Wow, it’s 2021! Can you believe it! Who knew that you and I will be alive today? It’s only by the grace of God and his mercy alone that we are still alive. Praise his holy name. Happy New Year everybody! I hope you have a blessed year 😊. Here is my new blog!
I was once asked to be part of a Panel Discussion of Young Adults at my local church. The discussion involved ladies and gents and the topic was about Singleness. It was such an interesting discussion and it was also interesting to hear different perspectives from Young Adults on how they view singleness. So we had to answer the following questions about Singleness, and these were my answers:
What is singleness in your own opinion/definition?
I think singleness is state of being single without any potential male partner or a husband.
What does it mean to live as a single person to you?
For me, it means to live in freedom of independence and yet being responsible and having boundaries too. In other words, it matters how I conduct myself as a Christian single person. It also means that as a single person I am part of the community and not a loner, meaning that I have friends to share life with. Some of them are married and some of them are single. We go out for lunch or supper, we chat about deep meaningful conversations, call each other, we go for games and concerts, we watch movies, we become vulnerable to one another, we encourage each other and there are times where we rebuke each other as well. As Proverbs 27:17 tells us that, ‘Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.’ These kind of relationships keep me accountable and I find them healthy too. Other people which I do life with as a single person is family and acquaintances including males as well.
What challenges have you faced (this can include insensitivity, pressures imposed by society, church, close friends and loved ones, because it seems that to other people being single is a curse?
Challenges which I have been facing are questions like, ‘When are you getting married?,’ Are you married? How many children do you have? You need to put yourself out there, in my language it can mean “uzoyithola kanjani uhlel’ ekhoneni.” Are you seeing someone at the moment? Have you seen someone that you like lately? You must get married now. Don’t wait too long. Oh are you still Single? How about ‘So and so, he’s also single?
You are such a good person, I don’t understand why you don’t have a partner. Maybe your partner is right under your nose, you are just missing each other. Anyways my aunt got married at a later stage in life, maybe that might be the case for you. I will be praying for a good husband for you. And my answer would be, “Please do, I would appreciate it.” Honestly, I find some of these statements so amusing!
Well, some are asking such questions out of a genuine concern. And some, they just cannot understand how a woman can stay single in her whole life. Even in my African culture, some women get more respect if they are married and have children, otherwise you are not a ‘woman enough’ in their eyes.
How have you dealt and approached those struggles of being single or are still dealing with?
Firstly, I need to mention that it is easy to fall into a temptation of feeling desperate and getting tempted to make irrational decisions because of the pressure that you receive from the people around you. And you end up feeling like you are missing out or maybe there’s something wrong with you.
But, honestly most of those questions does not faze me at all. Instead, I would reply by saying, “I believe it’s not God’s timing yet.” If God gives me a husband, I will praise him and if he doesn’t give me a husband, I would still praise him because he knows it all and he knows what’s best for me. My life as a single person finds real satisfaction in Christ and I am happy to embrace my singleness in Him.
When it comes to dealing with struggles as a single woman, I rejoice in knowing that I have a Father to talk to in prayer. I can be honest to him with all my struggles as a single person and he provides right people to talk to and to pray with. I am talking about people who encourages me to embrace my singleness for the glory of God. That is a privilege of being part of God’s community.
Well, it is true that some members of the church family, friends and even your own family can discourage you for being single as if there’s something wrong with you. You should not succumb to their expectations of you. Only God knows the future about your life.
How has the word of God shaped your view in the way you live as a single person?
The word of God helped me to understand that singleness is equally a gift or a blessing from God just as the marriage is a gift from God too, and I need to embrace it as I continue to live for him. I find joy in knowing that my identity is in Christ alone as a single woman and it is not in fulfilling people’s expectations of me. As Lorrie M. puts it, “In 1 Corinthians 7:7, the apostle Paul states that singleness is a gift from God, just as marriage is a gift from God. Both are good and God can be glorified in both. The state of singleness is meant to be good, not negative, as so many people believe.” (If you want to know more about the topics regarding issues that women face in their journey of life, this is the best book to have).
More than that, the word of God has taught me that contentment is found in Christ alone because he provides real contentment and he fulfil our desires with good things in his own timing and in his own way (Psalm 103:5). Ultimately, he knows what is best for me.
How has God challenged you in your singleness?
God has challenged my singleness in that I have a role to play in his kingdom, to serve him and his people joyfully. He has given me a desire to teach Bible to children, to train, and to reach out to other younger women (married and unmarried) by reading God’s word, praying with and for one another and encouraging one another to live a life that glorifies God. Those are priceless moments and I can’t trade it for anything.
What advice do you have for the single ladies who struggle with being single, and how do you challenge those who look down on single people?
Firstly, I would advise them to honestly tell God about their struggle. And secondly, I would also advise them to pray for contentment in Christ who knows what is best for them. That would mean spending time reading God’s Word and praying individually and corporately and pray for others who are having the same struggle as well. In that way, they will realize that they are not struggling alone. Hebrews 4:15 also reminds us that even Christ himself was tempted in every respect as we are, yet he never sinned. But he sympathizes with us in our weaknesses. Moreover, I would advice them to speak to a mature Christian who will lovingly give a godly advice. Preferably male to male and females to females. I, personally find this very helpful as well.
I would challenge those who look down on single people to stop it because it is not a godly thing to do. And that is not how God look at single people, we are all equal before God and his love is the same for single people just like for everybody else.
Lastly, what would you say to some of us who idolize singleness or think it is being incomplete?
For those who idolize singleness or think it is being incomplete, I would advise them to stop it, repent and ask God for forgiveness because idolizing is sin before God, and he hates it. In Exodus 20:3, God declares, ‘You shall have no other gods before me.’ In fact, when we idolize singleness we are saying my singleness is more important than God. And that is not how God intended for single women to behave. Instead, they must find ways of how they can serve in the body of Christ and use their gifts to serve God and his people; and they must embark on healthy relationships too.
For those who think that singleness is incomplete, I would challenge them and say when God created us, he created us in his own image, and he said it is very good (Genesis 1:31). In other words, everything that God created was perfect and complete (that includes single women as well). Otherwise, if we don’t believe that we are trying to say God did not do a great job when he created us. But there is still time to turn to God in repentance and ask him to help us find our true contentment in him through his son Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins; and in this way we can find real joy in his salvation, and embrace the kind of life he has given us to the glory of his name.
Consequently, answering these questions made me realize that singleness is a gift from God as much as marriage is a gift from God too. Moreover, singleness is not a curse as some people may think, it is a blessing from God, and one need to embrace it. If our identity is in Christ then we must find our fulfilment in him alone. And we need to live our singleness to the glory of his name. As a result, we must continue to ‘delight ourselves in the Lord and he will give us the desires of our heart’ (Psalm 37:5) for he knows what’s best for me and you. If it is part of God’s plan that you and I get married one day, then praise his holy name and continue to live for him. And if it is not part of God’s plan that you and I get married, we must still praise his holy name and continue to live for him joyfully and not grudgingly. Ultimately, what matters most is our relationship with God and how we live our lives to the glory of his name now until the end of our lives, whether we are single or married.
 Skowronski, L. M., 1997. Counseling women discontent in their singleness. In: E. Fitzpatrick, C. Cornish, eds. Women Helping Women: A Biblical Guide to the Major Issues Women Face. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, pp 141-165.