“I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.”
So, over the past couple of days, the concept of/discussion of the state of singleness has come up quite a bit. Its opposite, which is the discussion of being married and the concept of marriage, has also come up, in both my life and in the lives of those who are close to me. It’s such a weird thing, ya know? Society is slowly trying to demoralize people and keep everything neutral, but humanity still mulls over the fear of being single, the hesitancy of committing to marriage, and the idea that having that special someone (soulmate, significant other, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc.) will make every problem in your life just disappear.
I was talking to my Mom today…actually, we weren’t really talking, is was more like me pacing about the room, venting about everything swirling around in my brain and her listening to me, nodding and laughing every once in a while. But when I’d finished my rant, she very calmly showed me a video her Bible study group had just watched. It was a discussion between Priscilla Shirer, Kay Arthur, and Beth Moore. They talked about everything from marriage to sex and from men to ministry. But my Mom focused on a little blurb about singleness.
Priscilla talked about how she hadn’t been a very gracious and content single person. She explained that, while she had been ecstatic about her husband’s proposal to her, she realized how she’d wasted her time as a single person, been discontent, and had gone out of that season of life and into the next without bringing the fruits of that last season of singleness.
Beth and Kay agreed that being single is one of the best seasons of life to do ministry. Why? Because, while marriage and settling down is also ministry, you’re able to focus completely on pleasing God, on doing what He wants you to do, on traveling all over the place and meeting all sorts of strange and exotic people, and on becoming the person God needs you to be.
Beth brought up a great point: “If you’re unhappy in singleness, you’ll be unhappy in marriage.”
This goes back to thinking that marriage will make everything better, that marriage is the answer to everything. Now, I realize, considering the world we live in today, that marriage is something mostly “religious” people do. A lot of people just co-habit and call it good. But this isn’t God’s will, that we should treat sexual relations and relationships with the opposite gender like pouring a cup of coffee or walking the dog. The relationship between man and woman, a man leaving his family to be with his wife and becoming one flesh with her, is a wonderful and mysterious thing that God presented as a gift to His creation. It should not be taken lightly.
Anyway, back to thinking marriage will make everything better. Well, it won’t. If you can’t be content now, while you’re single, you will not be content when you’re married. You think being single is hard? Imagine having to sync all of your habits to someone else’s, sharing financial responsibility with another person, living in the same space and seeing them day after day. While I understand love is the most powerful thing in the world (after all, Jesus beat death because of His perfect love, and God is love), we are human, and we can only deal with each other for so long. Marriage is being with someone FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Are you sure you’re ready for that?
Being single is awesome! And I promise I’m not just saying that because I’m single…even though I am…because being single really is awesome. You never have to worry about someone else’s desires and idiosyncrasies conflicting with your own. You never have to worry about providing for a family or making sure everyone is taken care of. You never have to consider another person’s opinion or worry about their approval. The only ones you have to focus on are you and God. God’s opinion and approval are the only things you need to worry about, and even those don’t have to be objects of worry, but rather objects of joy.
There will be plenty of time to settle down, get married, and make a family down the road, even if you’re an older single. During this time, when you are single, get on every plane you can, visit every country, culture, and home that you can visit, learn as many languages and touch as many people as your means will allow, and do it all for the glory of God. Just be single! Enjoy being single!
“But I’m just so lonely.”
Well then you definitely don’t want to go searching for a relationship, especially not a marriage relationship. Loneliness can often cloud judgment and put you in a position where you feel obligated to commit to a relationship with the first person who shows interest. The thing is, you are NEVER alone, not if you’re a Christian, because God never leaves you. You’re lonely? Take out a pen and a few pieces of paper and talk to God. Tell Him about your day. Tell Him about the things that made you laugh. Describe the weather. If writing isn’t your thing, then go for a walk or a run. Do anything but go out and search for someone to fill that lonely spot. God is THE filler: He is the only One who can fill up that spot. I’m not saying, ladies, that you should make Jesus your boyfriend. DO NOT do that. I am saying, however, that, for men and for women, God is the ultimate companion, a friend when you feel lonely, a filler of the void in your chest.
So, to all you single people out there who are looking for The One, I got The One for you, the only One who can fulfill you and help you not only be content with your singleness but also flourish and thrive during this season in your life. Allow yourself to be anxious for things of the Lord, and to not look for marriage, for a relationship, at least not right now. God will show you your future in due time. Meanwhile, just enjoy God’s creation, travel the world, eat weird foods, and live the life God has given you.
“I won’t take it for granted
I won’t waste another second
All I want is to give You a life well-lived
To say thank You.”