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Being single is good.

September 12, 2013

I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while, but to tell you the truth, I was scared. (Such a pansy!) I was mostly worried that I would be speaking out of a personal experience that would be totally irrelevant to everyone else.

But then this week, a blog post and a video of a sermon both came to my attention that tell me I’m not alone in my experience.

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Who needs marriage anyway when your “family” is this good??

I could have just shared those, but I wanted to do this too, because I think when we’re looking at something so pervasive in Christian culture, we need everyone’s voice to make a difference.

Stealing a little bit from both Amanda’s post and Mike’s sermon, here’s a list of what I want to say:

  1. Being married is good. But so is being single.
  2. I can have a happy, fulfilling, wonderful life without getting married. All I need for that is Jesus. He might give me a husband too, and that’s great, but it’s not ultimate.
  3. Wanting to be married isn’t bad, but letting my singleness steal my joy is.
  4. Single people can be powerhouses in the Kingdom! I need to embrace this time and be effective in ways that I might not be able to if I get married.
  5. All of the above, but with careers (and kids) as well as marriage.

When I posted the link to Amanda’s article, my friend Amy commented, “Argh! 26?! That’s no age at all! What makes anyone think that at 26 you have to be settled for life?!”  Absolutely agree!! But actually, where in Scripture does it say we ever have to be settled for life? This isn’t a rage against responsibility and all that it entails, but maybe being settled won’t look like home-ownership and a 401k and a husband and 2.5 kids. Let’s stop assuming life should look a certain way at a certain age (or ever), and instead let’s embrace whatever adventures God has for us.

As I said before, we need everyone’s voice to be heard on this, so let me hear what you have to say!

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Lindsay permalink
    September 12, 2013 9:49 am

    Michelle, this is fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing! I’ve read the blog you mentioned but haven’t listened to the sermon yet. It’s on my to-do list though! Like so many others our age, I’ve been struggling with this issue, especially over the last month. With seminary graduation looming, I’ve been subjected to the dreaded question, “What’s the plan?” for months. Last night was my girls lifegroup, and we discussed that concept of being “settled for life” and if we’ll ever be truly content/happy wherever we end up. The conclusion we came to was that if we truly believe God is in control and has a plan for us, then the only thing we need to do is abide in Him and trust Him to guide us in the right direction. If that means still single, still not in a “career”, and still hopping from town to town every few years, then so be it.
    Thanks again. You are wonderful. I miss England. That’s it.

  2. Jenelle permalink
    September 12, 2013 11:06 am

    Michelle, from what I can tell, you are living life more fully and more truly than most people. I too hate the assumption that single is less than, that marriage (or children for that matter) is ultimate, that a career or stability or certainty are necessary to have “arrived”. It’s the lie that we were all designed to fit in the same box. We weren’t. I believe there would be a lot more life in our world if people would free themselves from that box, from other’s expectations, from “normal”, and if people would stop giving those parameters to others because they somehow became convinced that that’s what is best for everyone. It’s not, and it often isn’t now even if it may be later. I think what gets to me the most is the assumption that that must be the ultimate goal for everyone, and if you’re not there yet, it’s ok…God will bring all the right pieces. Sometimes lacking those things is exactly what brings you joy, makes you who you are, frees you to live an amazing life, puts you in places you would never be otherwise, equips you to do awesome things, gives you incredible perspective, makes you available to serve others, increases your faith and dependence on Christ, deepens your intimacy with Him. I find that often the people asking me when I’m going to settle down or find a career, have done exactly that… They’ve settled. I don’t ever want to settle. I never want to be so comfortable that I just rest where I’m at, that I stop evaluating my life, stop seeking direction, stop noticing all the amazing life-giving people and adventures all around me, stop being available to others because I’m so busy building my own life. There isn’t a perfect timeline or a perfect life that fits everyone. God’s best is His plan and calling for YOU…and each one looks different.

    • September 12, 2013 6:27 pm

      Such wisdom in this, Jenelle!

      This was my favorite part: “Sometimes lacking those things is exactly what brings you joy, makes you who you are, frees you to live an amazing life, puts you in places you would never be otherwise, equips you to do awesome things, gives you incredible perspective, makes you available to serve others, increases your faith and dependence on Christ, deepens your intimacy with Him.” Amen!

  3. alice' harper permalink
    September 12, 2013 11:16 am

    Comment Attempt #2:

    I think you did a great job on this blog. It’s easy to be offensive in the blogosphere. As a married old hag, I found this refreshing and not offensive (which is all too common now that everyone has a means of writing their annoying opinions on the web)

    I feel the same way married as I felt single on this topic: seeing and savoring Christ, being satisfied in your relationship with him, allowing him to mold your desires into HIS desires and will is the end all be all in career and marriage “status” satisfaction/dissatisfaction.

    Jesus and apostle Paul probably didn’t have a home, 401K, children, etc. (Which debunks society’s idea of “settled”). I like how they ministered TO and ministered WITH those who had a home, 401K, and children. Like, Simon, the fisherman, the woman at the well, etc. I hate the common misconception that singles have in which they cannot “hang out” or maintain friendships with people who are married. Off that soapbox and onto the next.

    *Sometimes*, I get the sense that people my age think that think that marriage will solve their problems. “Maybe getting married will solve my low-income issues, provide stability, help with my loneliness, help with my physical desires (I cringe writing that because I don’t want to be THAT GUY who makes things awkward), and help with the need to be married in my 20s like every gal in the South”. Marriage does help with some challenges, but it creates many, maybe even MORE!

    Which comes back to the original point. Marriage and singleness are both gifts that Christ blesses us with. But they both have their sour moments. When we savor Christ, walk with him daily, and rely on his grace upon grace, we are overcomers through Christ in those sour moments!! They’re bound to come whether you are single or married, making minimum wage, or living off a salary.

    I hope this didn’t sound like I was bashing marriage because I AM NOT! I am the most joyful I have ever been but it is not without struggle and hard times that comes with “doing life” with someone. God is good no matter what!

    It’s just refreshing to hear someone declare that singleness is a gift. Thanks for writing and maybe (definitely) write more? Thx.

    • September 12, 2013 6:28 pm

      So glad you made the attempt again! This was well worth it.

      I’d like to write more, but I’m not making any promises…

  4. Dawn Bates permalink
    September 14, 2013 11:13 am

    Totally accurate! Sadly, many churches need to embrace this message too and stop, whether directly or indirectly, making singles (a term I hate btw as relationship status shouldn’t define a person’s identity) feel a little less valued than couples!!! x

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