By Patrice Burrell, Crosswalk.com
Many women dream of one day meeting the man of their dreams and becoming smitten by their forever love. If you are a single woman desiring to marry, in all candidness, it can sometimes be easy to feel frustrated by your unmet desire. This aspiration can even be a barrier to enjoying life in your current season of singleness.
For those who may be a bride in waiting, maintaining a perspective that singleness is an opportunity to celebrate God's goodness is helpful in not becoming disappointed or distracted by our desire to marry. Marriage is a wonderful, beautiful gift from God. But so is being single. Though different, they are both to be embraced. Too often, women do not view this time in their lives as a "beautiful" gift from the Lord. Instead, they are distracted by their yearning for married life and end up grieving their singleness.
One vital aspect of celebrating singleness and living a full life is waiting well. Make no mistake, waiting well is easier said than done. It is accompanied by challenges that will make you question if waiting well is a worthy choice. But it is. When we choose to wait well as single women, we are choosing to revere God by cherishing the beautiful gift of singleness he has entrusted to us. More significant than any opposition we may encounter is God's grace. It is always available and accessible when we need it most. His grace empowers us to do what we cannot in our own ability - appreciate, find value, and take joy in our waiting. God's grace enables us to wait well as we rest in the continually renewed strength He offers us throughout the process.
Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) tells us, "But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." In other text translations, the word wait is replaced with hope. The key to waiting well is connected to our ability to place hope in God and God alone.
When we wait well, we are not only waiting on God but also in God. This paradigm shift now informs our focus. Waiting in God allows us the freedom to enjoy our life. We can live full and free as we pursue God - not marriage. We do not have to be consumed with waiting for a husband to miraculously appear because we are focused on living lives consumed with pleasing Jesus.
1 Corinthians 7:34 (NIV) says, "...An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband."
Isaiah 54:5 (NIV) reminds us, "For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer."
These passages help us to understand our first responsibility as single women is our relationship with the Lord. We are first committed to Him. Our loyalty and longing should point us to a sustaining, intimate fellowship with God above any other we will ever seek.
In my soon-to-be-released Bible study, Living My Best Life, Embracing God's Gift of Living Full and Single, I discuss six core life areas single Christian women can cultivate as they live their best life in Christ. Whereas many Bible studies for singles are devoted to "marriage prep," I strongly believe single women should invest their time and energy working on their relationship with God and honoring Him in every area of life. In this way, dating and marriage can happen organically. Here are two of those core areas I would like to share with you.
As a bride in waiting, we want to give attention to our financial affairs and ensure they are in order. This begins with allowing our finances to reflect biblical management over the financial resources God has given us. We can acknowledge that everything we have comes from God. As single women, it is very important to trust God with our finances. When we dedicate what we have to God, He proves himself over and over again as our faithful provider. Financial abundance occurs when we release what we have back to God. It is the act of sowing seeds that always yields a new harvest of blessings in our lives.
How we handle our money is a sacred part of worship. As a matter of fact, being a good steward of the resources God has entrusted to us as single women are often a telltale sign if we have the individual maturity and financial independence necessary to consider merging our life with a spouse in marriage. It is not the responsibility of our future spouse to rescue us from financial misfortunes or mistakes we may have created as a single person. Having this expectation is a wrong motivation for marriage. By operating in the wisdom of God, single women can experience financial stability. God does not need to bless us with a husband in order to experience financial peace and stability in our life.
Being financially responsible in our singlehood will not happen by accident. It will require us to become educated, diligent, and committed to ensuring our financial affairs are all in good standing with God's principles. It is possible for us to live without debt, have sufficient resources to meet our family's cost of living, and build generational wealth as our legacy, even though we are single women. Let's use this time of singleness to accomplish these goals so that God may be pleased in how we present back to Him that He has given to us.
Fitness is all about living a healthy lifestyle that offers glory to God. Our lifestyle is a reflection of the choices we make. When we own the revelation that comes through God's Word that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, our health choices will be in harmony with the Spirit of God. Respecting our temples always causes us to reap the blessings of God in our lives. How we govern our body is a form of worship, and it should bring God much honor.
One way we can embrace fitness as part of a healthy lifestyle involves understanding how our body functions. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I attended a Lamaze class in preparation for natural childbirth. I've never forgotten something, the nurse said to the class. She said, "Listen to your body." Even though at the age of twenty-three, I had never had a baby before, I realized through her comment that if I would pay attention to my body and listen to it, I would be able to navigate what works well for me throughout my pregnancy, and especially when it came time to give birth to my daughter.
And you know what? That's exactly how things went for me from that point on. I was able to apply the information I learned in that class during my delivery. And those words, "Listen to your body," have been ringing in my ears ever since as I often have to answer this question regarding health choices: "What works for me?" And that's just it for you too! What works well for you will become the fuel that helps you achieve and sustain physical fitness in God-honoring, grace-filled lifestyle choices.
You see, your fitness journey can be highly individualized. We each must be aware of what we need to do in order to support our optimal health. God doesn't expect your best life to be lived in someone else's temple but through the body He has given to you.
We learn what works well for us when we listen to our bodies. We can create rhythms and routines that fit our personality and make us happy. Learning to make the most of where we are now along our path, using what we currently have, and enjoying the journey of a healthy lifestyle, one intentional decision at a time, are all golden nuggets we can utilize to maximize success in the area of our health and wellness. This is how we live our best life, caring for the only temple God has given us while here on Earth. We make a great investment to ourselves as we wait and simultaneously enjoy life.
If you are a bride in waiting, don't neglect your physical, mental, or emotional health as you wait on God AND in God. Having the best fitness possible is necessary in supporting our choices to live full and free as single women. Our health is important and cannot be neglected today while we wait for tomorrow's promises. We owe this to ourselves and God.
Be encouraged, knowing that God's timing really is perfect. We will have all we are supposed to when He intends, including marriage if that is His best present to us. In the meantime, let's commit to waiting well, celebrating our gift of singleness, and living our best life as God has gracefully designed and ordained.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/JLco - Julia Amaral
Championing women to live authentically and pursue God passionately, Patrice Burrell is called to lead others to the grace of God, rooted in the truth of scripture. She is an author, life coach, and worship leader who loves practicing the presence of God through a lifestyle anchored in spiritual disciplines. As a Bible teacher and preacher, she exhorts women to remember their true identity is defined in Christ, not culture. When not serving at her local church with the small groups and singles' ministries, Patrice enjoys visiting local Orlando attractions, reading books while sitting along the beach, and finding unique ways to explore her writing creativity. You can connect with Patrice on her blog, Warrior Woman Blog, on social media in her Facebook community, Warrior Women, and @patriceburrellministries on Facebook and Instagram. Patrice is excited about her new book release, Living My Best Life: Embracing God’s Gift of Living Full and Single. It is a six-session Bible study designed especially for single women. You can also check out her debut book, Warrior Slay, a devotional book on the power of worship and prayer.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
You can read Rhonda's full article here.