Scriptures

Practical Singleness Lesson 12

Introduction

Communicate

‘A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion’. Proverbs 18:2

It’s so important to listen to each other instead of just what you think is happening within the relationship. Good, clear and honest communication is vital in any relationship.

‘An honest answer is a sign of true friendship’. Proverbs 24:26

‘Where do all the fights and quarrels among you come from? They come from your desires for pleasure, which are constantly fighting within you. You want things, but you cannot have them, so you are ready to kill; you strongly desire things, but you cannot get them, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have what you want because you do not ask God for it.’ James 4:1-2

Talk to each other about how you’re feeling about the relationship. Are you happy within the relationship? Tell each other why you’re happy. Is the relationship making you sad? If so, in what way, again talk to each other about how you feel the relationship is making you sad.

If you need to end the relationship, then end it, don’t prolong it if your heart isn’t really in it. I know you will break the other person’s heart but surely the short-term pain is worth the long-term happiness.

Would you like it if you were in a relationship with someone whose heart wasn’t in it fully for the long term?

Top Ten Communication Tips

1. Learn to express your feelings and frustrations honestly but without accusing or attacking the other person.

‘You can be ruined by the talk of godless people, but the wisdom of the righteous can save you’. Proverbs 11:9

2. Choose words, expressions and a tone of voice that are kind and gentle. Don’t use speech that could easily offend or spark an argument.

‘A gentle answer quiets anger, but a harsh one stirs it up’. Proverbs 15:1

3. Don’t exaggerate, distort or stretch the truth. Avoid extreme words like ‘never’ and ‘always’.

‘No more lying, then! Each of you must tell the truth to the other believer, because we are all members together in the body of Christ’. Ephesians 4:25

4. Give actual and specific examples. If necessary, make notes before you communicate. Stay away from generalities.

5. Commit yourself to seeking solutions instead of airing your grievances. Getting even isn’t the goal; you want to get things resolved.

‘If someone has done you wrong, do not repay him with a wrong. Try to do what everyone considers to be good. Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody. Never take revenge, my friends, but instead let God’s anger do it. For the scripture says, ‘I will take revenge, I will pay back, says the Lord.’ Instead, as the scripture says: ‘If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them a drink; for by doing this you will make them burn with shame.’ Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good.’ Romans 12:17-21

6. Listen to what the other person is saying, feeling and needing. Try to detect his or her underlying concerns.

‘Remember this, my dear friends! Everyone must be quick to listen, but slow to speak and slow to become angry’. James 1:19

7. Refuse to indulge bitterness, anger, withdrawal or arguments. Though these emotions are normal, indulging them is sin.

‘If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day.’ Ephesians 4:26

8. Don’t hesitate to acknowledge your own failure and be quick to forgive the other person. Make sure you don’t hold a grudge.

‘So, watch what you do!’ If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in one day, and each time he comes to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.’ Luke 17:3-4

9. Keep talking and asking questions until you are sure that both understand clearly what the other is saying and feeling. Encourage each other as you press toward a solution.

‘So then, we must always aim at those things that bring peace and that help strengthen one another’. Romans 14:19

10. Train your mouth and heart until you can say the right thing, at the right time, in the right way and for the right reasons.

Allow Each Other To Fulfil Your Godly Roles

Sometimes when we enter into a relationship, we end up being so obsessed with each other we forget about out duties as Christians and in some cases, we lose our identities. Yes, couples need to work together in glorifying God but remember that all relationships need breathing space to do the things God called us to do as individuals.

‘So, God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them male and female.’ Genesis 1:27

‘Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to live alone. I will make a suitable companion to help him.’ Genesis 2:18

Men

1. Assume the responsibility of leading and initiating in your relationships with women.

2. Be a spiritual leader in your relationship with women.

3. Do little things in your relationship with women that communicate your care, respect and desire to protect.

4. Encourage women to embrace godly femininity.

Women

1. In your relationships with godly men, encourage and make room for them to practice servant leadership.

2. Be a sister to the men in your life.

3. Cultivate the attitude that motherhood is a noble and fulfilling calling.

‘In the same way instruct the older women to behave as women should who live a holy life. They must not be slanderers or slaves to wine.’ Titus 2:3

4. Cultivate godliness and inward beauty in your life.

‘They will keep you away from other men’s wives, from women with seductive words.’ Proverbs 7:5

‘You should not use outward aids to make yourselves beautiful, such as the way you fix your hair, or the jewellery you put on, or the dresses you wear. Instead, your beauty should consist of your true inner self, the ageless beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of the greatest value in God’s sight.’ 1 Peter 3:3-4

Your First Thoughts

Please write down your own thoughts on this part of the lesson whilst they are fresh in your mind.

Evaluation Questions

These questions are designed to help you think through the topic discussed so that you may have a true view of yourself.

1. What areas or topics would YOU struggle to communicate to your partner in a relationship?

2. Do YOU understand the role differences between a man and woman?

3. Do YOU understand the role of a woman in a relationship?

4. Do YOU understand the role as a man in a relationship?

5. What dangers can YOU see if both roles were not encouraged by each other?

6. What benefits can YOU see if both roles were encouraged by each other?

Conclusion

I hope and pray that this small series on ‘Practical Singleness’ has been of some benefit to you. Maybe you got answers to some questions, maybe you’ve changed your thinking on some of the topics we’ve looked at or maybe you’ve had your own beliefs enforced through this study.

I hope and pray if you decide you stay single, you will use your singleness wisely, if you decide to enter a relationship, I hope and pray that you choose wisely and allow God to bring someone to you. But most of all have fun and enjoy your relationship whether you stay single or enter into a relationship with someone, I hope and pray that you always keep Jesus at the centre of your life.

I realise that some Christians may have already sinned in their relationship with someone else and feel lost and helpless because they haven’t spoken to anyone about it. Well, remember you may have sinned but you don’t need to lose your salvation over it. Remember the words of John and speak to God about it first,

‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’ 1 John 1:9

God bless you as you strive to live a live which pleases Him.

Back To Practical Singleness Lesson 11

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"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

Genesis 1:1

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