Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wrap your arms around my love handles

Okay, I’m getting on my hobby horse.

One of them.

As a kid, as a teenager and then as a young adult I was taught to think that being single was some kind of temporary affliction. Temporary because everyone gets married and affliction because single = lonely, unfulfilled and not yet fully mature. People would say “don’t worry, God’s got someone out there for you” or (and this is my favourite) “when you’re ready, it will happen”. The first assumes that God’s plan for everyone is marriage and the second, that being single is a result of immaturity.

I felt I could never be happy while I was single, that great moments were marred because there was “no one to share them with”. I felt I was missing out on my great purpose because I was single.

Total rubbish, all of it.

It was like a lightening bolt of truth when I realized the loneliest, unhappiest women I knew were married. These women who kept telling me when I was ready or when I stopped wanting it I’d find someone, they were so unhappy! Somewhere along the line, I was being hoodwinked.

My early twenties were rough but as I drew closer to God, things got better and my life opened up. I left my old church and found safety and inspiration elsewhere. I made new friends. I went to University. I started to make plans that were all mine and no one else’s.

I am absolutely content, utterly happy and excited about the future. I am never lonely. I never feel unfulfilled. I am passionate about my life, my friends, my calling. I have so much to do and see.

Marriage is great, but it’s not for everyone. We assume that everyone will marry, save those unfortunate souls no one wants. What utter rubbish. Paul said: if you can’t control yourself then get married because better that than fall into sin (!). But, he said, if you can stay single, do, because then you can give your whole heart to God.

Well, I like being single. I actually don’t want to meet anyone. I mean, if it happens, it happens. But often when I think of the reality of being in a relationship I realize I don’t want it because it would disrupt my life. This may change and I may meet some lovely man who I want to share my life with. But if not, well, all is well because whatever God chooses for me is what I want.

I think we need to stop assuming that getting married is God’s plan for us unless we hear otherwise. Marriage is not a default setting. We should be seeking God and asking Them (Father, Son, Spirit) for guidance.

You Lead Me.