I read a quote a few days ago on cybersphere that almost made me slip out of my seat, giggling:
” married people ask me why I’m still single. Geez why doesn’t anybody ask these people why they are still married.”
Married isn’t our default status in life. Singleness is. Single is how we begin, unless your marriage was arranged and made legal before your birth or somehow you think God or the stars or fate has predetermined a soul mate for you. I won’t delve into those deep philosophical realms. It’s useless for my present purposes. If you are pursuing a PhD that can very well be a viable subject for your dissertation.
Singleness matters. And if you think this matter is up for debate, then I suggest you start with the best opponent you can ever have as a debate partner : yourself. Ultimately it is you who will be the final judge of wether to remain single or get hinged. Enough said. Here’s the gauntlet:
- Singleness is a worthy status. It means freedom. When I say freedom I am not demeaning marriage or condescending to those in relationships or being cynical to the extent of the wise crack who claims to hate marriage because it means mating in captivity. I mean freedom in a wholesome way. You have greater ease of movement and choices. You can do things that some married people can’t do such as take an extended vacation, sleep more, skip a shower, wear granny panties, press the toothpaste in all the wrong ways, not flush the toilet, be an overseas missionary whose vocation for Christ demands number one attention. Granted singles can and will abuse their status for the service of vice and irresponsibility, but overall singleness is a strong position from which to launch. Sometimes in some situations , two cooks DO spoil the broth.
- Singleness affords you the opportunity to become whole on your own terms. It is a massive red bloody flag when someone wants to get in a relationship because of the need to be complete. Why should another human being shoulder such a hefty responsibility? Maybe what you really need is a therapist , an entertainer , a mom, or a pet. But not even they can complete you. Your mom will give you roots and buy your boots, to a certain degree and time frame. You shouldn’t expect the mothering to outlast your white hair. Therapists will listen to you, for a fee, about all your foibles and flaws, but they work by the hour. They have a life too. They can’t listen forever. Pets certainly will provide you and be generous with their loyal company. But pets aren’t people. The best they can do is see you as a glorified , black-and- white two legged animal endowed with unlimited food. It’s none of the above. Only you can come to terms with your own realities. People can offer you guidance, support, love, sex, and whatnot, but what you see in your mirror every morning is the closest source for your completeness . Paul said it best : ” workout your own salvation with fear and trembling because it’s God who works in you………..” ( Philippians 2:12).
- To gauge the worthiness and viability of married life and parenthood, singleness is by all means an excellent frame of reference from which to view the road ahead. It’s better to take a close look at married life from the cool headedness of a single status than from the hot steam of lust. Believe me , the honeymoon is not the time or place to question why you are in bed with this person. That question should have been resolve before your primal urge to reproduce, during the sunlight of clarity and objectivity , not on the climax of moonshine of desire.
- In this era of stagnant wages, insecure jobs, outsourcing and downsizing , your singleness is the best time to lay down your nest eggs. A common reason keeping many singles away from the altar is a financial house on shaky grounds. It’s unrealistic and irresponsible to expect that our future spouse will or should bail us out in the area where we have the principal responsibility. The psychological benefits for this scenario are enormous. The moment both of you are firm in your finances you will be able to asses your future love not on his or her earning potential, but from the perspective of character. Will he be loyal? Will she be trustworthy? People are simply fed up with this vomitus narrative of the gold digging , she / he seized my house-boat-pension-money that torments many souls daily.
- Final point and disclaimer . It doesn’t follow in every case that if you are unhappy and still manage to get hinged that you are destined automatically to dash, dish, and doom your relationship. Redemption exists . It’s real and available. You can still be happy , grow , and save your marriage. Stupid can be cured. Sin atoned for. Adultery and fornication forgiven. Christ came to save sinners. The trend of irresponsibility and immaturity can be reversed. Hardly anyone comes to love and romance and marriage as a complete package. Singles and couples both can climb up and gain promotion to happiness land. Still your best bet for a lasting relationship and to shield yourself against divorce is the strategy of going it solo for a while and target your personal issues and problems to the level of a nuisance or preferably non existence. You won’t be happy bringing your baggage to a relationship and they sure won’t eagerly subscribe to the added weight that your detriment presents. You risk tainting your love and the price could may very well be sky high. Baggage is difficult to bear, but more unbearable and unjust is our resolution to expect others to suck it up and still remain willing to accept us and love us unconditionally. Loving unconditionally doesn’t entail accepting whatever whim, vice , and /or destructive tendency. No one should ever accept incorrigible behavior that’s is highly probable to destroy yourself, your loved one, or the relationship. You need God and grace to solve the horrors of the skeletons in your closet. If not, expect to haunt your next lover. Suffice it to say that you need to be devoted to becoming the best person that your future mate will never regret loving. This isn’t idealism. It’s called being mature and responsible and safe to love and be loved.