It’s not too long ago that I was putting my hands up to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”. But now that I’m married, I’ve reflected on that time in my life and I’ve come to realize a few things. I’d like to share some new found wisdom with all the single gals. But before I dive into the 4 mistakes I made in my singleness, let me share a little of myself with you all.
Single girl, luke-warm life
My singleness remains a vivid memory to me still. For the majority of high school and college I was the quintessential single girl. I focused just enough on school to get good grades, but definitely enjoyed going out with friends, dating, and overall just “being in the mix”. During this time in my life I was living a “luke-warm” existence. While I knew of God, and claimed Jesus as my savior I was living in sin and focusing solely on pleasing my flesh.
After I left school and moved back home with my parents, it was then that God started to move in my life. I wish I could say upon moving home, I got my act together and got saved. However, that wasn’t the case. While I knew God was tugging at my spirit to come to Him, I was still too focused on what most worldly twenty-something females are focused on. Outward beauty, finding “the one”, having a good time, social media, and my budding career.
Well Hello, Mr. Johnson
Fast-forward almost six months. In walks Andrew Johnson, the future love of my life. The first time I really talked with Drew, he asked me about my walk with God. At the time I wasn’t attending church and I wasn’t pursuing a relationship with the Lord either. But I believed in Jesus Christ, and like most halfhearted Christians do, I had given God some credit for my successes and praised Him on social media when all was well. In those first encounters with Drew he challenged me to go deeper, and to pursue the love of Christ. His faith was the cornerstone of his life, and his love for Christ was evident, even while going through a personal storm. I was intrigued, not only by him, but by our awesome God.
After those conversations I took a long hard look at myself, and questioned what it was I was doing with my life. God had sparked something inside my soul, and the flames began to flicker. However, diving head first into Christianity can be a little daunting. One resource Drew and my mother recommended to me was The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?by Rick Warren. Through this book I was truly able to grasp why God created me, how we are to be used by Him, and the life we are to lead as Christians. I highly recommend this book to any Christian, young or old, seeking to understand what your purpose is in this life. For more on Purpose Driven Life, click here!
Disclosure: Jazmen Johnson is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
So Let’s Take it Back
My spiritual journey has been eye-opening, to say the least, but that’s another post. But I will say as I went deeper with Christ and with Andrew, I reflected on my past. I have tons of wonderful recollections from my teens and early twenties, but I also carried painful memories, avoidable moments, and plenty of lapses in judgement. But none of that matters now because, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) .
When we turn to Christ, we are given a new life in Him. We don’t have to succumb to our sinful ways, dwell on our past transgressions, or immerse ourselves into cycles of self-loathing. God’s love is enough, Jesus’ blood is enough, and we are enough in Him!God's love is enough, Jesus' blood is enough, and we are enough in Him! Click To Tweet
I would like to share some of the things I wish I had known when I was single and unsaved. God and His word have begun to set me free from societal chains. No matter what stage of life you’re in, this world can fool you. But don’t fall prey to the darkness, be the light. Single women especially, take heart in God! I pray that you’ll learn from a few of my mistakes, reflect on a few of your own, and give them to God.
4 Mistake I Made In My Singleness:
1. Undervaluing myself & Looking for love in all the wrong places
If I had a dollar for every time I gave too much of myself I would be a rich woman, unfortunately. As a young teen I was very influenced by my peers and media. Which led me to seek attention from guys in the wrong ways. This pattern continued in college, and I ended up in one too many situationships. Towards the end of my collegiate career after a potentially life changing chain of events I pulled my head out of my butt, slightly. But by that time I had learned a lot of things the hard way. Ladies, NEVER compromise who you are for the attention of someone else!
“Your approval means nothing to me, because I know you don’t have God’s love within you. For I have come to you in my Father’s name, and you have rejected me. Yet if others come in their own name, you gladly welcome them. No wonder you can’t believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don’t care about the honor that comes from the one who alone is God” John 5:41-44, (NLT).
What others think of you is none of your business! John was rejected by man, but he didn’t care. He only wanted approval from the most high, our Father. Be like John, reject the world’s standard of what is cool, reject those with no morals, reject anything that compromises who you are in Christ. Remember you are “fearfully and wonderfully made”, you should “know that full well” Psalm 139:14, (NIV).
#2 Participating in worldly Dating practices
Finding new dating prospects was definitely on my mind when I moved back home after college. However, I was no longer familiar with my surroundings or the people. My hometown is known nationally for its growth, and a lot had changed. So what did I do? Sign-up for Tinder and Bumble, of course. For those of you unfamiliar with mobile dating apps, click here. My other go to for meeting new people was going downtown and bar-hopping with friends. Sounds like the perfect plan, right? Wrong!
To each their own, but I personally don’t think dating apps are the best place to find serious, God-fearing men. A lot of people on these apps are more interested in quick flings and hook-ups over serious relationships. And as far as bar hopping is concerned, is it impossible to find a Godly man at the bar, no. But I’m sure they’re few and far between. What our society views as normal dating practices may not lead to the results you would want as a Christian woman. Trust me, been there and done that.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” Romans 12:2 (NLT).
If you have a desire to be married God will make it so, but the keyword here is God. Get out of your own way and allow God to work. Seek His kingdom and serve His people in the meantime. Your Boaz will come as you lie in wait. Don’t sell yourself short and try to find your mate. When the timing is right God will bring him to you naturally.
#3 Seeking the “perfect” man
I think every woman has dated at least one person they shouldn’t have, maybe more than one in my case. So when I started dating post-grad I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t settle for less than I deserved. But somehow that became, I only want to date a man that checks more than 90% of my boxes. A few of those boxes were: employed, college educated, handsome, good with money, no baggage (baby-mommas, kids, or crazy), chivalrous, romantic…the list goes on. I was looking for the “perfect” man for me, or the closest thing to it. Knowing good and dang well I was far from perfect myself.
When I met Drew, he was like a breathe of fresh air. He checked most of my boxes, and I thought “Wow, God truly made the perfect man for me”. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that boxes aren’t everything and God isn’t done with either of us yet.
“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes” Psalm 118:8-9 (NLT).
There is no such thing as your “perfect prince charming”. We are all imperfect, because we are people. Your boyfriend(s) and husband will make mistakes, not live up to your expectations, frustrate you, and even fail. But if God’s grace is sufficient for you, we must extend the same grace to others. Put your list down. There is nothing wrong with having standards, but don’t disqualify someone’s potential. You never know what type of package your mate will show up in. God has an interesting sense of humor that way.
For more on this topic check out this great article by Tobi Atte of I Just Met Me
#4 Wasting my time
I wasted A LOT of my time; between the ages of 18 and 24 my main focus was on worldly things. It can be so easy to get caught in the traps of this world, especially when it seems everyone is “drinking the Kool-Aid”. Our days are not promised, and we are all called to live for Christ and do His work while we are here. So we must protect ourselves from the perceived normalcies of this world. Utilize your time as a single woman to the best of your ability. Because before you know it, you’ll be married with children, if it is God’s will for you.
“Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do” Ephesians 5:16-17 (NLT)
God has made you single in this season for a reason. And I urge you to seek God with all your heart, while you are only responsible for yourself. Before you can come to love someone else, you must have a solid foundation in God and His love for you. If you don’t, you’ll be seeking to find the epitome of love in your spouse. When in fact, “God is love”, and all loves flows from the source, 1 John 4:8 (NIV). Only God can fulfill all your needs. God is the only man in your life that will never let you down. Spend your singleness wisely, and you will be rewarded not only in this life, but in heaven.
Wrapping it upA relationship with God is the best investment you will ever make. Invest all of yourself in Him: heart, mind, body, and soul. Click To Tweet
Your singleness is a gift from God, choose how and who you spend it with carefully. I had some great times as a single woman, but they don’t necessarily outweigh the heartache. The temptations I failed to resist could have been thwarted had I known God and His word. From one woman to another I leave you with this:
A relationship with God is the best investment you will ever make. Invest all of yourself in Him: heart, mind, body, and soul. That is something you will never regret. And the love you receive from Him will sustain you for all your days, through every season.
Have questions for me, or want more advice? Click here!
With so much love,