Some might say I’m a bit sensitive to the term “single”. I don’t particularly like labels of any kind, but for some reason this one rubs me the wrong way. Perhaps it is because I am approaching my 26th birthday, the old-fashioned age when one became an “old maid”. Maybe I have heard a few too many times, “Sarah, you just need to try. Put your antenna up, girl”. Perhaps it is because I left my Single Adult 1 class to join the college/career class only to have them rename our class Single Adult 1 (and my previous class morphed into Single Adult 2). Whatever the case, I don’t care for the label.
I was recently looking for other books by an author I was reading, and I ran across a book called Redeeming Singleness. This book, according to the description, explores a biblical theology for singleness, showing that not only does the Bible give a foundation for marriage but also how the blessings of the covenant are available to singles as well. I have not read the book, so I have no idea whether this is a good book and whether the author is true to his word to offer a solid, biblical outlook. But, the title stuck out to me. When I think of redemption, I think of having to be saved from something: God has redeemed us from a life of sin through His sending Jesus to die on the cross. It implies something good coming out of a situation that is bad. So, therefore, does that mean that singleness is bad and that somehow it needs to be redeemed?
Well, our culture does value marriage in a sense, although it also values independence (a very interesting contrast). There is the argument that God’s plan from the very beginning was marriage in His creation of Adam and Eve, and that singleness is somehow less than God’s best. Instead of trying to redeem singleness, however, I think we need to see a bigger picture. It is, in fact, not about us and our relationship status but about God’s plan for all of the peoples of the world to know about Him, and for His followers to walk in obedience. Our job is not to worry about labels or status, but instead to serve God with joy no matter what stage of life we are in. We are all in need of God’s redemption and we are all called to share that redemption with others.
Maybe I need to read the book to actually talk about it (and really, I have nothing against this particular one, it was just a good illustration). But, maybe more importantly I need to seek God’s heart through His Word and listening to His Spirit, leading me along each step of the way. I would love to hear any thoughts or if you have actually read the book and can correct me.