Three Christmas’ ago I had a housewarming/Christmas party for some of my closest friends at the time. I had about 9 ladies come over for spaghetti and the best of Christmas games and festivities. In my own creative fashion, I decided to put a spin on dirty Santa, and decided I wanted to “mug” Santa this Christmas. So, I purchased about 12 blank mugs in diverse sizes and colors, then pinterested quotes until I found one I felt would be fitting for each of the beauties that would be in attendance. I painted each quote for 12 unique mugs. As per usual, some ladies had to cancel due to holiday responsibilities, so after all of the Santa mugging I was left with three of the cups I had created. This particular cup, found its home in my cabinet.
I had chosen the quote,
“He offered her the world, She said she had her own.”
for a friend of mine.
My mug said,
“You’re allowed 5 emotional minutes in your day, then you gotta be a gangsta.”
Fitting, I know.
Of course, with my obsession for coffee, you’d think that every coffee cup in my home would get regular use…. but you’re underestimating the amount of mugs I hold ownership off. I’m pretty sure I end up getting a new one every holiday, and that is in no way a complaint.
This particular mug reappeared when I moved into my current apartment and found its way to my mug centerpiece and then into my hand this past week. I filled my cup, then wondered over to the fridge, sitting the cup on my stove as I needed two hands to be careful not to drop my carton of creamer, not that I’ve done that before or anything. When I stopped, backed up, and looked at the mug, sitting on the stove burner, I couldn’t help but see an analogy. Bear with me.
I am 25 years old.
I have a bachelors degree in mathematics education.
I graduate in May with a Masters in Teacher Leadership with a Mathematics emphasis.
I am currently teaching high school mathematics for the fourth year at my alma mater.
I attend an amazing church and stay involved in so many beautiful aspects.
I work at our local gym, teaching swim lessons for young kids.
I regularly volunteer time with my family serving at our local Food Pantry.
I have my own apartment in town, with my own vehicle parked outside.
All of these things that could be considered accomplishments. All very attainable with time and focus. All filling my schedule to the brim. Still, on a regular basis, the world tells me I haven’t achieved the norm. I haven’t accomplished enough, because I am single.
I am the coffee cup believing I have my own world to live and embrace, but I am sitting upon the burning ways of this world.
Scrolling through a Facebook feed, Instagram timeline, or even walking through church can sometimes be painful. Hearing, “Awe honey, the Lord is preparing the right one for you” or “The right time will come” are all words meant in loving support, but realistically is this something we should believe?
I attended a church gathering around a year ago and had the opportunity to sit and chat with many christian peers I admire and look up to. One individual I was seated with during my meal happened to be an elderly lady who is a clergy. As we sat and enjoyed our meal, she said something that smacked me so hard in the face.
“Dear, I didn’t meet my husband until I was fifty one years old, and I sure wasn’t searching for him. I knew I alone had to bring one hundred percent to my Lord every single day, and if a man came along wanting to offer the Lord one hundred percent beside me, then that’s up to the good Lord, and together we can offer him two hundred percent.”
WHAT. A. PERSPECTIVE. I don’t even know if I responded to her. I honestly think I just sat there pondering the weight that statement held. How often do we hear people say, “He completes me?” or “They’re my other half.” Don’t get me wrong, I have been one of those people in relationships past.
So, taking those wise words, I decided to dig into my Bible…
Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” –Matthew 19:11-12
For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. –Mark 12:25
I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. –1 Corinthians 7:32–34
Now, let me be clear, the Bible shares that marriage is a gift, a beautiful one to be cherished, I am not taking away from that! I am simply sharing my discoveries on singleness and the perspectives I feel, personally.
Singleness is something to be cherished. For far to long, I thought singleness was somewhat of a punishment, or a result of past mistakes, and I was in turn missing out on precious time to grow. Time to spend chasing after the relationship our father intended to have with us. A time to bring all of our attention to his kingdom.
Singleness has it’s struggles, the two most common struggles of singles are loneliness and sexual temptation. Our worlds stance on these two can quickly lead singles astray, as it even can those in relationships. Christianity in the culture we live in requires continual pursuit of relationships with friends and family, particularly those who will keep you accountable and desire to join you on your daily quest of a life focused on the Lord. Pressing forward in pursuit of the real prize, we spend our time on this earth chasing after that which would make our father above proud; spreading love and hope. Singleness brings us time to focus it all on on him, our father in heaven, as Paul did.
I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. -1 Corinthians 7:7
Lastly, Rather than find comfort in the words of hope of an earthly relationship, we singles can find comfort in that while singleness may be a chapter or a story of our lives in this world, It is not a permanent state:
For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready. -Revelation 7:17, 19:7