In “Successfully Single Part 1” we discussed how most people view their singleness and how you can view your singleness to make the most of it. Today we discuss how to get there.
If you cannot be content as a single person, you will not be content as a married person.
The first crucial step to becoming a successful single person is to learn to be content. If you cannot be content as a single person, you will not be content as a married person. If you are not happy as a single person, you will not be happy as a married person. Contentment, like peace or joy, is, not a product of our circumstances. It is a learned habit and a mindset.
Being content does not mean you have no future hopes or dreams. It does not mean that you give up on ever being married. It just means that you can find joy in the meantime – in the process – in the journey. Happiness is a choice. Contentment is a learned skill.
Someone, Something, Someday
One of my pet peeves is when people say things like: “I’ll be so happy when…”, “I could be happy if…”, or “I just can’t wait until…”. It’s always, someday I’ll be happy, something will make me happy, or someone will make me happy.
Has God not blessed you with friends, family, church family, interests, or hobbies to bring you any joy? Have you no knowledge to gain, no talent to perfect, no skill to practice – nothing to find joy in pursuing? Do you not live in a world with sunsets, sunrises, art, music, beaches, mountains, and chocolate to enjoy? Open your eyes to the good all around you right here, right now.
The Apostle Paul Learned to be Content
I love the Apostle Paul’s teaching on contentment.
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:11-13 (New International Version)
People love to quote the last line of that. They forget that when he said, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength”, he was speaking about learning to be content. God gives us the ability to learn contentment. I can be content through Him who gives me strength.
Notice how he put that. He did not say someone laid hands on him and imparted contentment. He did not say that he was born with the gift of contentment. He said he learned to be content. It did not come easily or naturally, it had to be learned.
Learn how to be content in any situation you find yourself in. It will lead to much more joy and peace in your life. And, it will make you much more attractive than malcontent singles whose main form of communication seems to be whining.
Thrive Singles Version
As a bonus, here is the Thrive Singles paraphrase of that scripture.
“I am not saying this because I am single, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be lonely, and I know what it is to have companionship. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether I have a date this weekend or not, whether living as a married person or as a single person. I can be content as a single person through him who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:11-13 (Thrive Singles Version)
Happiness does not begin and end with marriage. Actually, in my view, happiness must precede marriage. Two discontented, unhappy people will not come together and enjoy a great marriage. It is two people who are content and happy and out living fulfilling lives who can come together and create a great marriage.
In fact, the times when you are out enjoying and pursuing things that interest you, are the times you are most likely to meet someone you enjoy being with. It may be that your pursuit, joy in living, or spiritual passion is exactly what makes you interesting and attractive to other pursuing, joyful, passionate people.
Learn to be content. Live your life. Find the good.
More on Becoming Successfully Single
In “Successfully Single Part 3“, the final post in this series, we will explore further how to be successfully single.
Have you learned to be content as a single adult?
Let’s talk about it below.
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