What is the absolute hardest thing about being a single Christian? Well – if we all had to sum it up collectively, we’d probably have to go with, “Um… being single?”
There are likely actually hundreds of answers to that question, dependent on age, gender, culture, personality, and other circumstances; even in my own life, there have been different things at different times that have felt difficult that at other times haven’t been difficult at all.
For some of us, it’s finding a way to live with the tension of wanting something that God seems to be saying no to, while trying to be content with where we are in life.
For some of us, it’s figuring out how to be friends with someone of the opposite sex without wondering if there should or could be something more – and when (or if) to cross the line from friendship to dating.
For some of us, it’s dealing with feelings of rejection. We’re the ones who weren’t wanted. And these feelings can be magnified when there are parties or dinners or other events from which we’re excluded because we’re not married or don’t have a date.
For some of us, it’s working through the weird paradox of emotions we feel when our friends “finally meet ‘The One.'” We’re ecstatic for them. They’re our friends, and we want them to be happy. At the same time… we kind of wish it had happened to us, and are therefore the slightest bit jealous. And then there are all the changes this will mean… *insert paradoxical emotional overload here*
And for some of us, it’s coming home at night to an empty home. Sleeping alone, eating alone, making major life decisions alone.
All of these are things you might have guessed.
But here are two more that might surprise you:
For some of us, it’s not being able to date people who aren’t Christians. I know, shocking, isn’t it? But depending on where we live and the demographics of our churches – it can be seriously difficult to even find someone we’d want to date! There are a lot of really nice people out there who aren’t Christians – and sometimes that whole thing about being unequally yoked feels like a yoke of its own.
And for some of us, it’s going to church, and being surrounded by awesome, amazing, happy families – and not having anyone to sit with. There are snapshots of family life all around us, sermon after sermon targeted at marriage and family life, children’s ministries full of life and laughter. And sometimes the longing is just too much for us, and we end up feeling lost, alone and forgotten – in the very place we should feel most found, loved, and valued.
More to come. Stay tuned.
In the meantime – singles: I’m sure I haven’t touched on everything. What’s the hardest thing about being single for you?
And if you’re married: what is one thing you can do to help your single friends navigate the things in their lives that are tough?
Please let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear your thoughts.
"Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else." —Fred Rogers via @momentumdash
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"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." Einstein