So, we’re bout to get real honest.
*Whew* There, I said it.
Oh, you wanna know why? Here it is…
I have been hearing way too much about singleness in contexts that are NOT biblical nor loving nor practical. This is coming from people who A.) have recently started dating a person or B.) have been married for
a hot minute a month and have instantly become the Yoda of relationships.
If you are a single who is perfectly content (and you’re not lying to yourself, you really are content) then you know what I mean. For example, a lady asked me just the other day what my plans were for after graduation from my graduate program. I told her that’s up to God, but that as of now, I would love to commit to a full time ministry with counseling young women. She is a very sweet lady, but her face said, “Whaaaaaat?!“. Her mouth said, “Honey, when do you plan to get married?“…For the love.
Approaching my 25th birthday, I have been in (wait for it)….13 weddings. I loved being asked and I loved getting to support each of those girls on their big day. That said, most of my friends are married and/or have one child. I, however, am single and in graduate school and am loving every minute of it. Yes, I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s the truth.
Girls who fall into the “Single Box” at my age (speaking of just the girls in church culture, because girls who are not born and raised in church have the freedom to be single AND happy…) have some options.
They can be BitterBetties who complain…a lot. They complain about not fitting in anywhere in the church, they complain about the “church lacking any good guys”, they complain about how “people don’t serve them enough”. Well, I just judged you BitterBettie. And I advise you to examine your expectations. Just because he doesn’t act like the guys who you read about in Nicholas Sparks’ books, doesn’t mean he’s not worth some attention. Also, BitterBetties are draining. I’m drained from just bringing them up.
Second, they can be HolyHollies. Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with pursuing holiness. That nickname is strictly for alliteration sake and we’re talking extremes here. We’re not talking about loving the Lord and being proud of it. We’re talking about being “odd for God”.
Now, HolyHolly, she doesn’t complain. She doesn’t do much of anything really. She waits. She reads her Bible as a checklist, excuses herself from the world around her, reads her Bible some more, and waits. She sits around in her state of nirvana and she wishes, hopes and prays for her Prince Charming to show up and be immediately drawn to her holiness. Afterall, she “deserves” to be given the guy. She put all the right ingredients in God should bake her up the perfect spouse. He’ll read her some Songs of Solomon and propose within a couple months. She’ll instantly be prepared to be a Proverbs 31 wife because of all her cloistered waiting. Right?
These options didn’t really appeal to me. So, I figured I would just be myself. That’s what Mom always told me to do anyway. I’d serve the Lord in the areas He’d already called me to. I’d laugh when I thought things were funny, I’d go out with friends, I’d be busy doing things with God and keep learning about what it is to live in grace. I’m not saying that I’ve become one of those Yoda girls who have all the relationship stuff figured out. I don’t. But I refuse to sit and wait for myself to figure it out. God’s big enough to handle that.
So, friends, there are things much worse than not being married. Like marrying for the wrong reasons (because people keep telling you that you should be married) or marrying the wrong person (because people keep telling you that you should be married) or having really bad body odor (because that would be tragic). Really, though. I know people have great intentions. I am just tired of having to talk out the whole, “I’m happy. Really…No, that doesn’t mean I’m ‘called to singleness’. It just means I’m happy.”
All that said, I believe in marriage. I do! (<–See?!) I know that it is God’s beautiful plan and I hope to marry some day. But I won’t marry solely because it’s in the expected life track of a girl my age. I’d marry a man who has been serving God and who will preach the Gospel to me with his life (and I’d give that grace right back to him). I’m just not planing my life around it.
***DISCLAIMER: BitterBetty or HolyHolly are not representing any one person specifically. They’re just fictional extremes representing some dysfunctional attitudes about singleness (and, if we’re really honest, we’ve all had a little Betty or Holly in us at some point). ***