i sense a general rumbling among singles. a dissatisfaction about being single. a feeling of “i can’t do this anymore”. a wondering when it is “my turn”. a feeling of missing out on something that everyone else has.
first of all…
i want to apologize on behalf of the church that has unintentionally made marriage an idol. we have held marriage in such high esteem that you aren’t left with many options to think otherwise, especially in a culture that teaches people to agree instead of think. i am sorry we haven’t done a better job of loving you in the place of being single and teaching you the beauty and wonder and glory that singleness holds. i am sorry that we haven’t helped you process through feelings and desires in a healthy way that leaves you delighted with the King.
i get it. i am nearly 33. i have dated one person seriously. very few other dates. why? i don’t know. but it has been a big part of my journey. and throughout my early 20’s i didn’t have any good training or understanding of the process of being single. i want more for you than i had!
looking around it is easy see marriage as the answer. it is easy to look around and feel that we are missing out because we we are told to wait until we get married to have sex. we use the truth that we are created for community as a means to justify our thoughts constantly revolving around marriage and family. we wrongly associate companionship with marriage or even community and miss out on what our main means of companionship is.
don’t get me wrong, marriage, family, and community are places we find companionship but it isn’t the ultimate place of companionship. we were created companionship with God. if we don’t fine genuine companionship there, no other relationship will matter…regardless of how good it is or how great the person is. relationship with people will never satisfied that place that was created for God to dwell in.
so this single life you’re living is not about needing someone else to make it more fulfilled or better or whatever it is you think that person will bring. this single life is about getting the most important thing down. to steal AT Hargrave’s language, it is the “bold and courageous” contribution to the church. without God firmly as the first in your life, the seconds and thirds and fourths will suffer. you won’t be able to lay your life down for them. you won’t be able to sacrificially love. when the other person is your focus instead of God, all you can think of is why aren’t they giving me anything back? why aren’t they loving me in return?
all that being said i want you to know that it’s not bad to want to have sex or to be married or to have kids. it’s not bad to think about those things and ask the Lord for them. it’s not even wrong to be sad about not having them. God and i talk about it regularly. but if that is the end of it, you will miss out on the goodness of God. i missed out on most of my 20’s. i do not want the same for you.
kris valloton talks about reward and i love the language he gives it. he talks about how God rewards us but He only rewards us because we have the option to choose between the good and the bad. the right and the wrong. we can’t be rewarded if we never have the option to choose the wrong choice.
singleness isn’t about a list of things to avoid. it is an invitation to the unique beauty found in this season. there is this untethered freedom to wholly focus on you and the perfect companion and friend. to KNOW His crazy love that changes you from the inside out. to KNOW the love so deeply that your only response to those He brings you is sacrificial love. and not a belabored love but one of joy.
we have the choice to walk through this season with a heart to know who He is or wishing we were somewhere else. what will your choice be?