Earlier in the week I read a great blog post called “10 Things Single People are Sick of Hearing.” It was unbelievably hilarious how spot on it was. I have totally heard all 10 of these statements probably the last three months alone. And although the article was great on the things singles don’t want to hear, it didn’t give much help in how to respond. So seeing as I am a single girl, I felt it might be helpful to suggest 10 things to ask singles.
1. What is Jesus teaching you?
One of my favorite things about being in this season is the extra time I get to have reading, learning, and growing. There are no babies to care for early in the morning or other caregiving needs that consume my schedule. I get to be a lot more open than a wife or mother. I’ve learned to enjoy this extra time in the Word and in books as one day it may not be this flexible. Ask me about it. Ask me how Jesus is teaching me about who He is. Ask me what books I am reading. The Bible tells us that God’s Word doesn’t return void.
Isaiah 55:11 (ESV) says:
“so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
Who knows? Maybe I am learning something you are too. Maybe it is something you need to hear. Maybe it could just be the Spirit using you to help me process what He is trying to teach me.
2. How are your affections for Christ?
This is a biggie! I need people, both singles and marrieds, to point my heart back to Christ on a continual basis. You don’t have to remind this single that she is single especially in a world where “Say Yes to the Dress” and Pinterest exist. I remind myself enough. What I do need to be reminded of is that Jesus is better. Ask me how my affections are towards Him. This doesn’t mean tell a single person to get their relationship right with Christ so He will send them a mate. That is not how it works. Asking where my heart for Christ is will shake me on the days that I have chosen to wallow in self-pity rather than to rejoice in a clear identity of who I am in Christ.
3. Would you like to join us for dinner?
I think a huge downer and lie that singles buy into is that we cannot go to the fancy restaurants or fun places until we have someone to double date with. And when you are coming from the experience of having never dated, this lie can really suck the joy out of you. Date nights are extremely important but how about on another night asking a couple of singles to join you to go to the fun place downtown you have been dying to try. Chances are they are dying to go there too. Don’t turn this into matchmaking time but rather turn it into a time to get to know people you wouldn’t on a normal basis.
4. How can I pray for you?
If you ask this question with the intent of fully listening, you will get a real answer. Listen with the Gospel in mind. Don’t try to devise a plan to “fix us” but rather say you love us and that you are praying. Pray for our hearts to find Jesus better than any circumstance. Pray that we would not lose heart that Jesus is good and is working out His perfect plan. Don’t pray that the Lord would allow us to get married quickly or send a mate tomorrow but pray Christ would be enough.
5. How are you preparing yourself to one day be a wife/husband if the Lord wills?
I’ll be honest. The thought of being a wife is exciting and terrifying at the same time. Ladies, I need to be asked this question and given gospel-centered advice on this at times. We are all looking to the next stage of life. Although we may not enter that next season anytime soon, we can prepare. Ask me how I am preparing to be a woman who will love and be a helpmate to a husband one day. Ask me how I’m preparing my heart now. Ask me what I am learning in the Word about being a gospel-centered woman. Show me how you pray. Show me how you read.
6. What interests/hobbies do you have?
Okay, fact singles don’t always or sometimes ever want to talk about their relationships or lack there of. We have interests and hobbies. We probably spend too much time on them or like things that you have zero interest in but ask us about them. Who knows maybe you’ll find that coffee snob, fellow runner, pinterest creating pal you’ve been wanting. Maybe we are looking for someone to enjoy those things with as well. Asking this might open up a beautiful new friendship on both sides.
7. What is a goal you are trying to accomplish right now?
Whether it’s paying off a bill, running a marathon, learning to cook, or something else, singles are usually trying to accomplish a goal. I’d be willing to bet you may have had a very similar goal at one season or another and can offer biblical wisdom. If not, then what a beautiful time to become a cheerleader to your brothers and sisters in Christ.
8. What area of the gospel are you not believing right now?
Well, here it is. The tough one. We are all seeking to believe the gospel each day. As we sin, it shows what we are not believing about the gospel. Ask singles what they are struggling to believe. I know as a single I struggle with believing that God is enough, that He is in control and that He hears my prayers. It’s much easier to buy into the lie that I need a husband to complete me. When I struggle to believe this, my actions show. Ask me. Pray for me. Call me out because you love me and want Christ to be magnified in my life. Hold me accountable when I jump on the crazy train.
9. What’s your story?
Other than being single or married, what do you know about this person? Ask me how I came to Christ. Ask me how I came to be a part of the church family I am a part of. Ask me how I ended up in the city I am in. Be ready for me to ask you. We all have a story. Christ can use our stories in amazing ways. Ask me my story, tell me yours, and then encourage me to tell my story to someone who doesn’t know Christ.
10. Is there anyone you are interested in?
Now there may not be many singles that agree with me on this one. Some people may not want to be asked this question. But I think this can be a great question. It allows singles to open up and work through if they are genuinely interested in someone. It allows some accountability to be created. This does not mean ask a single person this question every time you see them or pick on them repeatedly after they tell you yes. Allow them to be honest with you if they desire and if they tell you no, trust them.
I hope if you stuck with me through the end, you find this helpful. This is in no way a perfect list. This does not speak for every single person out there. I could give you probably another 100 talking topics but I think these are 10 great ones to start with. Look around you, who are the people Christ has put in your path. Get to know them, love them, and push them to Christ no matter what their relationship status is. Singles, stop waiting around for people to get to know you. Take initiative. Married people, stop avoiding singles because you don’t want to offend them or don’t know what to say. We need each other. Community takes work. It is messy. It is hard. But the reward of walking life with others far outweighs the rest.