Advice From an Adventist Single: How I am learning to be emotionally content in my season of singleness

I had come to church seeking to draw closer to God. Instead, I got a recommendation to draw closer to someone whose character and behavior I knew would lead me much farther from God than I ever wanted to be. Instead of being uplifted toward God, I was revolted by the suggestion.

Being so conscious of my emotions at the time made me able to freely express myself with Christian meekness, gentleness, and grace to the recommender. Ever since, to my delight, no further thoughtless suggestions have come forth.

I do not know how men survive, but it sure helps to have a sisterhood of friends who hold me accountable. Not just on tangible elements such as career, academics, and finances, but even on nontangible, nondescript things like feelings and emotions. I can be vulnerable around them with no sense of shame or fear or criticism. In fact, choosing to be vulnerable opens my world to them, enough for them to be of some help even if it means a listening ear only.

You cannot be careless around the opposite sex and hope to stay sexually pure. Set boundaries! These boundaries need to be established by also guarding your own emotions.

Realize that one person, no matter how much they love you, cannot meet all of your emotional need — not even a future spouse.

We also need friends, satisfying work, healthy solitude, play, and other life experiences to fulfill our needs. The more secure we feel within ourselves, the more able we are to grant our future partner (and ourselves) the room they need to include other loving relationships and recreational activities in their life.

Appreciate the fact that if you cannot be happy without a partner, you will not be happy with one either. When your happiness is dependent on another person, it’s not love; it’s co-dependency. Seek your happiness, sense of worth, and security in the Lord instead of from friendships or a future spouse. When two happy partners interact this way, they will experience greater joy.

I know that as I learn to be emotionally content in this season of singleness, I shall be emotionally satisfied when married.

—By Janet Oyende, a young adult from the East-Central Africa Division

First published in Adventist World, June, 2019. Used with permission.

Images: Janet Oyende

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