I tend not to give much advice on marriage. I have only been married for like 6 minutes and, while it’s going amazing and much of that is due to the work we put in before the I do’s, I’d like a bit more perspective before I get too deep into that.
Being single, on the other hand, I had a lot of experience with that. Like, a lot. Much more than I wanted some days but, in the end, exactly as much as I needed. God’s awesome like that. Because of my adventures in singleness, I wanted to share a bit about what I learned during & from that time that might also help you out. One of the biggest thing I realized is all of the false things I believed about being single. Here are just a few that stuck out to me:
3 Lies About Being Single:
We’re fed the message that singleness is just something you have to endure. Something you have to put up with until you get married. Like every ‘failed’ date is a Sisyphus situation and and marriage is finally when the rock is all the way up the mountain and isn’t coming back down.
Uhh…nah. I know we are not conditioned to see it this way, but singleness is a gift – I mean think about it, if you are single you get to go after your calling with all of your heart and all of the time you choose to put into it. You can pursue your passion and ministry with abandon. We get to decide who we want to be every single day and then be that person, even if that person is radically different from yesterday. I mean, don’t do that a lot – cuz after a while that’s not called single, it’s called crazy. But I’m saying, we have the gift of time. If you use it wisely, life can be super fulfilling all on it’s own. And that, is dope. Using the time to seek first the kingdom of God unrestrained is the greatest investment you can make in both your present and future.
Listen to me people, listen to me good. You are not too old to be single. When I got engaged (which happened later than many (so many) of my friends), many people (mostly women) had one of the following responses: “What took you so long?” or, “It’s about time!” These statements made me want to deliver a firm, well placed spin kick to the forehead. Nothing “took me so long.” It happened in exactly the time it was supposed to happen and not a minute sooner or a minute later. I was busy being single and fabulous (see above paragraph). Don’t let popular culture tell you that it is taking you, “too long” to settle down. The only timeline that matters is God’s, and that’s real. He has the perfect timing all picked out for you and is developing you in the process. Trying to rush the timing on account of external pressure is a dangerous game that usually doesn’t end well. Take time to get to know yourself and God. Take time to figure out what you need out of a partner and what you are willing to give. And take time to practice your perfect side-eye for the next time someone says some nonsense like this to you.
Our culture does a HORRIBLE job at giving any type of real life perceptions of what single life should look like. I’ve seen countless tv shows where women are made to feel like something is wrong with them if they don’t sleep with a guy by the third date or that something is wrong with the relationship if you don’t sleep together at all. The messaging is typically that single people are hot messes until they meet “the one” and then all of a sudden they gain this magical ability to get their life together. Single people are supposed to fill their lives with flings and partying and and tons of dates and other wildly unimportant things. This is not how to be successfully single. Successful singleship (it’s a word) is knowing your boundaries and being ok if someone else doesn’t like them. It is being selective with your time. If you feel that this time is really just for you – then why waste it on meaningless dates? If you are seeking a spouse and feel like it’s time to date – why waste it on meaningless dates? See how that works? Your time and energy are valuable. Use it to lead an awesome life and share it with those who share your values as it pertains to relationships and encourage you in your faith. You’re not a mess. You don’t have to sleep with anyone. You just have to live intentionally and let God do the rest.
Honorable mention: You Have to Stop Being Single to Be Great
1 Corinthians 7:32-35
Listen, there are a lot of people out there who long to be married. There are also many people out there who do not. And that’s totally cool. One could make a strong case for the benefits of either scenario. In fact, being single can help us not split focus from our calling & purpose in that season.
Think about it, what if, like, Mother Teresa felt pressure from her girls to get married and then found this wonderfully likeable guy, let’s call him Jerome because I can see her with a Jerome, and wifed up. She would have had to be all, “sorry orphans, I know you need help right now, but I gotta find some time to wash Jerome’s drawls because he about to run out, so I gotta run home real quick. I’ll be back tho.”
And one day what if Jerome was all, “Hey T baby, can I talk to you for a minute? I know you love helping folks in India and whatnot, and that’s great. But I feel a call to move to Akron,OH and I think it’s time we do.” She might have done wonders in Akron, but she was called to something different as a single person.
What I’m suggesting to you is this:
Be in prayer. Listen. And trust God to keep you weather your called to be single and super fantastic or boo’d up and amazing. Don’t stay single out of fear of or hurt. Don’t attach yourself to someone out of loneliness or pressure. Wherever you are in life, God will keep you through it. That’s really the only solution you need.