God changes things. He changes us. If you feel like you’ll never get past the bitterness, anger, anxiety, or depression of being single (whether it’s due to a nasty, heart crushing break-up or divorce or just due to having never been in a relationship all together) in a culture that values and almost idolizes romantic relationships, know that God has the power and the capacity to change your heart for the better. God can change that bitterness and use you to further His kingdom. The caveat is that we must allow Him to do the work to change our hearts. Like most changes that we go through, it can be extremely painful and scary. Remember, though that when God is the one who initiates and nurtures the change, He will do so with the knowledge and power of His almighty and GOOD plan. So there’s no need for fear, my dear single reader. God gives us everything we need, but we need to do our part with what He gives us.
2 Peter 1: 3 says “Jesus has the power of God, by which he has given us everything we need to live and to serve God. We have these things because we know him. Jesus called us by his glory and goodness.”
Peter says that God has given us everything we need to live. Let that sink in for a moment. While we may feel empty, alone, or somehow broken as singles in a society that constantly bombards us with messages of needing romantic relationships, God has given us what we need to live. It says right there in black and white.
He has also provided us with what we need to serve Him! That is our true calling! To serve God. And I’m not saying that you can’t serve God while also being a wife, husband, parent, or whatever it is that you yearn to be. I’m simply saying that you can live and serve God without being all of those other things. Remember, the only identity that really matters is the on of “beloved child of God.”
Peter goes on to say in verse 4 “Through these [his goodness and glory] he gave us the very great and precious promises. With these gifts you can share in being like God, and the world will not ruin you with its evil desires.”
Now, if that didn’t make your heart swell a little bit, read it again. God gave us the gifts we need in order to be like Him. Not only that, but He gave us these gifts to protect us from the world, so that it wouldn’t control us and ruin us with it’s evil. Why would God do this? Because He loves us. I’m going to say that again. God. Loves. You. He loves you so much that He made the ultimate sacrifice in order to pave a way to never be away from you!
We are called to spread that message of hope and love to others and it’s difficult to do that effectively when we are bogged down by bitterness, anger, fear, and self doubt about our lives as single people. God has made a way to change our hearts, but, again, we must do our part in order to truly be changed.
So how do you do your part? First, you must be tuned in to His word in order to better understand His will. Daily study of the Bible helps to guide us because it’s a documented account of God’s word and His character. Studying the bible is the first step to truly knowing, what God is about. When we pray and ask for answers, sometimes God answers through others, but often times, He will speak to us directly from the pages of His word.
You can also seek counsel from other Christians who may be more seasoned in their faith. I’m a big fan of learning from someone else’s experiences and expertise. If you know of someone who might be willing to counsel you on ways to make biblical, Godly changes in your life, then don’t be afraid to ask them for help. You can always reach out to your church pastors, elders, or other leaders for biblically based advice on how to make positive changes in your life. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking specifically with a pastor or elder about specifics regarding your life, ask if they are able to steer you toward someone who can better mentor you.
Once you have this base, the one thing that will ensure you change for the better (and not the bitter… see what I did there?) will be to have a continuous conversation with God and genuinely ask Him to change your heart. Genuinely open your heart and allow him to fulfill that request. We often stand in our own way and don’t even realize it, so truly submit yourself to God’s will and see what a wonderful change your creator can make in you, His beloved child.
God gives us the tools that we need in order to know Him, but we are the ones who will ultimately have to put forth the effort to make the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual changes that will help us to be happy and productive stewards for God. You may need to change your attitude, but why not start with changing your heart? Once you change your heart to be satisfied in all of the blessings that God has provided, then your attitude will follow suit. If you claim to be a Christ follower, but complain and exude bitterness or anger at your singleness or if you feel that God has short changed your lot in life, that makes being a peaceful, grateful messenger of His word all the more difficult. I mean, who would want to know your God when He clearly hasn’t brought you the peace that you preach?
2 Peter 1:5-6 says “Because you have these blessings, do your best to add these things to your lives: to your faith, add goodness; and to your goodness, add knowledge; and to you knowledge, add self control; and to your self-control, add patience; and to your patience, add service for God…” God has provided us with all of these wonderful blessings to help equip us for His work. All of these gifts are things that we can use to combat the negative feelings that tend to accompany singleness, so allow God to do His good work in you by changing your heart to accept Him as the true, loving Lord of your life.