You guys. I have so, so many half-written blog posts just idling in my drafts folder. I haven’t published or worked on them because they’re almost all variations of a theme — singleness. And I don’t want to be that lady who is obsessed with being single, obsessed with finding a husband, obsessed with defining myself by my marital status (or lack thereof).
But the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced I need to be brave and share those thoughts. A couple of reasons come to mind:
1. The blogosphere that I love truly, madly and deeply seems comprised mainly of mommy blogs (which I do enjoy reading!), food/decorating blogs or general “Christian living” blogs. They’re all good and feed my soul and my brain in different ways, but there seems a dearth of resources for singles — at least for resources that don’t try so hard to convince me that being single in my 30s is Living. My. Best. Life. Now!
Oh, I’ve stumbled across a few here and there. Desiring God and The Gospel Coalition sometimes have good resources for singles. For single women in particular, Fabs Harford is my new favorite because she’s faithful in pointing all women — single, married, engaged, widowed, whoever — toward our first Love, Jesus. I often read and re-read her posts when I’m in need of some perspective. And yesterday, I stumbled across this series of blog posts on singleness by Gimme Some Oven.
So, people are talking about singleness, and that’s good! I just don’t know if we’re talking about it enough, or with the right audiences. We singles talk to each other, but in my experience, the church — comprised mainly of married couples and families — seems like it doesn’t know what to do with us post-30 singles. I have felt lonelier as a single at church than as a single among my married and coupled-off friends who don’t go to church. I hope by shedding a little light here and there, we all, as the body of Christ, might learn together how to love each other well.
2. This is just where I’m at in my life right now. I realize the longing for marriage and a family might sound trivial to someone starving in Africa or feeling trapped in an abusive or loveless relationship. And in light of eternity, maybe my longing is trivial. I sometimes wish I could flip a switch and get over it already, ma’am. But if the writer’s decree is to “write what you know,” then friends, this is what I know right now. I know nothing of diaper creams or the best light for photographing food. But I am certain there is a wealth of lessons to be learned and endured during this single season, so I deal with it the only way I know how — by writing about it.
Putting Sex in Perspective
Something that gave me confidence to blog this morning was a thoughtful post by Kevin DeYoung: Putting Sex in Perspective. He writes mainly to Christians who experience same-sex attraction, but it was good for this heterosexual single Christian’s heart as well. I encourage you to read the whole thing, but a few points stood out to me and next thing I knew, I was mentally composing a blog post before I even got out of bed:
1. “Dying to self is the duty of every follower of Christ … We all long for creation to be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God (v. 21). This does not minimize the struggle of those who experience same-sex attraction [or late-onset singleness!], but it is does maximize the ways in which we are more alike than different.”
2. “Singleness … does not mean you must live alone, die alone, never hold a hand, never have a hug, and never know the touch of another human being … Perhaps single is not even the best term for those whom we expect live a full life in the midst of friends and colaborers. If God sets the lonely in families, so should we (Ps. 68:6 NIV).”
3. “But, of course, none of this can be possible without uprooting the idolatry of the nuclear family, which holds sway in many conservative churches … A spouse and a minivan full of kids on the way to Disney World is a sweet gift and a terrible god. If everything in Christian community revolves around being married with children, we should not be surprised when singleness sounds like a death sentence.”
4. “In the Christian vision of heaven, there is no marriage in the blessed life to come (Luke 20:34-35). Marital intimacy is but a shadow of a brighter, more glorious reality, the marriage of Jesus Christ to his bride, the church (Rev. 19:6-8). If sexual intimacy is nothing up there, how can we make it to be everything down here?”
Even if you’re not single, even if I’m not married, we’re all in this together. What would you add to the list above? What are some other practical ways that people who are married and people who are single can love each other well, especially within the church context? What do we each need to know about the other?
I don’t have all the answers … but I hope the questions take us to a place of sweeter fellowship and a greater grasp of the tender mercy of our God.