“…God gives the gift of the single life to some, the gift of the married life to others.” – Paul (the celibate missionary) 1 Cor. 7:7
When was the last time you viewed your singleness as a gift? It doesn’t have to be some unfortunate event that happens to you. You can be intentional in your singleness. It has a purpose.
We make our own decisions every day. Just as one chooses to marry, one can choose not to marry or to wait. Each scenario can be a blessing in its own way.
I am writing this as an unmarried woman in her late twenties. I have been in a committed relationship for 3 years and 8 months (2 yrs and 10 months of which have been long-distance… I mean really long-distance, like I can’t see him without using my passport). I am very taken by a person who happens to also be very taken by me and we are planning our life together… while we are currently apart.
I am not looking forward to marriage just for the sake of getting married or to fill some void in my life. I am looking forward to marriage because I have fallen in love with someone who is my best friend and adds so much positivity to my life and calling and I think we can serve the Lord better together. I don’t idolize a married life but I do look forward to it.
I live away from him in a strange phase somewhere between the married and single life, kind of as a not-available single person. At first I viewed this time as the intermission, or the waiting room to the grand beginning of life.
¡Pura casaca! like some say in Honduras… LIE! I’m not sitting around waiting on my life to finally begin! Nor do I dread that it’ll all be over once I say “I do.” This in-between time has actually been a wonderful journey rediscovering the joy and purpose of singleness.
My Christian faith informs my purpose in life which ultimately is to bring glory to God. Marriage is never the end but rather the means to the end of glorifying my Savior. That doesn’t mean the marriage is supposed to be perfect but it should certainly strengthen rather than hinder one’s relationship with the Lord. Before we enter into covenant with another human being we should know them well enough to determine what they turn to in the midst of problems. (of course, we are fallen humans who live in an imperfect world and there are some domestic scenarios that not even the most prepared person can predict) When things get tough what is that person’s knee-jerk reaction? What/whom do they trust? Do they lead me toward Christ or away from Him?
Dear single person (whether never-been-married, divorced, or widowed),
You have value. You are not a second class human compared to your married peers. And those in the ministry, you are not less of a spiritual leader because you are unmarried. No need to mope! Your life is not on hold. You have so much to offer in your singleness, and I am not only talking about temporary singleness until you find someone. View it as a gift! Be independent, travel, make your own decisions, make your own money, volunteer, engage in community with others, do productive things with your free time.
Singleness is not a disability, a curse, a punishment, nor something over which we should mourn. It can be a joy! You are not incomplete nor lacking in spiritual maturity.
Church, take your single members seriously. Provide space for them, not just for couples and families. You don’t have to play match-maker, really. Especially if it was not asked of you. Consider the fact that the individual might actually choose singleness. They don’t need your pity. They can serve and fully function within the body of believers as well as and often with more ease and flexibility than your married members. Value them in the stage of life right where they are without trying to change their status.
— A few thoughts on marriage —
What marriage isn’t (or shouldn’t be):
- a solution to a problem
- a problem or burden
- your life’s goal
What marriage is (or should be):
- a safe place to work through inevitable problems with a supportive partner
- a blessing (something you enjoy with someone you enjoy)
- an avenue to accomplish your goals
- another way to serve and bring glory to God
*Also, weddings signify the beginning of a union and are a great time to celebrate. Weddings are not a real accomplishment though. Working through years and years of faithful relationship with another human being is the real accomplishment. I fully intend to celebrate on my wedding day but I think our 50th anniversary should be a bigger celebration. 🙂
Chin up, single! You have intrinsic worth.