By Felicia Rose
Is being single really all that great? And if it is, why then does most everyone end up married? The Bible says that God created man to leave his family and become one flesh with a woman. But if marriage were really a manifest destiny, then why would Paul urge people to remain single if they can?
A lot could be said to support the efficacy of staying single or being married, but in the end, it’s not an either/or issue for any of us. God has a perfect will for our lives and for some, it includes marriage, for others, it does not. But for all of us, God wills a season of being single – even if it’s just until we turn legal age to marry! So the question is not “Should I remain single?” but “What does God want to accomplish in my single years – however few or many they might be?”
There are many pros to being single, but most of the ones that readily come to mind, and that you might find in some mainstream magazine are not really as advantageous as they seem. In fact, most of them are short-term gains at the expense of future happiness. For instance, some might say advantages of being single are having total control over your own downtime, having your own space, keeping your own schedule, spending your money the way you want, not having to answer to anyone else, being able to have a totally girly bathroom and bedroom and the list goes on. Yes, being single brings freedom that one simply cannot know while being in a relationship. However, all of these “freedoms” really just boil down to the freedom to be more selfish, and therefore, are not conducive to our number one goal as disciples of Christ: becoming more like Him. And in a more practical application, they are counterproductive to developing the character that will help us be successful as wives and mothers, in the likely event those things happen for us.
Dig deeper and we can identify the true pros of being single: the important work for God’s glory that we can accomplish more effectively as singles than as wives or mothers. There are spiritual benefits to staying single. Singles often have more time to dedicate to personal spiritual growth, which will have life-long benefits. Many of us, unfortunately, arrive at adulthood with a fair amount of baggage that requires time, reflection and sometimes counseling to work through. Single years are great for unpacking our bags! The unencumbered years are also the best for doing something radical for God’s kingdom, like foreign missions. The extra time in our social calendar may be placed there by God to direct us to a ministry He wants us to commit to before we commit to marriage. Even when we just can’t bring ourselves to like our single status, God can be growing and refining our character through developing in us trust, obedience, patience and joy in all circumstances.
I am 24 years old and single. Not only am I single, but I am showing no signs of my status changing anytime soon. Some would hesitate at that thought but I embrace it! It is incredible the freedom that I have to do God’s work. Because I have stayed single I have grown in God in a way that never would have happened otherwise. Because I have no husband, no earthly companion, I have to rely on God to fill that place. I find comfort, passion, hope, supply, and an overwhelming love with God. God, I have learned, loves me so much more than a man ever could. God also knows how to romance a women and He fills our hearts with a flame for life that no man would ever ignite, at least not long-term anyway.
Having the ability to do as God calls without other considerations is one of the most important reasons to stay single. Most people fumble through their first few years as an adult. Many don’t know exactly what they want to do, and adulthood does not come naturally. It takes time to build a successful foundation for a prosperous future. Once that foundation is set, which could take several years, then it’s time to listen to God’s voice for life direction.
You have probably known someone who got an amazing job or ministry offer but had to turn it down because of a relationship – it would take her away from a boyfriend or she stayed put because her husband had a good job. These things can and do happen on a daily basis. Are these women missing God’s best for their lives because they rushed into or forced a relationship for fear of being single? Marriage when done too soon and at an ill-prepared stage in life can have devastating results on a person’s life in many areas, but most importantly in spiritual development. However, marriage done in God’s time can be one of the happiest, most joyous occasions of a person’s life and provide a joy that lasts a lifetime! And yet retrospective realization that we jumped the gun on marriage is not excuse to ditch it. God hates divorce, the Bible says just that, and so once the commitment is made, it is imperative to make it work.
Whether you are reading bridal magazines despite not having been on a date in six months, or wearing white is not even on your radar screen, you can experience joy and satisfaction being single. Embrace your walk with God! Embrace the good freedoms of being single and learn to love every minute of it! You won’t know what you missed until you take the chance to receive it!
Recently graduated from college, Felicia Rose works in social services. She is a spirited person who loves working with others and participating in outdoor activities such as hiking, putt-putting, and camping. She also enjoys settling down to a good book on rainy days.
By Felicia Rose