Okay, maybe I’m a really big jerk, but I just have to ask, what if you never get married?
Ahhhhh- singleness and the Church.
I remember being encouraged to write letters to my future husband. It came up multiple times throughout the 6 years I spent in my church’s youth group. I remember thinking that sounds nice and romantic and fairy-tale-esque. And then I remember thinking, what if I never get married? What if there is no future husband?
What a horrible thought, right? A young Christian girl who believes that she may not get married?!
There were primarily two reasons for my thinking, one healthy and the other not so much.
On the one hand, I knew a few single older women. There were a couple of women in my church who were in their 80’s and had been single their whole lives. I had a couple of Sunday school teachers who were single and in their 30’s. Even as I got older, 3 of my favorite women and role models in my church were in their mid to late 20’s and, oh my goodness, were single!
On the other not-so-healthy hand, I didn’t have a very positive view of men and of dating or marriage relationships so you can bet your grandmother’s wedding ring that I did not want to get married.
Irregardless of my personal issues, I think the Church does an awful job (generally speaking) of “dealing” with singles for a few reasons. There are often these ideas endorsed by the Church that:
- One cannot be sexually fulfilled unless you’re married and having sex.
- Marriage is God’s ultimate design for human relationships.
- Females are not worthy contributors to the church (and potentially society) unless they’re married.
Paul speaks very highly of singles in 1 Corinthians chapter 7. It seems to me that the Church has lost this view of singleness.
32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
I’m sure there are many other reasons that Churches struggle with singles. What would you add to the list? If you’re single, what’s your experience been like in the Church?
Bringing it full circle, what do you think about the idea of girls writing letters to their future husbands?