Love Month Feature: Lindsey Nobles

February 14, 2011

“I’ve never been married, but I tell people I’m divorced so they won’t think something’s wrong with me.” – Elayne Boosler

Happy freaking Valentine’s Day.

I promised that for the big pink and red day, Love Month here would have a special feature.  Today, I don’t want to talk about love at all.  Because I know how you singles feel.  I know how you feel ignored, and I would be remiss to ignore you.  I’ve set aside today especially for you, to talk all about being single.  But not just that, how to be good at being single.  (Don’t worry, you marrieds may still get something out of this too.)

To help me with that, I found Lindsey Nobles.  I met Lindsey a couple of years ago at Catalyst.  She’s a super-charged girl who works for Thomas Nelson publishers, writes a blog that I read all the time, and writes genuinely and honestly about the joys and struggles of being single.  I consider her to be the best when it comes to single-lady-Christian-bloggers…if there is such a category.  If there isn’t, then there should be.

First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself – who and where you are, and what you do with yourself.

I work at Thomas Nelson (world’s largest Christian publisher) as Director of Corporate Communications. I realize that when I say this most people have no idea what I do, candidly sometimes I have no idea what I do, and I’ve done it for three years. But my boss, Michael Hyatt, would say I’m responsible for anything that will increase the visibility of Thomas Nelson. So that’s what I try to do. I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Spent my collegiate years at the University of Colorado. And made it to Nashville via Birmingham, Alabama.  I blog and twitter.

Well guest posting for me will certainly raise awareness of Thomas Nelson…or not.  Anyway, I imagine many people tiptoe around the topic of marriage with single people, wondering why “it” hasn’t happened yet.  Kind of the same way people do with childless married people.  What’s your experience been?

I have friends that ignore it. I have friends that seem to know just what I should be doing and feeling…like if they were running my life I wouldn’t be in this “predicament.” And I have friends who pray for me, listen to me, and gently encourage me.

You’ve hinted on your blog at mistakes you’ve made in dating, (like giving a guy too much of your heart too fast). What kinds of dating traps do you think people fall into that make singleness better than being in a relationship?

I grew up thinking that I would graduate from college, find a good job, and get married. Over the course of my college years, I dated two boys seriously and considered marrying each of them. Neither of them were right (actually they both were very wrong) for me but I was terrified of going at it alone. Now that I found my independence, I wonder if I will ever find someone who appreciates the woman I have become.

I’ve seen a lot of women go well into their 30s or 40s as singles, but many of them don’t “embrace” singleness.  Getting a guy becomes their only goal in life, though they wonder if they are “good enough” for a guy to marry. What advice would you give these women on how to experience and embrace healthy singleness?

Honestly I don’t know if I am the picture of “healthy singleness.” I have days, weeks where I am just over this season and so ready to find the person I am going to marry. But over the last few years I have focused on building a life full of friends who challenge me and pursuing interests that fulfill me. I have stopped waiting for a husband to begin my life.

I think you’re probably on the right track.  If more of us learned how to be “good” at being single, we’d probably be better at being married.

You’ve also mentioned your distaste for those groups of single women who just sit around and complain that there are no good men.  Are they cursing themselves to more singleness?

I think a lot of single women are miserable to be around. And if I think that, I imagine that single men think that as well. Those women need to learn to be content in who they are, or at least start faking it until they do 😉

How well do you think people, churches, or married couples deal with their single friends? I know you’ve gotten a lot of “useful” advice from people who are trying to be helpful (especially at those super-fun wedding parties.) How can churches and married people better minister to singles?

I understand why churches have such a hard time ministering to or counseling singles, especially singles who are older.  Most pastors get married and start their families early. They can’t really understand what it is like to walk in our shoes.  And so there are a lot of hard conversations about sex, dating, and singleness that get pushed under the rug.

That’s it from Lindsey.  Be sure to visit her blog, but before you do, tell us what kind of single person you were (or are.)  Were you “good” at being single, or did you try to get it over with as quickly as possible?  Did you curse, or love your single life?  

49 responses to Love Month Feature: Lindsey Nobles

  1. Amen! I totally just added a link to this at the bottom of today’s post on my blog. I think you make a good point about miserable single women- talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy!

    To answer Matt’s question:
    I’m just out of college, but I never really dated. Guys on online Christian forums always seemed to really like me, but no one “IRL” ever asked me out. Was I too “independent?” Did I voice my opinions too loudly or too often in Bible studies? Was it because I was 10 pounds overweight? Was I- dare I say it- ugly? I couldn’t figure out what was “wrong” with me.

    And then I stopped caring. Sure, I still wanted a romantic relationship. (And I’m still looking for one now.) But I’m’ going to continue to be independent until someone proves I can depend on him. I’m going to continue to voice my opinions in Bible studies because I think it is through dialogue that people learn and grow. And though those last 10 pounds are still stubbornly clinging to my body, I eat healthy and exercise, and I wouldn’t want to be with a guy if he’s that superficial anyway.

    I’m proud to say that singleness has given me the opportunity to pursue my calling to become a lawyer to fight human trafficking. If I “stay as I am,” I can continue to pour my undivided time and efforts into the cause, and if I find someone to share my life with, then I would have found an awesome ally and companion. It’s a win-win.

    I’m not perfect at it, and I definitely have my “lapses,” but I have learned to be content in every circumstance, and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
    Jo_of_TSN recently posted..Self-gratification

  2. i go through seasons of absolutely loving singlehood, and then absolutely just being over it. i happen to be surrounded by single friends who are in the same boat though, which really does make it easier.

    i find that just enjoying life and not waiting around for a guy helps in those moments when i’m over being single. so i try to enjoy my life and focus on things that make me happy instead of miserable…
    tsholo recently posted..Reads of the week – 2011 – 5

  3. Thanks for the guest post Lindsey!

    I was surrounded by mostly single friends as well. I only had one serious g/f in my early college days but I’m so glad that didn’t work out. I would probably say I sucked at being single just because I was just so over singleness and wanted to find that special person that every time I saw a new girl it’d be like, “Is she the one?!!”

    But I’m glad I don’t have to go through all that ever again.

    nicodemusatnite.com
    Charlie Chang recently posted..263 Throwing up Big Macs

  4. I got married at 22, to my college sweetheart. We lasted a long time, enjoyed God and all that stuff. But her addiction got the best of her. I enjoyed being single after my divorce. I dated my wife for 2 years (that was here limit for dating) and she gave me the ultimatum. Mary Anne is the besting that ever happened to me. The big difference is that we recognize the need to do things together without kids at least once a week, and plan a few long weekends too.

    My 24-year-old gave up on her fiance and is not just enjoying doing stuff with guys – she seems a lot happier at the moment.

    We love single folks and invite them over anytime they want to come.

    I love this: ” I have stopped waiting for a husband to begin my life.”
    David recently posted..Why Mary Anne is the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me!

  5. I was single until I was 30. I sort of shudder when I think about the type of guys I dated in my early 20s. I’m pretty sure I’d be divorced by now had I married one of them. I was such a different person at 30 than I was at 20. I enjoyed being single. I was sort of “over it” by the time I met my future husband. I think by that time, I understood not only what I wanted in a spouse, but what I didn’t want. I do find it interesting that many married folks in the church feel it’s their mission to marry off all the single folks.
    katdish recently posted..Happy belated birthday- Abraham Lincoln!

  6. I admittedly didn’t do a good job of embracing singlehood. Looking back, I should’ve embraced that time more. It’s hard to recognize at the time, sometimes, but it’s a gift.
    Jeff Goins recently posted..7 Tips for Effective Writing

  7. Matt, Thanks for letting me share. And for the kind words about me and my blog. I appreciate you.
    Lindsey
    Lindsey Nobles recently posted..Nothing Says Happy Valentine’s Day…

  8. I just turned 55. I’ve been single my whole life. I’m happy I did not know this is how things would turn out when I was younger. But, now that I am here, it’s really not so bad. I have grown into it and am at peace with my singleness. I’m now search for ways to do it better – a way to create a family of single friends or perhaps empty nester couples to do life with. Almost all my friends are married with children still at home and are not really available. I’m pray God will help me find, or create, this group.

    Would I still like to marry? Yes, but no longer believe that will happen. I believe it is possible that God has called me to a life of singleness. My search now is, not for a husband, but for why he has called me to be single. What does he have planned for me that would be better than a husband and kids in my case ? What does he have for me to do for him that would be better for his kingdom than I could do if I married? I no longer seek to be married. I seek that better thing (in my case) he has for me.

    I’m still sad sometimes that I am alone. I admit it. But now, most of the time, the thought of missing what God has planned for me brings much much more sorrow than all I have missed by being single my whole life. So I seek. I pray. For his will.

    And I remember on Valentine’s Day, and every day, that I have Someone who loves me beyond what a husband could, in fact, this Someone died for me. I have Someone who will never, ever leave me. I have Someone who always has my best at heart even though I may not understand at the time. I have Someone I will spend eternity with and in fact, that eternity has already begun. He’s awesome. I am his and He is mine. And yours. No matter what our marital status is.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • You know, you may be sad sometimes at your singleness, but I’ve found that everyone sometimes longs for anything other than what they have. Married guys mourn their long-lost independence from time to time too.

    • Pam, I love what you said in the last paragraph, so much so, that I would love to quote it on facebook. Would that be okay with you?

      • Certainly, Danielle. Please feel free to post that last paragraph.
        Saying a prayer that God will use our words to his glory!

    • What a wonderful blog. Thank you Matt for the forum – and Pam, thank you so much for sharing. I turn 33 this June and have never been married. I’m a pastor in a women’s ministry and I’m not sure either if God will call me into a life of singleness or if I will indeed have the husband and kids that I do desire at some point in my future. I spend all day surrounded by, living in community with and ministering to women in a tiny rural village in Scotland, UK…which is my absolute passion and joy! But where or how or when I’d met a single man of God in my situation is..well, let’s say it’ll definitely be an act of God! lol :) I also try with the grace given to me, to live well in this single season, but we can all sometimes be fragile. There were some dreams in my heart that I’d laid aside, thinking that they would be best experienced alongside my husband – but God was so gracious to me at the end of last year and spoke to me through a passage in Isaiah 55. He told me to ‘break forth into singing’ and get ready to ‘enlarge the place of my tents’; in other words, keep dreaming and planning, widening my vision to see all that He has in store for me/my future. Do NOT grow smaller because you feel alone or at not married. Then right there in verse 5. ‘For your Maker IS your husband. The Lord of Hosts is His name’. You may already be familiar with this scripture, but it’s worth mentioning again here in case others haven’t. His direct word was such a powerful love letter to me – and I shared it as a testimony to the ladies I minister to at a Valentine’s event, as an encouragement to them all of how LOVED we are by God. Anyway, all this to say; THANK YOU for bringing such a beautiful truth to light – that indeed we are already ‘living with some one we can spend eternity with’ – the TRUE lover of our souls! Many Blessings, from Bonnie Scotland, Anna Marie.

  9. Hi Elayne and Matt,

    Great interview. Sounds as though you handle things well. I don’t know how you do it.

    Having been married for 40+ years, I can’t imagine the difficulties facing Christian singles today. I’d be terrified!

    One of my daughters actually met her now husband through an online dating service. That seems so strange to me.

    Neither Ginny nor I can remember first meeting back in the 1960s. We both helped out in a rescue effort in riot areas following the assassination ML King Jr. And it was not love at first sight; we gradually became aware of each other in group activities before anything clicked.

    Our grown kids have urged us to write a book about happy marriage, but we can’t because we don’t know what we’ve done right (if anything). But luck, the blessing of God, inertia, or whatever keeps us together and still in love.

    There’s a lot to be said for getting married just because you’re young and horny. Worked for us.

    John Cowart

  10. Excuse me Miss Nobles; I misread the quote in the heading and picked out the wrong girl… er, right girl, wrong name.
    Getting old and senile… me, not you.
    John Cowart

  11. Good words about being single. I’m not single and I don’t really remember what life was like before marriage. These are good reminders. And I must add that Lindsey has the most joyful twitter profile pick ever.
    seekingpastor recently posted..Loving the Little Things

  12. Great questions and even better answers!!! I can totally relate to where you are coming from and where are now… thanks for sharing your heart with us!

  13. Lindsey, thank you for speaking out about this! As you know, I’m single and 35. I think you’ve done a great job answering these questions with truth (and thanks to Matt for the forum).

  14. What a beautifully candid look at singlehood. thank you for so honest! When it comes to being single I am neither good nor bad. I have good days certainly. Days when I am grateful for where God has me and days when I completely trust in Him. I also have bad days. Days when I just.can’t.take it! I do not think it is unBiblical to want to find a husband, but I do think that on those days when I desperately want to be loved by someone I am allowing discontentment to run my life-that is unBiblical. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness to redeem my attitudes on those days.

    Happy Valentines Day!
    hannah
    Hannah recently posted..It must be love

  15. Great interview. I too am an ‘older’ single and most days I’m pretty a piece with this. I think the harder days aren’t the days that I bemoan being alone since I feel like everyone, even married people have seasons of feeling lonely. Lately my harder days are the days I feel like I made the mistake of learning to ‘be good at being single’ and I often think that will be the obstacle to marriage I can never overcome. By that I mean, you learn to just deal with things and keep moving and I think I’ve forgotten how to ask for help and show my weaknesses even to my family and friends because my greatest fear is being a burden because I’m single. I love what you said about the importance of your friends keeping you honest. I’d love to find a church where that kind of community was available regardless of the labels single or married. Anyway, thanks for the great interview.

  16. Love you Lindsey. I love everything you bring to the table in our friendship. :)

  17. I was super independent and not putting much effort into curbing my singleness, as I thought I had 5 years til I would get married because I had so much traveling and anti-stability to do. But then I met a girl, now I have a ring and a baby and a house…
    Charlie’s Church of Christ recently posted..Passive Aggression Among Our Sacred Leaders- Or Both Options Stink

  18. I married young and am glad to say that it was a great decision. But it wasn’t my wisdom that I landed such a wonderful wife. I had no idea what I was doing, God just took care of me. I plan on telling my kids to be patient and get this one right.
    Jeremy Statton recently posted..Do you feel the love

  19. Great words Matt and Lindsey. I wholeheartedly agree that Lindsey is one of the best single-lady Christian bloggers out there (there totally SHOULD be a category like that, it’d help us feel not as alone, perhaps…) ANYWAY, Annie Downs is a good single-lady Christian blogger too. I actually found Nobles through Downs, interestingly enough. :)

    I’m 27, single, and have never dated in my entire life. Never. I’ve had one date and the guy didn’t even consider it a date because we were ‘just friends’, but until about a year ago I would have considered myself an AWFUL singleton. Every guy I met I had my radar on and there’d be a ring check, and if no ring, a ‘subtle’ inquisition about him so I could gather whether or not he was dating, etc.

    I think Jan-Mar of last year I finally discovered who I was in Christ which made me not focus on the finding a guy {as much}. I had believed God thought less of me because I’m single (which, I know, sounds silly, but…well, we can all be silly sometimes). That’s a lie. He loves me regardless {OF ANYTHING}, and I’m so thankful for that. So, I’d say realizing who I was in Christ helped me turn around. But like Lindsey mentioned, of course I still have moments where I’d much rather be married than single, but they don’t last as long and I have super awesome friends that are encouraging and supportive. I’ve found the harder moments are when you’re ‘crushing’ (for lack of a better word) on somebody and they seem to not care. at. all. {LIKE, RIGHT NOW, I’m just being honest.GRIN :)}

    Thanks again for both of y’alls words Matt and Lindsey!

    And sorry for the novel I just wrote…

    :-/ :)
    Rebekah recently posted..Five Minute Friday – The Women

  20. I was very good at being single, but not so good at being a single Christian. I try to convince young men today who put stock in promiscuity that the world has a warped view when it comes to sexual matters. Following that view only leads to disappointment and loneliness. Seek God’s will for your life for abundant living.

    Lindsey, you demonstrate great wisdom and patience. I believe God will reward you on both.
    Tony C recently posted..Happy Valentines Day Mrs Tony Csorry you married an idiot

  21. I am single, and most of my close friends are married and having children now. It is a weird world to navigate in sometimes.

    I am learning that there is a wonderful trade off. Most of my married friends (some with children) do not get to operate in the mobility and freedom that I often get to walk in. It is a wonderful life being free and mobile, one that they do not get to have. Often times they live vicariously through me in this area.

    At the same time, they have a spouse and family. Something I do not get to experience (right now). I get to be jealous of that area of their life. I live vicariously through them and spoil the hell out of their kids.

    I love being Uncle Darrell (for now). It is a beautiful trade.
    Darrell recently posted..I hate blogging

  22. Love this post.
    As a woman who is single (and enjoying (99.9% of the time) being so) I think this was BY FAR the best post I’ve ever read about how to be a good “single” person.
    There are plenty of “how to be a good girlfriend” or “boyfriend” or “wife” (etc) articles out there, but rarely does someone acually take the time to say something other than “all you single people are broken, obviously” in a post.

    Thank you you for a well thought-out/written post. It’s encouraging.

    God Bless!
    ~ heather joy
    Heather Joy recently posted..Mucho amore

  23. Great responses, Lindsey! I too have moments where I’m so ready to be done being single but the overriding theme of my life is to make the most of this time. It’s nice not having to run my plans past someone else and fully engaging with my friends and family because I don’t have anyone else vying for my time. I worry at times that I’ve become too good at being independent but I figure if I’m meant to be married, God will bring along the kind of man who appreciates the woman I’ve become.
    HopefulLeigh recently posted..Almost Valentine

  24. I’m 30. And single. Not sure if I’ve done a good job at being single, but I’ve learned a lot over the years because of it. I’ve learned a lot about myself, about God, and how to make the most of it.

    I do go through times when I wish I wasn’t single, more now as I get older, but in part, perhaps, this is my own fault. For the most part, however, I’m okay with being single; it’s comfortable for me (that a good thing or a bad thing?)

    In any case, 3 things I have learned and continually try to remember, concerning my singleness, is 1) that I must find ultimate fulfillment in God, not a girlfriend or spouse; 2) when I am lonely, and especially when I most feel the pain of a single life, I should pray, because only I can pray for others in similar circumstances in a way one who has not experienced those situations cannot; and 3) the most lonely times in my life have been some of the best times I’ve spent with my Savior.

    And let’s not forget Christ was single. I think a lot can be learned about singleness just from examining his life.
    Stephen Isham recently posted..Beyond Opinion- Living the Faith We Defend–Edited by Ravi Zacharias

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Nothing Says Happy Valentine’s Day… | Lindsey Nobles - February 14, 2011

    […] Go check out the rest. Matt asks some really good questions and hopefully I don’t sound like a total moron. And be sure to check out the other “Love Month” posts. […]

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