latrademark asked: Unka Glen! So I’m a gal in this faith thing for the long haul, and I’m set on living out my time of singleness for as long as God would have me. I’m fully open to marriage and kids, but I’m flexible. Since committing that to the Lord last year, it’s starting to feel like most advice in the church to youth/women ends in the assumption of marriage. And well, I know marriage isn’t for everyone (1 Cor 7). I guess I’m wondering if you can discuss the sweet stuff of singleness?
Unka Glen answered: Well, let’s avoid becoming something like that SNL skit where they have the talk show for ladies called “Single and LOVING IT!”, you know the one where they’re all in denial until it breaks down and one of the characters, starts yelling, “I need a man to get on me now!”
You’re right that marriage isn’t for everyone, but it is for about 99.9% of us, so it does make good solid sense to prepare for it, and to allow yourself to want it, as it’s overwhelmingly likely to happen. I was firmly determined to never get married, and to be honest, I still can’t tell you what happened. I’m pretty sure it involved some kind of Christian lady voodoo.
But you make a good point, in that it’s important to live a full, rich, and fulfilling single life. In many respects, part of what made my marriage satisfying is that I had sucked all the joy there was out of singleness. I wouldn’t admit it at the time, but part of me was really ready to have a female roommate. They really smell a whole lot better.
But here are the joys of the single life that you’ll want to enjoy while you can:
— Freedom. When you’re married, everything is a negotiation, everything is a two person operation. When I was single and wanted to go eat, I would think about what I wanted to eat for about 30 seconds, and then I would go. Now it involves considering several options, consulting websites, reading reviews, going through coupons, you name it. Togetherness is complicated.
— Financial independence. When you’re married you likewise need to negotiate all kinds of expenses. Sometimes your spouse doesn’t understand that when the flat screen TV is $200 off, it’s like they’re giving us $200, and how can you turn that down?
— Identity. Perhaps the most important thing for you to learn about in your single life is yourself. To learn who God made you to be, to discover your gifts and your passions, and to see all this for yourself. Otherwise, you let other people fill in the gaps, usually in a way that benefits them, and then you spend all your time trying to live up to who other people say you are.
— Calling. A lot of single people feel like they don’t want to get a sense of their calling until they’re married, and that’s a mistake. God may call you to something entirely new when you’re married, but something you do now could be the perfect thing to prepare you for that other calling. Besides, a woman on the front lines, doing her thing… I’m just saying, to the right kind of guy, mmm, yes, that’s a turn-on.
— Spiritual development. As much as the future will hold a spouse who will help you in your walk, the most important thing for now is to be able to stand on your own two feet spiritually speaking. That way your future spouse is the icing on the cake.
In all these things the more solid and rich and full your single life is, the more healthy your marriage will be. Every era of life has its own unique joys and passions, it’s all an adventure. So travel, try something new, buy that dress that costs a little too much, dance, take a cruise and meet someone handsome and make eyes at each other and have conversations with his cute accent and give him a little kiss to remember you by, and then go home and put on the Grease soundtrack and sing Summer Lovin’ (tell me more, tell me more).
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