Here’s a riddle for you: what do the following items have in common?
- Pants that reveal you put on some poundage since last year
- The book, Manners for Dummies
- A Visa cash card that doesn’t work
- A statement beginning with “Happy Birthday” and ending with “Maybe this year you’ll move out of your parents’ house.”
Got it yet? If not, lend me your ear.
The above items have one common theme:
They’re all gifts we don’t really want.
And, with that being established, allow me to add one more to the list…
Blessing or Curse?
Can we just harp for a second that the Bible calls singleness a gift?
Maybe it’s just me, but this is one of those gifts where I’m like, “Oh, God, You shouldn’t have! No, really, God, You shouldn’t have.”
Before diving into the whole idea of it being a gift, I’m going to lay my cards down and be real with you:
Singleness is hard at times. Here are a few ways:
- Anxiety can settle in as you see folks around you marrying.
- You may feel pressure to settle for okay, instead of amazing.
- Dating can be difficult
- Everyone else seems to take a personal interest in your love life.
If singleness is a gift, why does the prospect of staying single for the rest of your life seem daunting instead of rewarding?
Lies I’ve Believed about Singleness
I think that any conversation about this topic needs to look at the falsehoods around being single.
Two lies I’ve believed about it:
1. If I behave and am a good little girl for God, He’ll send me a husband.
2. If I get close enough to Jesus, then He will send me a husband. I just need to hit that perfect level of relationship to get a husband.
Both are absolute lies.
Now, before you grab your pitchforks and fire up the torches, let me explain.
It is good and right to obey God, stay in the Word, and move closer to Him. That’s what we’re supposed to do.
However, these statements are wrong because
- The first hinges on the idea that God’s blessings depend on me and my actions instead of His character.
- The second suggests that my getting close to God is for a husband, rather than getting to know God’s goodness up close and personal.
Both suggest that the whole point of my life, my womanhood, is simply for a husband, and the reality is that it isn’t.
We, as women, were not created for men- we were created for hardcore, bad-to-the-bone devotion to a good, gracious, loving God.
Gift? Say Whaaat??
Rarely, if ever, have I heard someone say, “You know I just really want at the end of the day? To die alone!” Therefore, I had a hard time thinking singleness could be a gift.
But, that’s what it’s considered in the Bible.
Don’t just take it from me!
“But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am” (1 Corinthians 7:7-8).
Still thinking this gift isn’t all that great? Read on:
- A man’s gift makes room for him,/ And brings him before great men (Proverbs 18:16).
But, really, what is a “gift?” It’s something God gives us- a skill, an opportunity, a passion, etc.
But, here is the thing about a gift in God’s economy: it isn’t for us.
Ultimately, God provides a gift for His Glory- to build up others and showcase His goodness.
So (hypothetically, of course), could I have been given singleness *gasp* for other people?
This goes against my thinking since my natural bent is toward selfishness. I like to think that my time, my talents, are mine alone.
Yet, according to God’s plan, my singleness could be a gift for others.
This leads to…
An Attitude Shift
So, what do I do with this “gift” of singleness?
What does this application really look like?
I think about the opportunities I’ve been given over the past couple of years, particularly since college, and my time as a single has, admittedly, been rewarding.
Because I am single, I’ve been able to…
- Pour myself into leading and loving on teenagers as a high school teacher.
- Form deeper relationships with my friends.
- Dedicate myself to my family, particularly my nephew.
- Get back into a small group Bible study.
- Grow, unhindered, both personally and professionally
- Really get to know and fall in love with Jesus
Singleness has meant that I get to be single-minded, unhindered, focused in these roles.
These roles have filled the void that singleness can, at times, produce. For this reason, there is no lack of intimacy in my life.
No, I’m not in a relationship, but there’s more love in my life than I know what to do with.
There is nothing wrong with being in a relationship or marrying, but I need a reminder on how to see singleness correctly.
I’m not saying at all that I don’t want to be married, but I think that singleness definitely has its merits.
The biggest waste, then, is sitting on your hands while waiting on a spouse to stumble into your life.
Don’t hold onto, ignore, or hoard your gifts until you find a significant other. You’ve been given a gift: use it.
Don’t allow it to terminate on you.
Singleness: It’s the gift no one really wants, yet it could just be one of the best God offers us.