Dear Single Sisters,

This is not going to be the obligatory Christian blog post about your singleness and how they are the best years of your life and you should cherish them blah blah blah.

I know. You have a biological clock that’s a tickn and you are going to throat punch the next person who tells you to live it up now because you won’t be able to when you have a husband and kids blah blah blah.

I’m going to give you some advice that may, ironically, expedite the process. Or it may not. Only God knows. But this advice, if taken, will make you more attractive and more prepared for marriage. And, if you choose to remain single, you will still find joy and satisfaction if you do this.

Here it is:

Convince yourself that marriage is not going to make you happy. I am dead serious about this. You must know this. When you know it, you will be more ready for marriage than ever before. Do you know how many women dream of marriage, but never think a day beyond? It’s like they think life is a Disney fairy-tale that ends after the wedding day. We are products of our culture, I tell you. The day after your wedding will come, and it will not be happily ever after. No matter who you marry, there will be hard days. There will be lonely days. There will be difficult times. There will also be good times. But if you go into marriage expecting that it will be the source of your happiness, you will destroy it. Marriage was not meant to make you happy. It was designed by God to sanctify you. Joy may very well be a byproduct of sanctification, but there will be little to no joy if you expect your spouse to be the source of your happiness. It will drain him. No one can do that for you but Jesus. Jesus can do that for you now. You don’t have to wait to be married to be happy.

When you are deriving your joy from Jesus, you will become one of the most attractive people around. People will long to be around you. Why? Because you are filled with the Holy Spirit. You are filled with confidence that you are loved and cared for by the Creator of the Universe. You know that you don’t need to snag a husband to be happy. You know that being single does not mean you are undesirable or unloved. You are happy and confident now, and that makes you irresistible.

And when someone falls in love with this beautiful, confident, joyful woman, he will have the luxury of being your husband without the pressure of being your source of joy. When our emotions are dependent on what our husbands say or don’t say, we drain them of life and leave them feeling like failures. Because let’s face it, the greatest man on earth will never be able to meet our need for attention and validation. Only Jesus can do that. So if you let Jesus do that for you now instead of thinking you need a man to do that for you, you will not only become a more attractive person, but you will have a mindset that is ready for marriage. You will be ready for a marriage where you are filling up on the Holy Spirit and pouring out into your spouse rather than trying to fill up on your spouse, who will never be able to do that job like Jesus can.

So whether you meet your future spouse tomorrow, ten years from now, or whether you remain single, you can be full of joy if you start really believing that marriage will never be the source of your happiness and that a man will never be able to give you the kind of validation that you will find in Jesus.

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Emotional Health

It is to the disadvantage of many Christians that they believe therapists and counselors have no place in the Christian’s life. They believe reading or praying or going to speak to their pastors will give them everything they need.

I was once one of those people. It wasn’t until I faced the very real possibility of my marriage crumbling that, in desperation, I sought the help of a therapist.

Her name is Loie. After my first meeting with Loie, I felt something I had not felt in a very long time: hope. Hope that I could change. That I could feel okay again.

You see, I learned a very important thing from Loie. I learned that I was in fact deeply entrenched in a co-dependent marriage- one that was riddled with controlling and enabling behaviors. It was not until my husband and I both admitted this that we were able to get on the path of healing rather than destroying each other emotionally.

We are very close with our pastors. They are loving and wise people. It is not in opposition to them that I say this. Pastors do not always have the training it takes to help people who are deeply emotionally wounded.

My therapist, who is herself a believer, understands the way the brain works on a scientific level. She understands emotions and how experiences and memories are tied to emotions, where they are stored in the brain and why we react in certain ways. She understands relationships and communication.

She has devoted her life to understanding God’s design of the human mind. Just like medical doctors have devoted their lives to God’s design of the human body (they may not acknowledge that it is God’s design but that is neither here nor there), therapists have studied the mind, the brain, and emotions.

If you would go to a medical doctor when you break your leg, so should you seek an emotional doctor when your heart has been broken.

I am in no way saying that God does not have a place in healing. He absolutely does. He is the Great Healer. The Great Physician. However, I am saying that in refusing to see a Christian therapist when you are emotionally wounded, it is much like refusing to see a doctor when you are physically wounded.

There is no shame in seeking emotionally healing. There is no shame in admitting the need to ramp up our brain health. There is no shame in admitting that we have been emotionally wounded and need emotional healing. Unfortunately, Christians have been among some who discourage people from seeing therapists and counselors, pressing them to see pastors and read their Bibles instead. Pastoral counsel and reading the Word of God are of utmost importance, and certainly have the power to bring healing. But God has also gifted people who have devoted their lives to the study of His design for our emotions. And there should be no shame in seeking out help and healing from those experts.

If you find yourself in a difficult marriage or struggling with your emotions, anxiety, depression, thoughts of self-harm, know that you are not less Christian for seeking emotional help. In fact, God may use your story of healing to inspire and encourage others. I know He has used what my husband and I have gone through to speak truth into the lives of others. I do not regret what we have been through. I am thankful that it brought us to a place of humility in which we were able to seek the help of a Christian therapist and get on the path of healing in Jesus.

If any of you out there are reading this and wanting to start your healing journey, please pick up the book, Becoming a Family that Heals by Drs. Tom and Beverly Rodgers. It will give you hope.