I loved the 2016 feminist Rebel Wilson comedy and would recommend it if you can handle a little (Okay, a lot of) swearing, if a good laugh is what you’re after. But one thing I didn’t find so funny about the comedy was that it makes singlehood within your 20’s look like just one big, manic, drunk one night stand. It didn’t actually show you how to be single. At least, not healthily.
So much is said of marriage, relationships and the single life that our perspectives of the truth can understandably be marred. What with today’s culture being confusingly contradictory about the matter, it is no surprise that we can become despondent within our stage of loneliness and desperate to change it. The world we live in – even the church – spins so many lies; one is not complete with a spouse; one cannot truly live until they find their significant other; so many lies that it is difficult to know what to believe. Everyone is designed by love, out of love and for love; it’s in our DNA to want a partner. But I’m a (almost) 23 year old single young woman and I’m tired of watching my friends turn away from the church out of a place of hurt or unconformability due to their singleness. And I get it, there is a lot a pressure within the church’s young adult community to marry. But I’m even more tired of hearing that the only way to deal with your singlehood is to get out there and live; because, though life is short and you are only young once, there is so much more we could be doing with the precious time that is being single. So much more, than just partying till it’s over.
Doing single life well
There are countless scriptures throughout the Bible that talk of marriage as being God gifted, designed and purposed. There are equally as many scriptures that speak of man and women being made for one another but lets see what it has to say about doing single life well. Because I believe that the season of singleness is for us to become the men and women God wants us be. I also believe it is the perfect opportunity to focus on the Lord; to draw near to Him, learn more about Him and in turn, grow into the person He created us to be.
Psalm 1:1-3 says ‘Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither- whatever they do prospers.’
Psalm 1 speaks of dependency and in whom we put our trust. It says that if we stick to what we do know – the Truth, the word of God – we will be unshakable in our faith and will be empowered to prosper. Able to make a positive difference in our community, able to follow the desires of our hearts and able to become active helpers and leaders in the church, even if the world says otherwise due its view on singleness. I am reminded of all the powerful and influential single people in the Bible who served God in mighty ways. Daniel, Paul, John the Baptist, Elijah, Eisha and Jeremiah to name only a few. And don’t think that it’s only true of biblical men, there are countless people even in today’s society doing wonderful things for God within their season of singleness. The widely popular point of view may say overwise of a young woman but that thinking is wrong; Coco Chanel forever changed the fashion industry and Jane Austen became the master of romance because of her dedication and hard work.
1 Cor 7:32-35 says, “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.”
I think this scripture is a perfect platform on which to base our walk as a ‘single’. We should thank the Lord for the way He knows not only what we desire but what we need. Speaking of needs, the reasoning for our time of singleness could be due to matters of sin that rightly need to be dealt with before you start a relationship; two wrongs don’t make a right. It may also be due to God having a plan for your life -to help others- and the only way you’re going to be able to do it is if your mind and heart can be fully in it. God may need you to serve in a certain area at the current time, where all your energy and attention is needed for it to be successful. We have fruit to bare now, a mission now, a place and purpose now. Our single life can be successful and influential to others but only if we remain focused on Him and in relation with Him, first and foremost. Or He may simply want you to strengthen your relationship with Him. It might be time to step back, slow down and stop controlling every aspect of your life. Instead, trust in His reasoning, trust in His word, in His actions and in His love.
I read a very interesting article a while ago titled ‘The purpose of Singleness’ by Jeff Cherry. He had a few good points, the first being that singleness, is that one God given gift, no one wants. But there is purpose to the single life, if not I believe we would all be paired off as children and spend our entire life with that one person; but let’s face it, even if that did insure comfortably for all, it would never work, and God knows that.
Jeff Cherry says this in his article about God’s possible reasoning for our season of singleness, “God is in the business of protecting His children and leading them into the place of greatest joy”. It has stuck with me ever since read it because reflecting back on my past relationships, also regarding the many years of singleness I have experienced since, it is true that God not only knows what we want, but He knows what we need.
The one thing to remember, which I believe can assist us in the life stage of being single, is that God did not design relationships for the purpose of one completing the other or for one person to save the other. Rather God made Eve for Adam because man could not do the work alone. We are meant to be a team, working side by side.
While we are single, no matter how natural it is to long for intimate connection with another person, remember that it is within that time that God works on us personally; on our character and personality, our capabilities and capacities. He uses the time wisely, teaching us about trust and where our dependency should be put. He teaches and helps us with our weaknesses and strengthens our passions and desires by placing us in opportunities where fruit can bare; fruit that may not be able grow if our hearts and time are dedicated to another being. It is within that time that we can strengthen our identity in Him and work out for ourselves what we long for and would like to do with our futures.
Difference makers, the period of singleness can be lonely but it is the most opportune time for one to grow personally, in who they are in Christ. So rethink the use of this time. God’s making you into the right person for your ‘right person’.