That title may throw you off a bit but I assure you that if you stick with me this will all start to make more sense. There are many milestones that we look forward to as women – whether it is careers, marriage, or children. All of which help us feel as though we have a higher purpose. Sometimes these milestones can cloud our vision so much that we forget to experience the “now”. I can raise my hand on that one as I desire to be a mother and sometimes I catch myself allowing that desire to overtake the “now”. One of the many things we lose sight of when looking ahead is our singleness. Often times because of this oversight we fail to maximize our singleness or to see it as a gift. I say this as a woman married at the peak of my singleness, I can look back and see so many lost opportunities in my singleness because I did not see it as a gift.
As the bible begins in Genesis it tells the story of how God created the heavens, the earth, and Adam. It later tells of how God did not feel man should be alone therefore he created Eve. One thing many people miss during all this creation is the moment that God shared with Adam and Eve before they ever laid eyes on each other. God was the first person they knew, first person they spoke to, and the first person to ever love them. Seriously, when God made Adam, Eve did not exist (Gen 2:7) – when God made Eve, Adam was unconscious (Gen 2:21). It was in this single moment that they had their first relationship, with God. Singleness allow us to develop relationships with God, family, and friends in different ways then when we are married.
A developed relationship with God enhances who we are as people and it helps us to gain identity. We learn that our identity is not tied to a husband but instead it is tied to God. As Christians before we are any other role in life we are first daughters of the King (John 1:12). In this newly found identity we can then allow God to develop us in ways that we are underdeveloped: we may be self serving, unkind, envious, impatient, angry, or proud. When we find our identity in God and remember that we were made in his image, the Holy Spirit helps us to make the needed change.
Along with developing in who we are in Christ we are also given the chance to develop in our expectations. During singleness we are able to develop and understand our material, emotional, and physical expectations before marriage. In Christianity we have to realize that our expectations are not always in God’s plans.
Through a healthy understanding of our expectations our faith in God grows. Sometimes as women we want so badly to see miracles in our lives but we lack the faith. We have to believe in the things that we do not see (Heb 11:1) and trust that God has a plan for our lives (Jer 29:11). His will is worked out for our good whether it is to be single or married, a mother or not, a housewife or a careered woman. We can rest assured that God will use us where we are called.
Singleness is sometimes thought to be one of the most carefree times of our lives. While that is partially true because we have no obligation to a partner – we still have obligations to God. In our Singleness and even in Marriage it is important to remain pure. We are blessed for being pure in our hearts, minds, bodies and souls (Matt 5:8). Purity does not only pertain to ourselves – we must help others remain pure by being mindful of how we dress, speak, and the subtle messages we convey. To remain pure we have to be aware of surrounding influences in the media, friendships and relationships that can either bring us closer or move us further from Christ.
While there is a large amount of freedom in singleness our choices still matter and we should still be accountable. Decisions that we make in our singleness can affect a future marriage. For example the choice to not remain pure in singleness can result in a child or even relationship baggage that can cause negative experiences in your marriage. I am not saying to be single as if you were already marriage to a future husband – but instead in singleness be married to Christ(2 Cor 11:2). Even if you have struggled in remaining pure remember that in Christ you are made anew – you can have a fresh start today. With the Holy Spirit’s help we can be disciplined to make good choices and to show accountability for the mistakes that we make.
The Gift of the Moment:
According to Paul singleness can be maximized by committing our time, energy, and special gifts into serving Christ (1 Cor 7:7). Oh what fun it would be to travel on a whim on mission trips in service to God without feeling sorry for leaving a spouse behind. There are so many opportunities for service in singleness to grow, learn, and experience.
Singleness is not a layover or a time of waiting. It is a season where God cultivates us for future work. Our experiences in singleness help us to be the people God created us to be whether as wives, mothers, doctors, teachers, or missionaries. It’s a season that is no less wonderful than marriage, it’s just different. Neither marriage or singleness are endpoints, instead they are both specks on the large map of our lives and we experience them for a reason.
Until God calls us to enter the covenant of marriage we should remember that we also have a covenant with him. We are to believe that every single moment in our lives is planned and not happenstance. With our focus and faith in God the plan for our life will be better than we could have imagined (Psalm 37:4).
What I will tell you is that marriage is a beautiful union. Its design is purely to teach the world about Christ and his love for us, the church. It’s a Holy union, and the first institution ordained by God. What I won’t tell you is that marriage is more important than singleness or vice versa. Both marriage and singleness can be hard – because they both call for us to be committed to God. Marriage has its purpose – and guess what? The purpose of marriage and of singleness is the same. That purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.