This week on my Q&A show, Ask Anything Monday (hosted on my Instagram), I was asked:
“Why are so many 20-30 somethings still single? Is there a reason people marry later or are Christians too picky?”
I answered with four theories why I think this trend is growing in western culture:
- Western culture facilitates later marriage. Think about it: you graduate college, start your career, probably move, and then spend most of your waking hours establishing that career. After work, you’re exhausted – and where do you go to meet people? Christians aren’t going to head to the local bar (I hope), so that leaves the church singles group, which can have the feeling of a communal watering hole meets spouse hunt. Twenty and thirty somethings are busy people, and our culture makes later marriage the norm.
- We have unrealistic expectations for spiritual and personal maturity. Christian women are told to look for a “spiritual leader”, aka, their dad – in a twenty two year old body. The guys they’re looking for aren’t allowed to be in progress. And the same goes for Christian men! They’re looking for the “Proverbs 31 woman”, and between the two of these stereotypes Christians give no grace for growth – and may be single longer because of it.
- Some Christians ARE too picky – about the wrong things. The reader pointed out she knows 30-40 year olds who are single and have a long list of requirements for a spouse. That list may be the very reason they are single! There is really only thing you absolutely need in a spouse: a heart that loves the Lord above all else. As I share frequently on the blog, Josh and I have opposite personality types (ENTJ/ISFP), do not share any of the same love languages, and don’t even have the same hobbies, music tastes, or habits in common. But we both love the Lord, and that’s what makes this marriage work.
- God is not done sanctifying through singleness. I truly believe singleness is a trial before it’s a gift, and as we look at it through that lens we find the beauty of this season by persevering. God uses our single season to teach us more about Him – IF we draw near. Unfortunately, many singles waste this time wishing for a relationship instead of letting these years be as effective as possible.
I’ll delve more into these in a future blog post. But for now, the reality remains: Christians deal with singleness longer than their parents did. You might be one of them. How can you live this season effectively for Jesus?
I’m so glad you asked!
After two months of planning and three months of writing, I am THRILLED to bring you Fruitful: A Year Long Guide to an Abundant Single Season! This ebook is meant to work alongside your existing Bible study to help you refine your focus during this single season.
Fruitful: A Year Long Guide to an Abundant Single Season contains twelve chapters, each with a distinct focus. The book is designed to be read and implemented over the course of a year. Each chapter can be revisited throughout the month for reminders and motivation to live singleness abundantly!
At the conclusion of each chapter is a memory verse, four reflection questions for journaling, and a short list of supplemental reading (books and articles) on the month’s topic. Following the resource list is a planning worksheet to help you set tangible goals for the next month and track your prayer requests, within the focus of that chapter. And in case you didn’t already grab the free 30-Day Fruitful Singleness Prayer Guide (at the bottom of this post!) it’s also in the back of the ebook!
Now for a peek at the table of contents:
Table of Contents:
- Chapter One: Your Faith
- Chapter Two: Your Heart
- Chapter Three: Your Community
- Chapter Four: Your Health and Beauty
- Chapter Five: Your Fears
- Chapter Six: Your Trials
- Chapter Seven: Your Waiting
- Chapter Eight: Your Dating Life
- Chapter Nine: Your Trust
- Chapter Ten: Your Gifts
- Chapter Eleven: Your Commission
- Chapter Twelve: Your Harvest
I am so excited to share this brand new resource with my amazing single readers! After three months of work and prayer on this project you can finally hold it in your hands – er, your screens 😉 Currently this book is only available in e-book form. If you prefer print form, I recommend putting the PDF file on a jump drive and printing it at your local office store, or printing it at home and three-hole punching it into a binder to be used throughout the year. This is what I personally do with ebooks, both my own and others’!
The total cost of Fruitful: A Year-Long Guide to an Abundant Single Season is $7.99.
Without further ado….
Your singleness matters.
You might not feel like it does. In this moment, your singleness may be your least favorite part of life. But I’m here to tell you that these years matter in a profound, impactful way. These days are the ground in which faith is planted… To be a member of God’s kingdom is to be part of something great and eternal. When we plant our faith firmly in the person of Jesus Christ, our lives grow far beyond anything we ever imagined.” (Excerpt from Fruitful)