Mandisa on Singleness
Hey there my friend!
Last week, one of my favorite people on earth chimed in during our conversation about being a single woman. When I read her comment, I chuckled. You see, me and this chick have had lots of chats about her life - and O, what a wonderful life it is. Mandisa, is a fabulous, single woman who has a voice that has captured the hearts of people everywhere. As one of the finalists on American Idol, she amazed America not only with her incredible vocal ability, but her strong stand for the Lord.
So, today, Mandisa talks to us about what her life is like as a single sister living for the Lord.
Mandisa, THANK YOU! I appreciate you speaking into our little community.
PS. . . .Mandisa's book "Idoleyes" is an excellent read. You'll want to grab it right away! Also, you can follow @mandisaoffiical on twitter or catch up with her regularly on her website.
If you don't mind saying: How old are you? Do you desire to be married?
If so, what are you looking for in a man at this stage in your life?
A big, Black, Born-again believer with a bald head and a goatee (the Born-again believer part is the only actual requirement..the rest of it would just be nice!)
Why do you think you've never been married?
1. I'm particular and won't settle 2. My career may be intimidating for some men 3. My weight up until recently has been a detractor for many men. I was abused as a child and weight became a shield for me. My weight physically became a barrier for many men's attraction to me but it was also a symbol of the wall I had built around my heart for "pseudo" safety. 4. My husband is lost and won't stop to ask for directions.
What is the part you appreciate most and the part you appreciate least about being single?
Most: Freedom! Based on my married friends' comments, I am really learning to appreciate the fact that I can live the kind of life I l have without any responsibilities to a husband or children. I'm told that the lifestyle I lead can be taxing on a relationship. The part I like least about being single is loneliness.
What are some things to never say to single women?
"When you stop looking he'll arrive". "You seem like a good catch. What's wrong with you?". "Still waiting for your 'better half'?" "That's why you're single".
How can we as single women encourage other single women?
I think the best thing single women can do for other single women is to be honest about their triumphs AND struggles. Everyone needs a safe place to be able to turn to and who better to understand the difficulties involved with singlehood than other single women?
What do you think are the top two (unhealthy) struggles with single women right now?
Keeping it real: 1. Desire for physical intimacy vs. Desire to be a holy temple 2. Understanding what it means to be pursued as opposed to be the aggressor.
How do you feel about online dating?
Would you consider it? I actually joined a Christian online dating website last year. I think they can be a great tool to meet available like-minded singles. As with anything I believe you have to be careful and to guard your heart but I don't believe there is anything wrong with it (contrary to my mother's point of view)! In the end however, I canceled my membership because my circumstances of being "known" made meeting men online difficult for me. I guess I would prefer knowing that a man was interested in the "real me" and not just the "public me".
How do you protect your heart and date at the same time?
I should preface this by saying that I am probably not an expert in this area, having not "dated" for almost 10 years (not necessarily by choice). Off the top of my mind I would say that it comes down to perspective. I don't believe that godly singles should get their definition of "dating" from societal standards. I believe in purity. Purity of mind, soul, and body. As long as I keep that as my plumbline I believe the process of dating can simply be a way of knowing God's best for my life.
Are single women supposed to sit and wait for God to bring them a man?
While God can certainly do anything, I do not believe that if I sit in my house and wait on the Lord that He will drop my future husband into my lap. I also don't believe in being on the prowl in night clubs. I personally believe that as I walk the path that God has called me to, He will allow my and my future spouse's paths to intersect. I'm not LOOKING but I am not HIDING either.
Are there things you can do to put yourself out there in a good way to let guys know you're interested?
I'm still learning how to do this. I tend to be shy and nervous around men. I have come to understand that if I want a man to approach me, I need to, in some way or another, give him permission. While my first response is usually to immediately divert my eyes and walk in the other direction, I am learning to give eye contact and smile or say "hello." Is it weird that I have a hard time doing that? LOL!
Do you approach them?
Are you kidding me!?! Baby steps Priscilla! Can I get the smile and eye contact thing down before I start approachin' brothas?
Do you worry that your success will detour a man from being in relationship with you? Why or Why not?
Yes. Not too long ago I had a conversation with my band (both men and women) about this. The general consensus was that it will take a very strong, confident, and secure man to "deal" with me (as my bass player said!) I think that it is both a combination of my success and my independence. The men in my band all agreed that men like to feel needed. I very simply (and probably very directly) explained to them that I didn't "need" a man. I've been living on my own for 14 years. I've been forced to be independent. I don't think that's a bad thing. But I fully recognize that God will need to chip away at some of that independence to make room for a man's place in my heart. But I also must say that "strong", "confident", and "secure" are all qualities I'd LOVE to have in a husband. If my success causes him to be like that, I say "bring it on!"
What keeps you grounded and confident in the Lord?
Psalm 139:16 "All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be." I haven't just read that scripture. I've lived it. I have seen God do the most amazing things in my life! He has had plans for me that hve blown my little piddly plans out of the water! In the end, He knows what He's doing.