Public Service Announcement: Singleness is not a Disease
Lately, I have been getting baraged by people wanting to talk about my relationship status. It started with my well-meaning Father. "Theresa, tell me what is going on in your life? Are you seeing anyone?" My response, "Nope." His reply, "Well, are you even making an effort?" Then there was my client at work, a man in his mid to late fifties. "What is the deal? When are you going to find a husband?" How I would have liked to respond, "Sir. How is that any of your business?" Then there was one of the youth in our youth group. "Theresa, are you dating anyone?" "Nope." "Is that because you don't want to?" "Nope." "Have you ever thought of signing up for Christian Mingle? Desperate times call for desperate measures." I can go on with the stories, but I won't. I would just like to put it out there that singleness is not a disease. The way some people talk about being single in your twenties and the concerned looks I get from people make me want to say, "Look. I'm single. I'm not missing a limb or any vital organs." I find this especially frustrating as a woman, because the advice I get so often from people is that I need to do something about my relationship status. I need to make an effort. I need to find my husband. I need to sign up for online dating or go to "desperate measures." The truth is the only thing I feel compelled to do is to wait on the Lord and to put Jesus first in my life. I believe that as I pursue Jesus with my whole heart that He will lead the right man to step up to the plate in his perfect timing. Crazy concept, I know. The last thing I want to do is to do anything out of a sense of "desperation. " When you know Jesus, feeling desperate doesn't have to be a thing. He's got this. You can relax.
Lately, Jesus has been speaking to me alot about who I am in Him. As a little girl, I wanted to be a princess. As an adult, I have to say, I still desire to be treated like a princess. Ladies, who doesn't? Jesus has shown me that in His eyes a princess is what I am. I am a daughter of the one true King. In his blog, Brett Shoemaker writes a letter to his future wife. Below is an excerpt from this letter:
You’re a princess worth fighting for. I said “princess.” You know, the princess you always wanted to be as a little girl? Yep, that’s you! But here is the deal, if you are a princess, you have to act like a princess. The story goes something like, “The princess waits high up in her castle waiting to be rescued by her Prince Charming (thats me). This ‘prince’ has to cross the treacherous lands, fight all the battles, storm the castle, slay the dragon and THEN he gets the princess.” It’s a pretty cool story, really. Prince Charming doesn’t just walk up to the castle doors, spit a little game, and off they go to happy ever after. You’re a PRINCESS. You’re worthy of a fight. If you give yourself to someone who isn’t willing to fight for you, he isn’t worthy to be with you. Your prince charming isn’t going to fight to take your purity, he is going to fight to protect it.
I read this years ago and have saved it to this day, because it serves as a reminder of what I am after and what God desires for me. This is not to say that a future relationship will ever be a perfect fairy tale, but the concept of waiting for the man God has for me to pursue me and to be willing to fight for me is defintiely something I am holding on to.
Nowadays, I feel like so often women are expected to lay down their tiaras, to leave the castle and to become the huntress. We are fed messages that encourage us to do whatever it takes to snag a man and to do whatever is in our power to keep him. If we are single, it must be because we are not doing enough, putting ourselves out there or sending the right signals. I am so not about that life. In reality, I believe that God orchestrates the seasons of our lives. Seasons of singleness serve a purpose. A really good purpose at that! God uses singleness to help us to discover our identity in Him, to help us discover our personal giftings, passions and calling and to help us to mature into the men and women of God that He has called us to be. In our singleness, God teaches us valuable lessons that will carry over into the next season of our lives, through our relationship with Him. And let's face it, we have freedom in our single lives that we simply will not have in our married lives. Freedom to chase our dreams. Freedom to travel. Freedom to spend our time doing what we enjoy. And most importantly, we have the freedom to make Jesus our singular focus. We can pursue Him without the pressures that come from caring for a spouse and children...and that is pretty special! As Paul writes in 1 Cor. 7:32-34, "An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord's work and thinking how to please him. But a married man has to think about earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided."
I love what my best friend says when asked about her relationship status. She usually responds, "I'm just over here living my life like it's golden." To my fellow single ladies (and to you single guys as well), let's do the same. Let's live our lives like their golden. Singleness isn't a disease. It's an opportunity.