It’s interesting being single.
I’m not sure why this thought popped into my head this Monday morning, but it did. And I chuckled thinking about some of my friends with good intentions but bad (nagging) presentation.
Our married friends mean well. They really do. But I am convinced they quickly forget what it was like to be single and have people ask “so when are you going to get married?” or “why aren’t you dating anyone?” all the time.
I had a friend who did this to me every time we talked. She would make well intentioned comments about how I needed to meet a nice guy and settle down. Like I was going “duck, duck, duck” without ever saying “goose” to any of the single, available, nice guys who were crossing my path. Oh, wait, they weren’t lined up or falling at my feet.
And eventually having the same conversation fifty million times got to me, and I had enough. Then God gave me this amazing comeback. So the next time she asked me about not having a boyfriend, I asked back, “How many nice, single guys have you come across this week? How many guys can you introduce me to? I’ll be happy to consider anyone you can introduce to me.” And that got her thinking. I had challenged her to start looking and watching to see who she could find.
And do you know how quickly the conversation stopped being about boyfriends? The very next conversation! It didn’t take her but a week to realize there isn’t a nice, available guy waiting every place you go, at least one who is going to walk up and introduce himself as single and ready to get serious. Sure, they are out there. But meeting him isn’t always as easy as walking into a grocery store to buy a gallon of milk.
I know she had good intentions in asking. She was happily married, and she knew I could be happily married too. And she asked because she cared. But because it seemed to be the focus of our conversations, it began to aggravate me. It made me feel like being single defined who I was and made me less of a person. It created a stigma that I wasn’t good enough unless I was one of two.
But being single doesn’t define me any more than being married would. Being single doesn’t determine if I am a nice person. Being single doesn’t make me a more loving person.
In today’s day and age, we have a culture of single adults. And sometimes it feels like singles aren’t good enough. I don’t know why we have this mentality that being single is wrong. I quite enjoy being able to come and go as I choose. Does this mean I don’t want to get married? Of course not. If the right guy came along, I am all for getting married. I think it’s great and have seen many years of successful and happy marriage in my family.
But I refuse to be consumed with getting married or worrying about being single. I had the revelation many years ago that I can be happy and joyful and peaceful whether single or part of a couple. The moment occurred in 2007 when God asked me, “Will you still love Me and trust Me if this doesn’t happen for you?” And I thought only a moment before realizing that yes, I can. Yes, I can trust Him. Yes, I can believe this is His purpose for me. Yes, I can let go of a consuming desire to be married and just enjoy each day where I am in Singleville.
Paul lived his whole life as a single adult. He was able to travel and evangelize a great area of the known world. He was able to go places and stir the people toward God. He appreciated his singleness because it gave him the opportunity to work for God without hesitation or compromise. He says in 1 Corinthians 7:32 that “But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord.” It wasn’t a badge of shame or a reproachful thing. Being single opened the door for Paul to fulfill his calling and be completely obedient to God.
So how do I look at being single? It’s fun. It’s an adventure. It’s an opportunity. Yes, sometimes I do get lonely. But loneliness is just a momentary thing in light of God’s love and grace. So I’ll just enjoy the ride for now while keeping my eyes on the scenery. And if in the course of the ride it becomes a two-seat bicycle, all the better. But until then, no regrets, no worries, and no remorse. Just dancing with God and enjoying each step. And trying each day to be a more loving and grace-full person.
So no stigmas and no shame. Be single and satisfied!
Marie Fremin, 2/9/15 and 2/11/15