6 simple ways to develop gratitude about singleness
We all know that it is important to be grateful and as Christians, showing gratitude should be a way of life. But what happens when you’re struggling to find things to be grateful for? Perhaps you’ve been praying for a husband or wife and it seems like God doesn’t hear you? Or you’ve tried dating and it’s just not worked out? How can you develop gratitude about singleness in your life?
The Bible says that we should give thanks in all circumstances and whilst that can be hard to do sometimes, gratitude (even gratitude about singleness) allows us to focus on what we have, rather than what we don’t. An old Christian chorus goes “count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done”.
When you’re single, it can be easy to focus on moving into the season of dating or marriage, but if you stopped to reflect, you’ll find that singleness affords you so many blessings that you may not have when this season passes. So, if you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, “I don’t have much to be grateful for right now”, perhaps I can start you off with some ideas:
Singleness offers opportunities to meet new people
One of the most exciting things about being single is the opportunity to meet new people. Granted, this might be because you’re checking out the dating scene, but even if you don’t meet anyone special, you can be grateful for the opportunities available to meet new and interesting people that could eventually become friends, open up opportunities for you, or just make your life a little more interesting and give you stories to tell in the future!
Singleness allows you to get to know and develop yourself
No matter what your age or life stage, being single gives you the space to get to know yourself without someone else in the mix. Even if it’s not what you’d have chosen, see if you can be grateful for this season of growth and development as it also allows you to discover what your priorities are, your purpose, as well as the kind of person you want to spend your life with. Singleness at any time of life can afford you some clarity that being in a relationship doesn’t allow.
Singleness allows you time to develop your relationship with God
As a single person, you may find your time is really yours to do what you like with – not forgetting any responsibilities you may already have! Building your relationship with God is something that should be priority. Of course every Christian should be doing this, but when you’re single, it’s easier to choose the time you want praying and studying the Bible, and just getting to know God better.
This is something to be grateful for, because in a romantic relationship, your attention will be divided. Paul talks about this in 1 Corinthians 7 verse 32 – a single person can spend time doing God’s work and thinking about how to please God, whereas someone that is married has spousal responsibilities.
Singleness allows you to focus on friends and pour into the lives of those around you
As a single person, you can be grateful for the time you have to spend with friends and family, and to pour into those specific relationships that you have been blessed with. Whether you have your own children or not, it might be other single friends you have, or even nephews and nieces, or friends’ kids who get to share your time.
Many of my friends that I have now are people I have known since my single days and even though we’ve gone on to get married, our friendships have lasted due to the time we had together as single people. Now that we’re married, we may not see each other as often, but we are grateful that we were able to build our relationships when we were single.
Singleness gives you freedom to serve in different capacities
Whilst a healthy marriage or relationship shouldn’t be restrictive, it may not allow the same kind of freedom that singleness does. If you’re single, be grateful that you have the freedom to serve in any way that you choose, or feel led. You don’t need to ask for a partner’s permission or take their opinion into account!
And by service, I mean service in Church, but also other areas of life such as volunteering, giving, and just using your skills and talents in general.
Singleness is a time to explore and try new things
Being single might allow you the opportunity to explore and have new experiences. I did a lot more travelling as a single person than as a married person, and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to do that before settling down.
A friend of mine took some time off and worked on a ship for 6 months when she was single, and it was a once in a lifetime opportunity which she was grateful for. So, be grateful for the chance to travel the world if you’re able, to explore different cultures and to have new experiences without having to check with anyone else.
When we really desire something and don’t have it yet, it can be easy to lose sight of the things we do have. Showing gratitude even in the single seasons of life really helps to change our perspective on life – our focus shifts from that relationship or marriage we don’t have, to the numerous benefits we enjoy every day.
So, if you’re single and struggling to find things to be grateful for, why not start with the list above? With time, I’m sure you’ll find many more things to add to it.
What are the things that have helped you develop gratitude about singleness?
Enjoyed reading ‘6 simple ways to develop gratitude about singleness’? Read more Christian Connection advice about singleness here
Learn more about our sister organisation Single Friendly Church here