5 things Bridget Jones taught me about being a single Christian
Have you read Bridget Jones’s Diary or watched the film of the same name? The fictional dating adventures and misadventures of a thirtysomething single woman in London were a big hit when they first appeared. Later this year I will turn 32 – the same age as Bridget Jones at the start of her adventures in the movie, originally released in 1999. I watch the film as often as I can but in the last 18 months or so, but the reality she and I will be age twins has begun to freak me out. So, with our age now in common, what has Bridget Jones taught me about being a single Christian woman?
Bridget Jones’s experience as a thirtysomething is a far cry from how many of us are living in 2022. However, a lot of issues remain the same – especially with regards to relationships and dating. Back in Bridget’s day, the pressures were different. She didn’t have to deal with dating apps or some of the expectations that are more accepted in society than ever before! However many attitudes, wants and needs are still pretty much the same.
As a Christian, I can’t personally relate to most of the antics and shenanigans Bridget encounters. But I have discovered ways we can look up to her that are positive and inspirational, and that can be applied to our lives as we go along our singleness journey.
Here are five things I’ve learned from Bridget Jones.
Bridget was never afraid to do what was right for her. From quitting her comfortable job in publishing after discovering the truth about her unfaithful boyfriend Daniel Cleaver, to going after potential love interest Mark Darcy in the snow after he read her diary. She puts all fear and sense of regret aside to go and get what she wants or needs.
We can apply this in our real life with guidance from the Lord because “God has not given us a spirit of fear – but a spirit of power, love and a sound mind!” (2 Timothy 1:7).
We can walk away from things and follow our God-given gut instincts. So don’t be afraid of change or doing what you know is best for you!
She is actively seeking
This one might seem strange but sometimes we claim to want something but fail to put in the effort to turn that want into a reality. Bridget willingly meets the men (in this case Mark Darcy) that her mother tries to set her up with and goes out of her way to “impress” them to increase the chances of things progressing.
You can’t complain about being single if you are “crushing from afar”, not putting yourself out there or even blatantly going after the wrong type because you know it’s not going to work out.
The Bible says in Isaiah 41:12 to seek and you will find. God answers our prayers and wants to give us the desires of our hearts.
So be honest with yourself and once you conclude what it is you want – go ahead and get it (in the Godly way, of course!) It doesn’t have to be a life partner – but a job, a change in lifestyle or even giving up that sin that’s been holding you back. Whatever it is, seek that change!
She embraces and accepts change
When Bridget caught Daniel being unfaithful, she accepted what she saw before her and walked away from that relationship. She mourned but eventually bounced back. She learned her lesson and tried to do better.
She started working out, gave up drinking and smoking (again) and embraced her new single status. What a credible trait to have. Ephesians 4:31 sums it up nicely by saying “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice”.
In order to heal, she had to let go. So think about your own life (I am preaching to myself here!): are there any grudges or unforgiveness that you are harbouring in your soul? Are there changes in your life that you are fighting against in order to stay “safe”?
It’s only going to stop you moving forward. Life cannot be without change but keep in mind that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and evermore (Hebrews 13:8). Knowing he is always with us and knows the plans he has for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11) should give us an assurance and the freedom to “be like Bridget” and get on with life when stumbling blocks get in the way and change the direction we were heading.
She had a tight circle of friends
Throughout the book of Proverbs, you will find dozens of scriptures about friendships and the need for wise counsel and guidance. In the three Bridget Jones films, her four best friends are a consistent factor in her life. They listen to her problems, offer help and give advice (albeit not always the best but it’s the thought that counts!).
While most of them were at the same stage of life as her (fellow singletons) who helped her through the ups and downs of her drama, she also had that “grown up friend” who was married and settled down – which is what Bridget aspired to.
This “grown up friend” was able to give specialist advice that pushed her in the direction she needed to go to be successful in her relationship endeavours, because she had been there before.
Having a small but varied friendship circle will do wonders for your walk. You need to choose wisely, do all you can to nurture your friendships so you can remain close despite the changes life brings, and make sure you have fellowship with like-minded Christians – so be a giver and appreciate your nearest and dearest.
She was real
I am a true advocate for authenticity and transparency. In the Bible, we are described as the light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16). “Shining” could equate to letting people know that having faith in Jesus is about imperfect people finding Grace from God through Jesus and lives transforming through the sanctification process that comes after.
Some of my favourite parts of the Bridget Jones films occur when she says what is on her mind without consideration for the time or place. These “word vomit” moments are so pure and honest that it makes you relate to the heroine even more than giant knickers and embarrassing moments and fashion disasters she also experiences.
Of course, scriptures advise against having a loose tongue – and there is an extent to which you need to be careful what you say and to whom you share elements of your life with. However, being real can be a way to minister to people who aren’t saved or have a delusion of what true Christianity is.
Just like most women of a certain age, I have my Bridget Jones moments and relish in them. After all, as the films go on, she goes through major life changes, grows up and gets better – just as I will (I pray in Jesus’ name, eek!)
So yes, there are traits about her we can take on (outside of eating mass amounts of junk food, making silly decisions when it comes to life, and dramatically mourning over heartbreak…) Bridget embraced her imperfections – despite not being happy about them. But at the end of the day, Mark Darcy fell in love with her “just the way she is” so there is all the hope for you and me!
Cheers, Bridget – I have so much love for you!