Marriage is not a competition. Or rather, getting married is not a competition.
As a single person, I sometimes feel as if the opposite is the common mindset, even among my Christian friends. Whether they realize it or not, it can be a painful reminder that I am not married, but I need to get married, asap.
Because, somehow, if I’m not getting married, I’m doing something wrong with my life, or am cursed, or whatever. Perhaps. It is possible that I am doing some things wrong, therefore God is not allowing a man into my life.
Or, could it be that being single isn't a curse, or something to be avoided? But, rather, embraced with all of its difficulties, loneliness and longing? I would argue that the latter is true.
For years I have struggled with wanting to be married, thinking about marriage, guys, courtship, getting into a relationship, living godly so some guy would notice me, settling into a home, having kids, living the dream of my dreams.
That was when I was 17. I am now 24. And even though my hopes and dreams haven’t changed when it comes to being married someday, I have tried my best to embrace the season I am in currently; to do so with joy, and productivity. Not to sit at home, wondering when "it" will happen, but being a fruitful worker in God’s vineyard, now.
Why is it then, that we treat singles as if they are second-class citizens in the kingdom of God? Why do we exclude them from certain roles in the church, or on the mission field, or in the community? Paul made it clear that being single was something he wished all people would embrace, and use (1 Cor. 7:8, 25-40), for God’s glory! Of course, even he realized that as an unrealistic expectation (I mean if people didn't get married, the world as we know it would end…).
Does all of the above mean that I am not seeking to be married? That I am somehow avoiding marriage, to please myself, to fulfill my dreams, to advance my own cause; all without a man? No. I still desire to be married, to keep house, to raise children, to change the world. That is really all I have ever wanted. But while I am in this season of singleness, I am choosing, everyday, to keep my eyes focused on my Lover – Jesus, and to be a productive member of His team.
So to all of my lovely married friends, please be careful how you talk about singleness, and marriage in the context of your yet-married friends, because we are just as important and useful to God and His kingdom as you and your spouse are, we just haven’t gotten a +1 yet. :)
Let’s think about what God wants for our lives – and how we can better serve each other to bless and encourage our community of faith, as we live in this world that is so broken.
"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."