The Art Of Being Single: How To Enjoy The Single Life
Being single doesn’t have to be boring. It is a season worth savoring. I share 3 lessons that have helped me enjoy the deliciousness of single life.
In my community, being single makes you sort of an outlier. This is especially for those in their 30s and 40s. I turn 37 in October and I have experienced this ‘segregation’. Most times it is very subtle, but you will still get a few people plummeting you with questions about your single status and the reasons for it.
These few people walk around with a marriage calculator. Their self-appointed role is to measure the difference between my current age and the year I should have been married. Then they twist their mouth and shake their heads as a sign of displeasure, before pointing out rather loudly that I am getting old, just in case I had forgotten.
Initially, these comments made me very insecure. I remember feeling unworthy of love and became a recluse because being single made me stand out like a sore thumb. Then I began spending more time with God. At first, I cried out to Him and sought His comfort. Later on, I began to look forward to spending time with Him and relished the fact that I did not have anyone to divide my attention. It was strictly Father and daughter.
What a wonderful time I had. The Holy Spirit convicted me of so many areas and helped me to change and grow. That growth came with the decision to dedicate one year of my life to full-time ministry. I had missed the opportunity to serve in ministry when I was younger so when the chance came, I grabbed it.
To outsiders, it was the worst time to make such a decision. I was supposed to be pursuing a man to marry and have children with. What was wrong with me? Nevertheless, I forged on with God’s leading and their voices quietened.
One year in full ministry turned to four and a half years. I can confidently say that those four years were the most challenging and the best years of my life. I fulfilled the desire to devote myself to God’s work, and in turn, He gave me so much joy and peace. These beautiful gifts made me enjoy my single life so much more.
Serving my Father made me discover the art of being single. I no longer viewed my status as a disability but as a wonderful season that was worth savoring. Then when I came across a Revive The Heart video on Youtube where Susan Yates (speaker & author) and Janet Parshall (author and radio host) described singleness as delicious, I was completely sold.
The speakers reiterated that singleness is not a higher calling than singleness. Rather, they described singleness as a gift that enables a single person to serve God without any inhibitions. I agree with this assertion wholeheartedly.
However, serving God, though, does not automatically make one enjoy the single life. I’ve learnt a few things along the way that can help another single learn how to savor it. These are:
- Embracing seasons
This took me the longest to accept. Mainly because I was in denial and did not want to take an honest look at myself and the decisions I made that brought me to serve God in my 30s. The denial was driven by regret and a warped feeling of being punished for the missteps in my 20s.
Coming to terms with being single at a point in my life where I thought I’d have gotten children, a blazing career, and a laughter-filled marriage was quite a heart-wrenching moment. I asked God to forgive me for my disobedience in my younger days and prayed for a renewed mind. A mind that shelved those old expectations and laid out a clean box for God to fill with the exciting possibilities of the current season.
This period of prayer, discarding my human expectations, and following God’s lead was the most step in enjoying all that the single life had to offer.
Once I embraced the season of singleness, I purposed not to waste any more time. I decided to enjoy the freedom that came with visiting my friends and family at random, not having to ask or confirm with a partner before making a decision, and the ability to take up any hobby or activity at will.
There was also the freedom in devoting more time to ministry, being able to attend to more prayer needs, and being able to listen to the Holy Spirit’s promptings on my life or the lives of others. I am sure that these privileges would have been impossible to receive if I had to attend to a spouse, children, and in-laws.
I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking about how to please him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. (1 Corinthians 6:32–34)
I was also certain that the length of this single period would remain unknown to me until the time God would reveal it. Therefore, I had to be intentional about enjoying the season and trusting the future of my life to His will.
Anticipating the future God had for me helped me look at this season as a preparation phase. I looked at it as a period where God was teaching, training, and disciplining me to be a better disciple of Jesus, a better wife, mother, and a worthier member of the society.
This preparation came with a lot of introspection and personal development in areas I’d thought were all sorted. I learnt about my emotional stability (and the triggers that set my emotions on a roller coaster), about change, anger management, and my conflict management style.
The art of being single is enjoying the single life
There is no one way to live as a single person. We’re all different and our experiences are unique. Therefore, it is understandable that not everyone will go through the three lessons to enjoy their single life.
For me, these lessons have sustained me in my singleness for the past 10 years. They don’t guarantee immunity from the ups and downs of life, but life has been much sweeter.
Is there an experience or lesson that helped you or is helping you to enjoy your single life that you would like to share? I would be delighted to learn from you.
Life is finite. The best gift you can give to yourself is to enjoy it thoroughly.