In the years I have served as a Single Adult Ministries leader, I have observed other single adults involved in ministry, serving on church boards, as pastors and staff members, university professors, and a myriad of other responsibilities.
Here are some things I’ve learned about effective and fulfilled single adults.
- They live deliberately. They make choices knowing the decisions made now will affect the rest of their lives. They invest in others and see life from a broad perspective.
- They are reflective about their experiences. They use their life experiences to learn about strengths, weaknesses, and to smooth the rough edges in their personalities. They apply these lessons to improve themselves. They face life’s disappointments and manage to live with the tension between of reality and desires.
- They seek balance in life. They learn the importance of relationships—both with family and friends. They understand the need for both work and play and seek to balance them.
- They know their vulnerabilities. They recognize their tendency toward feelings of loneliness, bitterness, and jealousy. They take steps to overcome these feelings while acknowledging their source.
- They view life as an adventure. They understand that life as a single adult is different; not worse or better than married life. They want others to recognize that the single adult lifestyle is a viable and valued one.
- They take life in stride when unexpected things happen like illness, family crisis, job changes, and so on. They learn to deal with these challenges and use them as growing experiences. When they experience a personal “pity party”, they get over it quickly before it adversely affects others.
- They continue to hope for marriage. They understand that life as a Christian single adult narrows the dating field to others who have the same values and standards. In spite of these circumstances, they maintain hope that one day they will enter into a Christian marriage.
- They are encouraged by God’s work in their lives. They see how God is uniquely using them to minister to others. They also realize their relationship with God often has a different dimension than their married friends. Singles turn to God with issues that married people discuss with their spouses.
- They have a support and accountability network. They realize the importance of community. They know the importance of open and honest conversations about the unique challenges of the single adult lifestyle.
- They are anchored in God. They have “decided to follow Jesus” with “no turning back.” Even when life is challenging, they find hope and security in their relationship with God and trust the future to His guidance.
Nancy Saxton is a Single Adult Ministries leader living on the east coast. She enjoys the region’s history and marvelous fall colors.