When all you really want is a family of your own….
Updated: Dec 6, 2018
If you’re single and living on your own, life can feel quite fun. It’s a unique time in your life. You left your childhood house, started a career or academic path, and now are waiting for that special someone. There’s definitely some perks to your season of life. I mean, your time and money is all your own. You can stay up watching late night TV and know that you’ll probably recover the next day without a spouse or children to worry about. You can decide today to buy a plane ticket for next week to go skiing with your brother in Colorado. Life is good.
Until the lonely hits.
Recently I went to my high school class reunion. I was talking with one of my friends, and I joked about how many kids we have (4—love them dearly and want more but I guess I was trying to relate that we KNOW we are the crazy ones for having four kids.) She said something like, “I would just LOVE to get married and have kids. I’m so glad you brought your baby.”
She was genuine. I could tell that her heart was hopeful. She desired that my story would be her story. I felt for her, and I know a bit of the loneliness that she's experienced.
If this is you, let me tell you what the Christian community often says to this…
God is all you need. Run to Him and allow Him to fill that void.
This is so true, and it's advice I have given single women plenty of times. If God isn’t your rock, your loneliness will not really go away even when He gives you a family.
But there’s more to who God created us to be. He created others with us in mind. When God made Adam, the fact that he was alone was not good (Geneis 2:18). Eve was made to fit him. Adam and Eve were the first family. The first “institution” was the family. Not the church. Not a government. (Ok, that’s a whole ‘nother blog post…)
Wes and I love the verse, “He sets the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6).
It used to be that you were pretty much always in a family, no matter your stage of life. From birth to death, you were part of a family, whether with your family of origin or your family by marriage.
So now view your singleness through this lens. This time of singleness is not necessarily “normal.” I really don’t think this was how God intended life to be—in loneliness and absent of people who love you.
So what to do? Become bitter and envious? Mope and moan? Pity yourself?
As difficult as it is, self pity is not your answer.
Give someone else the gift of YOU being their family. “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). That loneliness may just get up and leave when you see how needed you are in someone else’s loneliness. And the Lord may just set you in a family—whether biological or not—in the process.
Do you have a roommate? Treat them with love and respect. Bake them cookies. Make dinner together and look up funny YouTube videos. It may start to feel like you have a sibling/friend to live with instead of just a roommate.
Do you have kids from a previous marriage? Don’t let the past ruin the present! Cherish the moments you can have with them. Call them to tell them of your love for them. Buy them a “just because” gift.
Do your parents live close? Pull some things from childhood back into the picture, like family dinners or movies nights once a week. Your parents will be happy to see you more often, and you’ll feel loved in the process.
Know a family who could use some help with their kids? Offer to babysit for free and see where the relationship with that family takes you. I was so blessed as a young single woman to be good friends with a family with a lot of children. I babysat a lot, went on vacation with them, and often hung out with the adults after the kids went to bed. Such fond memories with that family.
So, play the cards you have been dealt. A positive outlook about the family God has given you during this unique season of life may just be the cure to your loneliness. When the Lord does give you the family you’ve been desiring, you will be able to look back at this season with fondness knowing you’ve made the most of your circumstances.