When You're Single During The Holidays
The holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year. From Thanksgiving to Christmas to even New Years Eve, there are so many opportunities to get together and celebrate with others. From all the great traditions, food, and fellowship, this family-oriented season which is meant to be cherished, can at times for the single be difficult.
As the holidays draw closer, we see families posting their sweet family traditions, the Hallmark Channel placing every romantic Christmas movie on repeat, our Facebooks flooded with acquantaces getting engaged, and the single experiencing some sort of remark at the family dinner as to why they don’t have a plus one.
The message preached by today’s culture is to get married, have kids, and find happiness as the end goal of your life- and this message is amplified during the holidays. Now, all those things are beautiful gifts that can truly glorify the Lord and can be desired rightly, but if we keep them as our end goal we will soon find out that checking these things off our list won’t give us the true peace our hearts long for.
Our supreme end goal in life should be to know Christ more and to live for Him; in our singleness, in our marriages, in our families, and in all things. As many have said before; our identity is found in Christ not our relationship status. This relationship status is a position where our sanctification can be walked out. Whether your are single, dating, or married, we are all called to deny ourselves and pick up our cross wherever the Lord has positioned us- for our good and His glory. No one said that it would be easy but the Lord did promise that He would be with us.
For the single, the truth is- those who shouldn’t bombard you at the holiday gathering with questions like “why are you single?" probably still will and your bouts of loneliness and impatience may come from time to time. At the end of the day, we are responsible for how we choose to respond. With reliance upon the Lord, choose wisely.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up on meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
We were not created to do life alone. Although you may not have a romantic relationship or kids of your own, you can choose to be part of your local church’s family. Even if you have different backgrounds, preferences, or abilities, you are all connected through Christ. Surround yourself with these people, do life day in and out with them. Be present and celebrate what God is doing in the lives of those in your local church. Side Note: Families in the church- make it a priority to invite these singles into your homes for meals and fellowship as if they were your own.
Isolation can become so easy in the winter months and that can be dangerous for you spiritually. Be honest with some leaders you can trust within your local church. Ask them to hold you accountable. Pray with them, encourage one another, challenge one another, love one another.
Serve the church as you stay fixated on Christ. Serving isn’t just a good distraction to keep us busy from the feeling of loneliness, it’s not just what you are suppose to do until you meet your spouse, it’s a call upon all of our lives to give of ourselves humbly, to respond in worship for what Christ has done.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
In so many ways, protect yourself before you wreck yourself, ask that leader to keep you accountable as you rely on the Holy Spirit to practice self-control. Set up boundaries if you are afraid that you are going to jump into a relationship just so that you don’t feel lonely. Don’t text that random girl or respond to that dude’s DM just because you want attention, it never ends well.
Guard your mind and heart by what you are consuming music and entertainment wise, if it’s leaving you depressed or frustrated, why consume it? Choose something that will benefit your walk with the Lord and will position you to extend His kingdom.
It might “feel” good to fantasize about the relationship you want or the family that you never had but it’s not exactly productive. There is so much purpose in where God has you right now, look around and be intentional with it! Dwell upon and be satisfied in the Lord instead of your daydreams.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,” Psalm 103: 1-2
Sometimes our hearts and minds forget how much we have in Christ, we make it about ourselves and bitterness comes in because we believe the lie that we don’t have all that we need. Before we know it our frustration turns into anger and we see our discontent negatively impacting several areas of our lives. When you feel that your heart is not in the right place, it’s so important to in that moment; choose to praise the Lord. Pull out your go-to worship playlist and with all that is within you belt out praise to the Lord! I don’t care how stupid you might look like in your car, choose to worship Him, because He IS good, we DO have all that we need in Him, and this life is about HIM not about us. If you need a playlist, message me!
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
As I mentioned earlier, no one said that the life of a Christian would be easy but God did promise us that He would be with us. Choose to abide in Christ through prayer. Your singleness is not the only time for you to develop intimacy with the Lord, it might look a little differently than other seasons but drawing close to the Lord and being content in Him should be a lifelong practice. Start now before later.
Treasure, savor, and adore Him. Remember that He pursued and loved you before you ever knew Him and with Him fully knowing that you would sin against Him. Get into your word, become familiar with His voice. Cry out to the Lord in prayer, cling to Him. Face things He’s been placing His finger on. Repent and walk out the holiness He’s called you to with Him. Ask the Lord what He wants to teach you in the season you are in and how you can step out and live for Him.
If you desire marriage, pray to the Lord about it, don’t just get frustrated because it hasn’t happened yet. Rely on the Lord and get real with Him before you try to force anything to happen in your own strength. If you are to marry some day, I’d hope it would be covered in prayer and guided by the Lord not by your impatience.
No matter what season you see yourself in; single, dating, or married, may we all see Christ as our end goal in this season and in the next. May we be faithful to steward well, by His strength and grace; the position He’s placed us in for His glory.