Thoughts From an Almost Secure Single
words by Lauren Koski
“There’s something wrong with you if you’re single.”
“Marriage will give you a significance you can’t find elsewhere.”
(Add your own identity-crippling, value-sucking falsity here.)
Please don’t believe the lies, kindreds. Live in submission to the truths of our Creator, the One who crafted marriage to reflect Himself — better yet, the One who is crafting you to reflect His Son.
Marriage, while beautiful and purposeful, has become an idol the Church likes to shove in our faces. It snuggles close to us in bed at night while we scroll through social media feeds full of diamond rings and pacifiers. And when we witness yet another incredible couple exchange vows, that sneaky liar whispers, "You’re not good enough to be gifted a godly partner." This idol called “marriage” is a fractured figurine I carry in my purse with me most days. But it is indeed fractured.
In middle school, I was a typical hopeless-romantic pre-teen, reading Janette Oke novels and sighing over the way my crush’s blonde hair was tousled just the perfect way. I still have a list of future-husband qualities scribbled in a flowered notebook by my pre-teen self. He would possess all the important qualities looked for in a mate: humorous, stylish, a good job, and no familial or emotional baggage (my list has since changed drastically, but the idol of perfectionism expressed here will be addressed in another letter, friends).
I’m discovering God already fulfills a list, one that isn't quite so shallow. He fulfills a list I could never complete. He knows me better than I know myself — and you, single kindred. Like the woman at the well, you are fully known and fully loved by Him (John 4). He sees you in your waiting (Genesis 16). He’d give up His life to be with you (Romans 5). Unlike a broken human being, He can fill you 100 percent (John 4:14). He’s gently asking all of us to surrender the idol called happily-ever-after. He is eagerly inviting us to receive His gifts and to be used for his glory.
What if God has gifted us our singleness?
If this is true, how do we engage in the business of singleness? Because there is so much more than today, this hour, or this single season.
In Luke 19, Jesus is in Jericho surrounded by a crowd of people believing He will establish an earthly kingdom when He reaches Jerusalem. They thought their longings would be immediately fulfilled. Instead, He tells them the parable of the ten minas, a story about a nobleman who leaves each of his servants ten minas, or measures of currency.
The nobleman tells them, “Engage in business until I come,” and then leaves to engage in his own kingdom business. Each of the servants invests their gift in a different way. One multiplies ten additional minas, another multiplies an additional five. The third, though, is too fearful of losing the minas to do anything at all.
The servants received very personalized rewards for the ways they had utilized, or not utilized, what they had been given by their master. Those who multiplied their minas were rewarded command over cities in the nobleman’s kingdom; the one who wallowed in fear and frustration missed out on the blessings.
"And he (the nobleman) said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away” (Luke 19:26).
Yes, I can hear your profoundly heavy exhale right now, kindred, and the sickening thud of your stomach dropping. I understand.
I already know some of the conversations I’ll probably have when my friends and family read this: You see singleness as a gift? Is that why you have a cat? Are you not pining for a husband? Well, then it must not be a priority for you.
But they're right, it isn't a priority; Jesus is my priority.
It’s taken me some time to be secure in saying that. Well, it’s taken me a long time.
I’m not a Crawley sister, threatened to be holed up in an abbey so my precious, single self can be protected from chipping, and waiting for a man to change my life. No. I can multiply minas to God’s glory “even” as a single woman.
Don’t live thinking, “Oh, someday…” Instead, trust your Nobleman, ask Him how He'd like you to invest your gift, and then do it. Sign up for that class, serve in church, savor quiet moments, take risks, write that book. Don’t wait to be relationally established before you make big decisions. Invest your finances in something you care about, move overseas, plant roots deep into the people God has given you.
Truthfully, I'm still a bit insecure in applying this truth in my own life. When I believe the lies, the truth of my value usually takes a major hit leaving me feeling unimportant, unmotivated to serve, uninspired to write, and lacking any sense of purpose. But eternity is what gives me hope for my singleness because someday, my Prince will come.
He’ll ride in on a white horse, collect me, and carry me to His Kingdom. His robe will be dripping with scarlet, but the armies following Him will be dressed in shining white. In His very presence, everything will change; the shattered will be made whole. Justice will flow from His iron scepter and He will be the ruler of all (Rev. 19:11-16).
To live in the waiting takes discipline and discipline takes time. There will indeed be more difficult days ahead, kindreds: holidays where Aunt Susan will ask about your love life once again, the highlight reel of social media making you feel unimportant, and those horrible blind-date setups from well-meaning matchmakers. Those days might leave us ready to question our value and bury our gifts.
Let’s hold one another accountable to what we know is true: our relationship status does not determine our value, and it should not be a prerequisite for our purpose and God-ordained work.
You are not unwanted; God chose you.
You are not unattractive; you’re made in the image of the one true God.
You are not called to wallow; the joy of the Lord is your strength.
You are fully known and fully loved.
You have a purpose, so get to work.