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".



8 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing!

    http://www.racheldinh.com

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  2. Amen! This goes along with our conversation about our identity being in Christ and not in who or what we were in the past. Love you.

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    1. Thanks! This really just hit me Tuesday. I kept seeing blogs all about God using them in their singleness. And seriously, that is fantastic that he is using that time in their life, but they need to know God can use them anytime!

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  3. I think that the most recent influx of literature and focus on single people embracing the season and drawing closer to God during it kind of comes as a backlash against a wrong idea that many had about women only being taken seriously in the church post-marriage--to this day, I still know people who say that they don't consider single people to be 'real adults'--so I can understand the emphasis on reminding singles that they don't need to wait around until marriage to get started on living for God....and I do imagine that the target demographic for most of these articles about singleness is not us married women. :)
    I have found marriage to be an excellent tool which God can use to make us more like Himself. We should be serving and seeking God in all stages of life.

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    1. Rachel, I completely agree. My point in this article was exactly that: that we should be serving and seeking God in all stages of life. And I agree with you that this movement is coming against the idea that single women aren't adults. My only problem with it is that it makes many singles feel as if they won't be able to serve God as well once they do get married. I think that sometimes a good intention gets blown very out of proportion, and I think that's what is happening with these singleness movements. I know from personal experience that the products of such movements end up writing off relationships as "ungodly", which is in itself, another wrong way of thinking.

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  4. Great article! I too do not agree with those "Don't date for a year" pledges and similar ideology. It is like someone is trying to impress God with "works" and we can only impress God by having faith and trusting God.

    In response to "drawing near to God", I know that we as believers are all commanded to draw "near" to God, and thus He will draw near to us. So in different seasons of my life I will have to draw near to God in a variety of ways. As a single woman I am using this time to draw near to God in order to build a solid foundation in Him, because when I am married and raising a family I know that I am going to have to continue to draw near to God for strength and wisdom when it comes to how to be a good wife, mother, etc.

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    1. Exactly! We should use every single season to draw near to God :)

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