The Singleness Misconception
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Have you ever noticed how many single's ministries there are? Have you noticed how many people say "singleness is a time for drawing near to God"? I am starting to realize that this is a huge movement.
While I agree that singleness is a gift from God and that each person should use that time to grow in God, I feel that making these statements give the wrong impression.
Singleness is a gift from God. Yes. A woman should find her identity in Christ, not a man. Correct. But what about women who have a boyfriend, a fiance', or a husband... Isn't that just as much of a gift? And shouldn't they be growing in God just as much as a single person?
Don't get me wrong. I think it is absolutely wonderful that single women are being ministered to and being made aware that being single is not bad. Every single woman needs that. But when you start making a woman feel like they have to have it all together spiritually before they enter into a relationship, that's where I start getting annoyed.
You are never, ever, going to have it all together (maybe that could be a new Taylor Swift song)! Dating, engagement, and marriage are not only for enjoyment. They are mainly for holiness. If you are with the right man and living in a godly relationship, you will then, more than ever, realize your flaws, and all that needs to be corrected. And you will also realize more than ever how incapable you (and your man) are of fixing those problems. This is a good thing. This is growth. Realizing that you can't do it on your own, and seeing your sins more clearly is growth! And if you are with the right man (and by right I mean a God-given, compatible, godly man), that man will help you grow and get better. It may be a fast process, or it may be (and most likely will be) a slow process, but he will encourage you in godliness and away from your sins.
When I see things like "pledge to not date for a year", it really rubs me the wrong way. I know that stuff like that has helped some people, and that's great. I am genuinely happy for those people. I also know that the people who started those pledges were well meaning people who have a heart for the Lord. But, when someone feels like they have to make a pledge to not date for a year in order to draw near to God, something is wrong. We should always be drawing near to the Lord. We should always be seeking him and loving him. Everyone always says, "don't put God in a box...", but isn't saying, "Don't date for one year" unintentionally saying "God's not going to bring me a man in the next year, and if he does, I can't date him because I'd be sinning by breaking my pledge".... I don't know. That just seems pretty boxy to me.
I don't mean to ruffle feathers or hurt anyone's feelings. I am only saying that maybe sometimes the focus is too much on singleness and not enough on Christ.
Do you identify yourself as a single, Christian woman, or as a Christ follower? Your singleness (and my married-ness) is not our identity. Christ is our identity. So maybe, instead of saying, "during this time of singleness, I need to focus on God", it would be much more productive to say, "no matter what stage of life I am in, I need to always focus on God".