One of the biggest things that struck me in my marriage class last year was from the middle of the semester. We discussed consecrated life, and how it’s intrinsically higher than married life. And in that, we read St. Paul’s words to those in the single and married lives. St. Paul speaks of how the single have more freedom than those married: “The single are concerned with the affairs of the Lord”.
Hold up. Hello. That’s all well and good, but I am here to tell you that most single people are not running around saying, “I’m doing the things of the Lord!” Nope. They’re partying and drinking, or at least searching for “the one”. I haven’t taken a poll, but I would venture to say that the majority of unmarried people between 16 and 30 are “looking”.
What is wrong with our world? Is there a problem with being single? Are we secretly looked down on for not finding our soulmate yet, or at least for not being in a relationship?
I would submit to you that the answer is yes, many are looked down on for not being in relationship. Do I think it’s a good thing? Not in the least bit (remember, I’m in that group, too!)
There’s absolutely no problem with being single. The key is to live single-hood fully, practically, and prayerfully. If I sat around being sad for myself, moping and watching sappy romantic movies, I’d be wasting my time as a young single woman. If I ignored God because He hasn’t brought “the one” into my life yet, I’d be hurting my spiritual life.
During my time at the Edith Stein Conference, I heard a couple talks on being single. The importance of having good friendships with holy men of God was drilled into my head. (I could go into this for hours, so I’ll leave it at that… maybe I’ll write an epistle on male-female friendships another time.) It was also stressed that I need to go do fun things and just live a normal life while I’m not in a time of relationship.
I’ve never had a boyfriend. It would seem, though, from what I’ve seen both with friends and random people I see around campus, that once I enter a relationship, my time will not completely be my own. That’s not bad. But now, I am free to watch a movie with my friends at midnight on a Friday night; I have the time to make an impromptu trip to Walmart to do late-night crafting; I am able to go to a weekend conference in another state, all without feeling bad for neglecting my signifiant other.
So today, I’m not having a romantic dinner for two. Instead, I’ll have a lovely casual dinner with my household sisters and later go out for shakes with friends. I’ll say a prayer for my future husband and pray that he’s enjoying his day as much as I am.
And I’ll rejoice in my single-hood, because through this state in life, I can more fully be present to both my sisters and brothers in Christ.