by Renee Fisher
If you’ve seen any chick flicks recently, you might get the impression that singleness is a sickness to be hastily cured. It’s easy to go with the cultural flow by buying into the frustration of waiting around, hoping to meet someone, and wondering why you’re alone. But despite popular opinion, there’s nothing wrong with being single nor with the desire to share life with a significant other.
Singleness is more than a waiting room to meet Mr. or Mrs. Right, so how can you make the most of this unique season of life? Here’s five ways to invest in your life, relationships, faith, and future – right now – to make singleness a fun and formative experience.
1. Meet New People
When you’re single you are gifted with the unique time and freedom to meet new people. You can actually share your life with lots of people. Think of your social calendar like a revolving door: always open to trying new restaurants, catching movies, hanging with your friends, taking classes, or helping out at your church. Maybe you won’t meet Mr. or Mrs. Right at school, but you’ll meet a teacher who can mentor you. Maybe no sparks will fly at your community service project day, but instead you might befriend some great guys or girls. With the help, encouragement, and prodding of these new relationships, you’ll soar to new heights in your personal and professional life.
2. Find Your Purpose
We all know the economy is in the gutter right now, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for not putting forth the effort to find out what you’re good at. Maybe it’s about time you finish your degree. Or maybe you can use one of your extra weeknights to volunteer with kids at church.
Sometimes we expect the light bulb of our life purpose will one day suddenly flip on, but this rarely happens. More often, we find our purpose as we roll up our sleeves and get to work.
It may take some time to find out what makes you tick, but when you feel like giving up, use Proverbs 4:25-27 as a guide, “Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established. Don’t turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil.” The longer you stay obedient to the Word of God, the more your life will continue to flourish. You’ll find the meaning of life because God’s the one leading you, not a boyfriend or girlfriend (although those are nice too).
3. Discover Your Dream Job
Pursuing your dream job is a perk of being single. For example, washing dishes at the local diner might not make enough money, but it gives you the flexibility to cultivate your artistic side or take college classes. It may not pay well, but it can empower you to figure out your interests and abilities. In the end, it’s so fulfilling to work at something you love and make a living.
Learning to live within your means will also help you out in the long run. Part of the “I-want-to-get-married” process is figuring out how much money you need to live on before you propose. It’s different for everyone.
4. Claim Your Identity
No matter who you want to be someday, the Bible has the answers. And as you’re forging your own path, sometimes you’ll find yourself working one career only to find you’re suddenly good at something else. Maybe God is showing you – or maybe it’s the pizza you ate the night before. Either way, take the time to find and form your identity according to His design for you. Ask Him to lead you as you find your passion, whether it’s cooking, teaching, programming, or something else.
As you discover and develop your unique identity, you’ll also be equipped to reach out to others. Surprisingly, singleness is not all about you. Hebrews 10:24 says, “Let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works.” In other words, make “motivate” your new middle name. Love your life. Eventually the excitement will catch on and inspire others to do the same.
5. Help The Poor
Maybe you’re not ready to get married at 22, 26, or 30, so take some time off and see the world, or Google your city and find a place where you can serve. Let your perspective forever be changed. Immerse yourself in the needs of the poor and allow their lives to challenge you. Pray for those who cannot help themselves. Get involved and fight for justice. You may not feel like you’re helping enough, but one small act can make a world of difference to one individual.
Isaiah paints a powerful picture of what happens when we serve our neighbors in need, “Isn’t the fast I choose … to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your house, to clothe the naked when you see him, and not to ignore your own flesh and blood? Then your light will appear like the dawn, and your recovery will come quickly. Your righteousness will go before you, and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard” (Isaiah 58:6-8).
The Best Is Yet To Come
Now is the time to set personal goals and healthy expectations. You can’t be all you want to be right away, and you’ll never be perfect, but you can always keep growing. Make a list of the qualities you’re looking for in a spouse and don’t forget to work on cultivating these qualities in your own life as well.
There’s not a guaranteed way to find Mr. or Mrs. Right, as hard as you might try. But you can spend time developing your identity, character, and ambitions into the most attractive kind of person on earth: a selfless person; someone who knows him or herself well, who is rooted in the Word, and who freely gives of him or herself to others.
Renee Fisher is a speaker, author, and blogger ministering to twentysomethings, and her latest book *Not Another Dating Book* (Harvest House) releases in February 2012.