Did you know: Singleness affects almost 50% of people over 18 in the United States. We are taught at a young at that marriage is the “thing to do,” it’s “just what happens,” and in some cases, it is the next step following graduation from college. However, what happens when marriage is not what happens? Women (and men) worldwide are struggling with this stage of life. In most cases, singleness is unintentional – it is an involuntary decision, and we are desperately long to change it.
Even churches struggle with single folks. We are told to be patient, to wait, and that “this is God’s precious time with us.” However, most of the time, hearing those words makes us more frustrated.
Why can’t we have what God is blessing others with? Where is the disconnect? The word waiting, in the English Dictionary, means to be ‘eagerly impatient.’ And the word patience means ‘delay action or wait.’ But in our singleness, we are taught to wait and be patient.
Are we just meant to sit and delay action? How is my heart supposed to be eagerly impatient and patient all at the same time?
There’s a problem with the message. However, it permeates women’s ministries, Christian books, and speakers throughout the country. We see this message from the pulpit, self-help books, podcasts, and everywhere in between. It’s almost as if married leaders forget what singleness actually felt like.
For instance, imagine you have been out hiking with your friends and you forget your water bottle. Mouth dry, mirage of water in the distance, true desert parched. You finally make it to the car and grab your water bottle and gulp a few sips. When you finish the water, you forget the pain of thirst. The emotions and feelings become hard to experience again.
That is exactly what it feels like in our culture today. Singleness is hard when you are going through it, but when you get to the “other side” it is “so wonderful” you don’t even remember the heartache of it.
Your feelings are valid. Singleness is hard because of the fall. Singleness is hard because it is not how God intended it to be. The first negative thing we have in the Bible from God… “it’s not good for man to be alone.” Hear me when I say – you are not wrong in feeling sad in singleness.
My favorite overused phrase in Christian dating talks – ‘When you chase after God like you chase after love, He will send you a soulmate you won’t have to chase after.’
What happens when this message ‘waiting to date’ becomes discouraging? Some singles will never outgrow this season of singleness. At the end of the day, all of these messages lack one thing – true encouragement to overcome the toxic mindset our culture has placed on being single.
The heart of their message is pure and genuine and the majority of the time these messages focus on waiting for the perfect person to date. But there is one caveat here. We read scripture inspired by a Heaven-minded King and translate it using our finite earthly words. It’s important to shift our mindset and look at singleness through His heavenly eyes.
I’ve been diving into scripture, reading everything I can get my hands on, and listening to leaders across the globe teach on singleness, loneliness, and community. I’m so excited to share that with you here.
Each week for the next couple of months, we will be looking at scripture that allow us to reflect on what we singleness and loneliness looks like and how we can receive the Holy Spirit and activate Him in us during this season of life.
We will sit with scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to bring to life the importance of community.
Without activating the Holy Spirit, we are merely sitting on the sidelines and just observing God’s goodness. My prayer is that through these next few months we begin to change a mindset and an entire generation of women that find themselves alone and without community.
I truly believe when we lack community, that ‘aloneness’ in our heart breeds insecurity, shame, and brokenness. And when we have community, the kind that is built on true Biblical hospitality, we find community breeds love, joy, and hope.
It is when we truly understand Biblical hospitality and implement it into our lives, we are able to sit with this season of life in confidence knowing God has called us for a specific purpose at this specific time.
Did you miss Part 1 of Unintentional Singleness? Check it out here: