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.