By Liz Lampkin, Crosswalk.com
Single. A word often used to define one's existence, personal and social status. So many people are walking in this season of life. Unfortunately, while on this magnificent journey, many fail to see the beauty that comes with this particular relationship status. It is a daily struggle for many singles to live freely as unmarried individuals. They're bogged down with thoughts of spending days and nights alone, responding to questions about why they're still single, and dealing with various forms of pressure, all related to their relationship status. As we're preparing to move into a New Year, I want to encourage singles to reflect on what their relationship status means to them and create a new mindset about it. How does a single person renew their mindset about their relationship status? I'm glad you asked. Take a look at the list below.
1. Renew Your Mind Daily
Focus on one area in your singleness that you desire to change other than your relationship status. If you can't think of anything, ask God to reveal what you can do to change your view on being single. Have sincere and open dialogues with God every day about how you can refocus your mind to see you as He sees you in all of your singleness.
Another way you can renew your mindset is to cleanse your mind and spirit of others' expectations for you as a single person. Write down some things people have said to you that discouraged or even hurt you regarding being single. Read them and think about why they upset you. Were some of the things that were said true? If so, reflect on those truths and work to change that narrative for yourself. If some things that were said were false but still struck a nerve, think deeply about why they bothered you so much. Be open and honest with yourself. Sit in the truths you've discovered, and release those negative words. Pray and ask God to remove them from your heart, mind, and spirit. Once you've prayed a sincere prayer, throw the negative messages away physically and spiritually.
Once you've cleansed your mind and spirit of negative thoughts and expectations of others, begin meditating on positive messages and Scriptures about singleness. Identify quotes, adages, and Bible passages that uplift your spirit and change your mind about living single. Read them every day and night to redesign your thinking.
As you begin to refocus your mind, create realistic expectations for living a peaceful, prosperous single life. Be sure they revolve around your individual purpose during this season and not a relationship.
2. Understand Single Is a Relationship Status
Single, dating, engaged, married, divorced, widowed. Each of these words defines a relationship status, not an individual. To be at peace with living single, you must first separate your identity from your relationship status. Define yourself by discovering who God says you are and believing it. You are so much more than a person who isn't married. You have a distinct purpose to walk in during this time in your life. You are loved, creative, a blessing to others, and so much more. Your relationship status only defines who you are if you allow it. Take some time to pray, reflect and clearly define who you are outside being single. You may surprise yourself with the wonderful things you discover.
3. Reset Yourself in Your Singleness
You have to know how to start over for yourself. It's okay to begin again in everything; that's why God gives us new grace and mercies every day. Hang out with friends, journal, recreate your image and start fresh with actually dating. Let go of things, people, thoughts, and circumstances that give you a false sense of who you are and move forward. If you don't give yourself a chance to start over, you'll remain stuck and miss out on the beauty of living the single life.
4. Live in Your Single Truth
Be honest with yourself about being single. Take some time to reflect and ask yourself the following questions:
• Do I find peace and joy with my relationship status?
• Why is an intimate relationship so vital to my existence?
• How will a relationship benefit my life and my partners?
• What do I see wrong with being single? Why?
• What do I see that's right with being single?
• What false images have I created about who I am as an unmarried individual?
As you walk through each question, write down your responses and be completely honest with yourself. To change your mindset about being single, you have to know your truth and live in it. While reflecting and discovering your single truth, remember this is your definition of singleness, not someone else's. Many singles have a distorted image of singleness simply because of what others have said about it. Remove those images, thoughts, and preconceived notions from outsiders and learn your truth from you.
5. Limit Your Time on Social Media
Social media is the assassin of reality. It shows a glimpse of life at its best, not life in its entirety. If you're struggling in your singleness, be mindful of the time you spend scrolling through various social media outlets. Not only this, but be intentional about what you're reading, the images you like, and avoid reading so much negative commentary. While on social media, make sure you aren't comparing your reality to the reality someone chooses to show you. Use it sparingly and take things lightly that you see.
6. Stop Thinking About it So Much
Your relationship status should not be the center of your thoughts. Every waking moment you have should not be spent daydreaming about a relationship, a wedding, or visualizing how you'll be proposed to. If you are blessed to be in your right mind, your thoughts should be filled with gratefulness. Constantly thinking about your relationship status can only prevent you from enjoying it.
7. Being Single Is a Gift
Gifts are defined as natural abilities or talents. This season of your life is natural. It is a part of God's plan for you. You can live it out purposefully. This is the time where you gain a better understanding of who you are and whose you are. It's the time where you can intimately discover what your needs are and how they should be met. Many people often desire to rush through this season without taking full advantage of it. Don't let this happen to you. Take some time each day to indulge in the gift of your singleness.
8. Live Lightly
Enjoy your single journey. Map out what you want for yourself as an individual and in your dating relationships. So many singles can't enjoy the journey because they're focused on the end results. Live intentionally, live to have fun, focus on God and what He has planned for you during this time.
9. Love Yourself
1 Corinthians 13:4-7, New International Version, gives us the characteristics of love. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always perseveres." The Scripture outlines how we should love not only others but also ourselves.
• Love yourself enough to be patient with your relationship status. Be patient with yourself in all that you do or don't do.
• Be kind to yourself. This will show others how to treat you.
• Do not be envious of others' relationships. They may be enduring things you were not designed for.
• Loving yourself does not include bragging about your accomplishments. While you should acknowledge your achievements, remaining humble is imperative.
• Love yourself enough not to be so proud to think that you're above being single. This is a natural season in your life that everyone will experience. Don't be so proud that you overlook the blessing that it is.
• Love yourself enough not to dishonor who you are during this time. Carry and conduct yourself as the woman God created you to be.
• Love yourself enough to consider others. You're not the only single person in the world that may need to renew their mind and spirit about their relationship status. Pray for others. Pray with others. Uplift those around you. Share and exemplify love to others. You never know who may need it.
• Love yourself enough to learn from and let go of your mistakes. Never be so quick to become angry with yourself because of things you've done while living single. Learn the lesson and release the anger.
• Love yourself enough to forgive yourself. Many singles fail to let go of their past, and it keeps them there. Forgive yourself of failed relationships, fornication, lust, etc. Anything that's hindering you from renewing your mind, let it go.
• Love yourself enough to rejoice in the truth of singleness. Love yourself enough to shy away from the lies the world creates about it.
• Love yourself enough to guard your heart, mind, and spirit from the false images of singleness.
• Love yourself enough always to trust God and persevere as he would have you to.
If you have not loved yourself as Scripture has instructed you to, then you cannot intimately love anyone else. As we can see, love is an action word with many characteristics. You must show yourself love daily in your singleness in order to receive the love you deserve.
10. Understand What God Says About You
It's amazing how people of God often believe more of what the world says about them than what the Creator of heaven and earth knows about them. Having a clear understanding of who God says you are will renew your mind about your relationship status. Read and meditate on His Holy Word to discover who you are and how much you mean to Him. Take a look below for a few scriptures to remind you of what God says about you.
• You are a friend of God (John 15:13-15)
• God knows your name (Isaiah 43:1)
• You are loved (John 3:16)
As the New Year approaches, take some time each day to renew your mind, body, and spirit about being single. It is the most precious time of your life, and it should be treated as such.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/YakobchukOlena
Author Liz Lampkin is an experienced writer, teacher, and speaker. She is an advocate for singles who encourages them to live their best life God’s way. Follow her on Instagram @Liz_Lampkin.