Do you find yourself waiting for the next season of life? Do you ever have the mindset that once [insert desire here] happens, you’ll be happier and can progress with your life? As a single woman, I’m tempted to think, “Once I get married, I’ll learn to cook more, have a cuter house and get shiny, new kitchen appliances.” However, that is not a healthy mindset. I’m guessing most women have similar thought processes. Perhaps you are newly married and think having a child is the next milestone that you must wait on before progressing with your life. Or you have young kids running around and you think you need to wait until they’re older before you can get your life together. Or your kids are older and you’re ready for them to move out! Regardless of what stage of life you’re in, I want to challenge you to look at how you can further serve God in your current season.
I think it’s natural for us to look ahead, to consider what the next milestone or season may be. Having an eye on the future is good. But we need to be careful to not neglect the current season that God has us in. God’s plan is far greater than ours, and He has a purpose for keeping us in each season. One of our most common temptations is to focus on ourselves when we should be focused on God and serving others. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus said,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37:39 (ESV)
Are you loving God first and your neighbor second? If we have a God-honoring mindset, it should break down selfish thoughts and our tendency to neglect or rush our current season. As a single woman, I find myself with a lot of time alone. I used to get lonely a lot and tried to fill my life with social events. But as I aged (or matured), I realized that I should be using my time of singleness to serve rather than to just have fun. I deeply desire to have children, and God has helped me manage that desire by providing many opportunities for me to serve in the children’s ministry at church. While those kids are not my own, I do love them and I’m able to nurture them enough to fill that motherly section of my heart. God has blessed this service, and not only have I been a blessing to parents, but I in return have been very blessed. Several of those children seek me out and show love to me, and that brings more joy to my heart than my interactions with most adults. Additionally, I have become close friends with several of the parents of those kids.
A close friend I’ve made after taking care of her kids at church.
God has taught me that He can use my desire for children to bless Him and others (through my service) and also be blessed in return. Isaiah 54 is a passage that has brought me encouragement as a single [click here for my previous post on singleness] and as a childless woman. It is a passage challenging Israel to look to future blessing and redemption.
“‘Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,’ says the LORD.” Isaiah 54:1 (ESV)
Rather than wallowing in the fact that you don’t have a husband or don’t have kids or don’t have that one thing you think you need to be happy, I challenge you to take your eyes off yourself and look to God first foremost. He commands us to obey Him, which often means serving others with our time and talents. It will take effort, but many times God brings sweet refreshment to our hearts through our times of service.
You may be familiar with Proverbs 31 concerning the woman who fears the LORD; verse 27 says, “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Many of the proverbs warn against being a sluggard; God does not want us to be lazy. I challenge you to examine your life and identify ways in which your time could be better spent for God’s glory. Perhaps you’re a stay-at-home wife without children or a mother whose kids are all in school or an empty nester. Are there ways in which you could serve in your church or community to show love for others? How can your gifts be used for God’s kingdom?
As Christians, we’re called to follow Christ’s example. Jesus spent the last few years of His life serving and pouring out Himself. He died as an ultimate act of service and obedience to God, standing in our place to take the wrath of the Father, the wrath we fully deserved. Are you serving the King who gave His life up? Can others look at your life and say that you love God with all your heart, soul and mind? Do you love your neighbor as yourself? I know I have a long way to go, but thankfully God has given us His Spirit who helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26).
About the Author
I am a Christ-loving woman who is continually being stretched by the Lord. I live in small-town Texas and love playing soccer, baking cookies, playing games and hugging trees. I split my time between working towards the conservation of endangered species and training up the next generation of children and youth at my church.