You likely know all of the stigmas that come with being a single girl.
You’ve seen tweets, blogs, articles, pins, Instagrams and Facebook statuses about the struggles of being single and how to do singleness correctly. You may have an idea of the perfect man (which you’ve heard doesn’t exist), and how you’re going to be the perfect girl for him (which isn’t possible either, but you like to think it is).
I’ve been there too, which is why I know how easy it is for your motivation for everything to become being that perfect woman a perfect man would want.
For me, living a life to glorify God and know Him deeper became second place, and only served my primary desire — to be attached to a man.
When I originally wrote this post several months ago, I knew I was struggling with my singleness. I believed in the message I was writing, but when I was asked for specific examples of when I struggled, I realized I had actually written this post out of pride, thinking I had all the answers. I may have even hoped some single guy would read it and think, “Whoa. She has it all together. I should ask her for a date.”
I was struggling deeply and personally with all these truths. They began to resonate with me so much that I needed to write about them. And writing this post became a lesson for me about motives. Why am I motivated to do what I do? So, if you’re willing, bear with me through this. I’ll meet you at the end.
God is our perfect Creator. Because God created us, He knows us even better than we know ourselves. Every desire we have, He gave us. Every need we have, He knows how to satisfy better and more perfectly than anyone else.
And we don’t have to do anything to earn His love. Actually, “God demonstrated His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8). His love is perfect. It’s Agape love – a love that loves not because the recipient is loveable, but because love just flows from it. God chooses to love us.
I hope you know these truths already, but take a moment to let them sink in.
The question of motivation for me became do I really love Him in return?
Why do I really live for God? Do I love Him because He loved me first or just because I want what He can give?
These misplaced motives reach beyond singleness into the sinful nature of every human heart. Do I do what I do because I love God, or do I do it to look good? I realized recently that when I originally wrote this post, I was a prideful mess. I was expecting this little pouring-out-my-heart blog post to make me look good. So take a lesson from me and ask yourself why you do good things. Is it perfect love that motivates you, or something else?
When I was in high school, everything I did or didn’t do was because I was supposed to be the “good Christian girl.” I didn’t date, I didn’t cheat on tests, I played music in nursing homes, I went on mission trips. I was doing the right things, but I was miserable and found myself depressed. My motivation was wrong and my identity was in what I could do, not in the fact that Christ loved me.
And now that I’m older, my motives can just as easily get thrown off. I’ve got to keep re-learning that another person’s love is not perfect. It cannot be and I can’t expect it to be.
If we’re motivated to do all that we do just so we can be loved and accepted by another person, sooner or later, we’re going to be totally devastated.
I know being single can be lonely and difficult. I’ve been single all my 22 years of life. And I’m part of a generation of single women who are motivated by an indefinite, future, imperfect love, all the while completely missing an eternal, definite, perfect Love right in front of them.
But what if we were motivated by God’s love and sought to be joyful in singleness? What if instead of woefully accepting our current situations as God’s will, we thanked Him for being all that we need? What if we trusted Him to be with us when we’re lonely, and strong for us when we’re weak?
What if our identities became not about being single, but about belonging to God and serving Him because we love Him?
What if we were doing all those things? Would I have even written this post? Would you even be reading it? Maybe not. But it’s okay. Because as God’s grace empowers us, we will find out who He has made us to be. And then, we will learn how to love other people, which may eventually include a husband and children.
I don’t have it all together. Obviously.
So if you’re struggling with this, you’ve got someone else on your side. Single or not, feel free to message me if you need to talk about these struggles. Let’s share our stories, because I need your community. I’m very much still on this journey, but it’s a worthwhile one that gives me hope, joy, purpose and much more. My desire is to love God more, grow in grace, worry less and live wholly abandoned to Christ no matter where I am or what relationship status I carry. Maybe we should journey together.
*photo credit Britney @baretribe.blogspot.com