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Jamie Lath's picture

Second String Singles

There's a message we're sending out about singleness and marriage: Singleness is just second best. No one is really saying this out right, but we are saying it all the time in other ways. We're trying to set up our single friends. We pray for those who are single like they need healing from a disease. We look upon them with pity. Sometimes we even relegate them to lesser positions of leadership because they are single.

I'm married, but I was single until I was 30. That's not that long for some people, and over the hill for others. Whatever you think about it, I spent my fair share of time praying for marriage and looking around for the right one. Then it occurred to me that I was wasting a whole lot of time and energy focused on this problem of singleness. 

I think the real turning point was when I realized that I needed to make my thoughts holier and stop indulging in my emotions. It occurred to me that if I was married and I saw another attractive man, I would be an idiot to focus on that and begin creating a relationship in my head. Why? Because that's the road to cheating and adultery. As a single, it finally clicked that I should just follow the same scheme and not dream about the relationship to come. The Lord is my husband (2 Cor 11:2; as trite as some people have made that phrase out to be, it still true), and therefore I had better stop cheating on Him. 

Biblically speaking, being single doesn't put someone on the "B team." In fact, it seems to be just the opposite. It is a blessing. Christ lauds singleness (Matthew 19:12) and so does Paul (1 Cor 7). There is a focus that can come with singleness that allows for ministry to be the prime focus. At least it could be, if we got the whole marriage thing out of our heads. 

Yes, marriage is a blessing too. But, we've got to stop promoting it like it's the only blessing. Singleness is such a blessing, and we should be empowering singles to revel in the blessings they have as well. 

Instead of asking singles if they are dating, if they want to be, etc., how about asking them how their ministry is going? Find out who they are reaching out to at work, in church, in their family. Instead of praying for them to find a spouse, pray for them to find a mission, a heart for God, a people to shepherd.  

The culture is already so focused on relationships and love. We should be encouraging each other to a greater focus whether married or single. Sure, statistically speaking we know most people will marry, but why not focus on the greatness of being single while single instead of solving a problem that's not even there.

 

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