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(The following are in no particular order)

1. Stay busy! You won't have time to sit and mope about how lonely you are if you stay active and put your time to doing something useful. Learn to see this time of singleness as a blessing, not a curse or a trial to be endured.

2. Try something new: People who are married and have families need to devote a lot of time to them. Despite your homework and work schedule, at this time in your life you are blessed with a lot more free time to do things outside of the home than you will ever have again. Enjoy it! Take on a new hobby, join a good cause (pro-life group, evangelism team) go on a short term mission...

3. Be spontaneous: Along with extra time comes the time to do more things on the spur of the moment. Yours is the only schedule to plan around. Go out with a friend on moment's notice, stay up all night in a coffee shop (it's good practice - you'll end up pulling all nighters later in life once the baby comes anyhow), hop in a car and drive to the next province or state with your buddies. Schedules and plans, once you are married will have to made by two and often in advance the degree of potential spontaneity you have now is temporary. Treasure it!

4.Stop only hanging with only the married: You all used to hang out together when you were single, then one by one your ‘gang' marries while you are left single. You try to hang out with them, but end up feeling like an odd ball since you're the only one in the group with no hand to hold and nothing to add to the discussions that too often circle around ‘couple issues'... it's your train to misery unless you switch tracks.... Don't abandon your married friends all together - you may be among them some day; but be sure to balance your life with like-minded single friends

5. Join a group for single Christian adults: If your church doesn't have one, find a church that does or start one. Keeping your social life active will keep you from taking a self-pity trip to no- spouse bluesville'. Although a young adult group may in fact be the ticket to ending your singleness, don't let this become your priority. Start enjoying the friendships God has blessed you with, both male and female and seek out ways that you can be a blessing and encouragement to them as brothers and sisters in Christ.

6. Stop obsessive seeking: Learn to trust that God knows whom you should be with if its in His will for you to marry, and trust that He will bring you together when His time is right. Stop looking at every member of the opposite sex as potential mates to be run through the evaluation mill, and every member of the same sex as competition. Those attitudes can end up leading you into constant disappointment, jealousy, and dissatisfaction. At the same time, avoid being a ‘blind shooter' jumping around from field to field with the desperate belief that the more ‘options' you have the better your chances of finding ‘the one'. God knows who that one will be; you don't need to meet hundreds of men/women to find him/her. Trust Him.

7. Use this time to prepare yourself for marriage: If you are seeking to marry a Godly Christian, strive to be the type of person that you would want to marry. There may be qualities/ traits/ areas in your life that God will need to refine and work in before you will be ready for marriage. Be open to God's direction and strive to hear His voice and stay in tune with His will.

8. Spend daily time in Bible study and prayer: Again on the issue of time, as a single, you're probably blessed with more undisturbed time and have fewer distractions than the mother or father with three children potentially entering the room at any time. Take advantage of the time you are given to do some serious Bible study, enjoy longer undisturbed prayer times - become a prayer warrior and intercede on behalf of others (this too is a great way to keep from becoming self-focused on your loneliness or needs)

9. Pray regularly for your future spouse: Sure you may not know them or their needs, but God does. Statistically speaking, chances are strong you will marry one day, and your future spouse is out there somewhere. How awesome to think that although miles and years may separate you at this time, God knows and sees you both! You will spend the rest of your life praying with and for this person, so why not start now? Pray that God will meet his/her needs (God knows what they are), for his/her growth in his/her faith, strength to stand for the truth and courage and strength to remain sexually pure and avoid temptation.... etc. You can also pray that God might be preparing both of you for your marriage and for His will to be done in the timing of your meeting and your getting together.

10. Above all: Remember your first love: Use this time in your life to learn to truly love God above all else. Only once you are able to love God and be satisfied in Him alone will you be able to reciprocate that love and love someone else with the unconditional love He gives you. Only God's love can truly satisfy your personal need for love. If you are waiting for marriage and a human being to fill that void and satisfy your love craving, you will find that no person will be able to do this; you will only end up disappointed.

CONCLUSION: Enjoy this time God has blessed you with; statistically speaking, if you are like most people, it will not last forever. You are single. You have two choices: you can 1) Live in dissatisfaction and misery while you wish away these days, how many there may be and in the process miss out on a lot of excitement and joy... or 2) Smile, enjoy today and praise God for this gift of singleness he has given you today.

(PS - enjoying your singleness doesn't mean having to resort yourself to a lifetime of it, it only means happiness as long as it here) :)

(C) Kristine Kruszelnicki October 1999

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