Friday, January 26, 2007

singleness is a gift. period.

I asked my very dear friend Allyson, who happens to be single, to write this post. Her honesty will put you at ease and her desire to uphold a godward view of singleness will provoke you.

this is the second time i've typed out this post and about the fifth time i've written it in my head. i tend to think i am fairly content in my singleness, but sunday's message and the focused thoughts that have followed are showing me a few things... turns out, just because i may not typically struggle with the pain of being single does not mean i am necessarily believing all the right things about it.

are there specific times that i am thankful to be single? sure. but that thankfulness doesn't usually strike me in the same way as the example trace shared below. it seems a lot easier to realize the way someone else blesses you than the way the absence of someone blesses you. i think it takes some intentional effort to see these things at work. when i am really struggling with something, i can escape to a coffee shop with my bible and some books to read for hours... no notice required, no coordinating plans. when there is an opportunity to serve a friend, a family, or the church, and i have a desire to do it, i can work my own schedule to make room for it. as pastor matt pointed out on sunday, singleness is arguably a better gift than marriage simply because of the freedom it provides to be more completely devoted to God.

sometimes, in being thankful for these types of things, i wonder if it implies that i see marriage as a burden. but i don't. believe me, the more i see of marriage, the more i desire to be married. yet i do understand that it would come with many adjustments. other times i worry that my contentment with being single is just a celebration of selfishness. and it can be, depending on how i use it. and i think that how i use it flows out of what i truly believe about it.

here is where i am most challenged - have i just gotten used to singleness, learned to enjoy the advantages it can bring, and resolved to be content with these things? or do i truly believe it is a gift? do i think God has overlooked my requests for a husband, or do i trust that He has lovingly chosen this for me? His Word clearly labels singleness as a gift that is given, not as a default category for those who are not married.

so it seems that perhaps He has given a gift i don't really want. well, it wouldn't be the first time. in His perfect wisdom, God knows what i need as well as what i want. and in His care for me, when the two are opposed, i think He loves me enough to give me what i truly need. thinking back to before i was a Christian, i can clearly remember not wanting God or anything to do with Him. i needed Him, but i didn't know that. but now - i cannot thank Him enough for giving the gift of salvation through the gospel of Jesus Christ. God's Word assures me that because i am now in Christ, His heart is to bless me and to work all things for my good. all things - including my singleness.

when i see things this way, i can embrace this gift and be excited about the ways i can use it for God's glory. my other concerns can fade away in the light of this truth. i just need to be reminded, and to choose to believe the promises of the bible. i don't want to just be okay with being single - i want to treasure it.

and so, even when it doesn't feel like it -- especially when it doesn't feel like it -- i will honor God by choosing the fight of faith and affirming that my singleness is a gift. period.


  1. God has really been showing me over the past couple of months how sweet of a gift singleness is. I still struggle with the desire to get married, but He has been so gracious to show me through my idols how perfect and good His sovereignty is. Ayear ago, I wanted what I wanted, when I wanted it. And, i fought for it...believing God was not kind enough to provide for me. But, as I said, I am learning...I am learning that He HAS provided...His son on a CROSS, he IS providing....whatever it was that marriage held as valuable in my self-seeking eyes- joy, worth, fullfillment, whatever- He has been showong me that He truly is the only one who will be those. I still want to get married, if that is His will, but now I desire to be patiently and trusting that He WILL (continue to) provide the perfect gift- whether it be marriage or continued singleness.

    I think that my two single friends above have truly used their singleness to glorify God...not putting life on hold until "someday" but seeking out Him and serving wherever/whenever necessary...what a grace of God in both of you!!!

  2. There's no such thing as the "gift of singleness". It was a phrase coined by the editors of the Living Bible (now the NLT) that has since been removed.