HEARTLIGHTSingle... Not Alone







Up a Creek
by Cary Branscum

    SINGLE LADIES LISTEN UP!!! I’d like to share a bit of heartfelt loving advice from a dad of daughters and person who spends a lot of his time ministering to single women seeking to navigate their way faithfully in a tough world.

    How do you make relationship decisions? Out of frustration, disappointment, and boredom, single women sometimes make spontaneous, sometimes life-altering decisions about whom to date, where to live, where to work, and how far to go sexually. It’s like sitting in a canoe, without a paddle, and just going wherever the river current takes you. Sometimes the current is unconscious. Sometimes the current is emotion. Sometimes the current is just a way of escape.

    Guess what: YOU NEED A PADDLE! You need some interior guidelines, some values, some beliefs to help you negotiate the waters (okay, enough of the river analogy).

    Where do you look for these values?

  • Popular culture?
  • Ally McBeal?
  • MTV?
  • Psychic hotlines (and please, don’t tell me you knew I was going to say that).

    Here’s a news flash for you: these sources aren’t adequate to keep your boat in the water, in fact, they’re actually part of the current sweeping you away! (Alright, that really was the LAST water reference). You need to go to the Word of God, pray, and listen to those whose wisdom you value. Look to those who do not let sin reign in their mortal bodies (Romans 6:12). Follow their examples. Pray that God will bring someone into your life to help you see how to live more clearly. Look for women who live the life you want to lead. Talk to them. Ask questions of them. They will likely be glad to share their time and spiritual wisdom with you.

    And now, stepping out of my singles minister role, I would like to speak as the father of two girls, two of the most precious ladies to ever walk this earth. One is leaving for college, and the other has years to go at home (thank you Lord!). Here is the advice I give to my daughter leaving home, and it is the advice I want to give to you:

  1. Remember that God always loves you (Romans 8). He is saddened at our sin, and we can turn our backs on Him, yet He NEVER stops loving us. He is the perfect father, while all earthly fathers are imperfect.

  2. No man is worth compromising your principles for. None, zero, zip, nada, no way, nope. I don’t care if he is Matt Damon or Brad Pitt’s better looking brother! It may be great for awhile, but YOU won’t be YOU if you compromise your core heartfelt principles to please a man. And guess what, the man won’t respect you anyway. Relationships built on compromised principles are simply compromised!

  3. Make sure GOD and YOU are in charge of your life. Being in charge doesn’t mean control. It is a useless task trying to control others and force our agendas on them. Being in charge means you know who you are, who you belong to, and what you believe. This keeps you from being jerked around like a puppet by everyone else.

  4. Be clear about your expectations of life, career, and relationships. When we feel hurt, at the core of that hurt is often a frustrated expectation. For instance, expecting to find to a job that will pay you a decent wage is a realistic expectation. Expecting to find a job that will give absolute meaning to your life forever is not. Be clear about your expectations.

  5. Hold onto your dreams! Yes, that may sound unrealistic in today’s world. It’s hip to act jaded and cynical. It’s cool to act like you’ve seen it all and done it all. Well, some people have seen and “done it all,” but it’s just all THE BAD STUFF. Hold onto your dreams, even as you make adjustments with the real world. The world may push you, but your dreams will PULL you to the life you want to lead.

  6. Know your value and significance to God and the Church! Ginger Rogers danced the same steps that Fred Astaire danced, except she did it backwards, and in high heels. If he was good, she was better! Ever heard that before? It’s true. Do not allow your gender to impede your dreams, rather use your gender as just one more resource for your life. Ephesians chapter five talks about the god given roles of men and women. Men and women in a marriage relationship are to submit to one another. As a woman, do not feel God has given you second place in life or His Kingdom!

    Go for it! Hold to God and His Word, pray, and get even closer to Him. Involve yourself in the life of spiritually mature friends. Use the opportunities God brings your way everyday. Use these resources to make good spiritual decisions, and remember that God values you and your contribution to his people!


HEARTLIGHT(R) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Copyright © 1996-98, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
Article copyright © 1999, Cary Branscum. Used by permission.
HEARTLIGHT and the flared heart design are service marks of Heartlight, Inc.