Single-and-Not-Dating…With Caveats (Part 3)

27 Sep

Last Monday I started answering a question Edarnut asked me: There seem to be 3 kinds of Christian singles: Single and looking for a spouse, single and dating but not really spouse hunting, and single and not dating. Which are you? And how is the “singles ministry” dynamic between the 3 types?

Then on Thursday I continued my response and talked about how I came to realize I was content with singledom.

Today I want to explain the caveat I added to her category–that is, that I’m not opposed to marriage.

First I need to clarify that I’m not talking about marriage across the board. I’m not opposed to that, either, but I mean specifically that I’m not opposed to my own marriage. I don’t dislike men. I believe in the institution of marriage. (I also believe the government shouldn’t be defining it, but let’s not get into politics today, huh?)

I’m just not actively seeking marriage. I’m not actively seeking a spouse.

Christian readers of my blog are probably familiar with the story of Isaac and Rebekah, how the servant set out to find a wife for Isaac, prayed to God for a sign, and was granted that sign. The servant asked Rebekah for water at the well, and she offered to draw water for his camels too, whereupon he decked her out in jewelry and proclaimed her the bride God had chosen for his master.

Well, I like to joke that if God sends a dude with camels and bracelets to ask me for water, that’s about the only way I’ll end up married. That might sound flippant, but what it boils down to is that if God wants me to get married, He’ll place the right man in my path at the right time and cause me to know His will.

At which point I hope to heaven I’m wise enough to recognize it!

But I’m not anticipating that day. I’m not holding my breath waiting for a Prince Charming. I’m not praying every day for my future husband. Frankly, I don’t know if he even exists, and I’m not fussed either way. Why should I pray for some dude who may not even be real, especially if I’m not even staying awake nights hoping he is?

What I want to focus on is the here and now. The missions God has placed in my life. The passions God has given me regarding how to serve Him. The conditions in which I currently serve God.

So I’m not opposed to marriage. I’m just not out there looking for it.

Single and Not Dating. That’s me. With caveats. 🙂

9 Responses to “Single-and-Not-Dating…With Caveats (Part 3)”

  1. Joelle Duran September 27, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Thanks for taking the time to explain where you are at. As a single from the very small ‘rather-be-dead-than-married’ camp, it sure is refreshing to hear from another single woman who is not focused on finding a future Prince Charming or wallowing in frustration, misery, or envy.

    And don’t forget, God is quite capable of figuring out how to impress us of what His will is, if we are seeking it–a fact for which I am VERY grateful as I can be very thick-headed and oblivious! 😉

    • SWC September 28, 2012 at 10:08 am #

      Yes, it’s SO nice to hear from someone else who isn’t crying about being single! So many blogs and books for Christian singles seem to be focused on how to find that perfect spouse or how to prepare to be the perfect spouse…and it gets frustrating to see that over and over, without finding any validation for those of us who are perfectly happy without a spouse!

      And as another thick-headed and oblivious person, I’m very grateful for the reminder that God makes His will known! 🙂

  2. edarnut September 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Thanks for such a thorough answer to my question. I know it’s different for everyone, but I’ve always wondered what exactly the “call to singleness” looks like. Thanks for sharing your story.

    As a teenager in church, all my female (and married) leaders and teachers made it sound like singleness was something painful to be endured if God calls you to it; like your life would always be lacking if you were doomed to singleness. It terrified me, and I hate that that attitude towards singleness exists. Christians are concerned about the media oversexing our young girls… and yet we turn around and make them feel like they are inadequate unless they wear a purity ring, pray for their future spouse daily, recite Proverbs 31 from memory, and attend a Bible study on the book of Ruth at least once a year.

    I wish someone like you was around when I was young; I could have saved myself a lot of worry and self-doubt.

    • SWC October 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

      I’m really sorry it took me so long to answer your question! I had never thought about it this way, but the church really does contribute, in a way, to this oversexing of young girls, at least in making girls feel as if their sexuality is the most important thing about them–from the Christian standpoint, of course, we tell them NOT to have sex, to save themselves for marriage, that they haven’t truly lived until they’ve become a wife and mother… And none of those things are bad, but they aren’t a complete message to send our kids.

      I know when I was young, my youth leaders were almost entirely married couples. The only single youth leaders I can remember were dating each other, so I’m not sure they really count either. 😉

      Your words at the end are both humbling and convicting. I’ve always enjoyed working with the youth at church, but I’ve been slacking off for several years. Maybe I need to re-examine myself and decide it’s not about what the church can offer me as a single woman, but what I as a single woman can offer the church.

  3. Debbie October 6, 2012 at 4:55 am #

    What a refreshing perspective.
    I’m divorced, which I know, is a bit of a different category – but single, not dating, not looking, with no caveats. It was initially quite a challenge to find a way to be a true part of a church community since the scarlet D was a Matthew 18 offense at my church home and I was no longer welcome.
    The Father, in His grace, replaced the D with His own mark. 😀

    • SWC October 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

      It kills me when people say they were made to feel unwelcome at a church because of their divorce. It’s incredible how judgmental Christians don’t look at the plank in their own eyes before pointing out the specks in the eye of someone being put through the pain of a divorce. I hope you’ve since found a new church home who loves you for who you are, instead of who they want you to be.

      I think a lot of divorced people can really relate to the attitude of an over-thirty single person. There are some tasks that are harder to do without an extra pair of hands, there are sudden budget constraints, there isn’t someone to pick you up at the garage if your car needs work… So sure, divorced is a bit of a different category, but we definitely have a lot of similarities and things we can learn from each other. 🙂

      • Debbie October 7, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

        Indeed we do!
        (I work 24/7 right now and have to remain on site so I’m not able to go to church, But I did join 1st a wonderful Presbyterian church and then, when I moved, a tiny Episcopal church where I felt loved and valued and where it was completely natural to be actively serving the body and the community. God used them greatly to remove the stigma I’d placed on myself as a result of the divorce.)

        • SWC October 7, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

          Of course–I remember your work situation now! I’m glad you had some physical contact with people who helped you accept that God loves you, divorced or not. The online community must be a great way for you to find support and encouragement with the situation you’re in now. Thank God you were able to get away from that stigma. Jesus was a great shatterer of stigmas. 🙂

        • Debbie October 7, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

          All is grace, isn’t it? 🙂

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