Last updated: 21 Aug 2019
Let's talk about this thing known as Christian and Single.
You can see this article as some form of manifesto. Huh? Christian Singles manifesto?? Laugh.
I’m joking. I’ve had this topic on my mind for a while but choosing the voice to talk about it has been a challenge because I do not want to instruct. As a single, I’ve come to hate some of those instructions.
Talking from a place of empathy seems just right, sharing my heart with you and, hopefully, re-echoing yours. That’s the reason I’ll use, “we, us, our.”
I’m dying to talk about the challenges and the pressures, both from within and without, of Christian singleness. And we’ll talk about the joys, too. That way, it all ends up well.
Those frustrating moments that make us hate being Christian and Single.
We’ve heard phrases such as Single and Godly, Single and Graced, Single and Devoted. They motivate us, maybe for a season, painting a picture of a happy singleness.
Yet sometimes, ‘Christian and Single’ appears an ugly badge to wear.
We attend churches where there’s an unspoken pattern for the Christian life for the Single: after conversion, the next item on the agenda is…Marriage! Hurray!
But we’ve been converted for donkey years, and the only next thing on the agenda has been, waiting, followed by…more waiting. And that is for the ‘lucky’ ones.
For many, it’s been…heartbreak, waiting, more heartbreak, more waiting mixed with confusion, fear, and panic.
Relationships we thought were made in heaven turned out to have been packaged in hell. They came in the semblance of the perfect Miss Right, or the more-than-suitable Mr. Right.
But time proved us wrong. They left us heartbroken.
We wondered why God made us pass through that emotional and psychological torture. In some cases, the anguish convinced us to stray from the path of sound counsel for a season.
Fortunately, the Father didn’t abandon us in our distress. Even though He did not cause our pain, even though some of us were disobedient to His voice that warned against those relationships, the Father picked up our shattered hearts and healed us.
He used the pain to make us stronger, wiser, and more devoted to His Word.
Every day, people around us demand to know when is it we shall get married. Some stand from afar, judge, and conclude on the reasons why we’re still single. They don’t consult us to know the why. They just know.
All the time, we’re inundated with [mostly unsolicited] advice on how to get the right one. We know we can’t escape the counseling sessions. It’s bound to happen. Whether out of love, pity, or nosiness, our advisers abound — in the church, at the mall, on social media, in movies, and in books.
Sometimes, many times, our advisers do not care if we get happy relationships at the end — they just want to see us married. Period.
The pressure makes us question our value as persons, it decreases our self-esteem. It makes us hate being single. Any longer.
Our stomachs churn when the married ones update their statuses with pictures of blissful romance. The publishing of someone’s wedding banns comes as another painful reminder to us that we’re Christian and…still very much single.
“When is it going to be my turn?”
“When will I publish that special profile picture or cover photo and receive the congratulations and admiration, too?”
“Am I cursed?”
If we’re African, we wonder, “Do I have a spiritual spouse preventing me from getting married?” And the church helps us believe that we have a spiritual wife or husband, which marriage we can’t tell when it was contracted.
These worries leave us wondering if Single and Graced is not an illusive ideal set up to keep us from going mad. If it is not a concept to help us fake contentment in a state God categorically termed “not good”?
And shall we forget the voice of our own bodies? Our hormones? Not when they scream at us, “Get married! Give me sex! I want kids.”
Unfortunately, we’re not only single but also Christian. We’ve pledged allegiance to a standard our bodies sometimes grumble to submit to.
In our hearts, many of us, we want our lives to glorify the Lord. We want to live for Him. We want to date with purpose and purity. We want to get married and to enjoy marriage.
We’re discouraged by the increase in divorce rates. Did they say as high as almost 50%? We’re worried about the abundance of ailing marriages.
We want to do things His way. Therefore, we tap into our joys.
And do our best to enjoy the season while it lasts.
Even with our challenges, we find something to be thankful for: the opportunity given to us to have a better future. Time, not to wait in anguish and panic, but in preparation.
Therefore we choose to wait. If that is His will.
While we wait, we focus on what is important: God and his overall plan for our individual lives. We see our waiting as a season of preparation.
While we wait, we pursue intimacy with God. We walk in His purpose for us. We seek to have our best relationship with Him NOW. Because we can dare to give Him an undivided attention.
While we wait, we date with purpose and purity. We seek godly counsel. We seek to be led by the Lord.
While we wait, we can trust Him with our dating life if He demands that from us.
While we wait, we learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others, and trust our Father to birth for us marriages with the ’til death do us part’ portion inscribed on the stones on which we’ll pen down our vows.
While we wait, we lay the right foundation for marriage, preparing ourselves for the responsibility of spouse and parent to rear a godly offspring.
Yes, we are Christian and Single. And we are (can be) Godly. We are (can be) Devoted to Him who owns us. We are (can be) Graced.
Yes, we’re Christian. Just Single. We’re not second-best citizens of the Kingdom. We’re beloved sons and daughters of the King. We’re only on a journey to the Land of the Married, each at their own time.
So, we refuse to bow to the pressure. We refuse to search for mates with our tongues sticking out.
We refuse to succumb to the challenges, for we have God, our Father, Helper, and Coach, the very one who instituted marriage.
Therefore, we find our self-esteem in who He says we are. We refuse to let the opinions of other people give us identity.
We have challenges, but so does everyone else, single or married. We refuse to give our challenges the honor to dictate our responses to them. We let the Word of our Father shape our lives.
Yes, we’re Christian and Single. And we are special.
We tell ourselves and one another,
“Dear Christian Single,
“You are loved by your Father in heaven. He has a plan for you. He is faithful, and you can trust Him.”
Janet is a Christian with a knack for writing. She's passionate about encouraging the pursuit of God and a life of purpose.