Think, for a minute about the last time you made something “from scratch.” Maybe it was something you baked, painted, planted or constructed. Maybe you wrote, arranged or organized it.
Whatever it was, it was your creation.
And when you finished, do you remember how you took a step back and admired it for a minute…and then maybe a minute (or two) again?
Now you have a tiny glimpse of how God must feel, especially about every living thing He’s ever created…including you!
You are His poiema…His masterpiece (Eph. 2:10). And He can’t take His eyes off of you. He created you, as well as your season of singleness, for a purpose. And He’s very interested in watching you live it out.
The primary purpose of singleness is to pursue an undistracted devotion to the Lord. Your season of singleness is intended to focus on that foundational relationship.
You were not just made by God; you’re made for God.
We’re meant to get really good at being near God. As Pastor and author Ben Stuart puts it, “to hear His heartbeat, to know what He cares about; to be attentive to His Word and His work.”
A part of this work is to create structures where life can flourish.
Making and taking time to develop your faith and to pour into others and help them do the same.
When you come alongside Him in this type of work, it makes it harder for you to pursue other distractions. It also makes you a more interesting human. People are attracted to and like being around other life-giving people.
Jesus was that kind of person and so was the apostle Paul who is said to have patterned His life after that of Christ. He wrote about it to his followers in 1 Corinthians 11:1 where he says, “Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ.”
Leaning into Christ and his work by having a mission of investing in others is the first of the 5 Pillars of a Season of Singleness Lived Well that Ben Stuart shares in his book, Single. Dating. Engaged. Married. and that I began to write about in my last post.
(If you haven’t yet had the chance to read the post, but would still like to, you may access it through this link.)
Finding and developing your mission in your season of singleness helps to establish such a meaningful, foundational platform for the other 4 Pillars.
It’s your cause and it’s your purpose around which others may rally and become inspired.
If your sole mission in this season revolves around your finding a mate, you will fall short of all that God has in store for you.
Make the decision…right now, that nothing in life will keep you from fulfilling the purpose God has assigned to you. Recognize that your mission isn’t complete until God calls you home.
Alright, with having a mission now established as the first of the 5 Pillars of a Season of Singleness Lived Well, let’s now explore the others.
- In addition to making time to pour in to others, it’s important that you develop some deep friendships.
- Not just acquaintances or co-workers but those with whom you develop deeper relationships – beyond just a surface level.
- People who have your back – and you theirs; who help one another up when one is down.
- The kind that can stand the test of time and endure difficulties.
- Others, with whom you can share life – including its burdens and struggles.
- Friends who push us forward in God’s call on our lives and help to preserve and promote life – both physically and spiritually.
#3 A Life-long Learner
- Whatever you may already have accomplished or done in life, make the commitment to never stop learning.
- Singleness provides a unique opportunity to invest deeply in your relationship with God.
- Maintain a “spirit of teachability.” (See 2 Timothy 4: 13)
- Seek to fully listen before responding. This provides the opportunity for others to share their ideas and for you to learn new perspectives. People love knowing and feeling as though they’ve been “heard.”
- Ask good and thoughtful questions. Your inquiries should outnumber your statements.
- Seek more advice than you give.
- “People will care how much you know when they know how much you care.”
- If learning doesn’t come naturally to you, consider making this a priority on your calendar, blocking time each day or week to “practice” learning so that like the apostle Paul, you’ll continually grow in Christ.
- Like everyone else, you’ve been hurt and hurt people eventually hurt people.
- Forgiveness isn’t minimizing the wrong that was done or the pain that was caused.
- It’s choosing to maximize your view of God, even in the midst of pain and confusion.
- It’s allowing God to enforce justice as only he can.
- Whenever you take a stand for the truth, you will face resistance.
- “You can be right or you can be happy.”
- Pick your battles and decide carefully the “mountains you are willing to die on.”
- Don’t try to even the score or call down curses.
- Leave room for God and the Holy Spirit. (Romans 12:19)
- Remember all of the times God has forgiven you and seek to share the same level of grace and mercy to others who may have harmed you. (Romans 5:8)
- God can use your current circumstances as a single person.
- It’s no accident that you’re where you are, have the time you have and are surrounded by the people who are part of your life.
- Trust in the God you claim and worship and “take naps.”
- A rested, restful soul is a happier, more productive soul.
- When you rest in God, you recognize that your life is about your relationship with him.
- Identity isn’t found in your friends, your dating relationship or even a spouse.
- Identity is found, foremost, in your relationship in Christ Jesus.
A house that’s built on a weak foundation will not stand. (See Matthew 7:24-27)
Purpose your season of singleness in such a way to construct and maintain a strong foundation.
God has purposed that every human being on the planet experience this stage of life.
Commit yourself today to making the most of it.
Right here with you,
For some additional inspiration and study this week on how you are God’s Poiema, click on this link.