Ministering to Singles

How you can support your single christian friend (From the perspective of a single christian 25 year old female):

  1. Talk to them.

I can’t emphasize this point enough. If you want to love your friend who is single, you need to talk to them about it before acting or speaking into it. I can’t tell you how many well-intentioned people have tried to “help” me in my singleness and honestly made it worse.

Every person who is going through singleness is walking a different journey. Find out if they even want to change their singleness. Ask them how they feel about being single. Talk to them about the kind of person they are looking for, how you can help, etc. Truly, it is as simple as that. If you want to love them where they are at, just ask them about it, and listen.

2. Let them feel their ups and downs.

Because they are a follower of Jesus, they are hopefully trusting in God’s plan for their love story. That means, they do feel content in their singleness much of the time. They live life, enjoy their freedom, their time with friends, their a lone time, and their treasured time with Jesus. However, because their desire may be to be married and have a family, they feel discouraged and hopeless much of the time as well. They will have days where it hurts to be single and days where they wouldn’t trade it for the world (I’d imagine it is the same in marriage too?).  So please just meet them where they are at, even if it is up and down in a day. As it says in Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

3. Counsel and minister to them too!

Don’t forget them! There is this weird gap between college aged people and married people in the church. There is marriage counseling, couples classes, college groups, student ministries, but it is hard to find a niche for those whom are young adults and single. It’s almost as if the church doesn’t know what to do with them because they are expected to be married already.

I also understand that the majority of churchgoers are couples and families, but can someone please speak into the single people too? Help them understand marriage, as well as how to live a Godly fulfilling single life. If you need an incentive for doing this, then listen up! Many of those leading, ministering, and serving in your church are overlooked single people needing to be poured into!

4. Tell them the good and bad of your marriage or dating relationship.

Please share with them about your relationship, but let it be balanced. Don’t paint it as perfect nor as a disaster. Be honest with them and share what you are learning so they can learn too.

5. Stay away from the Cliches.

“You will find him when you least expect it.” “Stop looking for him and you’ll probably find him.” “Don’t worry, God will bring someone into your life someday.” “You need to yourself out there more.” “Your standards are too high.” “He’s single too! You should go out with him!” “Man, I wish I were still single.”

I’ll admit, some of these hold some truths, but they have not helped me, personally, or built me up in any way. It is absolutely true that we should not be anxious or discouraged, surrendering this to God, but unless God has given you a prophetic message that they  will be married, you can’t predict or promise that they will find someone someday. So, maybe don’t say that. And yes, it is nice to have people looking out for you, even “matchmaking” in a sense, but just because someone is single too, doesn’t mean that they are meant for each other. Most of these can be avoided if you are getting to know the person you are trying to love on.

6. Finally, PRAY for them.

Some of my most encouraging moments in my single years thus far have been when others are praying for me. They aren’t just praying for a Godly spouse, but they are praying for me to have wisdom in who to like, for patience and peace, for me to grow in my relationship with God and as a follower of Christ, etc.

 

 

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Who am I?

Wow! I sit this morning feeling anxious and unworthy, seeking comfort and truth from the Lord.

Tomorrow I am speaking for a short time at my church’s college and young adult group and I can’t help but worry about what to say, how it will be received, and ultimately how I will feel through it all. You see, I have taught a lesson to 200 plus kids while holding a snake and I have spoken to crowds of strangers about a myriad of subjects, including Jesus. Yet, fear strikes in my heart over speaking at church to my peers. I suppose there is a longer story to tell as to why I feel that way, but it is not how God wants me to feel and it is not the truth.

Naturally, I thought about The Bible this morning, searching my mind for someone who loved God, who also felt unworthy to speak to people and represent God’s words. It didn’t take long for Moses to pop into my mind. So I turned to Exodus 3 excitedly.

You see, Moses, at this point,is an exile, a murderer, shepherd, and he is certainly not thinking God is about to change his life and the lives of others forever!

God speaks to Moses and tells him to go to the Pharoah and bring His people out of Egypt.

“Who am I that I should do this?” Moses questions. I am unequipped. I am an exile, a shepherd. I talk to a flock of animals, not to a court of Egyptian royalty.

I love the simple truths God replies with, truths that pierce my heart, make me laugh in joy, and refresh my soul. Truths that we ALL need to remember in times when we feel less than qualified for God’s calling.

God tells Moses, “I will be with you.” Don’t things become less scary when we have a companion? The darkness is less intimidating, traveling becomes safer and more fun, sorrows less intense. We seek out companionship because it helps us face difficulties. Well, God is always with us, so in all those difficulties, we are constantly in companionship with Christ, facing our fears with Him, not a lone.

God, also says to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” This is not about me or you. It doesn’t matter if I am a shepherd, an exile, or if I am a leader or a servant, it’s not about who I am, it’s about who God is. You are sent, called, directed by God and His identity and purpose is truly the only thing that matters. It never changes even if you feel like your own purpose and identity changes.

Lastly, my favorite response from God this morning. My heart, above all, wants to make it obvious to everyone that what I say comes from God, that who I am is all about Him. I am almost anxious about ensuring that this is communicated. And guess what, God addresses just that in verse 12.

“This will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

How will you know that this is from God? You won’t know based on the reactions of others. As we see, God says to Moses specifically, that he will know when he worships God, not when the people worship, or when Pharaoh worships. It has little to do with those Moses is afraid to speak to and has everything to do with his own response and intimate relationship with God.

This reminds me that whether I speak eloquently or not, if my heart and my soul are centered on worshipping the King, I can stand firmly on His purpose and calling to place me there and know that He is pleased.

Strength Will Rise

 

The other day (this was written a year ago) , I was driving to work and listening to my worship playlist. I found myself singing, “strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord” repeatedly and I began to wonder about that.

Strength will rise as we wait? No way! Waiting has mostly hurt for me. Waiting has made me exhausted. How about you? When you read that, do you feel strong in your waiting or worn out?

But then I began to realize something, something obvious that had never hit me before. You don’t get strength by waiting, you get strength by waiting on the LORD.

You’re probably wondering, what does that mean?

For me, I could see how my waiting was attached to people or items. I grew tired because I was waiting for someone to see my worth, or waiting for the perfect job, etc. My waiting and strength depended on others.

But when you wait on the Lord, waiting on His timing, His plans, centering those expectations on Him, you truly can’t grow weary , because He won’t let you down.

Isaiah 40:29

He gives strength to the weary and power to the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Sow Bountifully

More blessed to give than to receive. I know Jesus says we’re free from the chains and constraints of money, time, performance, etc. When we give and give without any holding back, we are imaging what Christ did for us! He held back nothing from us, giving His own life on the cross. We only truly need to receive from Him, believing in His death, resurrection, and Lordship. Then, after that, we are called to give.

So when it says, we reap what we sow, or in that it says, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully”, it’s not speaking in terms of earthly benefits. I look at those verses and think, look at all I am giving to others and where is my return? But God can’t promise us that humans will give back if we give to them. Humans are imperfect and oftentimes, the more you give to them, the more they will take. But, if we sow bountifully, freely, as though nothing we own, owns us, we will reap so many eternal rewards, whether that means the fruits of the Spirit, a closer walk with God, or seeing many saved, the Lord promises you will reap bountifully.

The Veil of Christ

Exodus 34:35 Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD.

This verse makes me think: sometimes we veil ourselves from others, we put a mask on and hide. I know the Lord would have us be vulnerable with others and sincere, but I think we are only to be truly unveiled with Him.

The raw parts of ourselves would scare others. That’s the truth! We are human and no matter how hard we try, we will never love someone like God does.

I take comfort in the thought that I can be completely unveiled with God, holding nothing back. And yes, I put the veil up to go out into the world, but it’s the veil of Christ, His protection, His identity, and His spirit.

Minor Musings over Movies: A Dog’s Purpose

A dog’s purpose honestly reminded me of how I am meant to live for Christ. Despite the reincarnation theme, life seemed so short in this film. Bailey, the dog, sometimes lived long and sometimes short, but in a way, it all seemed to happen in a blink of an eye. Yet Bailey impacted lives, saving others, bringing joy, changing lives.

As silly as it sounds, the last line of the movie, the dog’s purpose, “be here now”, really resonates with me.

You may get in an accident, lose a loved one, be single for the rest of your life, but we only have this one life. Bailey saw how useless it was to be sad, to regret in his human owners.

Us Christians can take note. Whatever life throws us, we must keep the joy of Christ in our hearts. Whatever we don’t do, we can’t regret. We must live in the present because all our real treasures are in heaven. We may impact this world, but our true hope is beyond it.

Rest

 

I know SO many people who struggle to rest. They can’t seem to find the time for a Sabbath, not even 10 minutes each day reading God’s word.

I tell these people that if they prioritize God first, He will work their busy schedule out for them. Something similar happens in Exodus 6:23-24

God wants the Israelites to observe a Sabbath so He directs them to gather extra food. He doesn’t want them to gather food on the Sabbath, but He doesn’t want them to grow hungry either.

To me that says, firstly, that God wants us to take a Sabbath, it’s important to Him and part of His plan for us.

Secondly, He will provide for us what we need when we rest.

We may worry things will not get done, we will lose sleep, our work will suffer, etc. God’s SO much bigger than all of that. He knows what you have to do, your responsibilities, but He’s telling you to rest and that He’ll take care of it all.