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Monday, February 14, 2011

Single and Content? Not likely.

It’s days like this that remind me of my 10+ year search to find other male peers of mine (and female for that matter) that are currently single, or have been for significant periods of time in their young-adulthood to adulthood lives, and that are also content with that disposition. And when I mean content I mean that they can say from the bottom of their hearts genuinely, “If I’m in a relationship, praise the Lord! If I’m single, praise the Lord!” The number of male peers not related to me that I’ve met with that true believer mentality? So small I can count on my fingers…on one hand. We live in a culture, especially within the stained-glass walls, where singlehood is not only marginalized, but almost stigmatized at the expense and idolization of marriage typically.
I find this extremely disheartening on occasion, not to mention theologically dishonest, that hundreds and hundreds of Christian peers of mine that I’ve met and interacted with in my adulthood…that very very very few seem actually sold out on the Biblically-sound idea that it’s actually ok that they’re not in a relationship or currently married. In fact, very very veryfew actually see it as the blessing that it really is (FYI, as much as one would try to justify otherwise, Biblically speaking, you can serve God more effectively than not-married [not true for all specific cases of course, just generally true due to the time/effort commitment marriage and a family pose]…I didn’t say it – and this is a debatable topic for another time, but that’s the main impetus behind me advocating not getting married young).

I could go on, but it’s just disheartening to really never meet any guys that are, or have been ok, with not being in a relationship. Yeah there are plenty of single guys out there…but you’d be hard pressed finding any that are single, content, and not looking – and relying on divine sovereignty. Valentine’s Day seems to exacerbate the situation… And I haven’t mentioned the idolization and over-hyping sex gets…again both in and out of the church.


*Please read my additional comments below for more clarification of my platform and intent here

10 comments:

  1. I understand your perspective, but I have to wonder how it is that you define single? I think it is uncommon to find a male/female completely and absolutely content in their "singleness" because it is rare that anyone is truly single.

    Are we considered to be discontent with our "relationship status" because we are interested in someone? Are we single when our facebook relationship status says so, or when we have no close relationship with the opposite sex?

    I don't mean to come off as if I'm arguing semantics, I just think its important to define what exactly single is. I just think its unlikely that in my definition of single that any one person would be absolutely single for a long period of time unless they were living in a cabin in the woods with no social interaction. Sometimes I think what you define as discontent is just a natural course of relationships.

    *Sorry to be all over your website today*

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  2. Actually the qualification of what type of "singleness" I'm talking about isn't really the point, and in fact the actual relationship status doesn't really matter. The litmus test is simply whether someone can honestly say they are content in a romantic relationship or not (meaning that that status does not dictate their contentment level), whether they get married or not, whether they have sex or not, etc. It's more a heart issue than an actual status issue. My point is that most people I've come across can't really honestly say that their contentment "level" is unrelated to their relationship status. That too me is disheartening.

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  3. I guess the impetus of this particular article (a thought I've had a lot regardless) was a recent conversation I had with a 30-something Christian guy friend of mine. We were talking about relationships and he was convinced "God had someone out there for him" (as most Christians are convinced of as if it's done deal or that it's to be expected). When I told him that yes, statistics show most people do get married, there is no Biblical support for this idea that we're guaranteed marriage or that God owes us it - and that we should just be content in whatever state we are, in a relationship or out, with no expectation that we may ever be in a marital one...well he just looked at me like I was an alien for the planet GS-43559X. And this was not the first time good Christian folk looked at me like a I was crazy – literally crazy. Most Christians genuinely believe I’ve found that they not only deserve that "someone special", they wholeheartedly operate their lives upon the notion it is guaranteed and that God better deliver on this “phantom” promise. I find that completely theologically unsound, completely based in insecure emotions, and doing a huge disservice to the “completion” and “sufficiency” Christ alone is for us as individual Christians. In fact it frustrates me mightily more of my peers don’t see this cultural disconnect.

    *Please don’t take this as a knock towards relationships and marriage – as they are in fact good. And please don’t take this as denying the natural desire for companionship and marriage, which are indeed God-given desires. But desires shouldn’t always necessarily equate to expectations or done deals. I find it cosmically audacious of those that think otherwise.

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  4. Aw shucks, you two. Get a room already! But only after the marriage ceremony! :)

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  5. I agree that being content is most definitely a heart issue, and it is a bit unsettling to think that there are Christians out there who expect God to provide a partner for them. I just read your statement that you can rarely find a guy who is content, single, and not looking, as one that meant that you couldn't be content in your singleness if you were "looking," as if the two can't coexist.

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  6. Actually I would argue that yes, being content and "looking" are mutually exclusive. The act or intention of "looking" shows that one is not content in their current state. Don't confuse desire with looking though. Having a desire for companionship/relationship/marriage is different than acting upon it by engaging in "looking" - similarly that having the desire for sex doesn't mean I have to act upon that desire. I believe if a relationship is meant to be per se, it will orchestrate itself (via a high power…and yes I know most people disagree but I still hold true to it) and that there is no need for actively "looking" for the relationship (i.e. going to bars with intention of "finding" someone, etc.)

    Also this is different from actively “not looking”…like a person may resolve to do after a bad breakup or something. I’m not talking about active resistance to a relationship…I’m just talking about “taking it as it comes” with no ill will to it happening, but also not with the intention of thinking it’s up to you to find a relationship.

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  7. Alright, I guess I was just confusing desire with actively looking.

    You may have just started a whole new line of discussion by mentioning you believe that if a relationship is meant to be that God will make it happen haha. I believe that too, but it's always interesting to hear peoples opinions on where they think that line begins and ends. At what point is the responsibility on the guy/girl to make it happen, and when should it be left to God? Or is there even a line?

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  8. Good question...let me know when you find the answer. ...sigh

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  9. Ok. When's the wedding? You two are a great couple! The babies are going to be very, very cute! I can't wait!

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  10. Well... I know a lot of Catholic males that are content with their single status. Don't know why you'd think that men can't really cope without a relationship. I'm one of them. I don't know if I am supposed to marry or not but I'm not actively seeking anyone, actually I never actively seeked anything, which is probably why I never had a girlfriend. I'm 25 by the way. I do have female friends but I guess I never felt anything towards them. I fell in love for one girl last year but she didn't respect my views so we never got started.
    I don't know the US very well, I'm from Europe, so it probably has to do with that.

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