Singleness

I am single. I know this is a weird way to start an article, but it is the truth. I have been to an overwhelming amount of weddings in the past five years. The increasing number of young married folk in my community remind me of my singleness all of the time—I’ve gotten used to it.

You go to events, see everyone with their spouse, and you’re just…there. You leave the event by yourself, and everyone leaves with his or her spouse. You sit at home, watch movies/shows, and eat snacks by yourself, or with a roommate, thinking about how much better it would be with a spouse. Singles “feel” their singleness often, and sometimes…it sucks!

The No Feeling Zone

Are you shocked I said it sucks? Why? Because I’m expressing how we singles feel sometimes about the hardships of singleness? Look, let’s be real, sometimes singleness gets hard! You feel lonely, you feel left out, you feel full of a desire that cannot be acted upon, and you question if there is something wrong with you. The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with admitting and discussing these things. In fact, a lot of the time, we need the truth of scripture to reaffirm that a lot of what we’re thinking in those hard moments isn’t true.

But the problem is we have been shamed into what I call “The No Feeling Zone”. In this zone, when singles express feelings about their hardship, and the desire for marriage, this automatically translates into them being discontent in their singleness, and idolizing marriage. We have cynically been shamed into a room in the corner where we are not allowed to express our struggles without being judged by those who are “content”.

Contentment

I cannot tell you how many articles I have read, how many sermons I have heard, and how much counsel has been given calling me to be content in my singleness. This is not a bad thing; I understand and agree with most of these leaders 100%! Singles need to hear this often because, at times, we can allow our singleness to drive us to bitterness, idolatry, and ungratefulness to God. I understand us submitting to God’s sovereignty in where he has us in life—especially in regards to our relationship status—helps us trust him. And I understand Paul makes an awesome case on how effective the single brother/sister can be in his work for the Lord (1 Cor. 7:32).

But expressing the hardships of singleness, and a desire for a spouse, in no way shows nor proves you are discontent in Jesus or idolizing marriage. It is important for the body of Christ to create a space where singles can talk about these hardships, and their desire for a spouse without being labeled “thirsty”, “desperate”, or “discontent”.

This doesn’t foster an environment where believers can share their struggles and be encouraged. Instead, it creates a false reality in which we’re supposed to pretend our contentment in Jesus is always there to block our marital hopes and desires, leaving them nonexistent.

Heart Check

We need to check our hearts on how we speak to those who express their hardships in singleness. All hardships for believers (even in this area of life) are from God; they are used to conform us more into his image. But that doesn’t mean they are not authentically painful at times.

Churches and communities have to create an environment where people can be honest, and express their struggles—even regarding their singleness—without feeling judged.

Are you allowing your brothers and sisters to freely express their feelings? Or are you simply using “contentment” as a way to deflect and invalidate their feelings?


 

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