I know that Thanksgiving can sometimes be a challenge with difficult family dynamics and nosy relatives. This is true for singles and in every stage of life. Sometimes it is difficult to navigate conversations because of the things that some of our family and friends do and say that can be hurtful – whether intentionally or unintentionally. I’d love to remind you that just because someone says something doesn’t mean that you have to engage in that particular conversation. You can say something to stop unwanted inquiries about your life while still being respectful of well-meaning family members.
- “When are you ever going to get married?”
- “You don’t have a boyfriend yet?”
- “You aren’t getting any younger, you better get married soon!”
- “What are you waiting for, some Prince Charming to sweep you off your feet? You’re just too picky.”
- “Have you gained weight?”
- “Your life must be so boring.”
Inappropriate and sometimes downright rude questions will continue even if you are dating, get married, or when you have children. So don’t think that you are being picked on only because you are single. Even if you were dating or married – you will probably still be picked on if that is how the people are in your family/social circle. The questions will just change. So it is not like if only you had a boyfriend or were married that the frustrating questions will stop.
You can simply smile and respectfully say something (as God’s Spirit leads you) like:
- “I love you, too. Thanks for caring about my happiness.”
- “I’m sure God has it under control.”
- “I’d love to get married to a great guy one day. Maybe you can pray about that issue for me.”
- “I’m really thankful for all that God has given me right now and I trust Him to lead me in this area.”
- “Let’s talk about something else.”
- “So, how is your family/your husband/your mom doing?”
- “I’m content in my life and in my relationship with God. There is no better place to be in the world. I wish everyone could experience the peace I get to have in Christ every day.”
- “Let’s talk about you!”
- “Let me tell you about what God has been doing in my life.”
- “I’ll let you know if anything changes.”
- “Don’t worry, you’ll be one of the first to get a wedding invitation if the time comes.”
- “Most single people/women really don’t enjoy questions like this. You know what I would rather talk about? …”
You could make a pleasant joke or you can just change the subject completely. That is totally fine. You don’t owe an explanation about your current relationship status to anyone else. You don’t have to ever get married – there is no mandate in scripture about that. And you don’t have to lash out in sinful ways at people even if they are rude. Keep in mind that sometimes people will try to get you to honor the same idols they have. You don’t have to do that. You don’t have to take the bait. Also sometimes people ask questions that feel so hurtful to us but they truly think they are just being friendly and loving. They just don’t realize how they come across. You can know in your heart that temporary happiness is not the most important thing, marriage is not the most important thing, neither is dating, family, or romance. You can know in your heart that a close walk with Jesus is the most important thing in the world.
You don’t have to be married by a certain time. Don’t let anyone pressure you or get you to engage in a pity party! Satan would LOVE to get you in a place of dwelling on negative thoughts. Recognize his strategy and refuse to let his tempting thoughts set up shop in your mind. Your relationships status with another person is not your source of value. Your value comes from the God who lovingly created you and who gave His Son to die in your place. You don’t have to have people’s approval – only God’s. 🙂 There is such freedom in realizing this!
You can be un-enmeshed emotionally/spiritually with other people. Just because they are upset or unhappy, doesn’t mean you have to be. You are responsible for your emotions and your spiritual well-being. They are responsible for their own. (If you have a very toxic family dynamic, it could be helpful to review what healthy vs. unhealthy relationships look like.)
I would love to encourage you to:
- Enjoy your family/friends/time alone.
- Don’t absorb any toxic messages, only the truth of God about yourself.
- Weigh anything anyone says (even your own mind) against scripture.
- Focus on Philippians 4:8 things no matter what your circumstances.
- Lay down expectations of things being a certain way or of other people being a certain way.
- Seek to love and bless those in your life.
- Be flexible and able to roll with unexpected changes in plans and problems that may arise.
- Spend time with God before seeing other people to get your spiritual bearings – and if you have dysfunctional people in your life, spend even more time with God preparing so that you can respond in the power of His Spirit not the flesh.
- Shine for Christ to all those around you.
- If you are facing trials, count them as joy, asking God what He would have you to learn and asking Him to prune and refine your faith, taking you deeper and closer to Him.
- Be aware of ways that Satan wants to discourage you and the kinds of thoughts he may try to use to get you off balance, especially during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years’ if these are difficult times for you. Don’t let him catch you off guard. Be prepared to defend against his attacks with God’s truth.
- Be open to ways God may want to use you to reach others with His love.
- If you have a lot of time alone this week, spend extra time digging into your walk with Christ and seeking to grow closer to Him, or ask what ministry opportunities He may have for you.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EACH OF YOU!
Each of you are so very precious to God and so very precious to me. I am thankful for each one of you – my sisters and brothers. Whether you are with family, friends, or working, or home alone today – here is my prayer for you:
Let my sisters and brothers in Christ know Your love in a more powerful, tangible way today than ever before. Help them to look past the craziness and busyness of this world to the throne room of heaven from which You reign in complete sovereignty over the universe. Help them to rest in Your love for them and in Your goodness, Your perfect wisdom, Your timing, and Your good plans for them. Help them to long to know You more. Give them a desire for Your approval that is far greater than their desire for people’s approval. Help them to stand strong against those who are critical of them this week. Let them have Your eternal perspective and Your love for everyone in their lives, even those who are difficult to love. Help them to develop a heart of thanksgiving and praise to You that continues each moment of every day. Let them truly experience more and more of the abundant Life You have already provided for each of us. Let them stand firm in Christ, trusting You completely to lead them each day for their ultimate good and Your ultimate glory. And let them know they are deeply loved and cherished here and in the body of Christ. Help us all to really “get” that we are united and one together in Christ – that we are never alone. We are part of an eternal family of brothers and sisters and we are part of Your family if we are in Christ.
Handling Controlling People – a Peaceful Wife video
Taking Our Thoughts Captive – a Peaceful Wife video