Sigh… I know, I know – as soon as you read that title you probably winced as you thought to yourself, “The poor kid is struggling.” Maybe you felt sorry for me as you thought about my ‘struggle’ out of the world of single life. This is indeed a touchy subject, especially among christian young people who have a more serious approach to dating as a specific step into marriage. However none of these worries are true. I just want to share some of the thoughts that I have had, and the things that I have been learning of this important part of life – singleness. So hear me out before you judge me.
Singleness is in general a self centered life. I am not immediately connected to anyone and can completely withdraw to myself, and the lives of the people around me will continue to move one and develop. The only indispensable needs and responsibilities that my life includes are the ones the directly influence ME. Everything else can easily fall by the wayside. This is the huge difference between a single person and a married person.
That is standard stuff and I’m sure you’ve heard it before. However, things for my have taken a new turn lately as I have grown out of the teenage years and into young adulthood, and have become increasing more and more self sustaining and independent.
With growing independence and ability for self sustenance, comes the increasing freedom and temptation to build your lifestyle around your own desires, goals and opinions, and very easily exclude others. How do I plan my day off? Do I help my brother out with his remodel or do I go for a run and read a book? How do I spend my money? Why not by another $150 jacket? Or that bike rack I’ve wanted, or the backpack, and hiking gear and…and so on.
It becomes easier to live for yourself when you no longer depend on others in life.
And as this self centeredness grows, it simultaneously develops apathy for the lives and needs of others.. It promotes laziness. And it drains out love. In my busy life I get so accustomed to achieving a vast multitude of checkpoints, tasks and goals for myself, I easily forget about sacrificing my time and effort for the sake of others.
It is very easy to spend your singleness cultivating a self-centered mindset. This is an important point, especially to a person who calls themselves christian since a lifestyle of sacrificial love is at the heart of the christian gospel.
What then, is the solution?
Just for the record, I am not seeking or trying to get out of the world of singleness, nor is this article an attempt to voice my discontentment, for I have none. On the contrary, I think that precisely because singleness possess such a great temptation to self centeredness, it is a great context in which one can learn to truly love and serve the lives of the people around. As the temptation to forget others grows, so does the opportunity to battle that temptation and cultivate true, unconditional love.
Because I now have to work harder to make time for others, I am shaped and impacted more by it. As I pursue deeper and richer relationships with the important people that God has placed in my life I face new and important opportunities to chip away at my pride. Thus singleness is a very great and important training ground for a long life of gospel centered, self sacrificing love.
If you are a single christian and find yourself a little discontent or tempted to forget others and pursue your own goals, I would like to challenge to you reevaluate your situation. Open your eyes to the many opportunities that you have to build relationships with others who are both younger and older than you. Consider the vast amount of flexibility that you have to spend time with others invest into deepening your own maturity as you learn to apply biblical principles to your life and the lives of the people around you. See the richness of opportunity by which you are surrounded and get to work! Don’t let the temptation blot out your ability to see the blessing.