"You should be married by now with the way you cook."
"Why can't you [do this]? It's not like you have a husband or family waiting for you."
"You have too much time on your hands. We should pray for a husband for you."
A long distant friend and I were sharing "singleness war stories" yesterday evening. Above are just a few of the better comments that I've been subjected to most recently in regards to my singleness. She totally topped me though. My friend was a radio DJ at the time when she received a 10 page letter from a man who listened to her station in a max security prison. He was in there for murdering his wife. The prisoner wanted to make sure she would get married, so he drew a flow chart for her, showing her the areas in her life where she needed to lower her standards in order to get a date. What really upset her were the married people who defended this guy. I don't blame her for being upset. The flow chart is something new and rather creative...so I told her I'd give the guy points for that ;-)!
We both came to the conclusion that we needed to write a book called, "What (Some) Married People Need To Know About Being Single." I truly believe most comments from married people stem from a desire to do good. I hear the same phrase from them over and over, "I just want you to be happy." Unfortunately, they're making an assumption that because they're happy and married, then we must be unhappy in our singleness.
I threw this question out on Facebook, "What do you wish married people would get about your singleness?" Most of the responses mirrored my own thoughts.
I wish (some) married people would understand that singleness isn't a problem that needs fixing.
Sure, I have a desire to be married and have children.
Sure, I feel quite a lot of pressure because I'm one of the last of my friends to get married.
Sure, I struggle with the fact that I'm the same age my mother was when she had my little brother.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD. Jeremiah 29:11-14
I don't recall expressing to others that I'm unhappy with my singleness, so I'm not sure why people feel the need to take it upon themselves to fix something that isn't broken. I appreciate my married friends' concern, but their desire to see me "happy" often has the opposite effect. It leads me to discontentment because they're reminding me of something that I don't have and would love to have. It also conveys to me that I'm not good enough or I'm not complete because I don't have a spouse. I'd much rather let God take care of matching me with a mate. God's already said he's got my life planned out...and it may not include a spouse...I'd rather stick with His plan.
I wish (some) married people would understand that God has kept me single for a purpose.
God is giving me unbelievable opportunities to do something my married friends can't do: devote myself entirely and completely to Him.
An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 7:34-35
I have the rare opportunity to talk to thousands upon thousands of people every day. Why God allows me to do this, I don't know...but I'm grateful. The life I'm currently living was never on my radar screen. But God has taken this homeschooled Arbutus girl who loves her hairspray and never went to school for radio and has placed her at one of the most incredible Christian radio stations. I never know each day who I'll have the opportunity to talk to, what I might say that will offer encouragement to someone, or even share someone else's story to encourage others. God has a will and a purpose for each of our lives. God uses each of us where we are - single or married. Right now, His purpose for me is to be doing what I'm doing. He's done a great job with my life so far; I don't think He needs any additional help from me or anyone else.
I wish (some) married people would understand that they can still associate with single people.
It's nice to be included in activities. It's even nicer when the single people are invited to participate and not be called upon as the babysitter. We appreciate married people being concerned that we might be uncomfortable, but why not let us decide that for ourselves? If singles are uncomfortable, then maybe there's a little work that needs to be done in our hearts. One of the hardest things for a single person is to "lose" a friend to marriage. Singles understand the new responsibilities their former single friend now has, but the addition of a wedding ring shouldn't preclude friends from getting together and spending time with one another.
So how about you? What do YOU wish married people would get about being single? Being single has been an unexpected blessing to me. In my own desire to be married God has reminded me of something: marriage isn't promised to any of us. It's not a reward for attaining a special level of Christianity. At the end of our life, our reward isn't a husband (or wife) or having children. Our reward is eternity with Jesus. If I'm not happy as a single person, then there's no way marriage will solve that. True contentment - single or married - lies in Christ.
(P.S. I know not every single/married person will agree, so feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section!)