Before you're all like, "Rachel, you're married...I don't care what you have to say about singleness" hear me out.
I'm not going to tell you that...
- marriage is a "prize" for being a good Christian
- you're somehow "less than" because you're not married
- "Jesus needs to be your boyfriend"
- you haven't "arrived" until you're married
- marriage is bliss and butterflies all the time
- you just need to "be content" and Jesus will give you a spouse
Here's what I am going to tell you...
- Your identity and your worth is IN CHRIST, whether or not you wear a ring
- God doesn't owe you a spouse
- You're justified in being annoyed with people who treat you like a second-class citizen because you're single
- Marriage is not a consolation prize for the well-lived Christian life
- It's alright to struggle with being single and feel lonely
- Jesus is enough - in every season
I also want to apologize for the way that the Church has treated singles. I don't think it's right that people get treated like they are somehow less significant or worthy just because they're not married. Like marriage is an exclusive holiest-of-holies club.
Since when was marriage an indication of your importance?
This irritated me when I was single, and it still irritates me now that I'm married. There seems to be this gap between married people and single people within the church...with all of us acting like we don't need the other. Married people can treat single people like they are to be most pitied, and single people can treat married people with disdain and jealousy.
Which isn't how God intended it to be.
Romans 12:4-5 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
I Corinthians 12:12-16 [emphasis mine] For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body - Jews or Greeks, slaves or free [single or married] - and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body.
The bottom line: in Christ, there is no differentiation. We need to love and serve and support one another...no matter what our relationship status is.
Yes, marriage is wonderful. Yes, I love my husband. But being married is also incredibly difficult, and can still be incredibly lonely. As a single girl, I fell into the trap of thinking that if I just served God hard enough, He would reward me with a perfect husband who met every requirement on my "list", and we'd live blissfully happily ever after.
Not so much.
If I could re-do my single years, I would have spent much more time getting to know Jesus, and much less time trying to coerce Him into giving me the husband that I wanted and thought I deserved.
Because I think this topic is so important, I reached out to several other women in my blogging community and asked them to share their thoughts on singleness.
The responses I got? "YES...I want to write about this...I'm literally crying..."
So, every Thursday for the next several weeks, you'll be hearing from lovely women such as Bailey Jean, Lauren, Rachel, Madison, Jenna, Jordyn, Amy, Leah and Lauren. I am thrilled that they are sharing their hearts with you, and I hope you will be blessed like crazy by them in return. They are for you, my friend, and you are significant.
What are your thoughts about singleness? Does "the gap" frustrate you?
Under Grace, Rachel
Other Lovely Reads... Surviving Church as a Single You Are Significant With or Without a Significant Other Serving Married-Non-Moms in the Church (because the way that married people often treat single people? moms can treat non-moms the same way)
Image credits | Nicole Marie Photography
Linking up with Chantel at A Harvest Of Blessing!