Tips to Survive the "Couples" Holidays as a Single





Valentine's Day, Christmas, New Year Day holiday cheers can bring you to holiday tears. But the truth is at any celebration (or non-celebration gathering like funerals), graduation, birthday, etc. when you're with family, friends and church members can bring that "left out of their couple” conversations" feeling. Sometimes, as a Christian single woman, you may feel just plain annoyed with the questions about your marital status.  Here are a few tips to help you:


1-Prepare for the Enemy’s Romantic Love Lie Attack

Certain days such as Valentine’s Day and the Christmas season, the entertainment industry floods us with romantic love stories. It’s their money-making season!

The heroine walks out of her house or apartment and nearly trips over Mr. Right. He’s bending down to pick up his car keys to his Bugatti. By the end of the movie, she’s happily married to a man she’s known less than an hour- in real time- and all of their drama is solved within the movie’s time span.

Although you enjoyed the movie, you’re now feeling as if you are the only person on the planet without a mate! You don’t see how you can make it through another day (or at least this holiday season) being single.  If God really cared about you, why hasn’t He sent your Mr. Right?

Sister, even though the attack was subtle and disguised as harmless entertainment, you were still hit by one of the Enemy’s flaming darts-the Romantic Love Lie. The Romantic Love Lie wants you to think Infatuation and Lust are the same as Love.

2- Launch Your Faith Missile

You’ve walked by faith before and now it’s time to do it again (2 Corinthians 5:7). Recharge your spiritual engine by fueling up with what you know. You’re not just a nameless face in the mass population to God. You are His. He knew you before you were conceived (Jeremiah 1:5). He knows the challenges you have being single. He knows how you long to be married.  He hasn’t forgotten you or your desires. So stop listening to the sad love songs and replace it with upbeat positive music.


3- Prepare for the “When Are You Getting Married?” Question

Someone is going to ask you this question either this season or within the next 6 months! 

Here are a few suggested answers:

Well, you know God has a season for everything. And as soon as He lets me know, I’ll let you know (change subject or walk away).

I especially like Author Crystal Mary’s WHY suggestions:

Q.        When are you getting married?
A.        Why?
Q.        How come you’re not married?
A.        Why?
Q.        Why haven’t you ever married?
A.        Why should I?

Pray for wisdom in giving an answer that helps you feel comfortable and confident.

4-Embrace the Spirit of Gratitude-Volunteer

Your desire for a mate shouldn’t cause you to forget about your current blessings.  Nothing can help you embrace the spirit of gratitude quicker than volunteering. How about spreading cheer to residents in the nursing home or patients in the hospital?  There are numerous charities that could use your help. This season rather than waiting on God to bless you, use what He has given you to be a blessing!


Single Christian Women: Beware the Trophy Husband


Whether you're a single Christian woman who's 25, 35 or 55, you know the type of man who would impress the pastor, get praise from the church leaders and an "amen" from congregation.  I refer to such a man as a "trophy husband" because he is seen as a prize by the church folks, which is much like the world's definition of a " trophy wife."

If you were to present this man as your future spouse to your church family, you would immediately become their standard for single sisters selecting a mate. You would have brought the the trophy to your local congregation! You would have shut the mouth of the naysayers who said you would never find a good Christian husband at your age.

Unfortunately, your desire to look for or wait to be chosen by a potential Trophy Husband (also known as Mr. Super Christian) is an invitation for the Enemy to deceive you.  2 Corinthians 11:14 warns us that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

The Enemy realizes your desire to bring to your congregation the prized mate may blind you from seeing other important things that may derail your marriage; important things like his expectations of you as a wife and mother and his role as a husband and provider. 

Does he expect you to always look stunning like the his favorite female star or like you do now when you go out on dates with him? Does he expect you to (or not to) work outside the home? What is your role in raising your children or helping your adult children? 

Perfect Flawed Church Marriages

Several years ago, a minister's wife told me. "Marriages may be made in heaven but have to be lived on earth!"

I learned what she meant as a single woman and now as a married woman. The truth is your relationship, especially your marriage, will not be lived out in the church building. 

I've seen marriages that appeared nearly perfect during worship services and at church activities crumpled to the congregation's dismay.  Later, I learned the couples' loving actions at church hid a tragic facade.

Seek Godly Counsel from the Creator

While it's wise to seek the advice of seasoned believers as taught throughout the book of Proverbs, it's even more important to find out what the Word says on a matter. Pray about the advice you are given and ask God for wisdom, and discernment. 

No man is meant to fulfill all your needs. Only God can do this!  Never refuse to develop a friendship with a single man because you are more influenced  by what the Christian folks would say rather than what the Word says.


Be encouraged my sister! You are the apple of His (God's) eye (Zechariah 2:8). What are your thoughts on this post? Do you think the church puts too much pressure on singles to find the "perfect" mate? 



Wise as Serpents Harmless as Doves –Online Dating


Jesus told his 12 disciples, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16-American Standard Version

While I believe every Christian should practice being “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves,” I want to apply this specifically to online dating. 

I don’t speak against Christian online dating sites because I never tried it when I was single. I have heard of success stories like Sheryl Taylor, featured on this blog!  Unfortunately, I have heard of tragic and unsuccessful stories, too.

Although not by online dating, I have been scammed, too. I encourage Christian women not to be overly confident that they will never be tricked by a con artist.  Many con artists have been practicing their tricky or deception for years and years.

In doing research on online dating scams, I applaud one “Christian” site, which plainly tells its audience:
We DO NOT PROVIDE BACKGROUND CHECK on any of the members. Members need to do run their own search to check a background of a member they are interested in.

Below are 2 links to articles that offer practical tips about safeguarding yourself while online dating:



What are your thoughts about Christian online dating? Share your thoughts here or post it on Marrying Over 40 Facebook's page

Wise Quote For Singles Over 35-Your Journey


Don't expect everyone to understand your journey especially if they've never walked your path!


SUNDAY FAITH 4 SATURDAY NIGHT-LIVE SUPPORT



 “Women in their late 30s and 40s are flooded with negative information about their probability of getting married to having healthy babies,” says Cynthia Wilson James, author of Marry Over 40 By Faith and founder of InSeasonMom, recognized by CBS New York and MSNBC as a leading resource for first time moms over 35.

"This is especially discouraging for Christian women who are professionals,” says Cynthia, who married for the first time at age 40, conceived naturally and gave birth at age 42 and 44 to two healthy daughters.  “Professional women may be on top of their career, but they still want a husband, someone to share their lives.

Unfortunately, most churches or programs do not minister to the needs of older single Christian women. They may address a woman not being married after a certain age in a joking manner in a sermon. But, it’s not a joke to the woman who doesn’t want to be single.”

Sunday Faith 4 Saturday Night, formerly Hope Calls Faith Walks" provides emotional support and doesn’t take the place of psychotherapy or professional counseling. Cynthia says “It’s not a substitution for professional mental or medical health advice.  It’s more like talking with someone who's been through what you’re going through; someone who can relate and encourage you in your journey with action steps. It's coaching and mentoring!”

Cynthia says she renamed Hope Calls Faith Walk to Sunday Faith 4 Saturday Night because it easy to feel strong in the faith on Sunday morning surrounded by Christians, but not as easy when you're alone, dateless on a Saturday night. She says Saturday isn't the only day live support is offered. She schedules live support Monday-Saturday.


  
SUNDAY FAITH 4 SATURDAY NIGHT- LIVE SUPPORT

The 2-Months Live Support Program includes:
   
●          30-45 minutes of live emotional support via telephone for 8 consecutive  weeks
●          Email support to stay in touch between sessions
●          Action steps you can use now focusing on your mental, physical and spiritual health discussed and emailed weekly
●          Helpful/Inspiring resources (article links/ book suggestions/ quotes) emailed weekly
●          Time to share what’s on your heart
●          Private Christian faith-based support from Cynthia who married at 40, conceived naturally and gave birth at age 42 and 44 to healthy children


For pricing and time availablity, please email me (Cynthia): marryover40byfaith@gmail.com

MEET SHERYL TAYLOR-MARRIED AT 40

Name:  Sheryl Taylor, husband - Stephen Taylor  

Age when you married:  40

State of residence:  Georgia

Current or former profession(s):  Realtor, Treasury Sales Officer, currently - Blogger about what "Happily Ever After" looks like these days.


WHEN WE FIRST MET

How did you meet your husband?

We met on a leading and popular online dating site.  We emailed and then spoke on the phone for about three weeks before we finally met.  We both liked getting to know each other a little before we met in person.

Did you think “he may be the one” when you first met your husband? 

Yes, but I had learned from past dating not to give my heart too quickly.  Through a lot of prayer and studying lots of Christian material about being single, I had learned to value myself enough to let someone win/earn my love.  My husband won my heart quickly with his kind and honest nature.

How long did you date him before you married? 

We only dated 8 months before we decided to get married. 

Were you a little nervous about getting remarried after being single for years? If yes, how did you ease your nervousness?

I wasn't very nervous.  I had only been single for 7 years prior to meeting my husband.  We both had been married previously, and our past mistakes served as learning tools for our marriage to each other.  We both felt very calm, as if the Lord sent us to each other.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS REACTION

What was the reaction of your family and friends when you told them that you were getting married?

Our family and friends had mixed reactions.  Most of them are Christians, so they wanted to make sure we used good discernment in moving forward with a second marriage.  My husband has two daughters from his first marriage.  I don't have any children from my first marriage.  It was a huge adjustment for his daughters.

Was anyone discouraging about the institution of marriage and encourage you to reconsider? If so, how did you deal with the negativity?

Both of my husband's daughters from the previous marriage were very disheartened with the institution of marriage overall.  I think, initially they were shocked at the thought that their dad would be married to someone other than their mom.  We both tried not to pressure the girls to accept me.  Time, lots of prayer and patience paid off with both of them.  Our family and friends, in general, were supportive. As they grew to know us individually, they expressed their support even more.  

OUR WEDDING


Where did you get marry?

We had a simple elopement in Savannah, GA. It included a ceremony in a historic park called Monterey Square.  The package included a bridal bouquet, a groom's boutineer, petifores, sparkling cider and pictures.

What do you remember most about your wedding day?

 How calm we both were and how it felt like the right path to take.

WE ARE MARRIED

What misconception(s) did you have to overcome in marriage or discovered wasn’t true?

We both knew that marriage was just the start of everything.  I had the idea that because I had married the wrong person originally, the second time would not have any of the same issues that the first marriage did. I quickly learned that, although no two individuals are the same, there are many issues common to most males.  I think my husband would agree that is true for women as well. 

What do you enjoy most about married life?

When I was younger and single, I always got frustrated with people who said "if you are with the right person, it's easy".  I thought you should love someone enough to try to change for them or vice versa.  However, I finally realized what they meant when I met and married my husband.  Sure, we don't always agree, but there's no real drama between us.  It's very comfortable without being boring.  I enjoy feeling that i have a true partner.

ADVICE TO UNMARRIED SISTERS

What misconceptions do you think never-been- married singles have about marriage? 

I think that it's easy to make judgements about others and their circumstances, in general, if you've never been through that situation.  I found this to be true with motherhood.  I've gone back and apologized to some friends for judging their parenting skills before I had my daughter.  I think I was judgmental prior to my first marriage and thought I could do the marriage thing better than others.  However, I learned in a very painful way, that I did not know much about marriage.

What advice or words of wisdom you want to share with single sisters?


Do your part by being prepared for "when" God blesses you with a marriage partner.  Self-educate yourself by reading, studying, or watching Christian information about marriage and about singleness.  Observe your married family and friends, but don't judge them.  I'm sure you've heard it, but make a list of what you want.  Include your negotiable characteristics and no negotiable characteristics.  It really helps avoid the temptation to ignore something when you meet someone.  I think women especially, think they can change undesirable characteristics in someone with a little time.  Be a whole person on your own and don't accept anyone who isn't whole also.