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In Church these days, young single women are facing massive pressure to find a partner. But in a recent Facebook post, 27-year-old singer Becca Bradley wrote: ‘I’m waiting until I find a man who loves me as much as my dog does. And she loves me a lot.’
It turns out that there’s a serious commitment behind the joke. Becca told Alex how she made peace with being single, and took inspiration for her Faith and music from a part of the Bible some people say is a real downer.
She was born in Indiana, but her father’s insurance career meant Becca spent her childhood in six states all throughout the US. Her family weren’t in Church, and she had never known Christians until she met some in high school.
‘I saw this faith in some of my peers that I really admired, and kind of envied in them, but really didn’t know how to even ask them about. It’s kind of this awkward thing to bring up.’
In college, she did the exact opposite of rebellion, and started visiting Churches to see what this Jesus business was all about. Then when she was 18, a friend bought her her first ever Bible. ‘I just started reading it for myself,’ she said, ‘because I could tell that this faith that my friends had was genuine, and I wanted it.’
Alex spoke about how in high school, before she became a Christian, she went from boyfriend to boyfriend. ‘I thought if I didn’t have a boyfriend then there was something wrong with me. Nobody loved me. And that was honestly my mind frame.’
Becca admitted that she’d had similar experiences. ‘Before I knew the Lord,’ she said, ‘I definitely was the same way. I think when you don’t know Jesus, you want to find your identity in something. You want to feel loved and accepted.’
through growing with the Lord, I have realised my own personal worth and value, and that it’s not worth it to settle
But in the Church, the pressure to get into a relationship can sometimes be even more intense. ‘As soon as you get to 20,’ Alex said, ‘it’s like ok, when are you getting married and having kids, which is so frustrating.’
Though Becca certainly felt that pressure, for the moment, she’s happily unmarried. ‘Once I realised who I was in the Lord,’ she said, ‘I was single for a number of years, and was able to really just embrace that season of growing with Jesus, and realising the beauty that can come along with that season, that I think a lot of people overlook.’
‘Paul talks a lot about how great it can be to be single, and how he wishes everyone could be, because you’re really able to focus on your relationship with the Lord. And so it is a desire of my heart at some point to be married. But I also, through growing with the Lord, have realised my own personal worth and value, and that it’s not worth it to settle.’
‘The Bible talks so much about guarding your heart, and not awakening love before its time.’ After going through failed relationships and heartache, Becca has decided to wait for the right person to come to her.
‘For some of us, that person might come along at 21, and for some of us, that person might come along at 31. And that’s not really in my hands. That’s in the Lord’s hands.’
Becca’s big picture thinking comes through in her music as well. Her new single, ‘Queen of a Wasteland’, took inspiration from the Book of Ecclesiastes, which describes Solomon’s quest to figure out what life was really all about. ‘He seeks meaning in fame, fortune, knowledge, hard work and accomplishments. And at the end of each of these passages, he says ‘I found that this too is meaningless’.’
‘And on its own, that kind of sounds like a really depressing message. But I’ve oddly always found Ecclesiastes to be comforting, just because I look at these things that take my focus off of the Lord, that distract my energy and my attention. And it’s the same things Solomon was stressing out about thousands of years ago.’
In the bigger picture of God’s plan, Becca knows none of those little things have any eternal value. ‘The things that matter from an eternal perspective are am I loving God well, and am I loving people well.’
‘And so I think when I read Ecclesiastes from that perspective, I can kind of just take a breather, and realise God’s got this, and everything’s going to be fine.’
Becca Bradley’s new album, ‘Heaven Come Down’, is out now.
Listen to the audio interview below
‘We are each responsible for our own conduct.’ Galatians 6:5 NLT
Sally was the manager of a small company and when problems arose she automatically looked for a scapegoat. At meetings she criticised the staff, but kept choosing to call these rants ‘pep talks’. Workers began to resign every other week and when company sales declined Sally blamed it on the slow economy, poor staff and bad working conditions. Finally her boss had enough and fired her. Blame-shifting was how Sally survived. It never occurred to her that she may have contributed to the problem. Blaming others undermines your ability to be ‘responsible for [your] own conduct’.
It might seem like you retain a position of strength when you blame others, but actually you’re undermining yourself. You not only show up your weakness, you make it worse. Some people think they’ve failed if they admit to a mistake. Actually the opposite is true. It takes strength to acknowledge that you’re part of the problem.
Another side effect of blame-throwing is self-righteousness. In your mind you become unswervingly honourable, unflinchingly different and undeniably better than others. You think you’re just nudging perfect and other people are pathetically flawed. Nothing could be further from the truth!
The Bible says, ‘Too much pride will destroy you.’ (Proverbs 16:18 CEV) When you blame others you lose your ability to see what’s really going on. And you’re shocked when you lose a relationship or a job. When you stop blaming others you start to develop compassion. You realise mistakes are the natural and inevitable result of being human—and they’re just mistakes. They can be corrected. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you or other people.
So: take responsibility for your own life.
SoulFood: Dan 5–7, Luke 22:47–53, Ps 103:1–12, Pro 10:13
word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2019