Monday, April 30, 2007

Singlehood: It's not just about dating

Since I am now working in single's ministry, I am going to start putting together some posts based on what I am learning, what frustrates me, and what has encouraged me. They will be called "Singlehood" until I can find a better name. Note these are just my thoughts. They do not reflect the thoughts and opinons of where I work. I am not the authority on how to live a single life, I am just doing it.

Singlehood: It's not just about dating

It seems like almost every book or curiculum specifically for singles deals with dating. It is true that dating is part of the single life, but it is only part. If you see dating as all that being single is and focus on it more than anything else, all you will see yourself as is a failure based on your dating life. God does not call us to date and date abundantly. He wants us to have life and have it abundantly. Life as a single is not all about dating.

In a book I was thumbing through called "Dating With Passion" by Rob Eager, he tells of the reasons he found for his relational misfourtunes. At first I was extremely upset at the parallels he was drawing in the book. (p.44-45) He talks about his singlesness being the result of living in a sinful world. He uses a quote that makes it seem that to be single is a tragedy and is caused by wickness. Being in a state of singleness is neither a tragedy or wicked. I know this is not what he was meaning by the point, but it made me angry. It reminded me of this story:

John 9:1-5
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind 1As he [Jesus] went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
3"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. 4As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

This world is tough for singles. Like this man who was blind from birth, I have been single from birth. It was not my parents' fault or my own or the world's fault that I am still single. I am single because God wants to be displayed in my life as a single. My reward is not marriage or even a date. Healthy relationships with God and others is my reward. Jesus was never married, He did not have to be married to fulfill His purpose on earth. He did not focus on dating.

Now, I read Rob Eager's point based on my world view. I have not been completely fair to his point. It is true that sin is ruling this world. Sins creeps into realationships and dating. If given a space to live in a relationship it can fester and ruin. Abuse and cheating are a tradegy. Sexual immorality is wicked. But that is sin. Even though the word single starts with "sin"... it is not a sin to be single. Singleness is not a punishment. It is just another stage of life to be lived and lived abundantly.


Marti said...

I have a couple of great books on singleness that do not focus on dating or marriage. One is called Families at the Crossroads. The author makes the point that the Kingdom of God, as inaugurated by Christ, makes singleness more important as we tackle the great commandment and the great commission. Did you know that September 16-22, 2007 is national single's week? Last year I did a series of posts about being single. I was challenged to really think about it beyond dating. I realized that I needed to be more intentional about how I spend my time and money, conscious to make more of a difference. I realized that for now, until God says otherwise I am called to be single. How differently do I treat a calling than just a life stage? Good stuff Tina.

E.Money said...

I could not agree more with you!!!

Anonymous said...

Like most of these articles, it sounds like bullshit. God gave us needs and desires and talking about your or anyone else's 'state of singlehood' like it's something else or more than it really is, is just diverting from the fact that God is NOT fulfilling the desires he gave you and the rest of us. It's just a hard fact.

TiNA said...

Thanks for your comment, if you ever come back to this post I just wanted to share a few more thoughts. Note that these are just my thoughts and beliefs. I think there is no reason to divert from the fact that God is not meeting our desires. God gives and God takes away. I hope and pray that God will meet my desires, but that is not His job. And it is not my job to sulk and blame Him for not doing it. God is outside of time and reason. If I continue to ask "why God?" I'd never get an answer... b/c if I did I would not understand it anyway. My God is bigger than I can understand, and I would not want it any other way. So my job is to have faith even if I never get that desire. But... my faith produces hope that it will come. God is not interested in my comfort, but my character.