Recently I’ve been thinking about how singleness is not a curse. In the church we have the tendency to talk about it like it’s a burden to bear, something to get through, instead of something to be cherished and used wisely. If you are someone that’s single and you desire love and marriage, I know there is a tension while you wait. Being present where you are while hopefully looking forward to whatever the future holds. We find this tension and dichotomy weaved throughout a lot of life.
Love is something that can’t be forced. You can’t make someone marry you. The extreme lack of control is unnerving, to some degree it drives people crazy.
I’ve seen the wild look of terror in certain people’s eyes as they approach a certain age without having found a partner.
I don’t say this in judgement. It’s more of an observation about how poorly we do to support and encourage people in WHATEVER season they are in instead of making them feel less than for not having “arrived”.
Being single is not a disease; it is a season of life. Some experience it in a short burst and some have a lifetime full of it. That doesn’t mean your life isn’t beautiful.
No season is a curse, it’s appointed by God, He knows the future and what you need. He knows it all and He is holding you in His hand.
In fact, He encourages those that can stay single, to remain single. Where is that in our view of singleness? Becoming champions for that way of life rather than making people feel uncomfortable or “less than” because they haven’t found someone within the timeline that society has created.
This is all emphasizes through phrases like…
- “Enjoy singleness, you have all the time in the world. When you get married you will know busyness.”
- “Marriage is the best. You should just find someone to marry soon.”
- “Let me pray for you, that you will find your spouse soon.”
- “Your person is on the way.”
- “Don’t worry, singleness wouldn’t last forever.”
- “Have you been praying hard enough?”
There are so many other stereotypical phrases that people say regularly in the Church that make singleness sound like more of a disease to be cured than a full life to be lived.
I am married now but that doesn’t invalidate the feelings that I had during my long season of singleness.
I felt the pains of wanting what I didn’t have. Of confusion, of loneliness. Honestly, for me, the worst part was the not knowing. Will I ever get married or am I called to a life of singleness? I wanted to get married, but I just couldn’t tell what the Lord had for me.
I am so happy to report that I didn’t let the tension, the desire, the questions, overshadow my years of singleness. I truly look back and have fond memories. I feel as if I LIVED IT UP and I am so proud of that.
Now, as I wrap up this post, I’d like to apologize for the pressure people put on you. I’d like to encourage you to live your best life, whatever stage you are in. And not that you asked for it, but I’d like to offer you some of the things that I did to mitigate the cultural pressure and enjoy the life that I lived as someone that was single……
- I did everything I wanted to. No waiting. I traveled to the places I wanted to travel to, went for the careers, pursued the education, saved the money, did the self-development. Anything and everything that I had a goal to do, I did.
- I invested in deep friendships. This was so important. I spent so much time with friends and family, and this truly was such a gift.
- I prayed and then prayed some more. I sought God so much during this time because it was so far outside of my control. I didn’t know when or if I would find someone, so I prayed hard. I asked him to take away the desire if it wasn’t from him, and I asked him to bring the right person if it was.
- I rebuked people kindly. Unfortunately, sometimes I would find people pushing things on me. Like, “you need to pray harder”, “you need to put yourself out there more”, “you need to be more forward”, or “you need to do ____ before you get into a relationship”. The list goes on and on with advice that people try to give you when you are single. I had to remind people that this is my process and its between me and the Lord. I will do what I feel He’s calling me to and maybe that’s not even marriage. I would love it if it was but that ultimately isn’t the end goal, being in His will is.
People have so many things to say about singleness but let this one sit with you, it’s not a curse. It’s a blessing in some ways. It’s a beautiful part of like that’s meant to be enjoyed and embraced, not treated like a curse or a disease. It’s okay to be sad about it sometimes if it’s not the relationship status you would prefer, but don’t let it keep you down for long.
Have fun with it and enjoy all moments of life.