January 21, 2013

9 Things All Christan Singles Need to Do

Have Standards, But Be Realistic. There's a difference between having high expectations and unrealistic, Disney-fied, chick-flick expectations. Now don't get me wrong, I like Disney movies and a good chick-flick, but Hollywood has a great knack at selling us fantasy... both women and men, just different packaging and marketing. Here's the thing though about relationships, and marriage: It's not going to be perfect. You're a sinner, your significant other is a sinner, we live in a world fractured by sin, therefore we're going to make mistakes, we're going to hurt one another... in our relationships. Should we have standards? Yes. But those standards need to be approached with a gospel, biblical lens, not the lens of a Nicholas Sparks novel. Nobody marries perfection. But, you should realistically expect that the one you marry is one who is, and will be, growing in His likeness and character with every season of life. Virtuous men and women aren't made over night, but marriage make for a good long-term cultivator.

Stop Idolizing Marriage and Singlehood Alike. Some of us will elevate marriage beyond what we should, while others of us will do the same with being single. If we idolize marriage we will put expectations that we were never meant to have or burden our spouse with. Your spouse isn't your "savior," and it's not like once you get a ring on your left hand all your problems are going to disappear. On the flip-side of things, some of us will idolize being single and begin building our own little kingdoms and satisfying our selfish wants and desires at the cost of others. Or perhaps, as Christians, we may think that because we're actively pursuing singlehood, that we're somehow more sanctified than those who don't, which is incredibly ridiculous. Honor God's vision for marriage: The man humbly and lovingly leads, loves, protects, and pursues his bride, and the woman follows, respects, helps, and encourages her husband, and in doing so, they reflect the gospel to one another and those around them. Honor God's vision of singlehood: Pursue and devote yourself to Christ in community with others. But don't make one more "holier" than the other.

Get Some Money Smarts. If you ask couples what they usually fight about the most, finances is one of the top answers. Money is a gift from God, but we need to make sure we're stewarding it well (single or married alike). Use your single years to practice and establish wise habits in this arena. 

Tend to Your Heart, and Steward it Well. I'm going to write a whole post on this later, but as we've all got baggage in some shape or form, some more than others, we need to continuously be laying that down at the foot of the cross, and getting the help we may need. So if your single and you struggle with an addiction of any form, father wounds, etc. begin getting healing and help for those things, because they will have an impact on your future marriage. I firmly believe that if you do have any of those struggles or have made mistakes in your past (or if you're parents had a bad marriage... want to throw that one out there as well), that you are not doomed to a horrible marriage. Christ actively redeems and restores all that was lost, but let's work out that redemption and healing process as much as possible prior to marriage as we can.

Get Your Proverbial Naomi(s). We can't do life alone. It's as plain as that. Having others in our lives to speak and help us is of great advantage, because often they can see or spot things that we've missed or are blind to. So find some godly mentors and friends. Maybe read some marriage books instead of all the ones of dating (marriage is the ultimate goal here anyway) that you currently are. I'm not saying go crazy here, but I'm saying it could be helpful in gaining some wisdom. (Psst... here's a good place to start: Love and Respect Now (the ministry of Emerson Eggerich's Love and Respect, only for singles)).

Put Boundaries On Your Relationships... because you're valuable and self-respect in the area of purity is HOT. God said it. He said that you're greatly valuable and that purity is His design... whether or not He used the exact word of "hot" is debatable... but I'd like to think He has.

Serve. Get plugged into a church/ministry and begin serving now. Marriage is going to involve a lot of serving and ministering one another out of love. Much like gaining some money smarts, we should try and get some serving smarts too.

Chase Down Wisdom. To guard our hearts means we're pursuing godly wisdom as much as we possibly can. That's not to say we falter or make mistakes, because we do. (Even Tolkien said that "not even the wisest of men can see all outcomes." And that man was really smart.) Get in God's word, pray, and seek counsel in relationships.

Treasure the Gospel and Christ. Above all else, continuously seek, savor, and grow in your relationship with Christ. Because whether you're single or in a relationship now, it truly does make all the difference in the world.

13 comments :

  1. Such good advice! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Oh gosh, I love every one of these! So good!!

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  3. I feel like you just get these great downloads from the Lord! YOu are SO right on sweet friend:) SERVE is a huge one:) I started serving in my neighborhood before I met Kevin, and then when we met, he wanted to get involved, and now we are married and still serving and living in that same neighborhood! love it!

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    1. Thank you so much Katie! I've loved getting glimpses of your and Kevin's marriage on your blog =D

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  4. This is wonderful advice, and definitely something I needed to read. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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  5. "Have Standards, But Be Realistic. There's a difference between having high expectations and unrealistic, Disney-fied, chick-flick expectations."

    Right up front, love what you say here, Natalie. I am a bit of a romantic and I think that's fine IF you realize that life doesn't always end as Hollywood or fairy-tale would make us think.

    Thanks for the reminder. :)

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  6. oooooh another great one!!! thank you natalie!

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