I’m a single female in my late 20s. Since I have never been married, I have heard a lot of clichés in my life. It’s not that I don’t want to be married. It’s just that God hasn’t put that in the cards for me, at least not yet.
But it’s funny how much people feel the need to encourage me with, “It’ll happen when you least expect it,” or “I don’t get it; you’re so pretty.” Trust me, I’ve heard it all. I understand that they are trying to be supportive and encouraging when they say those things, but most of the time, it hurts instead of helps. So, there are two things you need to realize about singleness and clichés.
Understanding the Gift of Singleness
First, singleness is a gift. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 7:7 that singleness and marriage are both gifts from God for which we should be grateful. When people ask me why I am not dating anyone, they are assuming that I want to or need to date someone. God has gifted some people with singleness, and it should be celebrated just as marriage is celebrated.
God uses all people regardless of their marital status. Therefore, we should not assume that everyone wants to be married or try to make people feel like they should be married. God has given some the gift of singleness and others the gift of marriage. Both are wonderful gifts that can be used to glorify God. Each has their own joys and hardships, but neither is better than the other.
Second, all people, married and single, are complete through Christ. When people start saying things like, “Why don’t you have a boyfriend? You’re so great,” or “God’s trying to teach you something, and then He will bring you a spouse,” or “You won’t understand until you’re married,” (yes, all things I have actually heard from others), they imply that I am missing something or that something is wrong with me.
I will not be complete once I get married. I will not be complete once I have kids. I’m not complete by being single. I am complete through Christ. That’s it, the end. We are all on equal footing here. We all worship and love the same God, the God of the universe. A God who gave us singleness and marriage. A God whose love is greater than our relationship status.
It’s so easy to get caught up in finding our value in our marital status, that somehow if you’re married then you’re “normal” and “complete.” Our culture sends this message. And oftentimes, these clichés imply that.
I understand that most people say things that are often clichés with the best intentions. They are trying to be helpful and encouraging, but there’s a better way to encourage. It is important to tell single people that you know it can be lonely and hard and that you are praying for them to have the trust and strength to follow God’s will.
And you know the cool thing, whether you are married or not, I can say the same thing right back to you. Why? Because singleness can be hard and lonely, but marriage can be, too. And maybe now I’m single, but someday, I won’t be. And I will still need to trust God and have the strength to follow His will. Because following God takes courage! But I wouldn’t want it any other way.
So, next time you’re tempted to use a cliché, tell me something else. And let’s all remember that we are complete through Christ, redeemed through Him, all reading the same Word and worshipping the same God. We like to think there are huge differences because of marital status, but in the end, we are all children of God gifted by Him in different ways to create His beautiful and wonderful kingdom.
Join us for our Wayfinder series where we are exploring what God’s Word says about relationships and how we can overcome everyday issues. This week, we will be talking about singleness. We hope to see you there!