Tuesday, 21 April 2015

9QT: 9 Things Christian Singles Are Secretly Afraid Of*

It's complicated enough being a single in today's world, where in India everyone thinks if you're 29 you should be married already, and in the West, people think you're crazy (and repressed) if you don't have (and have never had) a boyfriend at the ripe old age of 29.

There are thousands of blog posts and articles trying to figure out the logistics of this whole romantic relationships in the 21st century thing. But if you throw in being Christian AND being single, where our beliefs about God intersect with our desire for a love life, it gets really complicated in our heads. I wrote about some of my thoughts before. And here we have some of our (not-secret-any-longer) fears:

1. That if we are too 'content to be single', God might take us at our word, and decide to leave us that way. Someone actually said that to me once when I said "I'm pretty happy being single.""Noooo!"she shouted, "Don't say that! God will never send you anyone!" We KNOW that's not how God works, but it's a little superstitious fear. Or maybe we think if there are not enough eligible guys going around, then God will choose the girls who are more needy. And since I'm independent and strong, I CAN survive, so I don't get picked.


2. Conversely, that if we are too desperate, God will decide to keep us single for as long as it takes to realize that we will never find the Perfect Love we crave in any human. That 'it's only when we stop caring too much about finding the right guy, suddenly he'll appear in our life.' See me not caring! (Because I really care!) Aarrgh! Catch 22 situation!


3. That although God loves us and wants us to be happy, He's not REALLY in control. Since He doesn't interfere with free will, He doesn't really have control over whether or not there are enough good men to match every good woman looking for a spouse. (Just like it wasn't His WILL that there should be suffering in this world, or evil for that matter... but it still exists.)

4. That we haven't figured out how much of active involvement He really wants us to have with finding the right spouse. Like a quote I recently read- 'Trust God, but tie up your camel.' Are we supposed to get on to catholicmatch.com? Get out there (wherever 'out there' is)? Move somewhere where there are more options? Ask friends to look out for someone for us? Ask our parents to arrange something? Get onto Tinder? Visit your parish's marriage bureau? (I AM TOTALLY KIDDING!!!) Or just live your life and stop obsessing?

Perhaps answer a matrimonial ad?**

5. That Psalm 37: 4, the Singles' Most Favouritest Bible Verse Ever suffers from false advertising- 'Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart' doesn't necessarily mean we're going to get married, but that He will 'purify the desires of our hearts' so that the only desire we have is to do God's will and even suffer for His sake.


6. That the older we get, the more likely we will 'settle', taking the next guy who asks who somewhat fits our 'list' even if he doesn't make our knees weak, and give us butterflies in our stomach, and that we're more likely to be 'realistic', and think "Well, love isn't just about feelings." And perhaps say yes more out of a fear that no one better will come along, than out of a love and desire for THAT particular human being.


7. That's we're being pathetic and whiny when we're sad about not being married, because in the grand scheme of things, how big is our suffering compared to people who lose the use of their limbs, or people who live with constant physical pain, or people who find the love of their life, and then lose them to cancer, or worse, the love of their life hurt them in the worst possible way.


8. That people with all their many know-it-all opinions are actually right- maybe we are too picky. Maybe we didn't discern well enough. Maybe God was calling us to religious life, but we weren't listening. Maybe we're boring and not marriage material. Maybe it's because we're religious. Maybe we're too... something. We must have done SOMETHING wrong.

9. That God DOESN'T really have a plan, that it's all just a numbers game, and that He promised to be WITH us, not arrange our loves so we get exactly what we want, or that His idea of my future happiness is very different from my idea of my future happiness. I guess basically that we are in some way going to be deprived by Him, that He hasn't got our back.


But you know what? I don't really believe any of these (well, except for no. 5). They are little irrational fears that come.. and go. It's good to be content where you are, without shutting your heart to desires for the future. Sometimes God allows people to go through tough situations, for no discernable reason... not even to teach them a lesson. But I DO believe He can bring great good out of those situations.

I am still slightly confused about 4, but I've gone with the 'live my life and stop obsessing' option. I will NOT settle, because I will not marry out of fear, because I DON'T believe that being old, single and living with cats is the most horrible option in the world. I don't think there's anything wrong with acknowledging that sometimes I'm sad, my occasional sadness doesn't disappear just because other people suffer more. I don't care about people's opinions of why I'm single, because I know me better than they do. (And I know I'm pretty awesome. And humble.)

And finally and most importantly, I choose to believe that God does have a plan for my happiness (whether or not it includes marriage) and that no matter what the circumstances, He is not a God of deprivation. And I know this because, hey, I'm 29- I thought I would be married years ago, and yet, and yet, here I am... single... and HAPPY! Say, what? If he could do it for the past 29 years, why not for the next 60***? 


*How do you like my attention grabbing blog post title? :-D
**If you need a good laugh, look on google images for 'funny matrimonial ads'. These are real things, people!
***Yes, I plan to live till I'm 89.  

5 comments:

  1. So good to find a woman who doesn't find happiness in whether she is single or married. And who has a mind of her own.

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  2. Sooo true!! I'm so glad to find somebody who thinks like me! I just turned 40, and I'm still single, but happy. I still want to get married, but I don't pine for a perfect boyfriend or husband, I like my life the way it is just fine. I am NOT willing to settle, as I personally think that this is exactly the WORST thing you could do to yourself. Believe me, I've had many friends who married out of desperation, and boy, if you think being single is bad, it is nothing compared to being married to the wrong person!

    Anyway, I love your blog, and may God bless you always. :)

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    Replies
    1. Exactly... I prefer a happy single life to an unhappy married life. Although we don't always get to choose our crosses.

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