For the first time in American history single people households outnumber married people households. If you’re not single currently, you have single friends and family, your kids are going to be entering single adulthood if they’re not there already. They’re an important, valued group the church should not ignore.
I have a deep love for singles, wanting them to thrive and live wisely. I want to humbly offer three practical goals singles can steadfastly commit to. Last week’s practical goal for singles can be read here. Here’s the second practical goal for singles to get serious about (even though these goals are for everyone):
CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET.
Clean out your closet? Am I asking you to donate everything in your clothes closet to the needy? That’s a great option, I do it every year. It would be a great choice to live simply, but that’s not what I mean here.
When I say clean out your closet, I’m talking about that one thing in your life that just makes you less than the person God has created you to be. Something is off in your makeup and in your habits. You know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, ask your siblings or your parents or your kids or a close friend who’s a Type A personality, they will gladly tell you what your one thing is. There’s something each one of us have that makes us a bit off and separate from who God designed us to be.
When someone single goes on a date and afterwards they’re talking to their roommate about it and they’re like, The date was fine, but there was something about them, I can’t put my finger on it. It could be a materialistic issue, an image issue, a prideful issue, an anger issue, a gossip issue, an identity issue, a comparison issue, a baggage-past issued, but there’s something off.
And it’s in all of us. Something is off. You know it and I know it and when you get married, your spouse knows it. And if you’re in a close small group at church, your Christian friends know it. Your spouse will be quick to let you know what is off in you so save them a bit of trouble and figure it out first before you meet and marry them.
You may have not figured it out yet because every time things get uncomfortable or hurtful or tough in a relationship, the single person can bail and move on. If your roommate and you have issues, you just move out. If you don’t like your boss or they shared some criticism you didn’t like, you can just switch jobs. Your pastor shared something from the Bible that offended you, you can just go to another nice looking church.
You can just move around and avoid those who want to, in love, speak truth to you. How many single people refuse to allow anyone or any season to grow and mature them? It’s why grown adults still act like they’re in high school when it comes to jealousy and anger and gossip, because they haven’t dealt with what’s broken inside of them. Single people, figure this out and save your future marriage and children a lot of trouble.
Decide now to seek God, trusted friends, your parents, your employer, maybe a professional counselor. but be firmly set to figure out what needs to be fixed inside of you before you step into marriage because:
Marriage will not fix what is off inside of you. Marriage will only expose it more.
Just ask anyone who’s been married 10-20 MINUTES. They’ll tell you that if you drag that undealt with issue into your marriage, it only gets worse, and here’s why:
You begin to blame your spouse for the wrong that is inside of you. The more days, weeks, months, years you go without dealing with it, the harder it will be to deal with it, so you’ll just choose what is easy, which is to blame your spouse and then they’ll be crushed and they’ll try to live up to the unfair expectation you’ve put on them but it’s you that is off. Sadly, you’d rather hurt your spouse than deal with the ugliness inside of you.
It’s a great way to bring tension and resentment in a long-term relationship. Jesus talks about this in:
But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. Matthew 15:18 (NLT)
It’s not about being able to stop saying rude or mean or hurtful things. It’s an issue of the heart. It’s dealing with what is off in your heart. If you know you’ve got something in your past that hasn’t been dealt with, if you know there’s an addiction – from porn to spending to anger to selfishness to drinking – you can say today, I want God and my loving friends to help me deal with that. I want to embrace that process. Help me clean out my closet.
How many people are missing out on leaving their past behind, experiencing the freedom Jesus gives us, working through our issues, letting the Spirit change us all because we refuse to choose transparency and embrace accountability from loved ones? You need to tell a Christian in your life about the ugliness in your heart. Clean it out. You need close Christian relationships to help you grow to who you’re supposed to be.
Clean. Out. Your. Closet. Deal with the past. Deal with hidden addictions. Prepare yourself to be the spouse and parent your future family deserves.
The third piece of advice I can give to singles and to our next generation will be available next Wednesday.
Thanks for reading. You are loved.