Thursday, January 26, 2012
Single Sister Satisfaction
I love this article. (See link after this paragraph.) I know there are things in it that might offend my Christian friends- a couple of bits of profanity, and passing references to alcohol and sex. But that’s not the theme at all. The theme is women and friendship.
Beyond that, it’s a picture of unmarried women, who are good with that. Super good with that. And this is something that is near and dear to my heart. And a theme I want to present to my fellow unmarried Christian sisters.
We need to do better.
There is such a tendency in the church to assume that eventually all women will get married. Or remarried. That it is wonderful to be content to be single, but, (knowing look), “I wasn’t planning on getting married (or married again) either dear, wasn’t looking at all, didn’t even want to get married, and then God brought this wonderful man into my life and he was exactly what I really needed all along.” Amazing testimony follows. And there is an implication that it is noble to be content with singleness, and yet the ultimate reward for that noble contentment and “not looking for someone” will ultimately be…someone.
Not necessarily. Whether or not you are secretly hoping you will eventually meet that special someone, it doesn’t always happen. And that’s okay. No really. You have to believe me. You can have an emotionally satisfied life without being married.
I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m a misandrist, gals, but I promise you, you can lead a complete and well rounded life by surrounding yourself with healthy platonic female relationships. I may be biased, but I’ll stand by my opinion ‘til the day I die: Women make the best friends.
Particularly if you are one.
Some may think that I feel this way because I had a difficult marriage. I don’t think so. I think my perspective is pretty well rounded. I was single until I was 26. And enjoyed it very much. And now that I’m 43 and have gotten over the shock and pain of losing the marriage I gave my heart to, I enjoy being single all over again.
Don’t get me wrong. I hate that I got divorced. But I love being single. (It’s my own personal dichotomy.)
And at my age, almost 43 with much less to prove, being single is really fantastic. I wish I could impart that to my younger single sisters, when I see them struggling.
Consider this quote from the article linked above describing the author’s older single friends: “They weren’t spinsters or old maids and they were not ‘failures’ in any way. They were free. It was I who failed to see them, until later, for who they really were: educated, hugely intelligent, fascinating, financially independent. Women who led rich lives full of meaningful work, deep and lasting friendships… time with the beloved children of their family and friends, conversations about politics and art and literature, culture, travel to remarkable destinations where they did not journey as unconscious tourists but as guests in people’s homes and hearts. Despite these full lives they owned their own time, they owned their days. I did not. I was too busy trying to find someone who would spend the days with me, as if this would validate my presence in the world.”
Even my single Christian female friends who aren’t “trying to find someone” often live as if they are still waiting for that big moment. And while they may be confident and busy, deep in their eyes there is an underlying longing. Or depending on their age, regret.
Don’t wait. Don’t long. Don’t regret. Live. Live fully. Embrace life.
I hate to play the religious card, but, honestly, if we have God’s Spirit and His love inside of us like we claim too, we should be able to pull this off at least as well as the women in this article.
Maybe it's easier for me to write my own article because I’ve been blessed with more than an average number of loyal and fantastic girl friends. But I hold it is a general truth: Life-long friendships with other women are an essential part of a female single life worth living.
Philippians 4:11- Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.