Today’s guest post is from a good friend of mine, who just happens to be single. I asked her what are some of the ways a married woman can encourage her single friends and she was excited to share some of the things she’s learned as she hangs out with her married friends. (She jokingly said we should title it: “Ways to Avoid Deflating Your Third Wheel…”)
I just returned home from an extended “relocation.” I spent the past *almost* month in Denver with one of my closest friends and her husband. It was such a blessing and a big opportunity for me to grow.
I was apprehensive before leaving. I was afraid it would be hard as a young, single girl to live with a married couple with the constant reminder that although I desire to be married…I am not.
Instead of being bitter and pitying myself, I had the opportunity to reflect during this time and come away with so many lessons learned from my time with this sweet, married couple. Knowing my desire to one day be married, I found that they were extremely encouraging as we walked through life together in close quarters this past month.
Here are some ways you can encourage the single friends in your life:
1. Don’t let me settle.
This is a biggy. I often catch myself wondering if maybe I am being too picky. Maybe I just need to let go of some of these “preferences” that I have. When I have thoughts like this, I am reminded of this verse:
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
– Psalm 37:3-4
Spending time with Godly couples who truly love each other and the Lord serves as a sweet reminder for me not to settle. Spending my life with a man who loves Christ and me is worth the wait…even if the wait seems to take forever.
So don’t let me settle for “fine” or “good enough.” Remind me that the right man is worth the wait… and when I see you excited to be with your spouse it solidifies that comment even more.
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
– Psalm 27:14
2. Have an encouraging marriage.
One of the highlights of my trip was a road trip we took to Durango. (If you haven’t been to Durango…GO!) I loved to see this couple interact and see how they showed each other love. I learned several valuable lessons about my singleness as a “third wheel” on this road trip.
When you are a single girl (or guy) who desires to be married, you can easily fall into a trap of loneliness and self-pity. Seeing couples (especially newlyweds) interacting and enjoying the companionship that you long for can be difficult; however, seeing encouraging and loving marriages inspires me about the relationship that I am ultimately seeking.
Married couples that display the joys of marriage give me an example of what I have in store (Lord willing) in the future. I am encouraged that they still love each other, and I can’t help but be happy for them (even if I want to be married so bad!). In a society where divorce is the answer to marital problems, seeing couples who still enjoy being together, despite their difficulties and disagreements, shows me it is all worth it.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
– Hebrews 10:24-25
3. Have a Biblical marriage.
Many single girls just prefer to stay away from couples. Either they don’t want to be a third wheel or they just want to have fun with other singles in their same phase of life. While I love a good girls night, being around married couples (especially young ones my age) proves to be such a learning experience!
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
– Titus 2:2-8
These verses remind me not to shy away from married Christian couples. I want to be encouraged and let them be an example of what a Christ-centered marriage looks like. I have a ton to learn about marriage and crave Godly examples to look up to. I’d rather learn from you now than learn the hard way later.
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
– Proverbs 13:20
4. Show me the fun side of marriage.
Obviously life changes after marriage. Your priorities shift. Your husband (then kids) is now the most important relationship in your life after Christ. You have different responsibilities than you had before, but I know you still have fun in life, right?
Society tells us that singles need to get all of our living done before we get married, because once we are married it’s all “grown-up” responsibilities and you don’t have your “freedom” like before. (Generally, I don’t believe this to be true, but so much of society paints a different picture.)
While being around my married friends this month, I saw them have so much fun both together and separately. They both continue to pursue their own interests and friendships, but seem to enjoy it even more when they are together.
Being married doesn’t mean you lose your freedom, it means you get to “do life” with your best friend. That’s pretty darn cool.
5. Don’t let me forget that singleness is a blessing, just like marriage.
Marriage allows you the unique opportunity to pour into one person’s life forever. It is a blessing, because it is the ability to “be one” with someone else. Marriage tells you that no matter what you go through, you will always have someone there to hold your hand, support you, and encourage you…and that is a beautiful thing.
So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
– Matt 19:6
However, I don’t want to get so lost in the beauty of marriage that I forget that singleness is also a blessing. Endless opportunities come with being single. You have the ability to leave, stay, or do whatever you desire without having to worry about the implications it will have on your spouse or kids. Singleness allows you to invest in the lives of so many others, give selflessly, travel, and serve, with potentially greater flexibility than when you are married.
And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.
– 1 Corinthians 7:31
I want to take advantage of this time of singleness. I don’t want to live in discontentment. If you are married, remind me of the chance I have to develop myself as a person while I’m single. Encourage me to explore new pursuits and passions. And I’d love it even more if you’d come share them with me!
While being single has its challenges, I’m thankful for my married friends who are always there to encourage me and pour into our friendship. During my time in Colorado I felt encouraged and built up by my friends. In fact, I didn’t even really feel like a third wheel, but instead a close friend to a really awesome couple.
Think of one of your single friends in your life right now. How can you encourage your single friends in the upcoming week? What do you plan to do? I’d love to hear how they respond or what you plan on doing!
Jessica Friedman is a freelance photographer and designer. She is an avid traveler, reader, and crafter. If she isn’t out on some grand adventure, you could probably find her watching Dancing with the Stars with a bowl of popcorn and her cats.