I saw it on Social Media.
The last person in the group was getting married. (Technically, I was now the last person, but this was the last person who wasn’t me.)
How would I respond?
Would I become the girl who buried her face in a carton of chocolate Haagen Daaz, listened to sad music and bemoaned the fact that someone else was getting married and I was still single?
Would I spend the day pouting and being angry at God and taking that anger out on everyone else who crossed my path?
Would I sink into a cloud of hopelessness and despair and throw myself a pity party?
Or would I obey the Biblical command and choose to “Rejoice with those who rejoice?” (Romans 12:15)
Would I be grateful that God had provided a spouse for my friend or would I be a whiny Wendy feeling sorry for herself? (No offense to anyone named Wendy, it’s just the only ‘W’ name that came to my mind.)
How would I respond?
What kind of woman was I going to be?
I have to admit that it took me a moment to choose a path. The temptation was REAL to choose the wrong road. But through the Holy Spirit, we are able to overcome temptation.
Instead, I chose a different road.
When Self-Pity Boulevard was screaming out, “You know you want to take this road,” I decided to take a detour. As my invitation to a pity party arrived shouting, “You really need to attend”, I said, “Sorry, I don’t want to go there.”
Instead, I decided to maintain my upbeat mood and keep moving forward with my day. There were places to go and things to do---what good was pitching a fit going to do me anyway? So I chose my mood and kept going forward.
Later on that evening as I was riding my exercise bike while blasting my “Fight” music (my playlist of rock and roll songs that remind me that life is good, God is better, He’s got it all under control, and I’m strong enough to do what He’s called me to do) I was thinking about the events of the day. As the music blasted on I said to God, “I don't want to be that girl---you know, the single girl who rains on everybody else's parade. I really do want to be the type of woman who is happy for another person’s blessings. I want to be happy that You were faithful and You provided a wonderful blessing for someone who has spent years of their life being faithful to you. That’s who I want to be……
I don’t want their blessing to make me feel hopeless or lost. Instead, I want to draw strength from Your provision in their life to trust that if You provided for them, in Your time, You’ll provide for me. BUT EVEN IF YOU DON’T…I still want to be a woman who trusts you with her life, who celebrates what You have provided, and who celebrates the happy times in the lives of others. Having complete confidence that You’ve got this, THAT is who I want to be.”
The truth is that over the years of my life, I’ve seen a lot of single women choose the path of jealousy, anger, bitterness, and self-pity in their lives. To a point, by choosing to be the victim, the sad sack, and the pooper at every party, single women gained a well-deserved reputation.
At this point, there’s only one thing that’s going to change this stereotype: You and I deciding that we want to choose a different path and create a new image of Christian single women.
That begins by rejoicing with those who rejoice.
It starts by celebrating the joys of others.
It continues every time we get our eyes off of what we don’t have in the moment and put our focus on the One Who can provide everything we need today, tomorrow, and in the future.
Our reputation will change when we make the decision to stop using “but I’m single” as a get-out-of-jail free card to avoid obeying the Scripture, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Take a look at those sentences, ladies. They are imperative—which means they are commands. They aren’t options. We’re either obeying the Bible or disobeying the Bible when we make another choice.
I understand that these are tough words. You definitely won’t see them reenacted on any chick flick. But that’s the difference between God’s words and the world’s standards. God’s Words are designed to make you into the best woman that you can be---the strongest, most emotionally healthy, spiritually discerning, fulfilled, victorious version of yourself possible. That’s the potential that God sees when He looks at you. When you choose to obey His Words, you’re on your way to becoming His dream for you.
Unfortunately, when we choose to disobey God’s commands and follow our own path of selfishness, self-pity, and just plain “self-focus” we keep ourselves from becoming all that God wants us to be and fulfilling His will for our lives. In the end, while we’re throwing a temper tantrum because we’re not getting what we KNOW will make us happy, God’s is waiting for us to stop, submit to His will, and follow Him down the path that will lead to us truly being happy and fulfilled.
In the end, the question boils down to, “Who do you want to be?”
The answer is found in the choices that you make.
Today, what will you choose?
Will you choose to be happy and content in whatever state you’re in?
Will you rejoice with those who rejoice and celebrate whatever plan God has for your life?
We can redefine the reputation of the Christian single woman---Who’s with me?