It is Valentine’s Day and my friend’s just broken up with her boyfriend. And there’s nothing worse except for being alone on Christmas, and Hallmark has this way of isolating the wounded.
I write my friend, and I tell her, Take good care of yourself today. Because you are so very special. You are special, not because of any man, but because of YOU. You are an eternal creature who has been created for a divine purpose.
The enemy wants to distract you, to make you think that you’re less because you’re single.
But you aren’t. You are only more powerful because your heart is solely focused on Jesus.
I haven’t been single for fifteen years but I know I’m distracted. I know marriage, and human love, does that. I fight to keep my focus on Jesus but I’ve got this man to serve and my children and at the end of the day, sometimes the most God gets is a few well-meaning sentences dribbling from my mouth onto my pillow as I fall asleep. My hand resting between two translucent pages of Scripture.
But when I was single, I was on fire. I would spend hours praying.
I went on mission trips to the Middle East and I walked and breathed Jesus.
Of course, there was the constant distraction, then, of marriage, too, just in a different way. The wondering If, and When, and How, and Who.
But imagine if we did trust that God cared even about our love life? If we trusted it so bad and so hard and so fast that we didn’t let our singleness be a crutch, but instead, flourished in it? Celebrated it?
I have a 52-year-old single friend. She’s a virgin. I’m pretty sure she’s the last virgin standing, and she said so herself. And she is STUNNING and funny and successful, yet, when people find out she’s single, they look her up and down and say stupid things like, “But you SEEM normal enough.”
When I told my mum about my friend, and how she was single, my mum’s first reaction was “Oh, what a shame.”
NO! I told her. It’s not a shame! Marriage is not some destination we’re all meant to reach… It’s one possible route. Singleness is another.
And whether you’re married or single, when you thrive where you are, it’s a beautiful thing.
My friend is exactly where she is meant to be, doing what she needs to do. Not only is she a successful psychologist, but she meets monthly with fathers of daughters in her living room, all of these married men gathered around, and she’s mentoring them in something called The Abba Project. She still wants to get married, but she’s letting God do the looking, while she looks at God.
Singleness is not something to be ashamed of.
And it’s not something to be afraid of.
God made Adam single. And he made him out of dirt.
Later on, he made Eve from Adam’s rib.
Don’t you think he’s still creating helpers for us, when we need them? Still working in miraculous ways to fill our loneliness? That set us with the men and women we’re meant to be with?
Maybe it’s friendship. Maybe it’s marriage. But he hasn’t left us alone.
In the meantime, trusting that he knows our needs, can we cast off society’s stereotypes, the shame and the pressure and the judgment, and live FULLY in our own bodies, not needing any other human to make us complete, trusting that if Jesus could do this life alone, we can too?
[Photo: bortescristian, Creative Commons]