“So are you in college, or are you married?” she asked me.
Confused and—quite honestly—frustrated, I fumbled to answer graciously. Little did I know; this question was only one version of a statement (interrogative or otherwise) that people would repeatedly say over the years that I’ve spent as a single woman. I’m now 29, and I’ve heard every version under the sun, usually on a weekly basis.
“Don’t worry, honey. He’s out there somewhere. I just know it.”
“Why aren’t you dating anyone? Have you put yourself out there?”
“I just had to be content, and then he came along! The same will happen to you!”
“Why don’t you move to a bigger city with more single men?”
“Have you considered online dating?”
Now, before I go any further, let me clarify something. This is not meant to be a post full of complaints about the ways the people’s words have hurt me. This is not meant to put anyone down. This is not meant to make anyone feel regret over past words… but, please, do keep reading… whether you’re single or married.
What this IS meant to do is to point to our powerful Father, the giver of all good gifts (James 1:17)—including the gift of my singleness.
Yes, you read that correctly. A gift—my singleness is, indeed, a gift (1 Corinthians 7).
How could this be so? How could singleness be a gift when so many consider it the opposite?
An unwanted curse.
Proof that I haven’t become content.
A sign that something is wrong with me.
A result from not putting myself out there.
How could it be that these things aren’t dictating my status, and instead, that God showed up in my singleness?
I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard to explain this concept when so much of my surrounding cultural ideals point to marriage as the next step after college… but I want you to know that I don’t think that I’m in some sort of waiting period since I’m out of college and not married.
Instead, God has continuously shown up in my singleness in SO. MANY. WAYS.
Here are just a few:
God showed up in my singleness by giving me the opportunity to serve others in ways that my married friends could not. I don’t have the same sorts of commitments to a husband or children, so I can invest more deeply into others with my time.
God showed up in my singleness by consistently encouraging me to turn to Him. Instead of turning to my boyfriend/husband when questions of self-worth run through my mind (and they do), I’m forced to run only to Him and focus on who I am in Christ:
I have been adopted as God’s child (Eph. 1:5).
I am complete in Christ (Col. 2:10).
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom. 8:35-39).
I am God’s workmanship (Eph. 2:10).
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Cor. 5:17-21).
God showed up in my singleness by allowing me to remember, day by day, that marriage isn’t the ultimate goal. While marriage can be a beautiful reminder of the relationship of Christ to His church, being married is not superior to being single, nor does a marriage relationship signify that somehow you’ve “made it.” So then… what is the ultimate goal?
To live every day in light of eternity—this is the ultimate goal.
Living an eternity-focused life helps me to remember that my purpose in this life is point others to Christ by seeking Him. And guess what? We can each do this, regardless of our relationship status.
So, friends, what about you?
Maybe you’re single and feeling incomplete—seek Him.
Maybe you’re married and still feeling lonely—seek Him.
Maybe you’re single and living life for you—seek Him.
Maybe you’re married and idolizing your spouse—seek Him.
God can use you no matter what your relationship status is. He is better than an earthly relationship, so whatever situation you currently find yourself in today, let’s choose to live in light of eternity. Choose to point others to Him. Join me in seeking Him.
Noelle is a Spanish and English teacher in Lafayette, Indiana. She loves using her classroom as a way to celebrate diversity in cultures, the unity the body of Christ, and the beauty of languages. She is also currently studying to obtain her M.S.Ed. in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education. In her free time, she enjoys serving as a youth group leader, playing card games and board games, leading mission trips, and adventuring with family and friends (locally, nationally, and internationally). She loves conversing about the topic of singleness and welcomes any questions or thoughts you may have. Feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or through instagram @nhaynie34.