And thus begins February, the month of love. Chocolates, flowers, hearts, everything pink and glittery and romantic – all pointing to one particular holiday that some of my friends like to call “Single Awareness Day.” Perhaps the most depressing day of the year for a single girl, one might feel like all the married people are taunting with their relationship status. Every decoration, every bunch of roses, every couple with starry gazes just reminds you that you are yet single and unattached. There’s no one to send you chocolates and flowers.
Before you get too Eeyore-like, let’s look at some truths. “Truth? How boring is that?” you might ask. Actually, not very boring at all. Did you realize that your emotions are directly related to your thinking? If you think about how you are ‘all alone,’ your emotions will soon reflect that thinking. If you dwell on the thought that ‘no one really loves you so there must be something wrong with you,’ it won’t be long until you find your feelings out of control and resentful of others. Wrong thoughts lead to wrong emotions and eventually wrong actions. Have you ever acted on impulse because of how you felt? You immediately knew what you did was wrong, but it felt so good in that moment! That can trace back to the way you were thinking.
I know it sounds cliché, but changing the way you are thinking really can change how you feel. Changing your thoughts about the subject of being single another year really can change your perspective on this dreaded holiday.
Philippians 4:8 tells us, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” If what you are thinking does not fit all of these categories, then you will find yourself having wrong feelings and eventually wrong actions. Take the thought you are thinking, change it to be true, honest, etc, and think on that for a while. You’ll be surprised at the change in your feelings and attitude.
Defeating the lies of Satan can be hard work – and that’s really what your wrong thoughts are: lies of Satan! He wants nothing more than to slow down your Christian life and make you discouraged. He wants you to mess up your life by making a bad decision on an impulse. He will do whatever he can to get you to think wrong thoughts. These thoughts bombard us from all directions – movies, literature, the internet, our culture, even good-meaning family members. Everything needs to be challenged against the Word of God.
Let’s take one simple truth of the Bible: God knows everything.
“Yes,” you say, “I know that is true.” Think about it for a minute; let your mind dwell on the truth.
God knows everything. This God is all-powerful, Almighty God. He created the world; He set the planets into motion. He created man; He created marriage. He planned out redemption for man, and He came to die on the cross because He loved us.
God knows everything. What is knowledge? Webster’s 1828 defines it as, “A clear and certain perception of that which exists; learning; skill; acquaintance.” In a human sense, knowledge is gained by education or by association. We can learn by reading books, hearing stories from other people, gaining knowledge from others who know more than us. We can also learn knowledge by being associated with things, places, or people, our own experiences you might say. We are always learning and knowing more. Every sense, impulse, conversation, and exposure that we have gives us more knowledge. God’s knowledge is a little different, because He already knows everything and doesn’t have to increase knowledge as time unfurls. Everything that ever was, everything that ever will be – He knows it all. When it comes to science, language, history, math – every person, every creature, every place on the earth, He knows it all already. This includes you and everything about you.
So what lies will Satan tell you that contradict this truth? There are a few very common ones; maybe you’ve even been saying these today! God doesn’t know what He is doing in my life. I need to help God out by doing ______. No one really understands how I feel. Any thought that challenges God’s knowledge is a lie directly from Satan.
You can counteract these lies by:
- Recognize that you are thinking about something. Don’t be guilty of mindless thinking. We girls are notorious for always thinking about something, and usually more than one thing at the same time. It is hard for us to turn our brains off completely. But don’t allow your mind to become the devil’s playground where he can introduce any thought he wishes and you just run with it. Make a conscious choice to recognize what you are thinking about.
- Capture each thought. Once you are conscious of the thought you are having, 2 Corinthians 10:5 says to bring every thought captive. Imagine taking that thought, grabbing it with both hands, and laying it out in plain sight. Really examine that thought you are thinking. Look at it from all angles. Does it match up to our standard? Is it true, honest, pure, of good report? If it doesn’t meet the credentials, it is a lie from Satan.
- Change your thought. If you find a thought and identify it as a lie from Satan, you need to do more than try not to think about it. You need to replace it with something else. Change the thought into a truth and make yourself think about it instead.
- Find a Scripture to meditate upon. This is true Bible meditation – finding God’s truth and thinking about it. Find a Scripture that challenges the lie you are thinking or that proves the truth you want to change the lie into. Every time you realize you are thinking that thought, start thinking on the verse. Chew it over in your mind, day and night, and see what God wants to teach you from that verse.
So, for example, I may find myself on Valentine’s Day a little down in the mouth and thinking, “No one really understands how I feel. Maybe God is making a mistake in my life by not allowing me to be married yet.” I must be conscious that I am thinking something and begin to examine that thought according to the Scripture. We already know that thought is a lie that counteracts the truth that God does know everything. A good Scripture to read is Psalm 139. Although I don’t have the whole thing memorized, I can read the Psalm and pick a verse that speaks to my heart. I’m especially drawn to verses 9 and 10: “If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” I love thinking about the thought that God is with me, holding me with His right hand, anywhere I go on this earth. Now, whenever that wrong thought comes into my mind, I can begin instead to think about these verses and the fact that God loves me so much, He wants to know all about me. He has a particular future for me and He isn’t surprised that I am not yet married. Anywhere I go, God knows I am there. He knows the hairs on my head and the tears on my pillow.
See how that works? Instead of being mopey about something I can’t change anyway and feeling like all the married couples in the world are rubbing it in this holiday, I can instead think about my God and spend some time worshipping Him in my heart. It really is that simple, but it is going to take a little bit of time and the willingness to be conscious of your thoughts. You can’t just let your mind wander aimlessly and do what comes naturally.
I do pray that this Valentine’s Day, no matter your marital status, you will take a little bit of time to spend with the Lover of your soul. Trust me, He wants to spend the time with you!