You can see parts 1-4 here.
As Valentine’s Weekend is now in the past, I wanted to specifically address the topic of Christian singles who are in a very real situation – they’re single and either:
1) have no prospects of meeting anyone, or
2) are interested in someone but the affection is unrequited.
If a single person is discontent with being single, and the above two circumstances fit, then it can lead to some real desolation – I’ve experienced it and I’m sure others have too.
However, it goes without saying that Singleness can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on how one looks at it (e.g. positive – free schedule, negative – lonely). I distinctly remember having a discussion at a singles retreat at New Life Fellowship a couple of years ago about what it felt like to be single…
Most of the unmarried-and-very-much-eligible folks said it felt like hell. The loneliness, confusion, and dramedy of potential suitors (or lack of) was extremely difficult on one’s faith and well-being.
Meanwhile, many widowed, divorced folks and single parents of grown children all remarked how much they loved their singleness after having been married for some time, often in regrettable relationships.
Ah yes, “the grass is greener on the other side” syndrome.
Here’s a hint for singles – “It is painful to sleep alone but it is perhaps more painful to sleep alone when you are not really sleeping alone” (Rolheiser).
Married folks can read the quote above and understand exactly what I’m talking about.
Now, is it true that marriage can be the elusive source of happiness for singles? Yes, in many respects.
But if one sees marriage (or a dating relationship) as completely fulfilling some of the longings each of us feel, whether emotionally, sexually, or otherwise, then that person will be sorely disappointed.
Maybe it’s because sex, marriage, relationships all point to a deeper longing, one that this world or human relationship will never satisfy. And maybe the hints of that longing are available for both singles and married folks, and at one point or another, we all catch glimpses of our ultimate satisfaction regardless of our marital status.
What then, is our ultimate longing?
Communion with God. Communion with Others.
True friendship with God. True friendship with others.
As singles, perhaps if we focused on that, we might find what we’re actually looking for when we say we want to be in a relationship.
More to come later…
P.S. I know what Singles are thinking – “yes, but I still want to have sex!” Chillax, we’ll talk about that too.
P.P.S. If you’d like, come out to our Singles Retreat February 25th-27th. It’ll be epic. It’s a place to experience true friendship with God and true friendship with others.