The Best Single Place

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While at a women’s retreat in a workshop on “Singleness,” the facilitator asked us to list what qualities they wanted in a mate. What a hubbub! Everything that could be thought of was mentioned; from great looks to money and everything in between. Who knew there could be so many desirables? The leader patiently listed the qualities on the board, then turned to us and said, “How many of these qualities that you want in a mate do you have?” Silence. Then nervous giggles as the facilitator told us to rewrite our lists.

My friend Janet looked at the long list of desirable qualities women had stated. She started making a list of the things she did not like or want in a relationship. She thought of what was intolerable to her. She wanted to justify things on the list created by the group. I just won’t put up with… Immediately her mind went to her father. Well, he can’t be like my father and that’s that. Wait. Where did that come from? What was so bad there? She was supposed to be making a list of what she wanted, not what she didn’t want. She stopped writing.

Janet thought back to how her dad would call her names that made her feel worthless; the constant negative conversations that made her wish she was more like anybody but herself. Quiet tears leaked from her eyes. I noticed when she put her forehead in her hands. She had hoped no one noticed that she had stopped writing and was no longer listening. She had trailed off into her painful past despite the stirring in the room of comments and suggestions. With her thoughts in the past, she’d never be worthy of marriage and certainly not a man with any of the qualities everyone wanted. The facilitator wrote verses to be read aloud. 

Then Janet read one of the verses, Ephesians 1:1-6. Tears flowed down her cheeks. She was set free. Jesus died for her sins. God really loves her that much. A warm embrace and awareness of His love for her gave her a new perspective. She found the best “single place” in the world, alone with God.

When the light is turned on to us and what we have to offer, what does it show? Have we sought love that has never been shown to us? Is there someone who undervalued, criticized, and created self-loathing that makes it hard to see what we have to give? Is there silence? Read Ephesians 1:1-6 again and find the best single place in Him!

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