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10/13/18 Weekend Grif.Net – Abundant Single Life

10/13/18 Weekend Grif.Net – Abundant Single Life

[Yesterday I =
sent some =E2=80=98real=E2=80=9D humorous replies to =E2=80=9CWhy =
aren=E2=80=99t you married yet=E2=80=9D.=C2=A0 Pastor Dan Parton shared =
this response, the words of his former secretary Joanna Jackson whose =
family was also friends of my wife. She remained single and pure her =
entire life. She died of colorectal cancer five years ago, August 23, =
2013, at the age of 42.=C2=A0 This is just one chapter of her book which =
is published by Sword of the Lord Press]

 

 

When I was a =
little girl, I had a sweet Sunday school teacher who was special to =
me.=C2=A0 One day while at church, I asked her when she and her husband =
were going to have children.=C2=A0 I don=E2=80=99t recall her answer, =
but I remember her reply being simple and sweet.=C2=A0 Later that night =
while on our way home, I told my mom what I had asked my teacher and was =
still wondering why they didn=E2=80=99t have any children.=C2=A0 Very =
kindly and wisely, my mom said, =E2=80=9CMaybe they can=E2=80=99t have =
children.=E2=80=9D=C2=A0 I was totally taken aback by my mom=E2=80=99s =
comment, but I learned something I didn=E2=80=99t previously know.=C2=A0 =
In my innocent childhood, I had never before thought that a couple =
couldn=E2=80=99t have children.=C2=A0 As I look back on this =
conversation, I am very thankful that my Sunday school teacher =
didn=E2=80=99t scold me for being insensitive to her feelings or give me =
a curt answer.=C2=A0 My question may have caused her pain in her heart, =
and I feel badly for that!=C2=A0 I liked my teacher and never wanted to =
hurt her.=C2=A0 Thankfully, she chose to respond instead of react to my =
inquiry.

 

As a single =
adult, I have been asked several questions that could appear rude and =
even insensitive.=C2=A0 Possibly, you=E2=80=99ve been asked some of the =
same questions or even others.=C2=A0 One question I have been frequently =
asked is, =E2=80=9CWhy aren=E2=80=99t you married yet?=E2=80=9D=C2=A0 =
One lady told me that when she was single, she was at a Valentine =
banquet sitting at the =E2=80=9Csingles table,=E2=80=9D and a married =
man came up and stated, =E2=80=9CSo, this is where all the rejects =
sit!=E2=80=9D=C2=A0 As much as I try to have =E2=80=9Ctough =
skin=E2=80=9D when it comes to questions asked and comments made to me, =
words can cut deeply to the heart.

 

Initially in =
my single years when seemingly =E2=80=9Cinsensitive=E2=80=9D comments =
came my way, I would become perturbed in my heart.=C2=A0 I never reacted =
to people who said these things, but I left their presence wondering why =
they were thoughtless in regard to my feelings.=C2=A0 Then, the Lord =
brought to mind my childhood question to my Sunday school teacher.=C2=A0 =
When I asked her about having children, I know I was not being =
insensitive or thoughtless.=C2=A0 I was actually being thoughtful =
wanting her and her husband to have a family.=C2=A0 Just as kind and =
merciful as my Sunday school teacher was to me in her response, I =
decided to extend that same kindness and mercy to those who hurt me with =
their questions.=C2=A0 I decided to give people the bene=EF=AC=81t of =
the doubt believing that they did not ask or say what they did in an =
e=EF=AC=80ort to hurt me.

 

If you have =
ever innocently said something you shouldn=E2=80=99t have, I=E2=80=99m =
sure you wanted the people who heard you to be merciful to you.=C2=A0 =
Apply that same kindness to people who hurt you with their words.=C2=A0 =
Yes, words do hurt, but we need to look beyond people=E2=80=99s possible =
insensitivity and give them the bene=EF=AC=81t of the doubt. =

 

I have found =
that I can much more easily practice this principle when it appears that =
the person is being sincerely caring toward me.=C2=A0 I =EF=AC=81nd it =
harder to implement when it appears that the person is trying to be =
cruel.=C2=A0 What should you do when a person appears heartless as the =
aforementioned man at the Valentine banquet?

 

1.=C2=A0 =
Extend the same kindness and mercy that you would extend to someone who =
innocently hurts you.=C2=A0 Is this easy?=C2=A0 Not even a little =
bit!=C2=A0 But you can!=C2=A0 Rise above your hurt, rise above their =
Christianity, and be a better person than they appear to be being at =
that time.

 

2.=C2=A0 =
Decide to be more sensitive to other people.=C2=A0 My mom=E2=80=99s =
telling me that my Sunday school teacher may not be able to have =
children made me, as young as I was, more sensitive to childless =
couples.=C2=A0 From then on, I no longer asked questions similar to what =
I had asked my teacher because I became aware that my question, though =
meant innocently, could cause hurt.=C2=A0 When people are insensitive to =
you, decide to be sensitive to others=E2=80=99 feelings, giving to them =
a care you would like to receive.

 

3.=C2=A0 Go =
on.=C2=A0 When people say insensitive things to me and appear to be =
saying it unkindly, I do not react and do not become angry.=C2=A0 Yes, =
it still hurts, but I choose to walk away from such situations and just =
try to do what is right in my actions and =
attitudes.

 

4.=C2=A0 Be =
kindly honest when asked if something hurt you.=C2=A0 Many years ago, a =
lady said something to me publicly about my being single.=C2=A0 She was =
just joking, but her comments still stung.=C2=A0 I didn=E2=80=99t react =
or say anything, but my heart was wounded.=C2=A0 Later, that same lady =
approached me because she felt that she may have hurt me with her =
jesting.=C2=A0 I responded in a kind and honest way and told her that =
her words were hurtful.=C2=A0 She asked for my forgiveness, and I =
forgave her.=C2=A0 Had I not been honest with her, she may have said the =
same thing to another single person.=C2=A0 I=E2=80=99m glad she was =
sensitive enough to ask me if she had hurt me, and I=E2=80=99m glad I =
was honest in my answer to her.=C2=A0 Often, it=E2=80=99s easier to say, =
=E2=80=9CEverything=E2=80=99s okay,=E2=80=9D instead of being upfront =
with people.=C2=A0 When you do not answer someone honestly, you cannot =
help other singles avoid the same hurt.

 

5.=C2=A0 When =
someone wants to know, tell that person, in detail, why a certain =
statement or question hurts.=C2=A0 For example, the question, =
=E2=80=9CWhy aren=E2=80=99t you married yet?=E2=80=9D makes me feel like =
the person is saying, =E2=80=9CWhat=E2=80=99s wrong with you that =
you=E2=80=99re not married?=E2=80=9D=C2=A0 Most likely, they do not mean =
it that way; yet, it still gives me that impression.=C2=A0 The question, =
=E2=80=9CWhy don=E2=80=99t you lower your standards?=E2=80=9D makes me =
feel like I=E2=80=99m being blamed for being single, I=E2=80=99m not =
worth the best that God has for me, and that it=E2=80=99s okay to =
=E2=80=9Csettle.=E2=80=9D=C2=A0 Kindly explain your feelings to someone =
who genuinely wants to know if something hurt you so that person can =
grow thereby.

 

=E2=80=9CSticks=
and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm =
me.=E2=80=9D=C2=A0 I don=E2=80=99t know who coined this phrase, but I =
doubt its validity.=C2=A0 In fact, the Bible says just the opposite in =
Proverbs 12:18, =E2=80=9CThere is that speaketh like the piercings of a =
sword=E2=80=A6=E2=80=9D=C2=A0 Yes, words can pierce your heart like a =
sword.=C2=A0 I have had this happen to me as a single, and, most likely, =
you have too.=C2=A0 I wish harsh words were never said; but when they =
are spoken, we must be prepared to respond in a proper way instead of =
reacting or becoming downhearted.

 

When words =
a=EF=AC=80ect your soul like sticks and stones being =EF=AC=82ung at =
you, may I remind you of the words of our sweet Saviour, =E2=80=9CAnd as =
ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if =
ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love =
those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, =
what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to =
them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also =
lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and =
do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be =
great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto =
the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father =
also is merciful.=E2=80=9D (Luke 6:31-36)

 

~~

Dr Bob Griffin =

bob@grif.net =
www.grif.net

"Jesus =
Knows Me, This I Love!"