Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Thursday, December 4, 2014

What to do as a Single?

Spiritual Lessons 
Faithfulness in Singleness 

...Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in dues season? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord shall find so doing.
And that servant, which knew his Lords will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. ...For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12

The Conversation~

So often it is easy to lose focus and many young ladies start to grow restless. What am I supposed to be doing during my single years?  Is there more than cleaning the house and baking and helping out with siblings?  Am I supposed to find a ministry?  Should I get a job?  What about college?

Just the other day I was chatting with a mature sixteen year old young woman who shared with me that she had come to the realization that marriage is not a goal, but a stage of life. A sweet gift. She marveled at how often she had read in books describing “singleness” as being a sort of time to endure until you've reached the finishing line (marriage). Instead, she hoped to see it as a gift, and a stage of time to prepare and even enjoy what was already given.
I smiled at the truths this girl shared with me. She is right! And how lovely and even exciting to see a young person relish her life and not try to rush though it. Some people look at Singleness as a gauntlet. People write “survival” books for girls in an effort to encourage them, but instead leave the reader feeling like living a pure life as a single is a long haul until life begins (at marriage.).

A second young lady in her early teens recently shared with me that she was afraid of letting her years before marriage go to waste.  She desired more than what she felt was a stereotype Christian young lady's singlehood.  She wanted to go beyond -- strive for something more.  But what?

And yet another young woman in her early twenties discussed with me how hard it is to explain to people how content she is at home and the guilt she feels when others wonder at her seemingly non-productive life.  Should she do more than helping at home?

The first young lady told me that she wanted to prepare for her future life, but also desired to  be used right now...and even prepare and learn for things beyond marriage. She didn't want her singlehood to just be a bootcamp before marriage. But she had so many passions and hobbies and interests. What should she pursue? What interests were God-given?

The Challenge ~

Recently, after reading Luke 12 I decided I was going to apply it practically for myself. And when I did, I realized it was the perfect answer to anyone's questions on what they should be pursuing.
How am I to be a faithful and wise steward? I realized I had to know what I had been given.
Luke, under the inspiration of God, reminds us what we are not given stewardship of. They can all be classed in two categories:

our wants and our needs

Honestly it makes sense that Luke tells us to take heed of covetousness and reminds us that life does not consist in the abundance of what we possess. (Our wants).
But it amazes me that he also commands that we take no thought of what we so often consider our life – our food, our clothes and our means. (Our needs).

Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat and the body is more than raiment. ...Seek ye not what ye shall drink, neither be y of doubtful mind. ...your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things...” Luke 12:

This posed some questions for me. What should my life consist of? Am I a faithful and wise steward? What should I be seeking?
Obviously, food, raiment, and anything else I needed the Father knows, and He desires to provide those things for me. So what is my responsibility?

What I had been given ~

My time,
My talents,
My positions,
My money.

I have been given so much, and I know much is to be required of me. Unlike the sinful servant in the parable that buries his talent, I hope to invest my talents and give Him all the glory.  So I took out my notebook and wrote them down.

I wrote out the time He has give me (what my day looked like) –

My schedule.

I wrote my talents

A love and ability for Sign Language.
A love for health and helping people.

I wrote out my positions (and known future positions) –


Had I been diligent in these areas? Were they things Jesus wanted me to pursue? If so, how much? What had I been called to for certain? Was I preparing for them? 

We cannot allow the unknown to disable us from doing what we do know. Our faithfulness in the every day things is the bridge to greater and bigger responsibilities down the road.

A faithful man shall abound with blessings...” Proverbs 28:20

Sometimes we don't even realize what we have been given. One of the most over-looked gifts is our family. What do our relationships look like? Can we relate to them? Can we communicate with them? Can we share our true feelings with them? Are we able to build them up? If not, there is a wall, a partition a blockage. Our horizontal relationships will hinder our vertical relationship.

Are we financially faithful? Are we faithful with our home? Are we faithful with our skills and talents? Are we faithful in our chores? Are we faithful in our church? Are we faithful with our time? Are we faithful in our walk with the Lord?

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

Are we faithful in keeping our heart clear and our ears open before the Lord?

A single sin, however apparently trifling, however hidden in some obscure corner of our consciousness, – a sin which we do not intend to renounce, – it is enough to render real prayer impracticable. A course of action not wholly upright and honourable, feelings not entirely kind and loving, habits not spotlessly chaste and temperate, – any of these are impassable obstacles. If we know of a kind act which we might, but do not intend, to perform, – if we be aware that our moral health requires the abandonment of some pleasure which yet we do not intend to abandon, here is cause enough for the loss of all spiritual power.” (Cobbe 82)

Are we faithful in obedience?

Sometimes when we are in this period of waiting and praying for God's will, we find a need and snatch it up and call it “our ministry”, before we know if the Lord would have us do it. I was amazed by what Helen Roseveare had to say on the subject in her book called “Living Holiness”

...Christian service, if it is to be “holy and acceptable” to God, must flow from obedience, and not simply come from a desire to meet a need, however great that need may be.” (Roseveare, 155, italics added)

She goes on to say that just because we appear to have the exact abilities needed to fulfill a particular task that that is not sufficient evidence that we are necessarily God's choice for that task. Also, even if all our circumstances fit perfectly, this also is not sure proof that it is God's chosen path. And just because there is a need does not mean that we are the ones to fulfill that need.

I began to actively pray that Jesus would prune out any activities that were not given to me from Him and to only, and whole-heatily pursue those I knew He had given to me. And I was amazed at how faithful He was to make it clear. There were a few innocent things He needed to cut away at. Of course it was hard....but He has rewarded me by giving me clear direction in other areas.

We must be willing to step up to the call of the Lord. To be faithful in obedience to what we know He expects of us, and also to His call to us personally. To the first young lady I advised that she write down the things she has been given.  Your passions are normally a God-given desire for a purpose.  Ask the Lord if He wants you to pursue them.  There just might be a reason you've been given this passion.  We must remain faithful in what He has given.

Which leads to the second young lady.  She too would benefit from this small practice of writing down what she has been given.  Is she faithful?  And when Jesus shows what He wants of her, will she willingly obey?  When it comes, it may not be what we expected. It may be something small or mundane. Are we willing to obey in that calling? 

Which then reminds me of the third young woman.  If you know the Lord has called you to serve at home then you do not have to feel ashamed that you are not serving in other areas.  You don't have to tell people you are still searching.  A ministry that is not our ministry is capable of destroying us. We must be sure it is what He has called us to. Here we have patiently waited for His call, and when it comes are we prepared to meet it? We may awake to His words “Arise and go to Nineveh...”   Your home may be your Nineveh.

Are we faithful in obedience?


  1. Thank you so much for this post Toni! I love the verse you used to start it out with! I've never read it in the context you used it in before! It truely encouraged my heart! Thank you for your sound edvise. Love you Toni! :)

    1. Thank you Gracie for your feedback. Love you too and glad you girls made it home safe and sound. Hugs to you and Charity!

  2. You had some very good points, Toni. I appreciated reading them and hope other singles are encouraged as well that singleness can be a very productive season of life and is not simply meant to be "endured". Keep up the good writing! :-)

    1. Thank you Jana. I really appreciate the encouragement. Although I hope sometime to write something slightly controversial.... I miss your challenging thoughts! :D

  3. I enjoyed this Toni. I also liked reading your quote by Helen Roseveare as I just read it! :) I love that book! Interestingly enough as I read that thought... I applied it to missions. Ministry in general very well applies. But my thoughts ran along the lines of Seeing a NEED all around you in people.... but even that NEED is not the true reason to go... it is obedience to Christ that should be the driving force of all we do.
    Thanks for always encouraging... Love you.

  4. This was good Toni. I know you were addressing young women, yet I think this applies to young men as well. A young man is learning to become a leader and is perusing a career or calling. As he waits on clear direction from the Lord it would be good for him to take note of his passions, activities and duties as well. I don't think young men struggle with singleness the same way ladies do, but they do have their own difficulties and I just wonder if we would all just be faithful and obedient in the small things, that God would not just give us bigger responsibilities, but make our paths much clearer. If we can't hear Him, maybe we need to take a long look at our duties he has already given us and the relationships he has already blessed us with.

  5. Really appreciated this post Toni. Just wanted you to know that. Helen Roseveare's quote really encouraged me as well. All our activities, whether daily home-life, or missionary work across the world, all must stem from obedience. I liked too, how you actually just kept to basic principles to single girls and not necessarily a "101 ways to enjoy being single". (Haha) Because, each of us is different. Your duties wouldn't be exactly like mine, as mine wouldn't be exactly like yours. Anyway. Thank you for all the time you have so faithfully put into writing. It is a blessing and doesn't just go by unnoticed or unappreciated. Love you.