How to fight for contentment when you’re single
“Is something wrong with me?”
“Will I ever find someone who doesn’t want to take advantage of me?”
“Maybe I should just settle.”
When we’re so discontent that we’re ready to quit, it’s a sign that we are trusting ourselves more than we are trusting God. When we allow discontent to take root in our hearts, we will settle for an immediate ‘fix’ rather than exercising self-control and looking forward to God’s ‘immeasurably more.’
There must be an attitude shift, which sometimes requires being firm with yourself. When it comes to dating and marriage, nine attitude-shifts have brought me more contentment in my single life than I could ever explain.
9 Ways To Fight For Contentment
1. You have to choose to keep yourself from making the first move.
The more you talk about something, the more it takes over your mind. When you take that option off the table, and actively choose not to think about it as a possibility, the inclination to make the first move starts to diminish. For example: When you want to text him or drop a huge hint that you're single in front of a handsome man, take that option off the table for yourself.
2. Tell your friends. Or just one friend, really.
Have someone who will keep you accountable to your determination to be patient. Ask a friend to question you periodically about how you're doing with your contentment in being single. (Don't let her ask you daily; that's just a reminder day-after-day!) Tell this friend about what triggers your discontent and have them keep you accountable for cutting it out of your life!
3. Realize you are not in control.
There is absolutely nothing that you can do to speed up the plan God has for you. Habakkuk 1:5 says, "For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told." Later on, Habakkuk 2:3 says, "For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end - it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay." A different translation of this verse states: God's plan will not be late by a single day.
4. The more you think about something, the more you're anxious about something.
Some people are anxious about money, health, spare time, schoolwork. Singleness falls into this category. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:6).
5. Pray about this struggle.
Don't be ashamed to tell God that you're struggling with His timing! He won't be surprised by it. You cannot defeat discontent without His help.
6. If you're not battling your anxiety with Scripture, you're doing it wrong.
You're letting Satan discourage you with something he knows will always discourage you, even on a good day. You know how you can be having a great day, get everything done, go home and make dinner, but then the thought pops up in your mind, "Dinner for one, again." Suddenly the whole day is ruined by the reminder of being single? Yeah, that's not just your brain being stupid. That's the devil seizing an opportunity! What are you memorizing? What are you reading?
7. Who are you spending time with?
If you're hanging out with other single friends who are obsessed with their singleness as well, you're fueling your discontent (and theirs)! This isn't to say you can't spend time with your single friends, but when you do, change the attitude of the conversation. Lead by example.
Are you resting? How so? Philippians 4:7 says, "The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Ask the Lord for this peace. Make this your soul cry. This verse isn't to get your hopes up; it is a promise from the Lord.
9. Pursue Jesus more than you pursue a plan.
Most times, we are most discontent when our plan doesn't mirror our life. I can have the "head knowledge" that Christ's plan for my life is better than my own, but until I truly have that attitude, I'm always going to compare my reality to my ideal. Freedom comes when I put my plan to death and sincerely ask Jesus to fulfill His plan for my life — no matter the cost.
Freedom comes when I put my plan to death and sincerely ask Jesus to fulfill His plan for my life — no matter the cost.
In the Old Testament, God consistently promises to destroy our high places in order to draw us back to Him. High places were the places in which Gentiles placed their false gods or idols. The high places were the spaces or pedestals prepared and intended for the idols. That term sounds ancient, yet we are still practicing that today.
We erect ‘high places’ in our hearts and we put false gods like marriage, children, higher education, or a six-figure salary in those high places instead of helping the Lord smash them. A ‘high place’ is just an opportunity for discontentment to sow deep seeds in my heart. A ‘high place’ shows the Lord that I don’t believe or trust Him when He promises immeasurably more in Ephesians 3:20.
The Lord does not give us desires just so He can take them away, and I truly believe that the desires of my heart are just sneak peeks at the plan the Lord has for my life. His plan is inevitable. Instead of being impatient for His plan, I actively choose an attitude of joy. Patience doesn't have to be agonizing! ‘Waiting on the Lord’ doesn't have to fill my heart with discontent.
Until the first person I wanted to pursue was Christ, the attitude of my heart did not change. Most times, a change of heart is not overnight because it takes discipline to smash our ‘high places’ every day and pray, "Lord, Your will be done. Give me Your peace and Your strength, and I'll trust You with the rest."