If your single years are anything close to what they were for me, you are constantly under a barrage of inquiries about your love life: Do you have a boyfriend? Is there anyone special in your life? Why aren’t you dating? I met this cute guy I think you would like. You know the drill. It adds an extra scoop of awkwardness on family gatherings and in casual conversation, especially if you’re a content single.
I realized when I was twenty-three and still single (while most of my friends were engaged or getting married) just how consumed everyone was with marrying the single ladies off. Though their intentions were motivated out of excitement for these girls future marital bliss, the constant reminder of being single in connotation with something incomplete was getting on my nerves. A friend of my mother’s told her when I made a decision to move to a new state (a WHOLE other story) that, “It will set back her marriage by a year.” I even had someone ask once, “What’s wrong with you?” when I answered that I wasn’t dating anyone (and these remarks were from Christians!).
That comment pushed me over the edge. I recognized that we, as a Christian culture, need to change the conversation about singlehood from minimization to empowerment. Being single is not synonymous with incompletion; no one in Christ is incomplete, we are complete in Him. Marriage is oneness with another person, but even an insecure, broken individual can be one with someone by covenant. Marriage is an earthly state with eternal impact. However, your entire life, not just post-wedding day, has an eternal impact.
Because we make being single about when we won’t be single, we miss out on so many adventures that God wants to lead us through. What has God placed in your heart to do that you’re waiting to act upon because in the back of your mind you’re worried you might miss out on meeting “the one”? Perhaps it’s a move, a missions trip, a school change…etc. For most of us women, we are born with the desire to be someone’s wife and to nurture our children – this is beautiful and right in God’s timing. The big picture though is that life doesn’t begin when we get married because it is ongoing. Whether married or single, God’s plans for you don’t change. He desires to use you for His Glory. He isn’t waiting for you to get married or to have a boyfriend, He’s simply waiting for you to remember who you are and to get started on all He has planned for you.
Don’t sabotage your years of singlehood by subconsciously slipping into complacency because you’ve been conditioned to focus on finding “the one” instead of doing life with The One. We can change the conversation about being single by making it about what God is doing in our lives now. Instead of our first questions being about the future, what about the amazing revelation God is giving you now. C. S. Lewis said that the “present is the only thing that touches eternity”.
If we as a church culture can see singles as whole, vital individuals, perhaps we can become champions that empower them to fulfill what God is speaking to them in that season. If, with our good intentions, we see them as incomplete because they are unmarried or young, aren’t we feeding them discontentment where God wants to give them peace?
I finally did get married at the “ripe old age” of twenty-six. And, if you are called to marriage, it is better than being single. I don’t say that to recant all that I’ve written, I say that because God makes every season of life the best one yet. Why? Because he leads us by His Spirit, and the Spirit-led life is always a wild, fulfilling, undomesticated adventure! Don’t tame your faith while waiting for the man of God you’ll have the honor of marrying, instead, live every day zealously: knock down doors, chase down dreams, explore your beautiful world, bring Jesus to the hurting, deepen your relationship with the Father, and make your present impact eternity to such a degree that all of Heaven cheers the moment you greet the new day with plucky grin and joy-filled heart.