Single during Lent? 7 surprising things to give up
Lent is a time where we typically give up something in order to focus more fully on God and spend time with Him, so that we can grow as Christians. Sometimes it’s food that we love (chocolate!), time spent on gaming, or something else that matters to us. We give up these things so we can focus our attention on God and listen to what He has to say – but it’s not always the most obvious things we’d benefit from laying down. If you’re single during Lent, here are a few suggestions for things you might not have thought of giving up during this time…
Worrying about singleness
If you’re single during Lent your attention may be elsewhere. Lent is a time of resetting, and as a single Christian, it’s a good time to listen to what God is telling you. Is there something you need to work on in your life before meeting someone? Perhaps you need time just you and God to prioritise that relationship before you have a chance to meet anyone new. Maybe you just need to be reminded you’re loved. Whatever it is, take this time to trust God and give up worry.
Comparing yourself to others is a downhill spiral. Personally, I find this very difficult not to do, and especially when I was single. I would look at others and wonder what was wrong with me. I would see people who are skinnier, who have the ‘perfect’ relationship, a neat home and much more.
Comparison is a joy stealer. You are on your own journey and God made you beautifully unique. There is no one else like you and that’s something to treasure. Remember you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” in the image of God.
Try to shift your focus to the blessings that God has given you and things to be thankful for, instead of using your time to compare yourself to others. Don’t look at what you don’t have, but look at what you do have.
Everyone needs a break from social media at some point. It’s all-consuming and one of the worst places to focus on comparison. Social media is not real life, and having a break from it is refreshing.
How often do we just sit wasting time scrolling through and nosing at other people’s lives when we should focus on God and how He is working in our own lives? Switching the scrolling to scripture could be the most helpful thing that you do this Lent.
Negativity and self-doubt
Giving up doesn’t have to be external. You can also give up an attitude and try to change the way you think. If you’re prone towards feeling negative, take some time to find out why. God does not want us to be a ‘drain’ but to exude His joy. Have your confidence in Him.
If you constantly find the negatives in a situation, that is not the most appealing quality to a prospective partner! Instead try to see the good, both in situations and in yourself. God created a beautiful world and seeing that can change your mindset.
Focusing on yourself
Being single comes with the need for independence and self-reliance, especially if you have others depending on you. But when you’re single without big life commitments you can do things on your schedule. You decide your priorities, you don’t need to check in with a partner, your disposable income is your own. Perhaps this is a time to look outward to others. You can give your time to being a ‘good Samaritan’ and helping others, which also can lead you closer to God.
Treats can look different to each person. Maybe you love that cup of coffee on the go or to started in the morning, or a slice of cake. For a short while, could you give that up and put that money towards God’s work? Every time you go to have that takeaway, pray instead and pocket the money to put aside for God’s work.
Old habits – and start new ones
Instead of giving up something, you could start something, create a new habit to draw closer to God. Perhaps you find that you struggle to find time in your day to read the Bible or have quiet time with God.
Maybe you could create a new habit and whilst eating breakfast you could work through a Psalm a day, or you could set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and use that time to spend it with God. Starting your day with God will set you up in good stead for the rest of the day, no matter what circumstances occur.
If you’re single during Lent, what are your plans?
There are many ways of participating in Lent, but all should help you grow closer to God. Sometimes it’s not about giving something up, it’s about giving or changing an attitude, but spending time in God’s presence whether in prayer or in scripture should create new habits which you can take into the rest of the year. Lent can also be a time of preparation for remembering what Jesus did for us which we focus on at Easter. Make the most of it.