Here are some practical ways to love your single friends.
Disclaimer: these are not hard rules, but general guidelines. This article is meant to spark conversation between married and single friends. Use this as a springboard for deeper discussions!
SF = single friend(s)
Don’t assume they aren’t happy because they are single.
Again for emphasis: do not assume that your single friends are not happy because they are single! Many single people are actually really content being single. Of course, single people are human, so they have seasons of loneliness, anxiousness, frustrations and challenges, so be sure to check in on them. But don’t assume they are not enjoying life as a single person!
Display and discuss marriage honestly.
It’s really helpful and encouraging for single people to witness genuine marriage. Invite your SF into the messiness, the struggles, the fun and the joys. Being able to see real marriage, rather than the Disney depiction, allows your SF to see a spousal relationship with a more accurate perspective.
Invite them to things!
Your single friends are people too and want to feel included. Even if there will only be other married couples at this event, your SF will still appreciate you asking them to join. Everyone appreciates being thought of and included.
Don’t set them up. But also set them up.
Some single people really do not want to be set up on dates. Other people would really like to be set up on dates. This is a conversation that you should have with your SF!
Avoid saying phrases like these to your single friends.
Sentences like “When you get married…” and “The right guy/girl is out there…” and “Just be patient and your time will come” are really not helpful or true. When these things are shared, it makes it seem like marriage is the “end” and SF are missing out on a huge piece of life without being married. Which brings us to the next point…
Understand that marriage is not the goal. Communion with the Father is the ultimate goal.
In a culture that is often structured around couples, it can be portrayed that marriage is the standard. Affirm in your SF that they are not second best. Notice in sermons, podcasts and conversations the tendency to emphasize marriage and leave out the unwed or widowed.
Jesus was single his whole life on earth and fully satisfied in God. Whether we push each other towards the Father as spouses or friends, He should be the focus.
For more clarity, talk to your single friends! They have an option on these points and would love to share.
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