Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Letter to My Single Sisters

It was recently brought to my attention how difficult it can be to be single. I am not so far from that stage in life to have forgotten how frustrating it can be to be on the lookout for the perfect soul mate. Someone brought to my attention that statistics have shown that married people are happier than single people, but I have a theory about this (of course!) Perhaps single people are not as happy because they are lead to believe that they shouldn't be as happy until they are married. This letter is meant to be an encouragement and also a challenge to my sisters who are still in the single stage of life. I want to also say that anything I write here does not mean that I am unhappy in my marriage. I love being a wife and momma and wouldn't trade it! However, I want to use the fact that I have been single and am now married to challenge my sisters to a new way of thinking.

First, you are not in a waiting stage of life. You need to realize that you are living right now! You have an opportunity in singleness that you will never have again and you need to use it to the fullest. You will never be able to serve God in the same capacity that you can now. This is what Paul meant when he said that the single person is focused on the things of God and the married person is focused on the the needs of their spouse (that is completely my paraphrase!). If you and your spouse are totally focused on serving God together than you will be able to serve God in ways that you cannot as a single woman, but in reverse you will never be able to serve God the same as what you can when you are single.

This thought is mostly for fun! You need to enjoy your singleness because doing the fun things that you can do now will be a lot harder when you have other people to think about! Again, there will be so many fun things that you can do as a couple (or family!) that you couldn't do when single, but it works in reverse as well. Being a wife and mom is so much fun, but don't waste the fun opportunities that you have now by thinking that you are just here to pass time. We were not intended to be married the day we were born. Does that mean that you are supposed to "wait" your first twenty some years away? Use this time to make deep friendships, have lots of coffee, travel, find creative ways to serve God and others and learn to use your time to the fullest right now. Relish your singleness!

I want to say a few things now to challenge you. The truly beautiful essence of marriage is learning to lay down your life for the other person. It is a lot harder done than said. So many of us spend our single years looking for the perfect marriageable partner, but how marriageable are you? You have an opportunity to use this time to refine your character into one that will be an asset to a truly beautiful, God-honoring marriage. I am not saying that you are required to become a trampled nobody, but I am saying this: I never realized how truly selfish I am until I got married and had a child. When both you and your spouse truly lay down your own wants and needs and strive to bless the other at all times than you have found the beauty of marriage. Let me tell you, it is not easy! And being a momma makes life even more challenging! As far as my son is concerned, Rachael Dornbirer no longer exists. I am "momma" and my sole purpose is to feed, clothe, change and play with him on his timing. :) It is the most beautiful, rewarding, challenging and scary position I have ever held and you have the opportunity to prepare for that.

Who do you think about when you come home tired from work? Are you able to forget what you want to do in lieu of what needs done? Or on what someone else needs? How often do you ask "What about me?!"? Is there anything in your life that may be a stumbling block to a God-honoring marriage such as ungodly ambition, selfishness, celebrity idols, or mixed up priorities?As a side note: if you think that having celebrity idols (singers, actors, movie or book characters etc.) is not going to be detrimental in a marriage allow me to challenge your thinking. If you idolize these people who appear so perfect you will end up, whether consciously or unconsciously, comparing your husband and marriage to a fantasy that will eventually have bad consequences on a marriage. You may also find that you are looking for a man that has the character qualities you see in these idols only to find that it is not what you wanted after all.

Living for God and others will become even more challenging when you are married. If you are the one sitting on the throne of your heart than you may have a rough wake-up call when you get married. Self-sacrificing does not come naturally the day you say your vows. If you take this time now to make sure that God is the one sitting on the throne of your heart than you are on your way to being ready for a truly beautiful, God-focused marriage.

If you are constantly in a stage of waiting than you will never be content even when you think you have arrived. You will constantly be waiting for the next thing and you may never learn to enjoy the current time until it is gone and you regret it. If God has you in a stage of singleness now than that is where you are the most blessed and if you were married out of his timing, you wouldn't be happy anyway. You have an amazing opportunity to look at yourself, prepare for the future and enjoy your life in the stage you are in now. Marriage is a beautiful thing. Singleness is just as beautiful if you learn to live it as such. If you learn the beauty of your life now, it will carry over into when your road combines with that of another and you are no longer an individual but half of a whole. And that will make your life now and your future marriage all the more beautiful.