I am 31 and single, and I am burdened for you.
You who wake up on both sides of the bed every morning. You who sit alone, eat alone, weep alone, laugh alone, live each day alone.
You who continue to check the dreaded marital-status box – single. I write to you.
Not as one who has anything new to say, and not as one who has conquered all the struggles. None of that. Just one who is living out the daily sorrows and joys of this beautiful, difficult thing called “singleness,” and who prays to respond, “Thank you, Lord,” with each passing day.
In all I have learned and am learning as a 31-and-single woman, these three things shine brightest. These three things have been true gifts in singleness.
1. Time. Though there be 24 hours in a day equally entrusted to every living being on the planet, let’s be real. Singles have more of it than their wedded friends. Set a countdown to your potential pending wedding date, and let the race begin. How much can you accomplish before your single days are through?
2. Influence. Singleness is great because I can travel, or splurge, or sit around and do nothing at all. Or . . . I can search for people to love. And I can so fill those empty, carefree hours and days and weeks with mercy assignments and compassion plans. And pretty soon, I have “children.” People who need a meal, a ride, a friend, a listening ear, a word of Truth. People who need just weak, solitary, unattached me. If I can be anything at all, I can be that.
3. Undivided devotion. Did you say you have free time and a desire to influence? Then smother yourself in Word. See, single people can actually do that. Married people can, too, but I’ve seen the difference, and it is astounding. I can sit for an hour straight and pore over Scripture. I can lead multiple Bible studies a week. I can do all of that and wonder what the big deal is, while young mama of 2, or 4, or 10 is plumb wore out, and distracted, and doing good to snatch a few Bible verses on her way to bed. Now, I’d sure love to be that frazzled mama of 10, but I’ve come to praise Jesus for the equal beauty of undivided devotion to the Lord and his Word. And friends, the time is now.
My single days may not be forever, but my single days are now.
And this is where I’m burdened for you.
I see you worrying over what the future may hold, and I want to say: But what about today?
I see you filling your moments with less-than-best, and I want to say: Look what you could be doing!
I see your eyes turn inward as you walk past life-changing opportunities dressed in rags, and I want to say: If only you knew what you’re missing . . .
I see you waiting for singleness to leave so you can “live,” and I want to say: Yeah, well, life just happened while you were waiting.
I see you praying for and longing for the gift of marriage. I get it. I’m right there with you. But your single days may not be forever. And in those precious, long days and years which promise no end in sight, can be found great and innumerable joys.
Singleness done right means you don’t have to sit alone, eat alone, weep alone, laugh alone, or live such beautiful, difficult days alone. You can wake up on both sides of the bed to vision and perspective and Word-smothered songs. You can enjoy full days nurturing dear souls whose weaknesses and strengths may or may not be anything like your own. And you can check that marital-status box without an ounce of dread, knowing that the King who has brought you to this moment will carry you, and will keep you, and will now and always give you great joy in the journey.
And so my plea is this: Your single days may not be forever, but your single days are now. Live them well.
I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. The unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 7:32-35
[image credit: unsplash.com]