I had a great catch up with a friend this week. We talked about friends living in blissful relationships and also friends who broke up after many years of courtship, leaving them to question their worth and identity. Single people want to be married, and married people want to be single. But, is singlehood really that bad?
Answering the above question, I do not think singlehood is a bad thing at all. Maybe I am not qualified to say this since I am married, but I was single before and it is REALLY not the end of the world.
In preparation of this article, I have approached friends of both genders to get their insights about singlehood. Let's read a few stories below.
Daphne is now happily attached. While she was waiting for her boyfriend to come along, there were times she felt discouraged and lonely because everyone was finding love around her. She later got reminded that there is a time and season for everything. She felt that God was using this season to mould her into a better woman of God and took the time to serve in church. She learnt from her previous relationships, in the hope that she can present her best self when God brings her man along.
Then we have the beautiful Dory who recently married her first love. It was a huge struggle for her waiting for her husband to come along. She waited, and I believed she cried and questioned God if anyone was coming along at all. What was so beautiful was through this process, she learnt to depend more on God and lean into Him. She had to trust that He had been faithful and will always be. She had experienced the fullness of God's love that she now knows no man can complete her except Him. It was tough for her but she had learnt praise and thanksgiving.
Moving onto my amazing friend Daisy who is currently single, she shared her insights and I was so touched. Mark chapter 12 verse 25 says, when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. She read this verse when she started her journey with Christ and it had been cemented in her heart ever since. It gave her clarity that marriage is not the end game.
The most important person that we love in life is Christ - The one from which our understanding of love and marriage comes from. Our relationship should be a reflection of his glory, love and goodness. That is not to say she is content in being single all the time, but it gives her perspective for the here and now. Ultimately she wants her eventual union with another person to reflect God's glory. As she continues serving him,she is conforming to his likeness and will, which will help her marriage in future.
We heard from the ladies, now let’s move on to the guys.
Darius told me that it is sometimes hard being single as he wishes that there is someone whom he can hang out and do activities with. He admitted that he is never a patient person and being single is a learning curve for him. He had to learn to be patient and not make rushed decisions just because he wants to have a girl in his life, but trusting in God that He will send the best person - the right one.
Dexter had been single for about 5 years now. He described singlehood as two stages - A stage which was not enjoyable and a stage when he actually liked it. He started to enjoy this stage once he felt whole in God and did not feel the need to be loved by a person to feel love. He could hang out with friends as he wishes, travel without worrying about commitments and also spend time to read and do some investments.
Some other friends have also commented that singlehood is not any lesser or greater than being in a relationship. Joy, fulfilment and contentment are available now, not after you are married. There is also another interesting but true perspective that singlehood is not something we have to actively manage as it is actually normal and having another person in your life is a bonus.
Many people feel lonely because they do not understand how to deal with being alone. However alone does not equate with lonely. Being in a relationship gives a new level of understanding for many things but we also have to be comfortable being ourselves.
All in all, many have the fantasy about being in a relationship that our lives will be complete. We feel like we are missing out or not in our best seasons because we have not met the right one.
We panic and start hunting for the right one, leaving us in impatience, anxiety and discontentment with God being so “slow” working behind the scenes. However, that missing piece that we are looking for is the Prince of Peace, not the Right one.
We can never find our identity in another person, except in our ever loving Father God. Single or attached, we can always make the best out of our seasons and be the influence He wants us to be.
Amy Ching is a Press Service International young writer from Auckland