My book on singleness and the church released in November of 2017, and since then, I’ve had increased opportunity to discuss my single life. I’ve recognized the need to dispel some myths.
Myth 1 – My single life is inherently lonely.
Yes, single people tend to spend more time alone than their married counterparts. But single living needn’t be inherently lonely. As a matter of fact, many singles find that they have more time to invest in meaningful friendships. I know I do.
Myth 2 – I must not have heard of internet dating.
Of course I have. I’ve also heard of all the other ways singles meet, and I’ve tried most of them. While I’m very happy for your cousin Theresa who met her husband online, that doesn’t mean it will automatically happen for me. As of 2015, though 40 million Americans were signed up for online dating, only 7% of marriages that year were between couples who met through dating apps, and apparently a woman’s “desirability” online peaks at age 21. So let’s moderate our expectations on this one.
Myth 3 – You should downplay your happy marriage so as not to hurt my feelings.
It brings me great joy to see my friends delighting in their marriages. If you’re in a successful committed relationship, shout it to the skies and give glory to God for richly blessing you!
Myth 4 – I experience consistent emotions about my singleness.
Honestly, my feelings fluctuate. Although I’ve reached a measure of contentment with my situation, I don’t feel obligated to maintain a veneer of fake positivity at all times. Sometimes I have a down night and need to sit under a fuzzy blanket rereading the love letter from Jane Austen’s Persuasion while blubbering into my mug of ginger tea, and I don’t care who knows it.
Myth 5 – I’m the spokesperson for all Christian singles.
The word my in the title of this post was chosen very specifically.
I absolutely cannot speak for every single person–not even for every single Christian woman. Everyone’s single life is a bit different, and while I can address broad principles, I’m still only speaking for myself. Background, personality, goals, geography, culture, age, family dynamics, careers, and so many more factors contribute to differences, both large and small. It’s one of the reasons I surveyed and interviewed hundreds of Christian singles before I wrote my book.
I’ve known joyful older singles who have never married; confused single-agains who have survived devastating divorces; older, freshly widowed singles re-learning how to cook for one; eager twentysomethings already wondering if they’ll be single forever. All have different spiritual, emotional, and relational needs.
One of the best ways to serve your single friends, then, is to build relationships with them, learning to serve them well by applying your own unique spiritual gifts to their individual needs.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 4:10-11.
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I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you’re single, add more myths you’d like to dispel. If you’re married, tell us how you’re loving and serving your single friends. Share in the comments below–and share this post with a friend who might relate!
Happy Monday, everyone! May your coffee be strong, your day productive, and your fellowship sweet.
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For more on The Proper Care and Feeding of Singles, see here.