Saturday, February 13, 2016

All the single ladies, all the single ladies (and gentlemen, too)

The witch cackles maliciously. Her victim is strapped to a chair in front of her, helpless, with tears dripping down her cheeks.
"I curse you!" screeches the witch. "I curse you with everlasting singleness!"
"Nooooo!" screams the victim.

I've never had a witch curse me, but I have noticed that our over-romanticized culture often views being single as a curse.
Countless books, movies, television shows, and other media tell women that they shouldn't feel happy and fulfilled unless they are loved by a man. Even stories with the so-called "strong female character" broadcast this message.

Tauriel, from The Hobbit movies, is an excellent example of this. She was added into the movies because The Hobbit book has no female characters, and Peter Jackson wanted to represent women in his film.
He made Tauriel into a strong, independent Elf, and a great fighter. But, instead of making her character interesting by giving her an individual storyline, Peter Jackson decided to make her the center of a love-triangle. As a result, she is not remembered as a capable captain of Thranduil's guard, but is, instead, remembered for falling in love with a dreaded Dwarf.

In The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, the four main characters are strong women, but they all fall in love. In fact, I can't think about Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter without thinking of their boyfriends as well.
This is Biblical, I suppose, as Genesis 2:24 says that when we get married, we become "one flesh." When we marry, we become a new being: instead of two, there is one.
Being single, however, does not mean that we are one half of a two-piece puzzle that can only be completed if we find the piece that fits perfectly with ourselves.

Marriage is beneficial: it creates a special intimacy between two people (physical, emotional, and mental), it leads to children and fulfills the command to "be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:28), and it is an illustration of Christ's relationship with the church (Ephesians 5:21-33).
But being single has advantages, too: there can be a higher allowance of risk in decisions because you don't have a family to care for, there is more freedom to pursue hobbies or a career, and, most importantly, you can devote yourself "to the Lord in both body and spirit" (1 Corinthians 7:34).
In 1 Corinthians 7:35, Paul says that the right way to live is in "undivided devotion to the Lord." It is easier to achieve this when you are single because your interests are not divided between the Lord and your spouse (1 Corinthians 7:32-35).
Paul also says, however, that it is "better to marry than to burn with passion" (1 Corinthians 7:9 and 36).

Marriage is a wonderful, God-given gift, but marriage is not in God's plan for everyone; or, maybe, marriage is not in God's plan for you right now. Take comfort that God formed you in your mother's womb (Psalm 139:13). Certainly, someone who took the time to form each one of us has a plan for each one of us. Whether that plan contains marriage or not, we can trust that everything will work together for the good of God's ultimate plan (Romans 8:28).

I know that being single is hard, especially when the media tells us that romantic relationships lead to ultimate happiness, but being single does not mean that you are "forever alone." Platonic relationships can be fulfilling. I encourage you, if you are feeling alone, to grow your relationship with friends and family, and to find a supportive church family.
Additionally, I encourage you to use your time as a single man or woman to refine your God-given talents, to use those talents to glorify God, and to grow closer in relationship with God by spending meaningful and focused time reading the Bible and praying every day.


  1. Yes, we need to learn to be content in our singleness. Our culture tells us that we can only be fulfilled by our soulmate, which is a lie. Only God can fulfill us! We should definitely use our time of singleness to grow closer to Him.
    I love this post!

  2. Great post, Abbey. I appreciate all you say, and agree that it is unfortunate that our society shows you only "complete" when in a relationship. My favorite example of this is Merril - I have never viewed her as anything but a fully complete, whole, godly woman! I'm always amazed that she gave up a relationship to serve in Haiti!

    1. I was thinking of Merril as I wrote this post! She's an amazing woman.