I think I’m the last person in the world to get into a serious relationship. Seriously. Just this year alone, I’ve attended four or five weddings… and all the brides and grooms were younger than me.
I could go on, but I think you get it. So, give me a sec to snap out of my whining mode and maybe we can actually have a decent conversation about how I believe singleness is intended to be a blessing and a gift from God.
So, why do I think that? First, can we agree on something? If something is good, it’s a gift from God. Yes? … I see that shaking head in the back. Well, here’s the proof text for you: James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” So now, we have to make a bridge from “everything good is a gift from God” to “singleness is good.”
You may be thinking right now, “But it hurts so much! Every time I see someone else’s status change on Facebook, it reminds me of what I don’t have! I feel like I’m sitting around waiting for God to give me the best part of my life! That is… if He’s intending on giving it to me at all.”
You’re probably right on all counts. But before you click the X in rightful indignation, let me explain. Yes, you might be sitting and waiting. Yes, you’re waiting specifically for that special someone. And yes, it’s agonizing to be patient (especially when it seems like none of your other friends have to be). But, what if you could turn that waiting into something beautiful?
See, the key word in my thesis is intended. Singleness is intended to be a blessing and a gift from God. It’s kinda like the parable of the minas. In Luke 19:11-27, Jesus tells a story about a rich man who leaves town to be crowned king of a distant country and invests his wealth in his servants’ business ventures. Each one gets one mina (that’s about $19,660 by today’s standards1,2). Several of the servants do well… one savvy servant even multiplies the investment tenfold! Then there’s the servant who is so frightened that he’ll make a mistake that it makes him lazy. He refuses to be purposeful with the mina given to him, and when his master returns, all hell breaks loose.
The master intended the mina to be a good gift. It was the break his servants desperately needed to get his feet on the ground and make it in the business world! Plus, the reward wasn’t just a pat on the back. The first guy I mentioned—the one who made ten minas from the one—was awarded with a governorship over ten cities in the master’s new kingdom.
Despite the master’s best intentions, the lazy servant decides that it’s not worth it. Maybe he had a history of crippling anxiety. Maybe the responsibility of returning the investment with interest scared the bejebers out of him. Maybe he had great dreams and plans, but never sought—or implicated—training on how to realize them. Maybe his favorite show came on during the city business leaders’ meetings and he didn’t want to get off his keister. Whatever the case was, the master rightfully blamed the lazy servant for not taking initiative to overcome his personal hurdles.
I believe that singleness—especially when the single years stretch five, fifteen, thirty or more years beyond “normal”—is a mina. Yes, it’s painful at times. Occasionally when I see my best friends snuggling with their significant others, I want to curl into a little ball and cry. There are days that I am absolutely furious with God that I’m nearly 29 and no solid Christian guy has actually told me in no uncertain terms that he’s interested.
And then there are the moments—that come more frequently than the bad ones—that I thank God that he has given me this mina, which has proved to be a blessing not only to me but also to those around me. I’m not saying that I’ve come up with ten minas from the one I’ve been given (I’m not sure I’ve multiplied what I’ve been given by two), but I am saying that, as hard as it is, it’s a good and perfect gift, straight from the One who illuminates heaven and earth.
Don’t. Waste. It.