Title: The 11 Myths Of Singleness
Artwork by: YMI
Description: “She’s too fussy, that’s why she’s still single”, “He’s a bit of an oddball, that’s why he’s still single”, “You’re married to your job, that’s why you’re still single”.
Living as a single in a society that prizes finding “true love” and “the one” can be challenging. And hearing such unhelpful remarks can impact the way we view singleness (a sad status to be scrubbed away at once), and if we are single, the way we view ourselves (a fussy odd-ball married to their job, so destined to be lonely forever).
But ultimately, our worth is not reliant on our marital status, but in the One who has redeemed us and calls us His beloved (Ephesians 1:6).
This Single’s Day, come with us as we debunk the 11 myths about singleness and help each other rethink how we can better relate to singles in our midst, and encourage each other to pursue the identity that matters most.
If you’re single, chances are you’ve heard this sentence uttered one too many times: “You’re too fussy, that’s why you’re still single.”
While some might be taking the time to prayerfully select a future spouse, not all singles are hooked up in trying to find a partner. They could have other priorities in their lives at the moment.
Perhaps, like Paul, they’re concerning themselves ”with the Lord’s affairs—how they can please the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:32), or establishing a career after years of hard work at University, or spending time exploring what God would like to have them do with their lives.
So, the next time you interact with someone who is single, why not show some interest in what motivates them, or what they’re doing with their lives? It’s a great way of showing they’re more than just their status.
You’ve seen it in the eyes of your relatives or colleagues as they eye your single cousin or workmate over their cup of tea. “The reason she’s still single,” they say as they waggle their eyebrows, “is because there’s something wrong with her. She’s a bit dysfunctional. Otherwise, surely she’d be married by now.”
But singles are no more broken or in need of Jesus than their peers who are married or dating.
Brokenness exists in every one of us, married or otherwise, and there’s only one person who is able to redeem us from our brokenness—Jesus.
“The gift of singleness” is probably another well-worn phrase you are super tired of hearing.
While “the gift of singleness” has a nice ring to it (ooh, like a nice present!), and sounds rather biblical when Paul talks about “one has this gift, another has that” (1 Corinthians 7:7),the gift Paul talks about isn’t a special limited-edition gift given to a select few so they can handle singleness.
American preacher and theologian Tim Keller said: “Paul always uses the word ‘gift’ to mean an ability God gives to build others up. Paul is not speaking…of some kind of elusive, stress-free state”. The ‘gift’ Paul talks about is the ability and freedom a single person has to serve God in ways a married person doesn’t.”
So, if you’re currently single, how are you using this time to build up not just your bank account or career, but others in the kingdom? And if you’re married or dating, how are you encouraging and building up the singles in your midst?
Your sister got hitched last year, and now your best friend’s just announced her engagement. You’re now beginning to feel like not only has God forgotten you, but He’s deliberately withholding something good from you.
It can seem like God is ignoring us when our desires go unmet and prayers unanswered. And resentment can soon set in when we start believing the lie that God’s withholding good things from us.
But God is a good and generous Father. Scripture says every good and perfect gift comes from Him, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17). He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3) and has also freely given us His very best gift—His son (Romans 8:32). God is not withholding good things from us, He simply has our best interest at heart.
A family of your own. As a single person, these words can conjure up a myriad of feelings, from a deep yearning to have a family to call your own, to a sense of failure at having reached a certain age and still without “your own” family, or maybe you’re feeling dejected by how overwhelmingly unattainable it all is.
However, a family can be more than just the micro-family (parents plus children) model that is sold to us by society. Family comes in various forms, such as the close-knit friendships formed at your workplace or church, or perhaps being the cool aunty or uncle to your nieces and nephews.
And as Christians, we’re a part of God’s family (Romans 9:8, 1 John 3:1-2), and there’s great joy in knowing we’re His children. So let’s help each other embrace the family God has given us, and do what families do best—love and encourage one another through different seasons and challenges in life.
Whenever we think of intimacy, we tend to only focus on the physical aspect of it, forgetting that it also encompasses the emotional side.
We’d be naive to think that physical intimacy alone is what keeps a marriage going or what fulfills us entirely. The lives of the Apostle Paul and Jesus Himself shows us that singles can live equally fulfilling lives—without physical intimacy—by investing in the other relationships God has given them. And these relationships we invest in are not second-best, deserving less of our commitment and attention.
Consider the meaningful and close-knit friendship that David and Jonathan had with each other, among other forms of worthy relationships (1 Samuel 18:1-3)! And look how the Bible extols the virtue of true friendship in John 15:13, “ Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
“And they lived happily ever after.” From a young age, we’re fed this lie that life can only be complete, perfect, and happy when it’s spent in the arms of someone you love, who would travel to the ends of the earth for you. And we see this lie being perpetuated everywhere as we grow older—in our books, movies, and even on our personal social media feeds. So if you don’t have a special someone in your life, it’s easy to feel like you’re missing out.
But in the Bible, we see Jesus painting a much more comprehensive picture about how the goal of marriage is to point us to a bigger picture: Christ’s relationship with the church. It’s through this relationship that we see God meeting our most fundamental needs as humans—the need for a Savior who has given up His life for us that we may be rescued from the clutches of sin, and won’t miss out on the most important treasure of this life: an eternity lived in God’s presence.
“Stop working so hard, how are you ever going to have time to date?” You’ve heard this refrain countless times. It may be true that some singles have been focusing on growing their career, but that doesn’t mean they’ve been putting other aspects of their lives on hold or letting their singleness stop them in their tracks.
It’s easy to attribute “being too busy” as the reason why our single friends have not yet found their other half, especially if they’re spending more time at work than us.
But perhaps they have been actively trying to meet new people in their own time—they just haven’t found someone they’ve been able to connect with at a deeper level, or told you about it. Maybe next time when you have a conversation with them, encourage them to share about other aspects of their lives, and listen intently to what their passions and concerns are.
The look on their faces tells you that they disapprove of your action or response. More than that, you realize that their disapproval runs deeper. You noticed, even without them uttering a word, that they have pegged your actions as the reason why you remain single.
Being single is not a litmus test of someone’s character any more than it says something about who they are. Whether or not someone is single or in a relationship, it is only in Christ that we exhibit the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) that directly informs our character.
In earnest, you were quick to listen and slow to speak, offering up advice only when it is appropriate. Still, your counsel was not appreciated and even dismissed! Your friend says, “I am in a different station of life than you. Things are different when you’re single.”
Those who are single may be overlooked, scrutinized, or condescended; a single person may struggle to have the kind of credibility as someone who is in a relationship.
Yet, being single does not necessarily speak about how wise or virtuous a person is. Wisdom and understanding comes not from experience but from fearing God (Proverbs 9:10). So if you’re looking for someone to learn from, look for someone who seeks to please God in what they do, not just someone who has accumulated lots of life experience!
You have imagined yourself to be happily married by this age. You feel a sense of bewilderment about your current singlehood. Maybe even considered yourself to have failed spectacularly if you cannot even have this aspect of your life sorted.
Being married is great. But marriage was never meant to be counted as either success or failure. Single or married, we are all called to run the race to receive the crown of life from Jesus. If there is then any measure of true success, it is to run this race with endurance so that we may attain what Christ has in store for us.
So if you’re feeling discouraged or despondent about where you’re at in life, know that God will give you what you need to run your race well, and to live a life that will glorify Him!
When we think of singleness and being single, we picture ourselves growing old and lonely, with no one for company. It’s often this very fear that keeps most singles up at night as they swipe their dating app in hopes of meeting the “right” person.
But there’s no need to be afraid of growing old and lonely because God has promised that He’ll take care of us, “even in your old age and gray hairs, I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (Isaiah 46:4) and that’s a promise we can hold on to.