternal family. I have a purpose and a beautiful life right now. I would love to be married someday, but that doesn’t mean that right now I’m lacking or my life is on hold.

…Which brings me to the next point.

Why always call singleness a “season of waiting”? Isn’t almost every part of life a season of waiting? Waiting to graduate high school. Waiting to find that community of believers to be a part of. Waiting to find the one your soul loves. Waiting to get your college education and start your career. Waiting for physical or emotional healing. Waiting to develop your God-given mission. Waiting to have the children you long for.

We’re always waiting, and learning, and developing, and growing, and seeking, and working toward something.

It’s not like once you meet the man God has for you and get married … well, the wait is over! The season of … completeness and happily ever after has come!

No. There’ll be more seasons of waiting. And trusting. Having faith and leaning on God when you can’t figure out how the future’s going to be and how everything is going to work out. Seasons of slowly making progress and working toward healthy and good and God-given goals and dreams.

And this is not a bad thing! As long as we are inviting God into this and thriving joyfully in Him, no matter what we are waiting for!

Completeness, wholeness, comes when the Bride is united with her eternal Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. When there is a new heaven and new earth. Then, the season of waiting will finally be over.

That all being said, I suppose my point is, don’t look at your “unmarried years” as such a season of waiting.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with studying and hoping and preparing to be a wife, mother, etc.

But, there are all sorts of seasons in your life, and one is not necessarily a “step up” from the other. Each can be beautiful and meaningful and powerful, if you let it be. God can do lovely, amazing things in each season. Preparing you, and wooing you, and growing you, and delighting in you, and using you in His incredible plan, and taking care of you, and making you more like Him. He is by your side in every season; and in every season, our first and deep desire should be to grow closer to Him – to glorify His name and seek first His kingdom! ❤

So thrive in Him today, wherever you are, beautiful reader.

Read Some More of My Posts on Singleness, Relationships & Marriage:

I Was Created For …

Finding Joy in the Lover of My Soul

Practicing Purity & Pursuing Righteousness in Romantic Relationships

Boys … Can We Just Be Friends?

Thoughts on Dating and Marriage

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My Personal Review ~ 5 stars ~

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Title: Savoring Single

Author: Shelley Black

Genre: Christian Living

Audience: Older Teen & Adult Women

Published: December 7th, 2017

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A wonderfully encouraging read! I’m truly grateful that I was given the chance to read and review Savoring Single by Shelley Black. To be honest, it wasn’t the kind of book I’d usually find myself dying to read, but when I was contacted about reviewing it, the simply lovely cover enticed me. And I was curious to know if a book like this could actually help me in my season of life.

Being single has its difficulties and challenges and hard days, but so does every other season of life.” (Savoring Single by Shelley Black)

I was somewhat surprised, and delighted, to find that it did! I think some readers have referred to Savoring Single as “refreshing”, and I so agree! It encouraged me to be okay with me and thrive in life right now. It gave me hope for the future. It did not mock my desire to be married, but sweetly reminded me that marriage is not the goal and God can do beautiful and wonderful things in my life in this moment!

We need to be loved, valued, treasured and pursued. We need to know that we are beautiful. But we need it most from Him. Knowing God and walking in relationship with Him will answer every single one of these desires of your heart.” (Savoring Single by Shelley Black)

Each chapter started with a prayer. Shelley Black shared her personal experiences and stories; her struggles and growth. There were lots of Scripture verses and references throughout.

She talked about having an intimate relationship with God, going on adventures, pursuing your passions, friendship, idols, boundaries, and sexuality. One of the main themes of the book was God’s adoration of you and His plan that you should have a close, personal, and fulfilling relationship with Him. You are His dearly loved daughter! And though He may very well have marriage and a man in His plans for you, He longs for you to know His perfect love for you and His place as your eternal Bridegroom. The truth is, we won’t be satisfied and filled until we let Him fill us.

Love according to the Word of God begins first in relationship with God. Then it flows through us and into others.” (Savoring Single by Shelley Black)

Shelley Black has a lot of practical and heartfelt wisdom and ideas, I feel. It was just … encouraging! Reviving. Fun. Thoughtful. Deep. Sweet. I enjoyed returning to the pages of Savoring Single each day.

Sometimes we can ask for some crazy things that a loving Father just knows better than to give us.” (Savoring Single by Shelley Black)

Not to say I agreed with everything or found everything to be absolutely helpful. I can’t say that about any Christian Living book I’ve read! The chapter in Savoring Single on finances didn’t resound with me as much as the rest of the book, but that’s okay. It still had some helpful points. Shelley Black definitely has a different personality than me. She’s a go-getter, all about big adventures, and seems passionate about having lots of money to use for God’s kingdom. I suspect my story’s meant to play out a little differently, but I can appreciate her aspirations and zeal, and the beauty of her own powerful, unique story!

This means we choose how He would choose, even if it costs us.” (Savoring Single by Shelley Black)

Overall, Savoring Single was a fabulous book. I highly recommend to women in the season of singleness. It was inspiring and hopeful. And I just want to share it with any sisters who have struggled like I have, so perhaps they can understand more fully that waiting on God’s timing for marriage is beautiful. And learn to thrive in life right now. Know that they are not lost or behind in the journey. And there is hope and passion and joy. And they are completely loved, here and now. There is so much beauty in store for you in this season, and every season! Love being right where God has you.

Single now or single forever God is good and the more our perspective aligns with His, the more we will live this life fully no matter our status.” (Savoring Single by Shelley Black)

Shelley Black truly is a beautiful soul and an inspiration to me. Can’t wait to share this book!

In the end of Savoring Single, it encourages you to do a study on love, and there is a list of all the Bible verses talking about love. I look forward to spending some time pondering true love! ^_^

I received a copy of Savoring Single from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Singleness. Dating. Marriage. Kids. Careers. Hobbies. Memories. Dreams. Each flow out of that one purpose to know God! Being single and not knowing Christ is empty. Being married and not knowing Christ is empty. Having kids without knowing God is still empty. Careers and hobbies without a relationship with God is still empty.” (Savoring Single by Shelley Black)

Purchase on Amazon

Shelley Black_Author Photo

About The Author

Shelley Black has journeyed through being single longer than she expected and has since found joy, hope and purpose from a once begrudged season. She now challenges the status quo of what it means to be single as a modern-day Christian female, with a passion to infuse hope and restore joy to every single-girl heart. Shelley is a loving momma to her pup Lucy, is one proud “T” to six nieces and nephews and serves her local church in North Mississippi as the worship leader. Find her at SavoringSingle.com and across social media at SavoringSingle.

Official Website

www.savoringsingle.com

Giveaway

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Blog Tour Schedule

Feb 1st ~ Original Post by Abby – www.worthmorethangoldsite.wordpress.com

PARTY – Live Chat on Instagram at 7 EST.

Feb 2nd ~ Original Post by Jessica  – jessicasummeroverstreet.com

Feb 3rd ~ Spotlight post and Giveaway – madigrace.org

Feb 4th ~ Original post from Shelley – http://www.southkakalakigirl.com/the-blog

Feb 5th ~ Book Review by Isabella – www.jesusisworthitall.weebly.com

Feb 6th ~ Original post from Shelley – http://www.thedifferentgirl.com

Feb 7th ~ Original post from Amanda – https://blogsbychristianwomen.com

Feb 8th ~ Book Review and Author Interview – www.purelyunorthodox.com

Feb 9th ~ Spotlight Post & Giveaway – https://www.sylviacney.com

Feb 10th ~ Original Post by Sarah Beth – www.lovesarahbethblog.wordpress.com

Feb 10th ~ Original Post by Kaityn – www.theshoe19.blogspot.com

Feb 11th ~ Original Post & Book Giveaway  www.delightinginhimblog.wordpress.com

Feb 12th ~ Book Review and Original Post from Shelley – amongthereads.net

Feb 13th ~ Original Post by Kara and Giveaway – savedbygrace7.blogspot.com

Feb 14th ~ Author Interview –  www.writingsfromagodgirl.wordpress.com

Feb 15th ~ Book Review from Heidi – www.thecaffeinatedbibliophile.com

PARTY – Author Interview on Google+/YouTube at 7 EST.

Feb 16th ~ Original Post from Katie – www.kjsonline.wordpress.com

Feb 17th ~ Original Post by Moriah – growthbygrace.wordpress.com

Feb 18th ~ Book Review, Author Interview and Giveaway – https://ohsopriceless.wixsite.com/blog

Victoria – Spotlight – https://rufflesandgrace.com

Feb 19th ~ Original post by Shelley – uniquelymarieblog.wordpress.com

Feb 20th ~ Book Review – youaresaltandlightblog.wordpress.com

Feb 21st ~ Book Review – ordinarygirlextraordinaryfather.blogspot.com

Feb 22nd ~ Book Review – https://themostlytrueadventuresofemily.wordpress.com/

Feb 23rd ~ Original Post by Lydia – spoonfulofsurprises.wordpress.com

Feb 24th ~ Original Post by Mandie – calledtoliveradically.blogspot.ca

Feb 25th ~ Spotlight post and Giveaway – http://livkfisher.blogspot.com/

Feb 26th ~ Book Review – Ainsleyhope.wordpress.com

Feb 27th ~ Guest post from Shelley and Giveaway – http://englishmysteriesblog.blogspot.com/

Feb 28th ~ Original post by Shantelle, Book Review and Giveaway – https://ladygracesite.wordpress.com/

March 1st ~ Original Post by Chloe – Sweetnesswithchristweb.wordpress.com

March 2nd ~ Spotlight Post and Giveaway – www.livylynnblog.com

LivyLynnBlogTours

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Thoughts on Dating and Marriage

So here’s where I attempt to write a post about dating/marriage … something along those lines. This subject has been on my mind and heart lately, so I just want to share some of my thoughts.

thoughts on dating and marriage

To be honest, I’ve never dated before. Never been in a romantic relationship. I’ve had crushes on a few young men though the years, but nothing ever came of it … I doubt they liked me back in the same way! So I’m passed that “sixteen and never been kissed” and am now an even older “never been kissed” phenomenon. *wink* Okay, okay. It’s not that amazing; I actually know quite a few young women who are “older” and haven’t been in a relationship before either. But it’s just that in this day and age … where you get your first boyfriend at thirteen-years-old … yeah. I sometimes feel like a spectacle of some sort.

Yet, there is a reason that I’m still quite unattached, and I know what it is (not counting the fact that I was homeschooled, and am rather insecure and of an introverted nature). I see problems when I look out at the world and their system of finding true love. I see heartbreak, and scars, and pain, and foolish decisions, and regrets, and hurt, and confusion, and divorce.

I’ve been watching this all go on, guys. I’m just waiting. And while I wait, gathering wisdom on the subject, I hope.

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  • Dating is not “for fun”

I’ve never dated before, because I realize that dating is not something one should do for fun. Rather, dating/courting is to purposefully get to know someone, with marriage in mind.

When you “date” when you’re twelve to seventeen years old, you’re generally just fooling around. You don’t actually expect to marry that person someday. (There are exceptions, of course – especially in my parents’ background, where a lot of young people get married between the ages of seventeen to twenty; I’m just speaking of the average dating teenager who isn’t planning on getting married anytime soon).

So you’re getting emotionally attached … physically involved … and yet nothing is going to come of it. You’re not only giving pieces (in a sense) of your heart and body to some person other than your future spouse, you’re playing a dangerous game of “falling in love”, then breaking up when an issue comes up. “Falling in love”, then leaving when there are rough times that you don’t feel like working through. I mean, you’re a “child” playing at what adults do. And it’s not safe. As pastor/speaker Matt Chandler’s wife, Lauren, says: Dating (for fun, with no real direction or purpose) is like practicing divorce.

Also, I’ve read surveys on how many girls lose their purity by the time they’re out of high school when they start dating around thirteen and continually get into dating relationships from then on. Most studies said it was well over 50%. That is heart-breaking, people. *tears* Dating is not for teenagers, but for mature individuals seeking marriage.

“Dating with no intent to marry is like going to the grocery store with no money. You either leave unhappy or take something that isn’t yours.”

~ Jefferson Bethke

Hopefully by the time you’re an “adult”, you realize that dating is serious. Flirting, playing around, toying with someone’s heart, giving away your kisses … I think you’re just setting yourself up for future hurts and issues to work through. Not to mention, that’s not being very faithful to your future spouse. Want to talk about true love? That kind of amazing, fairy-tale true love? Well, maybe that can happen if we start loving our future spouses here and now instead of flippantly seeking out temporary pleasure and fun at every turn.

Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.

1 Timothy 5:1-2

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Let’s be serious. Let’s turn over the pen of our love story to God. Shouldn’t He be involved? Of course! God should be involved in every detail of our lives, especially the huge aspect of our love lives.

Date with intention, people. Not for pleasure, but to see if a solid friendship could blossom into a lasting, God-honoring romance. Seek God’s guidance. Wait possibly. Don’t date if you can’t see the relationship leading to a godly marriage.

I think this video (link below) talks about such things and lays it out pretty well. I would encourage you to watch it. *smiles*

Christians and Dating // @whatisjoedoing @chaseGodtv

“You don’t need scores of suitors. You only need one, if he’s the right one.”

~ Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott

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  • How Far is Too Far?

So what about when you believe you’ve found the one. You’re currently dating/courting, and falling more in love each day. How far is too far when it comes to the physical side?

Some people say you shouldn’t really touch at all. Others say holding hands is fine. Or light kissing. Some say kissing should wait until after engagement, or even until you’re at the altar. But still others say “making out” is perfectly appropriate at times.

I myself tend to lean toward saving your first kiss for your wedding day. Kissing is very special … end of discussion. I say save as many firsts as you can. Save it, value it, make it meaningful. It helps keep temptation at bay, and ensures you’re only kissing your spouse!

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However, some people just say I’m conservative and whatever else.

So here’s the best answer I’ve heard when it comes to the question, “How far is too far?” It comes from Youtuber, Joseph Solomon:

“Whenever you start to lust.”

Christian Singles: How Far Is Too Far? // @whatisjoedoing @chaseGodtv

So. Be honest with yourself. And ask your significant other to be honest with themselves. And then set some firm boundaries. Because entertaining lust can lead you to some places you never set out to go … and lust is a sin in and of itself.

So, to the Christian individual who wants to know how far they can go without sinning … there it is. And also, make sure you’re respecting not only your own boundaries, but your boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s.

But here’s another thought I’ve come across: Should you, as a child of God, be asking how far you can go without sinning? Or should you ask how far you can go to honor your God and your “neighbors”?

18 Flee sexual immorality.

1 Corinthians 6:18

Focus on friendship. Focus on really getting to know the other. Serving them. Growing closer together in the Lord. Most of the physical stuff is really best left to marriage. And it’s beautiful when you keep it safely there.

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you:
    Do not arouse or awaken love
    until it so desires.

Song of Solomon 8:4

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  • No daydreaming

Okay, so you’re not in a relationship, but dutifully praying for your future husband/wife. And while you’re sincerely praying for that unknown person, so-and-so pops into your head. Then you’re like,“Wait … I’m supposed to be praying for my future spouse right now, not so-and-so”.

It’s kind of funny, but kind of not in the same breath. Because let’s face it; daydreaming doesn’t help anything. Most of the time it leads to discontentment, fretting, or even emotional attachment. Way to totally fall in love with someone who probably doesn’t exist, rather just bears the name of the person you “like”.

I’m not sure how men are, but, from a woman’s perspective, it is really easy to get caught up in daydreaming and all that silliness. And for a while, it can seem like just that – harmless silliness. But usually our hearts end up getting a little cracked.

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So let’s try to be patient and purposeful! Here’s some things to try:

  • When your mind wanders to daydreaming, try praying for someone who needs your prayers.
  • Daily give that person and your admiration of them over to God – surrender.
  • Pray for and write letters to your future spouse.
  • Pray for the distracting person separately, if you want to pray for them.

Instead of pining over someone who might not even be “yours”, try to gain wisdom about what makes a godly marriage and how to be a godly woman/man. Seek God, and strive to grow closer to Him. Those who are lonely, your soul is crying out for God! A spouse cannot fill that emptiness.

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Fight for your future marriage. Look around. Satan is avidly working at destroying marriages – perverting what God designed to be beautiful and sacred. So start fighting for your marriage even now, before it’s started.

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  • Marriage is not the goal in life

One way to keep yourself from idolizing marriage or a romantic relationship is to realize that marriage isn’t the goal. That a spouse isn’t going to fulfill you/make your life perfect.

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Marriage is a gift! Surrender that desire for marriage to God, and see where He goes with it! Trust that God has the best plan—no matter what. Because, in truth, you aren’t in control. And the sooner you give up that illusion, the happier and more at peace you’ll be! Just realize that God is in control, and choose to trust that He knows and sees what we can’t, and He loves us oh so much, and He delights in us.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21

Live your life. Serve others. Use your gifts. Go wherever God leads you. Don’t wait on marriage to start living. Finding a partner in life is a gift, not a goal.

Don’t waste your life. Don’t feel inferior because you’re not married. Surrender and seek the Lord! He has a plan for your life – follow it! ❤

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

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  • Godly Action and Pursuit

I don’t want to sound like I’m against marriage here, or Christian couples getting married young even. Marriage was designed by God, created to be a very good thing that not only is a gift to us, but glorifies Him and shines a light to the world! Marriage is a very beautiful thing. An honor. A sacred covenant. Loving and serving a spouse and raising children to know and serve the Lord are extremely important jobs!

22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

23 And Adam said:

“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Genesis 2:22-24

And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Matthew 19:4-6

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,

Proverbs 12:4

14 Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the Lord.

Proverbs 19:14

So single women, I charge you to follow God’s path for your life, seek to learn how to become a godly woman. If you desire to get married someday, pray specifically and deeply for your future husband … ask God to prepare you to be the wife your man needs!

Not that we’re all guaranteed to get married. I could be meant to be single. I could die before marriage ever comes into view. Jesus could return before I become a wife. I don’t really know! And that’s okay. But as of now, I just feel a burden to pray for my future husband, and to learn what it means to be a godly wife. I find myself praying that God would mold me into the woman my future husband needs. I find myself asking God to urge him to pray for me. *smiles* Because I totally need to be held up in prayer also! I have struggles, and fears, and all that too.

So surrender your desire for marriage to God, and trust Him. But if you continue to feel urged to pray for your future husband and learn about being a godly wife, then go for it! Fight for your marriage!

10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.

Proverbs 31:10-12

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Yes, do not pursue, ladies! That is what God calls the men to do. Not us. I’ve seen how masculinity and femininity have been so mixed and messed up and it’s not doing the world or our marriages any good. Men are the leaders. They’re meant to initiate – and women respond. Men pursue.

22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the Lord.

Proverbs 18:22

Did you get that? He who finds a wife. Not she who finds a husband. Haha. But seriously, stop. Stop the flirting, the hinting, the pressuring. Don’t ask guys out. No. Wait on the Lord. Wait on the man to pursue. If he’s a godly man, and he’s found a godly woman in you, and prayed about, and feels the Lord is leading you together, then he will intentionally and gently pursue you. Did you hear that? Let the men lead.

Here’s a video if there’s any men reading this post who want to be preached to about pursuing. I found it interesting myself. *smiles* (click link below)

Pursue Her: A Message to Christian Men // @whatisjoedoing @chaseGodtv

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So there are my thoughts! I do not follow them all perfectly. I’m not perfect! But I’m striving to trust God with my future … pray for my future marriage (if that’s indeed in God’s will for my life) … wait on a godly man … become a godly woman! Fall more in love with my Savior, and see more perfectly His design each day! ❤

Join me, single women! (And single men, if you’re reading this! *smiles*) Let’s be the exceptions. Pray sincerely for our future spouse. Fight for our future marriage. Strive for godliness. Live God’s design … not the world’s!

And even if you’ve been living the world’s design … you’ve messed up … Don’t worry; you can still start anew and start living God’s design! I’m far from having done it all right as well – but each day is a new day! Surrender to the Lord and strive to walk His path! He is faithful!

I hope this was encouraging/helpful. I love you all, my sisters and brothers in the Lord! Remember to fight for godly, beautiful marriages that shine our God’s incredible light! ❤

 

** Originally posted on Between the Pages of This Bookish Life July 24th, 2015 **

Longing to be a Wife and Mother

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This isn’t going to be a post where I give you tips on how to make the wait easier; or how to stop desiring marriage; or why you shouldn’t yearn for these things.

This is a post where I identify with you, fellow longing heart; and share my own thoughts and feelings.

Because this is about much more than first kisses and wedding dresses.

These feelings  of longing are rooted deep. And they’re hard. The wait is hard. Longing to be a wife and mother is not a trivial thing. In a lot of us women, there’s something deep down that naturally awaits being a homemaker. As women, the intense longing to be married, the deep desire to snuggle our own babies, is something that’s instilled in us by default.

It’s not silly. It’s not selfish.

It’s the way we are designed.

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to be a wife and a mommy. When I was just a baby myself, I would tenderly care for my baby-dolls. Growing up, I was delighted every time there was a new baby in the house. As I entered my teenage years, I started dreaming about what it would be like to meet the right man and get married. I’m a hopeless romantic, crying at every proposal I watched (from movies and Youtube videos) or read, and sighing blissfully at every wedding. When I turned eighteen, it suddenly shifted from dreaming, to longing. I was an adult. My friends and cousins were dating, getting married, having children. All at once, it was real. I could get married – I was of age now. But nothing happened. I never even so much as went on a first date.

In truth, I haven’t been waiting very long. But it startles me how acute the unfulfilled longing is sometimes. In a room filled with relatives, from sweet grandparents who’ve been married many years, to newly weds exchanging happy looks; from lovely moms of many children exclaiming how time flies, to new mothers cuddling their first little one; and everyone in between – they’re all connected and belonging and caught up in this beautiful cycle of life. And I’m off to the side, unsure where I fit in. Wondering when it will be my turn. When I can be part of this warm family-ness in front of me.

I want to be married. I hope for a man who can be my partner in life – a friend. I long to carry a baby close to my heart. I wish I could present my mom and dad with grandchildren.

Why, Lord? Why have I never been asked out? Never been noticed? Never been pursued? Am I not worth it? Not pretty enough? Not godly enough? Not what men are looking for in a wife?

Why me? I know of young women just like myself, with our deepest desire to be a wife and mother; and yet we are the ones waiting. It seems like the women who are out pursuing other careers and who hardly put much thought into marriage, are the ones getting married.

And we – who read books on godly marriage, study what makes a healthy relationship, pray for our future husband, know how to cook and bake and keep house and care for children – we, who all we want is to be a good, old-fashioned woman, to pursue wifehood and motherhood the way You designed, are left alone and grappling with this intense desire we can’t seem to get rid of.

Can’t You tell me what Your plan is here, Lord?

But He doesn’t. And I’ve struggled and struggled over this. However, I thought of something last night. Even if the longing is unfulfilled – even in the desire is unmet all my life, there is eternity. And when I enter into eternity, and meet my Lord face to face, it says He will wipe away my every tear.

Revelation 21:4

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

I think that means tears over singleness. Tears over an empty womb. Tears over no grandchildren. Tears over not feeling like part of life’s beautiful cycle of family.

Those tears will be wiped away, too. And pain we feel over these things will be gone. And we will be part of a beautiful family in heaven. God’s family. The ultimate family. And, oh, how joyous and fulfilling it will be.

I don’t know, I suppose it just comforts me to know that God will wipe away those tears. It’s not something we have to bear forever. So even if I don’t get married, or even if I get married but don’t have babies, or even if I get both those things, but have some other unmet longing or painful loss – God will take away those burdens. Perhaps not today. But someday, we know He will.

One last thought.

Don’t be an empty shell of what God created you to be.

Don’t be listless. Don’t live forever melancholy. Be zealous. Be passionate. Hold onto hope. Dream for the future. Pray about your desires and pray for God’s will. It’s not wrong to hope, still, for marriage and children. Just don’t let it overcome you so that every day your longing isn’t met, you’re crushed.

So dream. God created us to dream. We’re most alive when we dream.

And every day, love people. Love who God has put in your life. Love the people around you. God has given you a purpose. Right now. Here. Today.

Love.