I’ve heard people voice statements such as these…
She is so sweet and so pretty. Why hasn’t she found someone by now?!
He is such a nice guy. I can’t believe he’s not married yet!
She is so great. We need to help her find a man who agrees!
He is such a quality person. All he needs now is to fall in love and get married!
It is as if being a quality person equals finding and having a spouse.
As if your positive attributes are only validated and solidified once you get married.
As if my strengths only matter if they are noticed by a person who appreciates them enough to unite his strengths with mine.
As if all my talents and abilities go to waste if I never give of them in a marriage relationship.
As if I have not really started living my life until I have started living my matrimonial vows.
I know what it is to be treated like I have less value to offer because I do not have spouse or a family of my own. And I know for a fact that singles much older than I have experienced this times a thousand! Many of us have received looks of skepticism or pity and insensitive comments from family or friends, churches, and communities.
Don’t get me wrong. Marriage is wonderful! I would like to be married one day. Marriage is a gift… and so is singleness (1 Corinthians 7:7-9, 32-35).
Singleness is a gift. And it is mind-blowing how many people want to argue that point when I talk or write about it. The way some people see it, celebrating single life is equivalent to devaluing marriage and family. But that could not be further from the truth! Valuing the lives of those who are single never subtracts from the value of marriage and family.
I get it. Some people think that we are staying single and avoiding marriage so that we can live it up, do our own thing, and selfishly pursue whatever we want, whenever we want.
They are so right about this being a wrong way of living. Some of us have learned this the hard way. But many of us are seeking lives of purpose and meaning beyond ourselves; I promise!
So, Singles- May this be a reminder and charge to us all. Our strengths, attributes, and talents can matter in an ENORMOUS, ETERNAL way, whether or not we get married!
But that only happens when we realize that the ultimate benefits of singleness are not all about us. The ability to grow and develop our selfishness is never an advantage to being single! Becoming entitled to our own desires and preferences is not a plus side of singleness! Doing whatever we want, whenever we want, does not ultimately lead to freedom; it leads to a form of slavery, where we become isolated and bound by our own self-service.
Singles, may we look for ways to utilize the benefits of our lifestyles for God, for others, and for the world around us. To the rest of you, I urge you to encourage us, support us, and love us in this journey. I invite you to come alongside us, and play important roles in our unfolding testimonies of purpose-filled lives! For us all, I hope we can develop some healthier dialogue, teaching, and beliefs surrounding singleness in our families, social circles, churches, and communities.
Be blessed, my friends!