Dear Friends, I want to be THAT friend. Let’s pray that our eyes are open to the needs around us. Sara
How can I help: advice to marrieds.
Some of the things I remember well about the journey of singleness were the things that well-meaning, married folks would say to me, things like “Why do you want to be married anyway? Men are messy and hard to live with.” There was the regular, “It’ll happen when you least expect it.” (Singles: raise your hand if you are tired of hearing that!) And I did, hand on my heart, have someone ask me once, “So, why aren’t you married? Is there something wrong with you?” All of these can be filed under the category of “Things NOT to say.”
So, what is the advice to married friends of single friends? How does a married person love well a single person?
- Be that person willing to just sit in the pain with your friend and listen. Some of the most comforting times for me where when my dearest friends would simply sit with me as I poured out my longing and my sadness and they didn’t try to fix it. They just listened and loved me and they were as heartbroken for me in my longing and in my waiting as I was for myself.
- Be sensitive to the things you discuss in groups. For some reason, right or wrong, group gatherings, even with dearest friends, were often painful for me because the conversation would inevitably turn to husbands and children – painful because it was a reminder of what I wanted, but didn’t have. I remember one gathering of friends when everyone brought their wedding albums to look at it. I felt very alone and isolated. One on one with each friend, I absolutely wanted to hear about their life, their marriage, their children, but being in the group was hard.
- Ask about their dating life and how things are going. Often, singles are relegated to conversations only about their career as if the topic of dating were taboo. But, it’s ok; ask how it’s going. Ask if there is anyone special. Ask what you can do to help. Those questions speak of hope.
- Pray with them and for them. Pray that they draw closer to God during this time; that their will would align with God’s will for them; and that God is preparing their heart and preparing the heart of the person He has planned for them, if that is His will.
- Let them know you are praying for them. I was most encouraged when friends would tell me they were praying for me because it was a message that they were coming alongside me and interceding before the Father for me.
Survival Guide Top Tip for marrieds: be THAT friend – the one who prays and loves and cries together with your single friend.