There are many English words starting with the letters s-i-n. And, some folks, I suspect, think it is no accident that “singleness” starts with those letters for a reason. In fact, if you Google “Is it a sin to be single?” or “Is singleness a sin?” you could spend a lifetime speed-reading through millions of entries.
In an article a few years back, Cameron Courtney quoted Dr. Al Mohler: “I’m going to speak of the sin I think besets this generation. It is the sin of delaying marriage as a lifestyle option among those who intend someday to get married, but they just haven’t yet.” There are a number of Christian websites which encourage early marriage as the only norm, and some even as a sort of mandate from God. Boundless.org is one I have followed for several years which is geared toward “ministry for Christian young adults who want to grow up, own their faith, date with purpose and prepare for marriage and family.” Prolonged waiting is questioned.
In 2009, I wrote a response to the boundless editors for an article by Candice Watters: It’s good to wait. While I never received a return response from either boundless or Candice, it felt good to speak my mind. Candice started her article:
“In my campaign against intentional delay, have I diminished godly waiting?”
I wrote, “Yes, Candice, yes. You have! Unfortunately, you are not the only one.
There are always some of us who have done all the “right” things: gotten out of our comfort zone, gone to singles events, are active in a thriving church, have gone online. We have sat through month-long sermon series on “God’s Design for Sex,” and “God’s Design for Marriage.” We have longed for sermons which affirm us specifically for choosing to live a godly life while relational desires remain unmet. For those of us who have never married, we find ourselves in a separate compartment from those who are widowed or divorced. A godly, contented, never-married mentor is very difficult to find. In fact, I have personally found none. To become one is a daunting task.
I certainly did not intend to delay marriage! But, that is reality lived with daily. While all my desires are definitely intact, the years of waiting have allowed God to carve away at my expectations to draw my focus strongly to Him. I can finally say I am grateful even for the place to which this painful waiting has brought me. It is refreshing to finally see some books which actually speak to the “protracted single” which focus on our lives with Jesus rather than on just “preparation” or “waiting” for marriage.
Today, I have allowed everlasting waiting to sort of morph into everlasting living! It’s much more fun.
While boundless intentionally targets young singles, there are currently some excellent articles which address “waiting” which are well worth reading.
More thoughts on the title of this post next time. Sincere, Singing, Singular, and oh yes, Single!