Being single as a 33 year old Christian man is usually a good gig. The Lord blesses me greatly in giving me good solid prayer time, and the ability to study scripture and read, and to have friendships with few restrictions. I’m available to people at a level that most men my age simply can’t be, because I have no family to take care of. I wouldn’t often be able to blog at midnight were a wife expecting me to come to bed, or if I had a child who wasn’t yet sleeping through the night (as I’d be grasping sleep wherever I could).
Often, when I think about it, I enjoy my life as a single poverty-stricken pastoral wannabe. That doesn’t mean I don’t keep my eyes out for Christian women who might be good marriage potential, but it’s not the controlling factor in my life.
I have to say that because the Christian climate is often hostile to being a single Christian guy, especially when I date selectively (I only ask out people who I believe would be good wives and mothers, and for whom I would be a positive part of their lives… the last time I even asked someone for a date was a year or so ago). But the story I get from around me is that men my age should be married. People point to the overwhelming preponderance of women in the church, and how I have no reason to be single. I’ve even had people tell me how I should find a wife soon. And I would, but I really don’t know anyone who’d meet my expectations who is also single. Additionally there’s the fact that I want to be a pastor, and most Churches see a single pastor guy as a danger of sexual sin, so my chances of work are actually diminished by the fact that I’m not married.
If all that weren’t enough, many single Christian women seem scared I’m going to get interested in them and ask them out. It makes some uncomfortable, and others go so far as to preventively tell me they aren’t interested, whether there’s any danger of me actually asking them out or not. I try to offset this by self-depricating humor about my understanding that women aren’t interested in me, but then people worry that I’m sitting in a corner at night bewailing the fact I’m not yet wed.
And then there’s the fact that I have parents who like to wonder when I’m going to “settle down”, and start producing grandkids for them.
All of this is before we add in the sexually charged culture, and the fact that I do sometimes succumb to the pressure and talk about my own singularity.
I don’t think my bride is around the corner (if indeed I ever marry), but I don’t think the pressures on me from both within and outside the Church are going to let up either.
Yet singleness is a gift, and a valuable one. The Lord has provided me a time to think and pray for others, to study his word, and to put to death the deeds of the flesh in my own life without worrying that the shrapnel of my spiritual battles will harm my family. And I know that whatever reason God has for not putting a wife into my life, it’s a good one.
Because in the end, contrary to some people’s thinking, my life isn’t about the propagation of the species, but about glorifying God. I pray that the Lord will strengthen me to glorify Him more, whether single or married.
G’night and God bless!