Belton’s Guide to Singleness

Belton’s Guide to Singleness

“Fasting is a discipline of abstaining from something good, so we can concentrate on our spiritual lives and find satisfaction in God” – NewSpring

~

Have you ever wanted to just be SO satisfied? I know I have and do; I beg God for it almost daily. I want more of him–all of him–only him. Some songs I still plead to God during after so many years are “Christ is enough” and “Set a Fire.” I want to be so completely consumed by the Holy Spirit. I want Christ alone to be enough for me.

If I’m being completely honest, I tell myself he is enough, but when I think of my future, I expect a lot — I want to be married. And honestly, I don’t think I would be content if it didn’t come into fruition. I have grown up thinking the purpose of life is to get married.

In the back of my mind, I have been looking at my singleness as a waiting period — I’m waiting for my next relationship, my next potential-future-husband. I do not feel like I am content yet because I am not in a relationship. I feel like once I meet “the one” my life will be complete.

WOAH NOW! what??!

Why on earth am I thinking like this? Is just me and my Savior not enough for me? Is what he did not good enough for me?

I have met “the one” — his name is Jesus.

The only one who is ever going to truly satisfy me is Jesus, and until I understand that, I’ve got some growing to do.

So

After realizing (over and over) that I am not where I want to be and because I’m tired of actively looking for a man to fill me up, I have decided to give up dating this year (aka fasting from dating) with the intention of …

  • becoming completely dependent on God
  • becoming a godly woman
  • learning what it means to be a sister in Christ
  • spending more time focused on my girls and
  • establishing my worth

These things I believe should be the main focus of any girl (or guy?) who is single and desires marriage, so here’s my guide to (being intentional during) singleness!

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#1 Dependence on God:

“Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word”  – Psalm 119:37

“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you” – Psalm 63:3

“Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth” – Colossians 3:2

Our sole purpose of existence is to bring God glory and build his Kingdom, yet sometimes I forget and live for myself. Does anyone else relate?

Well, one of the main things I catch myself wanting is attention … from boys. I get so caught up in what they think about me (even my guy friends that I am not romantically attracted to) — my emotions and thoughts revolve around their opinions and the attention they give me.

I know it’s normal and lots of girls do it, but I am so tired of being weighed down by it and having my life dictated by it.

Part of the reason I am quitting dating is to free myself from the pressure of looking to others for affirmation.

I want to want Jesus more than anything else in the world. I want my worth and desires to come from him and his goodness. I want to need him alone. I want to be alone, cold, hungry, and poor and be joyful because of how good he is. I want my life to be based on my contentment in the Lord. I want to have him alone and be glad in it.

This Scripture is so beautiful to me:

“You, Lord, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands. How wonderful are your gifts to me; how good they are! I praise the Lord…he is near, and nothing can shake me. And so I am thankful and glad, and I feel completely secure, because you protect me from the power of death… You will show me the path that leads to life; your presence fills me with joy and brings me pleasure forever.” – Psalm 16:5-11

This is what my main purpose is: to grow so much in the Lord that nothing else matters …especially not boys.

“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” Psalm 42:2a

I want to reorient my eyes on the things of heaven instead of my fleshly desires.

#2 A Woman of Godliness

Do you have someone come to your head when you hear the term “godly woman?”

I do — a few actually. My grandmas are some of the wisest and most spiritual women I have ever met. Their lives are completely dedicated to the Lord, and they are known as women who love God and his people. They serve their husbands humbly, hold honorable positions at their churches, and love their kids well. They are kind to all and always open to meeting new people.

That’s what I want to be — like them. I want to be known as a woman who loves the Lord and his people with everything in her. I want to grow so much in the Lord; I want my whole identity and reputation to be wrapped around my pursuit and love of him.

But it’s hard to fully chase after God when I am also thinking of a particular guy (or 2) in the back of my mind. I want this time in my life to be dedicated to becoming more like Jesus and more like the Proverbs 31 woman.

“Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

She finds wool and flax
and busily spins it.
She is like a merchant’s ship,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.

She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She is energetic and strong,
a hard worker.
She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
her lamp burns late into the night.

Her hands are busy spinning thread,
her fingers twisting fiber.
She extends a helping hand to the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.
She has no fear of winter for her household,
for everyone has warm[b] clothes.

She makes her own bedspreads.
She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
Her husband is well known at the city gates,
where he sits with the other civic leaders.
She makes belted linen garments
and sashes to sell to the merchants.

She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.

Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
“There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise”

– Proverbs 31:10-31

I want to be trustworthy, hardworking, energetic, strong, helpful, selfless, dignified, fearless, wise, kind, watchful, and virtuous. I want to be someone God can be proud of and call a “good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23).

Before I focus on pleasing a husband, I need to focus on pleasing God and becoming a good, dedicated, loyal, and faithful disciple.

“a woman who is unmarried can be fully devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit, but a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband” – 1 Corinthians 7:34

#3 A Sister in Christ

Christians love to use the term “brother” and “sister in Christ”

Haha. I have never really liked these terms

The idea of seeing boys as brothers has always been weird to me. When I think of brothers, I think of my own [William and Jeffrey aka Foofy and Jay Jay]. Our relationship is very different than any relationship I have ever had with another human, and the idea of associating other boys with that type of relationship has always made me uncomfortable.

Only recently have I truly understood these terms.

When God sent Jesus, He did it in order to form a relationship with us — a child-father relationship with us. We are children of God (2 Corinthians 6:18). And when we look at other believers, we should see them as God sees them– we too should see them as children of God. And guess what? If they are also children of God like we are, then we are siblings … [aka boys are my brothers in Christ]

The bible says that we have been “adopted into God’s family” (Ephesians 1:5) and that we should …

“Love each other like brothers and sisters. Give each other more honor than you want for yourselves” – Romans 12:10

“…Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity” – 1 Timothy 5:1-2

“show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart” – 1 Peter 1:22

When we see someone as a child of God, our mindset changes (or at least it should). We should see them as holy and the prized possessions of God. Jesus DIED for that boy I think is so cute … I look at him as someone to flirt with or a potential boyfriend, not as someone precious and beloved by God.

Instead of treating other boys as the children of God they are, I tend to place them on a pedestal, idolizing or objectifying them. I see them as a form of entertainment or use them to make myself feel good, instead of treating them as brothers who need encouraging and the love of their sister.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” – John 13:34

Right now, I’m not supposed to be loving or looking at guys in any other way except as brothers, as God loves and sees them.

I want to focus on changing my outlook and seeing God’s people as He does. I want to love guys and be loved by them as a sister. I want to encourage them in their walk and point out the ways in which they are honorable or might need help. I want to stop ignoring or discarding guys who I wouldn’t date and love them like Jesus, seeing them as someone Jesus died to redeem. 

I want to stop flirting and start encouraging.

#4 Focusing on my Girls

When I am focused on boys, I tend to stop focusing on the other people around me.

Even when I don’t mean to, I become distracted and my thoughts consist of him. I miss out on what’s going on in the moment because I am replaying memories or fantasizing about the (unrealistic) future. I check my phone, waiting for a message or snapchat from him. I reload instagram and facebook waiting to see if he’s posted anything new.

My life starts being about this boy, and my friends and family get drowned out by the inaudible noise of him.

By taking this time away from dating, I hope also to remove some of the distractions and focus my priorities on what matters — building God’s Kingdom.

I think the best part about Clemson so far are all the girls I have met and get to call my friends. There are two sub-categories of girls in particular that I want to focus on: my girl-friends and my fuse-girls

My Girl-friends

I have an amazing group of girl friends, and during this time, I hope to be more intentional with each and everyone of them.

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” – Galatians 6:2

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective ” – James 5:16

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” – Proverbs 27:17

I want to be right there in the midst of all the chaos and hurt in their lives, I want to encourage them in their faiths, and be someone they can rely on for accountability.

I want my time and energy to be dedicated to loving and serving them well.

My Fuse-Girls

“[Spiritual leaders] will have to give an account to God for their work” – Hebrews 13:17

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” – James 4:10

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” – Galatians 5:13

Since coming to Clemson, I have started serving with the youth group at my church (Fuse). I co-lead a group of 6th grade girls, and I adore them with every ounce in me. They are my newest priority and I am serious about my relationship with them.

I want to be their go-to person to talk with when they need something. I want to be an active leader, pouring into my girls more than just once a week. I want to pursue them like Jesus pursues me.

They are my priority — showing them Jesus and answering all their hard questions.

~

I cannot be a responsible, hardworking, dedicated Kingdom-builder if I am focused on boys and what they think of me. I need to be focused on how to better please and glorify God in the way I love the girls in my life.

#5 The Establishment of my Worth

How do you view yourself?

I don’t always see myself in a positive light — especially not at the level God sees me …

You are “fearfully and wonderfully made” – Psalm 139:14

“even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows” – Luke 12:7

“Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life” – Isaiah 43:4

“you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession” – 1 Peter 2:9

“your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God” – 1 Corinthians 6:19

In Christ, I am wonderfully made, valuable, precious, loved, chosen, royal, holy, and his.

Yet, I let others treat me as less than, or I believe what they are telling me instead of what God is telling me — I start believing I don’t have value, or I start looking for my identity in other places (mostly what boys think).

By stopping my own search for a worthy man, I am letting a man search for me.

I want my future-potential-husband to see my worth and pursue me based on my worth.

I want to be loved and pursued like this:

“husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself” – Ephesians 5:25-28

(!! LADIES YOU DESERVE TO BE LOVED LIKE THIS!!)

By giving up dating, I am reminding myself of the way I should be loved and pursued because of what Jesus did for me. He made me holy and clean — I should be treated just as precious as that.

I need to believe I am worthy of this and wait for the person who sees me like this.

I am a treasure, I am a temple, I am a child of God.

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Wow, that was a lot of information.

To sum it up: I need to be stable in God before I can try and join myself to another human

I believe the purpose of dating is marriage, and until I am ready to be married (WHICH I AM NOT…) there is no point of dating right now. It is not the right time for me.

“Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” – Song of Solomon 8:4

During this time, I am clinging to the promise in Psalm 107:9 that

“he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things;”

I am holding onto Matthew 5:6 and Psalm 37:4:

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” 

“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

My prayer this year is from Psalm 119:58-59:

“I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.” 

 

I know that this commitment, which God has laid on my heart, will be prosperous; God is good & faithful, and I know He will bless this time that I am dedicating to him.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” – 1 Corinthians 2:9

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who  have been called according to his purpose” – Romans 8:28

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” – Jeremiah 29:11

“Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created” – Esther 4:14

 

3 thoughts on “Belton’s Guide to Singleness

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