A BBC article came out recently with the author’s viewpoint on why couples are mean to single people. And I agree, there is WAY too much focus, emphasis and accolade on marriage as if it was the golden key to completing your life. On a similar note, there is way too much looking down on singleness as if it were a disease to be cured of.
At a conference I recently attended, Christopher Yuan shared in one of his lectures that we’ve turned singleness into a curse and marriage into a right. Both are false. Biblically, both marriage and singleness are Good Gifts. Neither is meant to be glorified over the other. But how often have you heard at church something along the lines of “Marriage is a gift, singleness is a calling“? Now those married pride themselves in being able to check off the coveted status in their list, while some who are single, pride themselves in being able to live out this “higher calling”, and still other singles bear the burden of feeling something must be wrong with them to not be attached. It shouldn’t be like that. Marriage isn’t the end all be all; singleness isn’t a consolation prize.
Christopher pointed out that in heaven, there is no marriage….so apologies if this ruins your day, but we’re all going to be “single” for eternity. But what’s going to be amazing is that we, the church, will be joined with Christ our Groom! THAT’s the emphasis and focus. Because He’s the ONLY ONE who can complete us…on this and the other side of heaven.
He also had a mantra to share, particularly for the single, “I don’t know what the future holds, but for today, I’m happy to be single.” I rather like that. Before I met Skywalker, I had adopted a similar view. It wasn’t that I had resolved to be single, but that whatever God might arrange, I was determined to be as happy and as fulfilled as I can in His good purposes.
It boils back down to thriving wherever you’re at. If married, do not dream of being single. If single, do not pine after marriage. As a married person, only 1.5 years into it, I can tell you that it’s hard work….and for my husband who has the role of “laying down his LIFE for his family as Christ laid His life down for the Church“, being married is a heavy responsibility. If anything, we should maybe look at marriage being a calling, and singleness a gift. Perhaps that’s why the Apostle Paul wishes singleness on all.
I’ve quoted my dear friend Dahn before, and doing it again, “It’s far better to be single, happy and thriving (with good friends and ministry), than to be married (just to be married) and miserable.” Italics mine.