The Myths of Singleness
I’ve known families that have had the privilege of traveling to Israel and staying for a couple weeks! Something that I have not (and probably won’t!) had the privilege to do, even as a single person.
Is that why single women are always so much wiser and godlier then their married peers? (Sarcasm).
No, I don’t think that the single years are better for cultivating my relationship with God. By some speakers and authors I am told that singleness is the best time to grow spiritually because I am only dependent on God to fill my needs and desires. While other people will claim that marriage affords the greatest opportunity for growth because the two can seek God in a special way, the challenges of marriage will draw you closer to God, you are better able to understand the relationship between Messiah and His bride, etc…
Every season of life provides opportunity for growth! You’re not going to miss out on some grand opportunity for growth because you got married early in life. Many of the ‘lessons of singleness’ can be learned while married. Think about it.
Yup… the gift of singleness… whoopee. Just what I always wanted.
I personally don’t see this idea in scripture. But don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that singleness is an inferior stage of life… but when it comes to calling it a ‘gift’… that’s not exactly the first word that comes to my mind. In some ways singleness has been a gift for me, learning homemaking skills etc, but in other ways it hasn't felt like a gift. When was I given this gift? Was I born with it? Does my ‘gift’ get taken away when I get married? That’s not very nice. If singleness is a gift wouldn't I want to hold on to it as long as possible (like I would a marriage or motherhood)?
The way I see it, neither marriage nor singleness are inherently better than the other. Every day is a gift from God, whether you are single or married. Singleness is hardwork, marriage is hardwork, life is hardwork (at least if it's worth living then it is!). Let’s stop trying to make the singles feel better about their position in life. We singles are learning to accept where we are and love life as it is! But then again, aren’t we all?
Just some thoughts.
What are yours?
"Trust in YHWH with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
A friend pointed this verse out to me- 1 Corinthians 7:7 "I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that." In context what this verse is actually calling singleness a gift (and marriage is a gift)- interesting huh? I have a lot of thoughts on this verse (and that whole section in general!)... but I still need to do more study on it. For example; Paul mentions several times that he is stating his opinion, one of the first commands is 'be fruitful and multiply', what were the circumstances behind the advice? In 1 Corinthians 7:8 Paul counsels widows to remain single, but in 1 Timothy 5:14 he councils the opposite- I think there is more than meets the eye in these sections of scripture. Regardless, singleness is a ‘gift’ after all :) who’d a thunk!