I kind of hate that being single has such a negative connotation to it. Here are a just a few words that are synonymous with singleness:
Whether it is a post on Instagram or a featured blog on Facebook, the subject of singleness seems to be the topic directed at anyone over the age of twenty. There has not been a single post/blog/status that I have read that didn’t focus on “waiting for the one”, and “not pursuing the right thing at the wrong time” or my personal favorites are the ones that stereotype single people as lonely and/or desperate to find a mate and riddled with temptation to settle on Mr. Right-Now. It’s like, Dang! What about all the perks!
And then there is me:
A twenty six year old latina who would rather wear a pair of Chuck Taylors than a pair of heels any day, with a pretty dope job in downtown Chicago, a few bucks in her pocket and a lot of Jesus.
Not like, kinda single…but like ultra single.
Like, I’m talking no potential candidates, no scheduled interviews – not even an applicant on file. And I’m perfectly ok with that. My only worry from day to day is whether or not my dog is judging me for eating cold Chinese food out of the container for breakfast.
Our society has developed a strange contradicting perspective on singleness. In most seminars, blogs, and workshops directed at the single person; the main focus is to bring to light the idols we make of relationships and rid us of temptation and to ultimately achieve contentment in Christ.
And that’s GREAT!
But then, it stops there. It’s almost as if it is assumed that we will reject contentment in favor of feeding our desire for a spouse. I know that is definitely not the case (as I’m positive all the helpful content out there is from a place of love and concern for your fellow struggler), nevertheless – this is what tends to be implied. Sure, there are plenty of singles that are little more wrapped up in waiting for Mr./Mrs. Right than they are in making their singleness useful. That tends to be the issue more often than not – I’m sure we have all been there a time or two and for that I am truly grateful for the blogs and articles that address such things.
What about the other 50% of us that are ACTUALLY content being single? I’m pretty fortunate to know some really great single people, all of whom can make pretty awesome spouses one day. As for me, I’m pretty content myself. As of late, I’ve come to really enjoy and appreciate all that comes with being single. Regardless of how content I am, the typical “so, no boyfriend?” conversation will always follow me wherever I go. You know which conversation I’m talking about…
The one where they ask your relationship status, while interjecting their assumption that you are “fighting the guys (or girls) off left and right”… And then when you respond with anything that implies you are not interested in marriage or relationships at this time, you get the hearty laughter and the “that’s what they all say, you’re a beautiful young lady, enjoy being single! And pray the Lord softens your heart for the right man!” At that point I have to restrain myself from displaying the annoyance that follows such a statement. I can’t help but think to myself, but wait – I AM enjoying it! Is that so hard to believe?
It may come as a shock to people to know that my life long dream hasn’t been to become a wife. (Unless you know me – then you probably just chuckled in agreement.) Do I want to get married one day? Sure, if that’s God’s plan for me…but as for today and its present worries – finding a spouse just isn’t a high priority. I’m more concerned with conquering my fears of talking to strangers, or living a life where every one I love will perish because I’m too busy “waiting for the right man” instead of laboring in prayer and interceding on their behalf…or heck, just getting out of years of financially bad life choices and being able to feed myself and not go bankrupt for buying non-generic detergent.
As I said before, we all get that “Valentine Syndrome” from time to time where we become hyper aware of our extreme singleness, and may long for a significant other – that’s just being human. But I know for most of the single people in my life that is definitely not a top 5 struggle.
The single men and women of this generation are continuously breaking the marital statistics of yesterday in so many ways. We are waiting longer to get married while simultaneously being more restless than ever. I truly believe our generation is capable of doing great and amazing things. It’s in these valuable single years and the pursuit of Jesus that we are finding our purpose, our niches and carving out complete paths of our own. So many men and women I know are gifted in the most inspiring ways and fully enjoying and embracing every aspect of their freedom in singleness. They have the audacity to dedicate this growth spurt if you will, to seeking the Will of the Father and harnessing those gifts to be used to the best of their ability. THAT is something to celebrate! Just as often as we encourage our youngsters in purity and the joys of marriage one day, there should be just as much conversation about the how great our singleness is.
We often forget how the Apostle Paul spoke about the value of singleness:
“I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord.” I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord. 1 Corinthians 7:32, 7:35
Paul – a single sinner of a man was later saved by the Blood of Christ, remained single and went on to be a pretty memorable dude. He just so happened to write a pretty decent amount of the most influential book in all of history… the Bible. Maybe you have heard of it?
Call me optimistic but I feel like we have a lot of “singles” (for the record, I am not entirely fond of that term – we need a much cooler word!) who have the tenacity of Paul and that vigor to share the Gospel in a way unique only to them. The church should be curating an environment that encourages that. If the Lord wills us to remain single longer than most then cheer us on! For every talk about purity and temptation, talk about how we can impact the Kingdom. For every talk about getting ready for the possibility of a future spouse, teach us how to be wise with our finances and how to clean up the mess we made along the way. Teach us how to forgive ourselves for the life we had before Christ came and wrecked us. Disciple us and show us how to pray like a warrior and fight in the spiritual for the lost ones who have fallen away. Build up your single people. We have enough societal pressure to be a million other things along with single and a follower of Christ; we don’t need the added pressure from The Body. I am truly blessed to have a church who does all of these things, it is in this kind of environment that I have truly been able to grow and appreciate this stage of my life.
As a friendly reminder to the masses, as unmarried human beings that makes us “single” NOT sad. We are heeding the advice of those who poured into our lives and actually making the most of this season – how ever long it may last. If we are content, encourage it! Challenge us to learn, teach and be even more than whatever we are now. Don’t assume we are in the depths of despair over not having a boo thang to hug and kiss.
And for all my Jesus loving, goal oriented, super happening SINGAPPY [pronounced: sing-hapē/] peeps (get it? Single + happy = Singappy. Yea? No? Whatever. Sounds cooler than single…) I want to see you making just as much noise as all of our happily married couples out there! Why do we see so many avenues insinuating single = sad? Well, maybe because we aren’t expressing just how DOPE AND FANTASTIC it is to be single as well as content in Christ. I firmly believe that we are still single because we have so many things left to accomplish, as well as the jealousy of our God who doesn’t want to share your beautiful free time with anyone else (just yet). It is up to us as the single variety of people, to share that being single doesn’t suck, nor does it have to. We may not be able to shake everyone’s perspective, but we certainly can break ground and be that voice that speaks to the generations to come. If your singleness isn’t being squandered, then it’s really time to start letting everyone know! Lets be as awesome as we are single, encourage each other when no one else can, and truly change how people see our relationship status. Lets show off how great being “Singappy” can be.