Within the SingleRoots community, we have two things in common: Jesus and singleness. And since those are our two common factors we tend to talk about them a lot. Many of us have read and even written a lot of material on singleness simply because we are (or have been) unmarried for far longer than we ever thought we would be.
We’ll all readily admit that none of us are flawless in how we live out this lot in our lives. But most of us gather round these posts to read and converse because we believe it’s good to be introspective and to always be seeking ways to improve–not for the sake of legalism, but in order to live our lives to the fullest.
Since those of us on the SingleRoots team spend a large portion of our of time with singles in real life and within this online community, we’ve been able to spot some holes in the way we live our single lives, ourselves included. Of course, not every Christian who is single is lacking in all of these areas, but in our conversations, these are recurring themes. A little armchair observation, if you will, of the 5 things singles don’t have enough of. (Excuse our dangling preposition. Nothing else seemed to convey our thoughts on the matter so…succinctly.)
Some of us need to get serious about our financial stewardship. Whether it’s student loans or credit card debt, we can’t keep sticking our heads in the sand and hoping for a Sugar Daddy/Mama to come along and wipe our debts clean like it’s the Old Testament Year of Jubilee. We need to get to work attacking our mountain of debt and stop spending more than we’re earning. Whether we’re single or married, debt hangs around our necks like an albatross.
A good place to start is with a simple budget system, like YNAB (You Need a Budget). Beyond that, though, we need to tithe the money that’s been entrusted to us as well as build up our savings accounts.
Our friend, PT at PTMoney.com, says when it comes to emergency funds, if we have to ask if we have enough, we probably don’t. He offers some good tips on building an emergency fund so we can stay out of debt should an unexpected event occur, like a job loss or hospitalization or major home repairs.
And while we’re on the topic of emergencies…
2. Emergency plans
What if something did happen to you? We know it’s a morbid thought, but still…what if? Does someone have (or know where they can locate) a spare key to your house if it has been days since anyone heard from you? What about the passwords to important accounts if you were to unexpectedly die? Have you marked emergency contact numbers in your cell phone?
Essentially what we’re asking is: Who will be alerted if you are hurt, and do they know what you want them to do should something happen?
If you can’t answer that question, you might need to work on your emergency plans. We’re not saying you need to give away the keys to your domestic kingdom and the rights to all that money you’ve been saving (see #1) to anyone and everyone, but it would be prudent for a parent, sibling or lifelong friend to know how to care for you in the event of an emergency.
3. Hard conversations
Let’s be honest, keeping things on the surface and talking about little more than dating (or lack thereof) when we’re single is a great temptation. It’s not easy to bare your soul to someone and trust that they will not forsake you or shame you for the things you’ve done that you aren’t proud of. But we would argue that it is much more imperative to have those hard conversations especially when you’re single.
Think about it: If you’re single with no roommate, there’s no one there to make you share your living space; consequently, there’s certainly no one there to get on your nerves and force you to deal with things in an amicable, Christ-exalting manner. There’s no one there to notice that you’ve been unhealthily texting an old boyfriend or girlfriend simply because you’re lonely or to remind you that all you do is come home from work and watch tv all night, every night. But more importantly, there’s no one there in those moments when you are tempted in the privacy of your own home.
The statistics on pornography are staggering. And let’s don’t be fooled into thinking pornography is solely a male issue, because it’s not. More men might struggle with it than women, but thanks to the use of computers and mobile devices, it is easy for both genders to get it for free whenever they want a fix.
Having the hard conversations, though, is not just about pornography. It’s about dying to ourselves–something that is increasingly more difficult when we live alone and have created a safe little environment where we don’t have to answer to anyone else. We need to find a safe place–be it a good friend or a mentor–who will allow us the freedom and the grace to share our shortcomings, but who won’t allow us to stay in sin. It’s one thing to have online communities for support, but we need people in real life who will walk the road with us. Those relationships don’t come naturally or easily, but they are vital.
If you’re the kind of person who lives for adventure, climbs every mountain, and has an REI frequent shopper card, then this isn’t for you. Actually, yes, it still is. We often put our outdoorsy friends into the category of “adventurous.” We surmise that we’re not them, we’ll never be them, and we like life in flip-flops not Chacos, thankyouverymuch.
But we’re convinced we do the term “adventure” a disservice when we only allow it to define our Jeep-driving, well-tanned, granola-y friends.
While we’re single we have all kinds of opportunities, and, we may not say it, but we often wait to live our lives after we’ve exchanged wedding vows with someone. In the interim, we become so focused on finding a spouse that we forget to live in the moment.
Do you hate your job? Have you always wanted to go on an international mission trip–or, even just a trip? Have you always wanted to try salsa dancing or trace your family’s ancestry?
By the way, while some of us focus on dating way too much, there are a few of us who need some adventure when it comes to relationships. Some of us have wanted to take a risk and try out online dating, but for whatever reason fear or other excuses got in the way.
Whatever it is, we need to stop waiting and start living out some really cool adventures while we’re single. Marriage is much more fulfilling when it’s lived out between two people who are already fulfilled.
We have a lot of conversations about singleness. Like, a lot. Even the married people ask us about singleness because, well, they know us and they know about this site and they have questions. It can get exhausting talking about singleness so much, and we know from our own lives it’s easy to sound like Eeyore when talking about a deeply personal unmet desire. We aren’t saying to sweep it under the rug, pretend you’re thrilled about it, and put on a happy face.
But then–and work with us on this–sometimes we do need someone to tell us just that: “Put on a happy face.”
Of course there’s a need for authenticity, but there’s also a need for us to be reminded that our lives are beautiful and God-given. When we forget that and start believing Jerry Maguire’s line about someone else completing us, then we need perspective. We aren’t saying there won’t be bad days, hard days, but some of our pity parties stick around far longer than they should.
We need a good dose of optimism, like a reminder that the Creator of this Earth also knitted each of us in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). He is good (Psalm 100:5) and He withholds no good gifts from His children (Psalm 84:11). And regardless of whether we’re flying solo or covenanted to another, He has works He’s prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
What are other things you think single people don’t have enough of?
Photo credit: tanakawho