Saturday, November 12, 2016

"It's a Shame a Girl Like You..."

It's November, which means it's the beginning of get-togethers, gatherings, and meals with friends and family, you only see once a year.  For my single (I dislike that term, but we'll roll with it) girlfriends, we know what that means.  It's time for the yearly, inevitable question, "So, do you have a boyfriend, yet?"  This cues the response we gave them, last year (I, personally, choose to wait on the Lord and I believe His timing is perfect...this is usually met with a blank stare or a few rapid blinks). "Well, it's such a shame that a girl like you isn't married or at least has a boyfriend," they say.  These questions and responses come from well-meaning friends and family, but they imply that our achievement or position in life is tied to our relationship status and I have to agree, but they are talking about the wrong relationship.  :)  We live in a culture where 7 year olds are praised for having girlfriends or boyfriends and a society that evaluates you by your Facebook relationship status, so it's odd to most when teens and 20-somethings choose to wait on the Lord and not date for recreation.  I'm a huge proponent of Godly marriages and relationships and I look forward to the day that this will come to fruition, in my life (believe me, I love a good, God-honoring relationship story...ahhhh), but the ultimate relationship status is our one with the Lord (even after we are married).  A season of singleness isn't a time to be looked down upon, pitied or to be noted as a less-than moment. On the contrary, it can be a beautiful time that brings glory to our Father (just like all seasons of life).  So, instead of focusing on your single friends' relationship standing, this holiday season, I have a few suggestions on comments you can make that will offer encouragement...

Compliment them on an area in which you see them serving the Lord... 
-"It's such a blessing to watch you serve the Lord in..." 
-"Your dedication to honoring the Lord, in every aspect of your life, is beautiful to see."  

Be interested in what they are doing, here and now...
-"How's life?"
-"What are you up to?"

If you see something in their life, that will indeed bless their future families, then by all means, offer them a compliment in a genuine and positive way.  
-"I know ______ will bless your future husband and family, some day."  
-"Your (character trait) is so _____...your future husband will be a lucky guy."  (We can all tell when people are sincere!) 

Marriage isn't the end all of end alls.  It's a wonderful thing to desire and to prepare for and that is something I try to do.  But, I also pray for contentment, because I know the Lord is sovereign and His plans are what are best for my life...even more so than anything I could conjure up or settle for.  Each stage of life offers it's challenges, so let's strive to be an encouragement to the single girl ("You're such a blessing"), the young mom ("You're doing a great job with your children...keep up the good work"), or the empty-nester ("The way you have raised your children has been such an inspiration to me").  It will mean a lot.