This is stuff that that relative won’t tell you. (Hopefully that relative is not your mother.) This is stuff that you won’t hear preached at your church. This is stuff that hopefully you and your team have been talking about. This stuff is true.
You get to live your life to the full now. You get to live your life. All along the way God is molding you through it which is making you attractive to the spouse you’ve not met yet.
To wait for that love for a lifetime will be a brave ride. Oh the stories you will have to tell about that brave ride! Your stories will amaze people, maybe even that special one you could meet along the way. When you meet that one, would you rather when asked about the story of your life say, “Oh…same old, same old…”? Or be the one who’s full of stories and involvement? Let’s turn that question around. When you meet someone and he/she has “…same old, same old…” stories or shares how stuck they are in their lives, would you be excited to go out with him/her? Or would you rather go out with the one who is living a full story now? Don’t let yourself become the person who’s stuck doing the same old things. Be the person you want to answer that question. What can you do for God’s glory now? Even faithfully teaching that Sunday school class makes you interesting.
You can be spontaneous now when your life is your own. You can say “yes” to the spontaneous now. You can say “yes” to a random after church lunch invite. You can say “yes” to a road trip. You can say “yes” to a late-night movie. You can say “yes” to the special event downtown. You can say “yes” to that curious new ministry opportunity. At no other time do you have the option to be so spontaneous. Take advantage of that! Have fun with that!
Being mature in your singleness likely means you will still feel inadequate. So do the rest of us. It is easier to point to being single as the blame for that feeling. Probably because culture does that to you. Truth is feeling inadequate has nothing to do with being single. Besides there is nothing inadequate about you. Look at what you are doing with your life! Look at the story you are telling with your life. And it is you who is discarding that dead mouse in the mousetrap (see below).
From a Tinder survey of more than 1,000 single people ages 18-25, Tinder found 72% of the surveyed in that age group “have made a conscious decision” to stay single for a period of time. 81% see being single as beneficial in ways beyond just their love lives. According to the survey they are able to invest more time in careers, social lives and personal time. Sounds like many are making the decision to do important things with their single time now. You are not alone in this as 72% and 81% are large numbers.
According to Darcy Sterling, a licensed clinical social worker and Tinder’s “relationship expert” (what a title?!?!?!), “We don’t want a world where people’s self-worth is contingent on their relationship status.” That could be a statement of more Millennial discontentedness with the status quo of everything or it is that more and more singles are living their lives to the full now. And living out the second part of our Brave Dating statement, “As you are living bravely, who is keeping up with you? That is the match for you.”
From that same Tinder study, 40% said they weren’t willing to settle for the wrong person to find a long-term relationship. (Again, Tinder found this?!?!?!) Yeah!!!!!! People are understanding their worthiness and not settling, not contorting themselves to keep a relationship. There is some vanity in this. Source.
I hear in the back of my head the grumbling voices of how Millennials don’t marry and are extending their adolescence by their choices to choose to live single longer. Yes. And I’ll share with you stories of Millennials who are doing some brave things to change this world.
Don’t forget the reality that half of everyone in church is single.
Know this too. Taking control of your singleness is not overstepping God. You are not living your life in such a way that you are going to miss the one God has for you because you are so busy with your full life. I’d argue that this is more of a step of faith. You are living the life of who you want to be so that your future match will know who you are.
A big part of who you are is all that you have to take care of. You take out your own garbage, put gas in your car, and buy all of the groceries. These are the three chores I bargained to give up before I got married. You also do the cooking, the retirement planning, tax filing, home repairs, haggling with the car mechanic about what really needs to be repaired, changing the battery in the smoke detector, discarding of the dead mouse you found in the mouse trap. You are doing all of this now. You are doing all of this as one person on one income. Dang, you are something awesome! Now. So why do married people treat you like you are immature or haven’t made it yet when you are doing all of this by yourself?! It seems that in marriage you get full credit for adulting when you get to relinquish certain chores instead of getting more credit now because you are handling everything on your own.
Marriage is actually less work. You’ve got two of you to figure life out and to adult. I’ve lived this one too as a late-in-life bride. I used to do all of that for myself or had to vulnerably ask others for help. I couldn’t pay for this stuff to get done because it was just me on a pastor’s salary budget. Being in need to ask for this sort of help was not fun. Being the one to clean the mouse trap was not fun. But it made me strong. It made me desirable. I really believe that. Great guys want to feel as if being with a woman is both an honor and an adventure. Great guys want to meet you already content with your single status.
A brave life is an adventurous life. A brave life is full of honorable stories. You can have that now. Someone will eventually keep up with you and then you will know for sure that that one is your love for a lifetime.
See. It really isn’t all that bad that you are still single. Go do brave things.
Advice: Go ahead and buy that full set of china you love that you found on eBay. Now. Don’t hold out for china as wedding gifts. Or wait to get that new cookware set. You can put other gifts on your future registry. Enjoy this stuff now.
(photo credit: http://housewifeplus.bangordailynews.com/2016/05/27/blog/how-i-learned-to-clean-a-mouse-trap-without-catching-this-deadly-disease/ )