Hi interweb, can I rant about something for a moment?
A few years ago, something strange happened. I was assigned a new identity. I didn’t choose it. But it was given to me. I graduated from college in 2010 (at the young age of 20) and all of a sudden, I was… a single. I was no longer a college student, therefore, I became defined by my marital status. How strange.
I remember shortly after I realized that this identity had been thrust upon me, I was talking to a [recently married] friend and trying to explain the phenomenon. She was perplexed and didn’t know what that meant.
For a while, I bought into the identity. I would scour blogs and newspapers and books and the Bible for things that applied to me in my “stage of life”. I wasn’t dating anyone, and no one was really on the horizon, so I figured, I had better learn what this new identity meant so that I could live in it.
I’ve read some good things about singleness. Some really true things. I’ve also read some really damaging things.
Sometimes, I wonder if I would have struggles of loneliness if there wasn’t such pity from the Church toward me, as if the pity of the married masses somehow tells me that I am missing out on something that is infinitely greater than what I am currently experiencing. The evangelical community (I’m talking the big, political evangelical community, who I mostly don’t identify with) talks so much about “Christian family values” that I think they sometimes become an idol. And all that talk leaves me out– because I’m not a family; I’m just me.
But I think that in the grand scheme of things, my singleness does not define me any more than my work defines me, or where I live defines me, or my womanhood defines me, or my race defines me, or what clothes I wear define me, or what music I listen to defines me, etc.. Each of those things are circumstances or preferences. They are things that I need to explore and understand and be at peace with God about. But my identity is in Christ crucified. Completely. And if I get married, it still will be. And if I have kids, it still will be.
I think if people- married people, single people, divorced people- focused more on Christ and less on how to be a “good” wife or husband or single, the kingdom of God would be better for it. Maybe I’m wrong. I’ve never been married. So maybe when you get married, perspective changes. But at least right now, I don’t think it’s doing me any good to dwell on how to serve God in the midst of my singleness (as if my singleness is a battle that I’m fighting). I think I just need to dwell on the person of Christ and how I can serve Him. Period.