The discontentment in my heart about my singleness was directly linked to lies I was believing about singleness and about myself as a single woman.
Singleness is a gift, this is something I have come to wholeheartedly believe. But that belief didn’t come without first replacing the lies with truth.
There is a thief who will stop at nothing to rob us of the gift of singleness; to steal the joy, kill the beauty, and destroy the purpose of this season. (See John 10:10)
And a primary way this enemy works is through lies:
[The devil] was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14
The lies we believe about singleness and ourselves as single women are often hidden in plain sight, masquerading in our own self-talk.
Let's Talk about Self-Talk
The dictionary defines self-talk as “talk or thoughts directed at oneself.” Self-talk combines conscious thoughts with unconscious beliefs as a way for the brain to interpret and process experiences.*
I think for many of us, our self-talk in singleness is usually negative.
Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?
Wrapped up in this self-talk is the lie that our significance - who we are and why we were created - is dependent on our relationship status rather than in being created for relationship with Jesus.
The enemy wants to deceive us into thinking singleness is less than marriage - less joyful, beautiful, and purposeful - because he doesn’t want us to experience, enjoy, and engage in that joy, beauty, and purpose. He wants to distract us and hold us back from the abundant life Jesus has for us right now in relationship with Him.
What we think about our singleness and about ourselves as single women matters, because what we think think will take root in our hearts, shape our beliefs, and mold our attitudes and actions.
There are several passages of Scripture that speak to the importance and power of our thoughts:
Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
Living as who God created and calls us to be, and knowing, trusting, and experiencing His good, pleasing, and perfect will in our lives, begins with renewing our minds and changing our thought patterns to be in line with His truth rather than the ways of the world. (See Romans 12:1-3)
In 2 Corinthians 10, Paul speaks of demolishing strongholds of beliefs based on lies and removing prideful attitudes by taking “captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (v. 5)
And in Philippians 4, the same passage where Paul says he has “learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (v. 12), we are called to think on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. (v. 8)
There’s a whole world full of women basing their worth and fulfillment and purpose on their relationship status, on their successes and failures, on their appearance and popularity.
We don’t have to follow this pattern. We can be transformed from insecure to confident, discouraged to hopeful, discontented to joyful.
It starts with our own hearts and minds being renewed by the Holy Spirit. It starts by changing the way we think to being rooted in truth.
In Philippians 4:8, where we are given a list of qualities that should define our thought patterns, the word “think” comes from the Greek word logizomai, which means “to take an inventory.”**
We can use this list to take an inventory of our self-talk, to become aware of our thought patterns and be mindful of what our minds are dwelling on:
As we take inventory of our self-talk in singleness, we may find patterns that are based on lies of the enemy rather than rooted in the truth of God’s Word.
So how can we replace those lies with truth?
Know the truth
Spend time in God’s Word getting to know Him, who He says you are, and who He calls you to be.
Speak the truth
If your self-talk isn’t something you would say to encourage a single friend, don’t say it to yourself. Instead, speak or write out new narratives about your singleness that reflect what Jesus says about who you are and inspire you to live as He calls you to live.
Hear the truth
Spend time with other Christ-followers who value you as a single woman and will encourage you in your identity in Christ and support you in living it out.
As our self-talk in singleness is renewed to reflect the truth of God’s goodness to us in our singleness and who we are in Christ as single women, we will be transformed: becoming more like Christ and living our single lives with hope, joy, and purpose in Him.
**from The New Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible by James Strong